The Cosby Conundrum

I’m a vocal and proud news junkie, and to quench my thirst for knowledge, every Sunday it’s Meet The Press. I’ve come to expect a weathered roster of shifty-eyed politicos to slide into the seat across from Tim Russert every week — so imagine my surprise this Sunday when none other than Bill Cosby was in the hot seat.

The Cos was presenting his latest book, Come On, People: On the Path from Victims to Victors. The book is co-written by Harvard Medical School Professor of Psychiatry, Dr. Alvin Poussaint, who appeared alongside Cosby on the program. The book firmly tackles the issues that Mr. Cosby has been honing in on for the last decade or so — his concerns about the direction that the African American community seems to be heading in.

It was an endlessly fascinating hour of television, and if you missed it, you can click here to watch. If you can’t watch the video, read the transcript here.

Let me give you a taste of the discussion, via those transcripts.

Mr. Cosby declares: “I cannot fully tell you how disappointing it is to hear philosophies come from people—and the only way I can describe it is a friend of mine who says people—some people are, are, are acting with abnormal behavior, trying to make it normal, and that’s insane. And that’s, that’s what he said. I hear things coming out of the mouths of babes, things that they believe—example, and what—one of the most old-fashioned things. Kid is studying, and so they say to the kid, “You’re acting white,” which is a put-down to make this kid stop studying. Well, let’s examine this. If you’re black and you say to me, because you see me studying, “You’re acting white,” what is it you’re saying about black people? You see, these are things that have to be discussed with, with—and nobody—people aren’t coming up enough to challenge these statements, to, to, to do character corrections on these things.”

He continues, “If a young girl says, “I want to have a baby because I want something that, that loves me,” that young lady is saying something. And we’ve got to talk to her about herself and her idea of love. She hasn’t graduated from high school, she’s willing to, to have a child. All of these character corrections are not being done while record companies are putting out records inviting people to continue that kind of behavior, to, to not talk about get an education. It’s just as easy to put that to a rhythm.”

Of course the discussion then segued into gangsta rap and questionable lyrics, which has been one of Bill Cosby’s peeves for years now — anyone remember that episode of the Cosby Show when Rudy’s singing a song, “do it to me all night long?” And her dad asks her, “what do you think “it” is?” Same thing, except the lyrics have become ten times more explicit. And now Cosby’s advocating having a “shakedown” in his kids’ bedrooms.
Cosby and Poussaint touched on the key issues that they believe are plaguing black America — education and the “acting white” phenomenon, the desperate need for two-parent family structures, the scary statistics of black on black violence, the fact that so many in the black community don’t vote, and the need for personal responsibility within the community itself. It could take me a month to really delve into his statements topic by topic and debate them. And besides, Michael Eric Dyson already did that in his book Is Bill Cosby Right (Or Has the Black Middle Class Lost Its Mind?).

On Meet the Press, Cosby dismisses the arguments of his critics as the “yeah buts.” His rebuttal has validity — “If you really understand what Bill Cosby is saying, if you really listen, he’s saying, “Get an education. Drive your children with love and care, and they will feel confidence when they go to school. Build a confidence about yourself and what you can control, and then you will be able to fight the systemic and the institutional. You will care more about what you do and what is done to you.” I’ve said that over and over,” he declared in response. But there were many moments where Cosby and Poussaint’s discussion devolved into “I met a young lady who” discussions that weakened the power of the statistics they were presenting, and many of their points resounded with out-of-touch sentiments. Dr. Poussaint mentions “white kids who were into some of this rap and so on started calling themselves “wiggers”.” Um, I’ve never met a white rap fan who calls themself a “wigger,” Mr. Poussaint. If I were a young person who you might be trying to reach, I just laughed at what you were saying, and you just lost me.

There is so much to consider in Cosby and Poussaint’s discussion, so much to unpack and explore. But throughout the show, one thought kept coming back to me. Why Meet the Press? Why was this iconic figure of black fatherhood appearing on a political Sunday morning talk show that (I’m supposing) a primarily Caucasian audience watches? It was hardly a case of pitching to the key demographic — I suspect that many of Meet the Press’s most regular viewers are of the age and status that they would resoundingly agree with Cosby’s assertions that lay so much blame directly at the feet of poor black people in America.

Mr. Cosby has already been accused of being ill-informed on the current realities of black community life, and having classist, elitist perspectives. He’s boldly defended accusations of airing so-called “dirty laundry” in inappropriate venues. So once again he invites criticism by the very location of the discussion, which in my opinion, defeats his largest and most valid points.

Personally, I’d love to see Bill Cosby go head-to-head on one of the Hip Hop vs. America debates on BET, where the actual rappers and people most affected by the conditions he so vividly describes could gain from his viewpoint. Michael Eric Dyson, Stanley Crouch, and Farai Chideya all appeared on those debates, and raised their points to rappers like Nelly and the freshly-arrested TI. Even though Bill Cosby is a huge celebrity who probably has issues with BET and may not deign to appear on a panel, wouldn’t it make more sense to reach out to the people who are most interested, and possibly need to hear what you’re saying the most? If you want to deliver a message, why not send it in the most direct manner possible?

Did you catch Cosby on Meet the Press this weekend? What is your opinion on his views? Does his approach make you want to listen more closely, or not? I’d love to hear what you think, bellas and fellas!

