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Good Bill Cosby article
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Old 10 Jul 2004, 09:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Good Bill Cosby article

Can't Bill Cosby go back to being a comedian? Can't we hear more of those "Fat Albert" jokes or funny stories about his wife? I liked those jokes. He made me laugh.

But last week, when he gave low-income black parents another scolding for the way some of them are raising their children, something was missing. Compassion? Respect? Love? I'm not sure.

Cosby has an important message that young people need to hear, yet it looks like in trying to deliver that message, he stumbled over the line that separates constructive criticism from destructive put-downs.

Telling African Americans that they need to demand more from their children when it comes to education and literacy is one thing. But calling black children -- regardless of their income or status -- "your dirty laundry" adds fuel to a dangerous fire.

I welcomed Cosby's initial candor, but not everyone in the so-called black elite felt Cosby got it right the first time around. Now I'm worried that Cosby has gotten carried away with himself.

After stirring up controversy at an NAACP function last month with remarks about "lower economic people not holding up their end," Cosby was at the Rainbow/PUSH convention Thursday with harsher words.

"Your dirty laundry gets out of school at 2:30 every day," Cosby said. "They put themselves on the trains or on the buses, and they don't care about anyone else or their age. It's all about them and their cursing," he said.

Cosby said he was "fed up" with the cursing and repeated his earlier comments about children who are unable to use correct grammar.

"For some black Americans, education has taken a backseat to achieving glory on the sports field," he said.

Although I appreciate where Cosby is coming from, if I were a poor, single mother on the South Side, I'm not sure I'd appreciate someone who is living high on the hog, sitting in a room full of other people who are living high on the hog, blaming me for dragging down the entire black race.

He has his own flaws

While Cosby can act sanctimoniously now, a few years back he was forced to acknowledge that he had an affair when a young woman, who claimed to be his daughter, tried to extort money from him. That puts him a lot closer to the kind of bad situations that lead to the bad parenting that he's now railing against.

Aldon Morris, a professor of sociology at Northwestern University, was concerned when so many in the elite class cheered Cosby on after his initial comments.

"The easiest thing that anybody can do is to pick on and blame the most vulnerable," Morris said. "In my view the most responsible and objective position is to ask where have we gone wrong as a society? Where have we gone wrong in terms of the black community?"

Cosby, who holds a Ph.D in education, has always been passionate about the subject. He and his wife, Camille, have given millions of dollars to historically black colleges. So I have no doubt that Cosby has the best interest of black people at heart.

But as Morris points out, poor black people can't bear all the blame.

'Let's start with the leaders'

"If we are going to engage in that critique, let's start with the leaders. Let's start with the entertainers. Let's start with the ministers. Let's start with the journalists. What are their shortcomings? How have they contributed to the shortcomings of those who are at the bottom?" Morris continued.

"Had Cosby asked what are the responsibilities of those who have, those who are secure, those who have good jobs; what is their responsibility to enhance the lives and opportunities of those at the bottom, that would have been a good place to start."

More important, Morris pointed out that thousands of low-income children do not have access to a good education.

"If they do not have access to a good education, how do we think they are going to talk?" Morris asked. "If they do not have the opportunity to be taught standard English, if they do not have a good school system where there are good, qualified teachers, how do we expect them to turn out? This was the part that was lacking in Cosby's speech."

A few years back, I had a chance to hear Cosby perform for a benefit at Roosevelt University. The comedian, who had not long before suffered through the murder of his only son, was in top form.

His entire routine was about trying to get an underachieving daughter into a prestigious college. Since a lot of his material is based on family life, I imagined that some of what he said that night was based on fact.

The punch line was that Cosby ended up offering to build the school a library.

If Cosby intends to keep speaking out about what ails Black America, I hope he remembers his old joke. Most parents, rich or poor, would like to have it like he has it.

But, if we were to evaluate our own actions since the civil rights era began, we would see there's enough blame to go around

http://www.suntimes.com/output/mitch...s-mitch04.html
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I think its great what Bill Cosby is doing, he is basically telling blacks to start taking responsibility in their lives.
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Old 10 Jul 2004, 09:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I hate Bill Cosby and always have. Hes a sanctimonious prick.
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Old 12 Jul 2004, 06:02 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I agree with what he said. Try this:
When the Irish, Jews, Italians, and countless other groups first moved to America they were considered the scum of the Earth and things of that sort. In less than 50 yeard they had pulled themselves out. The blacks haven't and I won't count when they started getting free, I'll start with the end of the War Between the States, 1965. They have had nearlt 140 years to make themselves even, and they still are complaining about being held back. They hold themselves back. The other groups worked their way up and did it in less time, without government programs and other groups designed strictly to help this one group.
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Old 12 Jul 2004, 08:29 AM   #4 (permalink)
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You know it makes me wonder sometimes why most of the black community do not come out of that coma and get a decent education. I read the article and I do agree with him.
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Old 20 Jul 2004, 07:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I agree with Cosby, but only to a certian extent. Guess because the Black comunities here in this part of Canada while have a some simularites...there are many more diffrences..BTW I sent this article out to some of my friends via Email. I'll let you know what some of them say, as soon as I get some feedback.
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Old 23 Jul 2004, 01:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I agree with what cosby said.

And before everyone jumps on Cosby, let us not forget Jesse's little problem too.
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