The Tuskegee Experiment included 600 black men (399 with Syphilis and 201 without) that were led down a road of deception by not only the federal government, but one of their own that they thought they could trust.
Nurse Rivers, who knew the experiment was all a lie and that they were not really being treated for their cases of Syphilis, never breathed a word. In exchange for taking part in the experiment, they were promised free medical exams, meals, and burial insurance.
According to All Voices.com, on Melissa Harris-Perry’s show Sunday, she pointed out the similarities in Tavis Smiley to Nurse Rivers. Apparently, Tavis had been in business with Wells Fargo to get African Americans and Hispanics enrolled in their fraudulent “wealth building” program that duped them into loans with higher rates based on “the color of their skin.”
Now, you must be wondering how Tavis plays into this scenario. Well, according to the report, he was paid $4 million to give seminars in black communities that would persuade blacks to get involved in the programs that:
“…resulted in over 34,000 African-American and Hispanic borrowers in 36 states and the District of Columbia paying higher rates for loans…”
The discriminating program went on for five years, from 2004 to 2009, and the bank was caught in their web of deception, but Tavis Smiley never revealed, like Ms. Rivers, the misconception and downright deception the program entailed. Some might believe he was not the wiser, but those same people would also believe that he is an astute businessman.
Smiley eventually cut ties with Wells Fargo. The report states:
“I cut everything off with Wells Fargo,” Smiley declared. He said the move cost “a lot of money”; he would not say how much. Smiley said his relationship with Wells Fargo was a “package deal.” In return for the company helping to finance his radio show, he went on the road for Wells Fargo.
No wonder Harris-Perry compared the media mogul to Ms. Rivers. While we are only speculating that Smiley knew what was going on, it is extremely unlikely that he didn’t. Read more here. Attorney General Madigan even weighed in on the seminars, saying that from the beginning, the seminars were Wells Fargo’s plan to “target black borrowers for higher-cost subprime mortgages” not wealth-building.