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Comments

  1. No, I didn’t see Meet the Press (when I can, I’m a Fox Sunday News show girl- only to watch Juan Williams hold it down weekly against the ultraconservatives that complete the panelists), but thatnks for sharing. i heard about Mr. cosby’s new book, but would not have asusmed that MTP would have been the venue where he discussed it. I can only imagine…. I’m sure, like you said, that he ended up invalidating some of his valid arguments. My biggest issue, just as you have pointed out AFROBELLA, is why doesn’t he keep this “in-house” a little longer. Now, I know he was doing speaking engagments last year in “inner cities” and other areas, but why could he not have been interviewd about this book on a show, as you suggested, that would have more viewership of those he needs to be speaking to. Middle and Upper-Class White Americans don’t really need to hear from him about this- it will just (re)inforce stereotypes for them, especially becuase it’s coming from the “beloved BILL COSBY.” If he doesn’t want to go on BET,he could definitely let Cathy Hughes interview him on TV One.

  2. Unfortunately I missed Mr. Cosby on Meet The Press but it is interesting that he was on this show. I do agree with some of the things that he says about personal responsibility and being more nurturing and caring to our children. On the flip side though I agree with you-he should be addressing the people who he really wants to help. I would like to hear or see him talk to Micheal Baisden. Now that I think about it, I believe one of the reasons he was on MTP was for a sales pitch of the book. More likely than not there will be plenty of white upper/ middle class americans who will buy this book so he is playing to that audience.

  3. What does “in house” mean? sound to me like behind closed doors..as if it is not already a gaping hole…just visit any gossip blog at this very moment and you will see the Jena 6 out flossing and throwing up “6″ signs at the BET awards…(sorry, slightly off topic but I needed to vent about that)

    As “shady” as Bill Cosby may be, I think his heart is in the right place with this one…and if on the slight chance that it is not, then what he is saying is still the truth.

    I can’t, for the life of me, figure out why we refuse to come to terms with the problems that are facing in our community and why we would rather focus on Mr. Cosby’s past or the venue he chose to air out our laundry (not saying you in particular bella but black people in general)

    I will admit, I use to cringe about airing out our dirty laundry but I’ve grown to believe he is not saying anything that the world does not already see.

    I support Bill Cosby 100% because, I have seen first hand the effects of a lack of education. I have watched 5 graduating classes of african american high school seniors go on to do NOTHING because they lack the skill set to do ANYTHING other than security detail. I watch as we continue to graduate a large number of african american seniors who cant break a 1200 on the SAT and are shocked to find out that their life long dream of becoming a doctor may be just that.

    I have seen first hand many african students go from a sense of entitlement to a sense of despair because when reality hits, they have “nothing to offer”. And when I say “nothing to offer” i am strictly talking about skill sets.

    But all is not bad, there are still millions of us out there that do our business and for that I am very, very proud. But, I am equally saddened by those that fall.

  4. don’t sleep on meet the press, that show has a loyal and large black fan base!

  5. I didn’t watch it, but I do agree with what he is saying. But I think that the black poor is being lumped together as though none of them are trying to make things happen. While that is true for some, it is not true for all. I believe that many young people want more, but don’t know how to get it. There was a young girl I met named Lafiyah. She wanted out so badly, but she was in no way prepared for a four year institution. I remember her saying that she wanted to go to college so that she could learn to “talk better.” My heart ached for her because she was trying so hard, but she did not know which end was up. But she was trying to do the right thing. She was going to Gibbs and wanted to transfer to Seton Hall University. I wish her the best of luck, but she has some major challenges facing her. I just wish more stories like hers were pushed to the forefront because some people really are trying. I think that is what Michael Eric Dyson was saying.
    But a lot of folks aren’t. That is what Cosby is saying. I think both are right and both want the best for the community, but they are both generalizing the black poor into one group with one singular mentality. But Cosby is right in that there is no need for white folks to hold you back, when your are not even trying to stand up.

  6. It is when you start getting some money that the real problems start.

  7. I really like the way you said that candy. Thank you for your post.

  8. I have mixed feelings about Bill Cosby. On the one hand, I respect that he’s discussing important issues that affect the African American community. I think he has the best of intentions. However, I feel that he’s taking the wrong approach. He has a habit of talking about people and not talking directly to them. So I would have to agree with Afrobella in questioning why Cosby chose “Meet The Press” to get over his point. Plus, I believe Cosby has missed the opportunity to really relate to young people by not discussing his own past (having a lovechild with another woman while married and his more recent sexual harassment accusations for which he settled those cases out of court last year). He really could have used his experiences as tools to show the he is human and to show people how to overcome obstacles. Also, I wonder about these books folks write. I deeply respect Cornel West, Tavis Smiley, Michael Eric Dyson, and I find their books to be highly interesting, but are they (their books and methods) really effective? There’s nothing wrong with intellectualizing the issues. I just wonder whether we (including myself) are really sincere and serious about getting down into the trenches to do the hard work that is really badly need at this time to make a difference in the lives of others.

  9. My boyfriend and I caught some of Bill Cosby on Meet the Press. I agreed with most of what he had to say. I felt Meet The Press is not where his target audience is. I feel he needs to get more guerilla with his tactics. Find out where the worst schools then show up unannounced. Talk to the kids directly. Or go to a community center trying to raise money and go there. I also agree with what some of the other sistah said that he has his own past. He needs to talk about that as well so people can see him as human. Not just an icon.

  10. I’m sorry to keep commenting on other posts, but I like your suggestion Michelle–especially when you mention that he should talk about his past.

  11. I watched the program and totally agree with Cosby and Dr. Poussaint. Everything said is true(except for Dr. Poussanit thinking white kids call themselves wiggers. We call them that we they are “acting” black). We don’t have to hide the issues. Everyone knows whats going on in our community most of the time except for us. We allow things to fester and then when all hope is almost gone we begin to “discuss” the issue. That’s the problem now. Too much talk and no action.

  12. Hey Bella, I caught the show, Tim Russet is not to be slept on.I love his interview style. With the rate of Black children raised in Caucasian families either through adoption or single motherhood, I don’t think our issues can be kept in house anymore. Mr. Cosby will be the guest on Oprah this Wednesday, discussing absent fathers, teenage pregnancy and violence.

  13. Trinichica says:

    I missed Bill Cosby’s discussion on MTP but, this brings me back to a question that I sent to Bella some time back……..”I have been pondering on this for a little while and have been wondering what your opinion is and if you have posted anything on your website about this. Yesterday I met with an Asian client who was very nice; we had a nice conversation while I was trying to assist her with her needs as one of our tenants. After we talked she said “it was nice talking with you, you are different, I could tell you have class” and then she bowed and I bowed and that was that. This is not the first time that I have had a comment such as that made about me (most particularly from people of Asian descent) and I have been wondering how I should take it. Is it compliment or an insult? I have been leaning on the side of insult but I have also asked myself why is it that this perception of us is even a thought. I then think about how our youth behave in the streets and in public; people must have a very poor judgement of them and us as a whole when they see us carrying on……then I begin to reason that our people are angry because we have been forced into a defensive position due to the many negative experiences that we have encountered and that is why we are always angry and quick to respond to things in an aggressive manner…..then the perception is made that we have no class and we respond again with more anger and aggression…..it seems to be a vicious circle of cause and effect…….I just wanted your opinion on that…..and as a professional black woman in a predominantly white office…hmmmmmm(actually, I am the only black woman in the entire office) I have to be maintain a professional attitude when I deal with clients…..I could not exactly turn to the woman and ask her “what the heck does she mean” but I wanted to. What are your thoughts? I know I have run-ons in this but I hope you get my point.” All of this is just to say that the importance of good manners and decorum is being translated as a something that is race related when it is not. My mother raised me right and the white girl that sits next to me in the office was raised right and so were the hispanic ladies that sit in my area…….that’s all it really boils down to……….right?

  14. i say, bring on, cos. he’s bringing some ‘unattractive truth” – a perspective that doesn’t blame white people and that is not a song, doesn’t rhyme and isn’t in sermon mode. although you couldn’t say it isn’t preachy.

    the title of the book: you know, it isn’t about being a ‘victor’ it’s about doing your homework, keeping a savings account, figuring out that you have to present yourself a certain way when you are dealing with people in public and just doing very average, boring, nonspectacular things. doesn’t mean you can’t be fly but you have to do the other stuff too.

    just like losing weight – it’s not about some huge revelation or miracle or being a ‘victor’ – it’s about vegetables. and fruits. and water. and protein. very basic, nonspectacular, even unattractive foods. and i know that poorer you are the less access we have to these things but … i don’t know what the answer is.

    whenever my mother would see me watching tv she would say, those people are working, what are you doing? i think someone should be saying that to all of us, especially kids when they consume any kind of popular culture. it would be one thing if it was a teenage thing that kids did on the weekend and still did their homework and understood what college was and what kind of life is out there if you don’t go. but it’s a lifestyle that is just not working out.

  15. I agree with the Cos in many ways. I haven’t read everything that has been attributed to him so I can’t say I agree with everything he says. Does anyone know if Cos has been to some of the inner city or disadvantaged schools and talked about achievement and excellence? Or does he only go to colleges/universities and MTP?
    What concerns me most is that it’s easy to say “ok this is what’s wrong, and this is what’s wrong” but I have yet to hear anyone say “you know what, I saw that this was happening so I did this” To make sure no one can point fingers at me I’m raising my daughter to be positive and motivated. I’m also volunteering with an organization that gives support to young adults coming out of foster care. I think that if we get some of these kids when they’re young, I’m talking 1st and 2nd grade, that we can make a big difference. They’ll have something positive even if their parents and peers arent the most supportive. Just my two cents.

  16. Hey, I really enjoy your site. I’d appreciate a link in your blogroll. Of course, I can do the same:)

  17. I don’t think we can afford to stick our heads in the sand or be silent about this any longer. While I don’t think that the current ills of black society should be laid solely at the feet of the poor and unmotivated, I do think that we all have a hand in this. You can’t just be “Oh, I raise *my* child right”–there has to be a sense of community because, yeah, your one “rightly raised” kid will be judged by the behavior of 10 other ones who weren’t raised right. This is something that is deeply entrenched in some areas of black life in the U.S. It didn’t get like this overnight and it won’t be turned around overnight. Nobody is saying that we hae to raise a generatioon of Stepford youth who can “behave” their way out of racism, just kids that have self-esteem and care about themselves and their communities.

  18. nearandfar says:

    @Simone (girl, yes! to your comments!), Coffey and Edesse! So on point!
    First of all, please don’t think that Meet the Press has more White viewers than Black, after all Afrobella, you were watching it. It has a large Black viewership as well, and the list goes on. Ok, I too agree with Mr. Cosby. He’s like a good father who corrects you when you’re moving in the wrong direction. It’s sad to see that a lot of Black people have a problem when an intelligent, well-known and loved Black man holds the mirror up to his people and says “look at what is going on in our communities, households, etc.” Why is this? We are so quick to jump on a little reporter from Glamour magazine talking abour hair, but we show more disdain for a man who’s basically saying “get an education” “raise your children” “be a contributor to your community and society as a whole”. Whether he says it on what some of you think is a “white” show is astounding!
    This keep it “in house” idea is crazy to me, no disrespect. We need to start cleaning up and get the “dirt” “out of house” so that a large population of Black people will not be left behind. Keeping it “in house” a huge part of the problem. I respect Mr. Cosby because as Simone so intelligently put it: he’s bringing some ‘unattractive truth” – a perspective that doesn’t blame white people and that is not a song, doesn’t rhyme and isn’t in sermon mode.

    Amen sister.

    Oh, and another thing, who cares about his having a child out of wedlock? So what? Some of the readers of this blog might be products of this kind of situation. I am not but some of my friends are and they have great parents. Your parents are still your parents and as long as they loved and provided for you I really don’t see why this would be important for Mr. Cosby to talk about. It wouldn’t make him more human to me or to others that I know because we don’t put celebrities or political figures on a pedestal to be worshipped.

  19. tuff-puffs says:

    I personally believe that Mr. Cosby’s comments are powerful and his audience appropriate. Sometimes I get very frustrated with the “loops” of ongoing forums and discussions that we have about teen pregnancy, education and hip hop music… can anyone say same script, different cast?

    I am all for putting the pieces together in our communities, but hurt people hurt people and not only are we hurt but we don’t collectively possess the focus, drive, desire and determination to restore ourselves. Maybe Mr. Cosby needed to reach an audience member that would NEVER watch Hip-Hop vs. America. Maybe after hearing Mr. Cosby’s thoughts conveyed in a manner that is very familiar to him/her Mr. or Mrs. Audience Member is ready to write a fat check, start a committee, and seek agencies that help to relive some of those issues. Maybe I’m the Sista that can comfortably converse with Mr. or Mrs. Audience Member in a board room and turn talk around tables to action in the streets. There is an audience that needs to be aware of certain issues and if they won’t listen to an Al Sharpton or Warren Valentine they need to hear someone. If Bill provides the opportunity then play smart and cease it! A lot more can be accomplished if we stop critiquing other people’s moves and tried to make some positive plays of our own.

    If people of other races (particularly white people) have negative or stereotypical thoughts about black people they may use Bill Cosby’s words to validate their opinions. But it is possible that the majority of those people would seek out something, anything, to validate those thoughts. Please be honest… there are far more stronger influences that are available for people to view/hear that can make us look foolish, dumb, helpless or crazy than lil’ Bill giving a good dose of straight talk.

  20. MTP does have a very diverse audience and the problems that Cos is addressing impact all Americans. I agree with the other posters, this is not a “in house” issue anymore. I am constantly seeing news reports (in the mainstream media) about the problems facing the black community.

    I am really worried about the education gap. This will have major ramifications for our people for decades.

  21. @ Trinichica….I’m not sure if it’s anger, some of these kids take their behavioral lessons from BET!

  22. I think Bill Cosby’s heart is in the right place and he tells a lot of truth that people don’t want to hear (Simone said it best), but there are a lot of middle class people who let their kids listen to any kind of crap that comes down the pipeline, too. Who don’t value education in their every day choices. Who think that living in the right neighborhood is going to close the achievement gap. It does not. I wish someone would address that too, because I’ve seen a grip of suburbanites wonder what went wrong at high school graduation when Sue and Jeff are off to college and Hakeem and Nashiqua are pondering their next moves.

  23. Ms Stella says:

    I just happened to be flipping channels while folding laundry and saw that Cosby and Poussaint were going to be on MTP. I don’t usually watch tv Sunday mornings.

    I agree with Cosby’s stance on personal responsibility.

    I’m old enough to remember what my grandparents and parents came through and did what needed to be done while still maintaining their dignity and self-respect. I still remember artists getting their point across without degradation and blatant obscenity.

    Regarding the “in house” issue. It would have been great if this would have been on BET. I don’t know why Cosby wasn’t a part of the panel on Hip-Hop VS America. Speaking of which, I couldn’t even sit through the whole Hip-Hop VS America program because I couldn’t stand listening to one of the panelist in his highly emotional state and I just turned the channel.

    The bottom line is Cosby isn’t perfect and I’m sure he doesn’t claim to be. I believe he is trying to help make a difference.

  24. I think Bill Cosby has very valid arguments. And I agree with the posters who said it would be a good idea for some of his money to go, not just to the colleges, but to the little ones, their schools, their environments. By college, the people who are motivated and determined have already made it, to a certain extent. If we can start early, teaching children the value of education and good citzenship, the importance of managing money, of taking care of our community and the environment, I think that would help so much…the future is the children, trite but true. Maybe help fund some Big Brother and Big Sister programs, some after school programs where helping get the homework done is part of the schedule. I try very hard to be involved with my young children at school, at the dinner table, all that, but I see so many children who don’t have that parental involvement, they don’t make sure the homework is done, that the kids get sleep before the test, all that, and many times the cycle is perpetuated. I think many in our community have lost that drive and determination that marked earlier generations. I believe we have a right to be angry, and we have been victimized, BUT, like any other victim of a crime, we can either let the anger and the crime(s) eat us alive, which hurts no one but ourselves, or not. Bill Cosby takes the risk to be outspoken and air what can be unpopular views with many people, and sometimes he can come across as a bit unfeeling, but I too believe his heart is in the right place. Maybe he doesn’t always say it in the right way, but the essence of his message is correct, in my opinion. Can you imagine the impact if he came to some elementary schools? So many of our kids need fathers, or at least fatherly attention, and while obviously he can’t fulfill that role in any ongoing way, I still think it would leave a big impression on little girls and boys if he came to their classrooms, looked them in the eyes, called them by name, and explained to them that so many people care about them and about what they do in the future, and how important they are. And to middle and high schools…What do you want to do? How are you going to get there? Better guidance counselors. I also think about the low SAT scores compared to the high GPAs, and how so many kids are unprepared for the reality of college — but until schools in some areas are safer and the children in them understand the need to respect authority, it is going to be hard to recruit teachers to those areas. I know there are exceptions, but an exception can only reach so many children. Curriculums have to be changed, but if you don’t have a strong foundation coming from elementary school, then if the curriculum is too difficult, it still won’t have the desired effect. I think those are some of the issues Bill is talking about, and I agree with him.

  25. The whole child-out-of-wedlock issue is irrelevant to me, and I think people use it to detract from the larger points he tries to make. I kind of feel that way about Bill Clinton as well. I think the interview on Meet the Press was good, but there were points where I wanted an opposing perspective, the voice of someone in his target audience. It bothered me that Cosby dismissed his critics as “yeah buts,” when I think some of his critics have valid points as well. I think the BET model, a meeting of generational minds, could be a good step towards making the points he wants to make while also reaching the target demographic. I agree — his efforts are noble and I think he truly is speaking out of good intention. I just think the message could be delivered more effectively.

  26. thistimenow says:

    BET is a joke and a bad and harmful one at that. I sure that it would fall on deaf ears. As someone said he will appear on Oprah and I’m sure on other shows, etc.

  27. I religiously watch “Meet the Press” every Sunday morning. I saw the program with Cosby yesterday, and I too was surprised that “Meet the Press” would devote a full show to discussing issues pertaining to black America. Did anyone catch how he tried to make his book relevant to EVERYONE? Pllllllease Mr. Cosby…I don’t see how white people would be interested in your book about black America. Anyway, I think Cosby speaks the truth many people are afraid to hear…some people may listen to him and think “Oh, that’s me he’s talking about”. He speaks strongly about the issues and that gets people talking. He brought up a statistic I found alarming. It was something along the lines of how in the 1950s 2 out of every 3 black children were born into a 2 parent home. Now it is something much lower, like 2 out of 7. (sorry it’s not exact)

    It is my hope that someday the statistic will revert back to the numbers of the 1950s.

  28. Bella.

    Bill will be on Oprah on Wednesday.

    Some people may say that Bill is hypocritical and a tad out of touch; but it’s refreshing in a day of “publicists”, “spin doctors” and other forms of “hush hushness” to hear a Black celebrity of Cosby’s stature talk about what’s really going on in Black America. Generally; when it comes to those who are eating well there’s a hush over Jerusalem. The Beyonces, Hovas, and Celeb Athletes as much as we love them; are the quietest people in town. No concerned responses to Katrina, The Jena 6, and more importantly the cultural and moral shifting of ignorance that is plaguing and destroying our communities by the millisecond.

    Let’s face the music. Individually we have been doing exceptionally well for people who are only three generations removed from slavery. And for the most part the only activism that we’ve been focusing on is getting them green backs. It’s a double edge sword being black and American because as an American you become a capitalist by default. So can you fault the hush?

    The issue of how Black people are doing holistically is not for the faint of heart because the ills of being black, poor and American are way too complex for a “one size fits all solution.” And I’m not exactly sure how effective an exchange of literary prose between Bill Cosby and Micheal Eric Dyson will help the class of black folk that need to be reached.

    But a conversation is a beginning. Hopefully this wil not be another tirade that falls on deaf ears.

  29. Personally, just the way rap artist dress and the way
    they view women in their songs, should tell us there
    is a problem. If there is positive influence from them
    why are their lyrics stained with violence, immoral sex, and the disdain for law and order. Why are they the ones being arrested for gun related charges. To me
    they are like junk food, appetizing but lack real value, and Mr. Cosby only confirm what already is a fact. Where are the good rappers?

  30. muslimahlocs says:

    bella,
    thanks for the link. we love ourselves and our child so much that we don’t even own a television. but we may have to watch this online after our child goes to bed for the night.
    all the best of salaam.

  31. I am with Bill 100%.

  32. mistress scorpio says:

    I’m behind the Cos as well. I remember coming home crying from elementary school because I was told I “talked white” and because I was a good student, I thought I was better than everyone and I was “acting white.” My mother asked me why I was suddenly “talking street” around the house and to my friends and I “said I was just “being black.” My mother rightfully put her proverbial foot in my ass and told me that she didn’t give a damn what the kids at school said, that she expected me at all times to speak properly and to do well in school, that she did not raise me on the street and she would be damned if I was going to sound like I was.

    This is not a new phenomenon and the “acting white” insult has pervaded our community into thinking and acting in self-defeating ways.

    As for “keeping it in the house” by going on BET… I’m sorry, but BET has proven time and time again that they are part of the problem, and not even trying to be part of the solution. How do we feel shame when the Cos airs our “dirty laundry” to white audiences while shows like “Hot Ghetto Mess” are being produced and sold onto television? When Flava Flav is disrespecting and denegrating young women on his show (and they are doing a fine job of it themselves in the name of the cherished 15 minutes?

  33. nearandfar says:

    @Mistress Scorpio
    Yes, yes and yes!!!! Thank you for that. I relate to the “acting white”, oh my goodness do I remember that mess in school. Like your mother, my mother was not having any foul or ignorant language coming out of our mouths. She never told us this, it was just understood in the way she behaved as a mother, a woman, a human being and she expected nothing less of her children.
    You rock!

  34. The ongoing dialogue is great-thanks Afrobella!!

  35. Although it does hurt to have our dirty laundry aired on MTP, I doubt that Mr. Cosby did any more harm to our image than some of these rap artists and reality show personalities. White America is already influenced to think negatively about Black America starting from day one. The record companies for the most part aren’t black owned and they are the ones who pay black artists and label reps to perpetuate the negative elements of our communities. They should be the ones scrutinized. I totally agree with the idea of personal responsibilty. Because if the positive members of our community don’t speak up we are letting the negative representations of ourselves speak for us. Mr. Cosby is telling the truth; what is dirty about that?

  36. Sweet Annie J says:

    Good Morning,

    Love the post. I happened to catch some of MTP the following Monday morning. I was transfixed, as the state of the Black community has lately weighed heavy on my mind. I reside in Minneapolis, and just by watching the news you’d think Black folk done gone crazy, a shooting every few weeks. As one person stated, individually we have made great strides. Yet Bill Cosby is correct, as a community we falter.

    When Mr. Cosby first spoke to this issue, I was one of those people that did not like him “airing” our dirty laundry, though I agreed with much of what he said (except for our name choices – naming your child Shaniqua is irrelevant).

    I must disagree with one post, and say the state of the Black community IS relevant to the rest of America (Black, White, Native Am, Latino, Asian, and Combination), because we’re all HERE, and our communities are “bleeding” together. Yes, I would prefer that we deal with our own, but with the war, state of crime, jobs, healthcare, and homeownership, we ALL are affected. So yes, Cos must speak to the larger community (though I am certain most don’t give a d8mn), but he would definately do more good continuing to speak at a local level and within Black forums, BET included because they also need a mirror held up. (I do question his appearing on Oprah as it appears as if she’s washed her hands of African Americans, because she states her motives for building her academy in Africa as opposed to America, was due to the African American youths lust for material instead of education.) I also agree that Bill would do more good to share his roots, instead of standing as the Iconic Pudding Pusher. (The illegitamate child proved NOT to be his.)

    Finally, there is no doubt institutional racism has played a part in limiting us as a group, but more so we have limited ourselves. Desegregation played a part. Instead of wanting to attend the White schools, and eat at the White restaurants, and to a degree assimilate into White American culture, we should have fought harder to better OUR educational institutions, and OUR financial institutions. I understand that we were fighting for the legal recognition of equality, but at the same time we lost our economic independence and community.

    Thanks for the brain tease, Afrobella.

  37. Trinichica says:

    And so it seems that since I am not a celebrity and 1 million plus viewers are not looking at me; just two (my children) that is really does begin at home….”Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it”….Great post Bella! You never disappoint.

  38. Wow! What great and intense posts. When I said “in house” I meant that I wish Mr. Cosby would focus more on having those speeches in the areas where it is most effective- in our communities becuase I worry that what he says will be taken out of context, then used in a manner to say “even Bill Cosby thinks Black people need to get their acts toghether.” ( I can hear someone like Bill O’Reilly saying somehting like that.)….I do not disagree with his larger points and I am glad that he is bold…We need to hear it. We all have a responsibility to our people becuase we are getting left behind at an alarming rate. I know that I personally need to be doing more. I can’t continue to get mad at the problem if I’m not doing my part to try to help fix it….

  39. actingwhite says:

    i came across the term ‘unattractive truth’ somewhere i can’t recall. glad it resonated! it’s one of those crystallizing terms. looking back at the title, he doesn’t rhyme but there is some alliteration in the title, so he’s in the black expressive tradition of making language appealing. but what he has to say is rough, man.

    just watched the show and now my feelings are even more intense.

    how come tim russert didn’t ask any tough questions. the whole show was like a promotional stage. not much of a conversation. i agree with Cos even if i don’t want to — it’s the tone. I just don’t like it. But I think he’s right.

    tim russert asked a simple question that cosby gave an uninspiring answer to – it was why is it important for kids to go to weddings?

    children need to go to weddings because of the pleasure of seeing commitment and celebrating love and beginnings and the cake and dancing. they need to see the cycles of life and see themselves as part of that — i mean the cycles of a nice life, connected to people. not public school to jail and out and back. weddings, funerals, birthdays, graduations, personal accomplishments, setbacks and losses and sicknesses, first house, these are the real things of life and they need to be shared as whatever form of family you can make and kids need to be there and have a stake in their future and set out for it –looking fly, of course.

    if there are 2 to 1 black women in college … they would make amazing mothers because of their resources. they should adopt. and the whole single-woman motherhood should not be seen as a problem.

    you guys gotta hear that last essay in the book that Russert reads — the shout out to black women sounds good. just about how black women are so far from the stereotypes out there about us.

    when i think of all those mediocre white kids who were in honors classes with me in high school — they get away with so much! they have the same pathological patterns that the Cos describes but they have more stuff to cover it up with.

    and black folk are americans. whatever is happening to black Americans is happening in America and because everybody who lives here will have to deal with what’s going on with us. when all these guys who have been in prison can’t vote, the country can’t work. the country isn’t working. and the most vulnerable are losing. they don’t think they have a stake but everything is at stake.

    we need to call on the legacies of the enslaved Africans from which we’re descended. we can keep freeing ourselves as they did.

    and speaking of slavery, the whole beating and spanking thing and talking all cold and harsh is a love don’t. it’s wack. it doesn’t work and pisses kids off. the whole ‘shakedown’ idea of cosby’s is foul.

    and i think that a lot of these traits that Cos describes are so American — it’s not just poor black folk or poor folk. Everybody is very consumerist, very selfish, very down on deep literacy, and very short-sighted. It just shows up the most on poor black kids and they have fewer options.

    true that what he says isn’t news – but he is saying stuff that makes these issues important again.

    but he’s gotta lose the whole grumpy old man persona. it’s just annoying

  40. mistress scorpio says:

    @actingwhite
    I think Cosby has a right to be grumpy, having witnessed the sacrifices made during the Civil Rights Era, only to see what the majority of the Black community have done with those hard won gains.

  41. actingwhite says:

    oh you have a point there, mistress scorpio. true, true. i’m pretty frustrated too.

  42. For more than three years, authors Bill Cosby and Alvin F. Poussaint have been listening to the voices at community call-outs in cities across the country. Their latest book, Come On People, due out October 9 in bookstores nationwide, combines messages of personal responsibility with practical solutions, and retells the incredible stories shared at these call-outs.

    Come On People is for all those who are tired of being used, neglected and undefended—folks who wish to see changes in their governments, their neighborhoods, on their streets and within the walls of their living spaces.

    At http://www.BillCosby.com you will find a forum called “The Cos,” that is designed for community members to discuss issues beyond those addressed in the book, as well as a place for people to come together and offer solutions. It’s time to have the courage to believe you can do better by asking for help and not being afraid to move forward.

    No matter your economic status, no matter your age, no matter your race, no matter your gender, and no matter your religion, we are all allies in changing our future for the better.

    You can find downloadable PDF’s of excerpts from Come On People at the following links:

    http://treasures.billcosby.com/pdf/ComeonPeople-pg77-88.pdf
    http://treasures.billcosby.com/pdf/ComeonPeople-pg124-132.pdf
    http://treasures.billcosby.com/pdf/ComeonPeople-pg168-174.pdf

    We are also willing to send review copies out to the first 100 bloggers who respond to TeamCosby@gmail.com—all we ask is that you publish a review and link back to BillCosby.com.

    Please share this book and website with members of your blog community—the more people who hear Drs. Cosby and Poussaint’s message, the better!

    Other Upcoming Bill Cosby appearances:

    October 17: Oprah
    October 18: Good Morning America
    October 18: Larry King Live

  43. Bill Cosby is 100% right and he was right to give Meet the Press his first interview on this book. He can save BET for later, but going on MTP is pure prestige and it will target the blacks who actually can make a difference, upper middle class educated blacks.

    As for “airing dirtly laundry”, please. White folks already know how triflin’ the majority of us have become. Black people need to stop worrying about what white people think. We need to start worrying about what we think of ourselves. And yes, there is institutionalized racism, but the black community is in ruins in 2007 not just because of racism, but mostly because of our own failings. The fact that black men abandon their famiiles has not a darn thing to do with racism. And I’m glad Cosby has the courage to go on a distinguised show like Meet the Press and says these things. Cosby has done so much for young black people, given tens of millions of his own hard earned cash. If anyone has a right to say what needs to be said, no matter how harsh, it’s Dr. Cosby, flaws and all.

  44. I saw Mr. Cosby on Sunday. I agree with your comments regarding his choice of venue. I can’t see the logic in scheduling such an appearance, as they people who needed to hear what he was saying probably weren’t watching. I’m afraid that the audience that heard his and Alvin’s comments will use them justify their ill feelings towards black youth.

    Is Bill Cosby right? I don’t know. But there’s something wrong with a two affluent elderly men telling poor people how to live their lives, especially with harsh language Mr. Cosby has used on occasion.

  45. mistress scorpio says:

    @Craig Belcher
    Why shouldn’t “two affluent elderly men” provide some life lessons? Because they are affluent? I don’t know about Poussaint, but Bill Cosby wasn’t born rich. Is it because they are elderly? Shouldn’t we be sitting at the feet of our elders, showing them respect and learning from them, benefiting from the wealth of their experience?

    What language should be used to address black youth?
    Bomani Armah’s “Read a Book” video? That seemed pretty harsh.

    The time for coddling and nursing hurt feelings is over. Our community is in crisis.

  46. @mistress scorpio

    Loved your response to Craig Belcher. I agree with you 100% on this. There’s a whole lot of people or “yeah but” folks walking around, “hurt” and “angry” at the message and the messenger because they know Mr. Cosby is right. People need to get over it and do what needs to be done. Stop whining about “his tone”, etc.

    Heck, I know children with more sense and thicker skins.

  47. I love this post Bella, but some of your thoughts give me pause (not because it isn’t well written and I love your site, but because I think it reinforces what Bill Cosby is trying so hard to get us to rethink).

    So, Bill Cosby is airing black culture’s dirty laundry because he appeared on Meet the Press to discuss his new book about problems in black culture and not on BET? How long are we going to say “shhhh…this is our problem and we’ll fix it” when it is clear that we cannot do so alone? Why is his appearance considered “airing the dirty laundy” instead of “showing mainstream America that someone in the community is trying to address the problem”? Couldn’t it reasonably be considered both? Why do we resort to the negative?

    At some level, I understand that if what Cosby intends is to reach black people, he needs to be where they are watching. But saying that Meet the Press is not that venue assumes (incorrecty) that black people who would probably take away the most from the message were NOT watching Meet The Press on Sunday (I’m black and I was, and so was my husband, and so were you Bella). And instead, why does the message have to be “come to us on BET” instead of “more black people should probably be watching Meet the Press, especially in campaign season”?

    And if Cosby went on BET and turned down Meet the Press, or worse, was never ASKED to appear on Meet the Press, wouldn’t we say “institutional racism is why Bill Cosby can’t get on Meet the Press to promote his book” or “Bill Cosby snubs Meet the Press” or something equally ridiculous? Can we not be consistent and just appreciate his message without maligning it in a way that denigrates our culture by assuming most of us don’t want mainstream media outlets?

    And saying that his message is outdated because he uses phrases that seem like something old people might say (I’ve never heard the term “wigger” either) implicitly says that young people can’t get past vocabulary to appreciate a message. No, I have never met anyone who calls himself a “wigger,” but he didn’t lose me by using an outmoded phrase or analogy that fell flat. I got the message because I (and likely everyone reading this blog) am smart enough to get past that and hear the main point without my attention span drifting. Saying that their delivery is outdated makes young people seem soundbite- addicted and shallow, without a long enough attention span- and it apologizes for us being this way. That’s exactly what we should not do to each other. Assume I can get it because I’m smart enough, do not apologize in advance for the fact that I can’t get it because the message didn’t come with a catchy bass line, or phrases straight out of the urban dictionary, or appear on a network with hot mess reality shows and BET after dark.

    The moral of Bill Cosby’s story was “black parents- do better for your children, black men- stay with the families you create.” Why does that message not deserve to be on Meet the Press? Is it not important enough for everyone to make the effort to tune in to hear, even if you have to turn off BET for an hour to hear it?

    Again, thanks for the thought provoking post, Bella.

  48. MTP was the first stop on Cosby’s book tour. Perhaps we should wait to see where else his book publicist has him scheduled to appear to discuss the contents of his book. I mean the places beyond Larry King Live and the Oprah Show. Let’s see how much Cosby hopes to be in conversation with the underclass he writes about. Hopefully he will appear on BET, Baisden, Joyner, Harvey, and other popular urban talk shows.

    Remember: Michael Dyson threw down the gauntlet a few years ago by writing Is Bill Cosby right, or Is The Black Middle Class Out of Touch. Cosby had to write a book of his own.

    By opening up his book tour with an appearance on MTP, Cosby shows folks like Dyson that he’s a man with access to a much larger and “wider” audience than Dyson and others. By talking to folks who watch MTP Cosby hopes, perhaps, not only to sell books buteducate and influence those policy makers and philanthropists watching MTP who make decisions about urban schools and urban welfare.

  49. I agree with his message and his record proves it isn’t a move to sell a couple books(he does want to sell books though), but I wish he wouldn’t let women off the hook.

    Beyonce’s “music” and image are just as ignorant and harmful as anything to come out of Jay Z or Snoop’s mouth. Alicia Keys, overrated talent and product of Clive promo, is one of many singers that promotes negative and damaging images of black men. How many of her videos don’t feature black men going into or coming out of jail, or thug love/bonnie and clyde situations? The women mopping floors with their behinds are just as horrible as the dudes pouring Cris’ on them. People keep painting those women as victims of the culture. I know Cliff has seen Beyonce rolling around on the floor with noting but a baby tee and some baby oil on. Maybe he was too busy thinking about her as another possible side girl to notice what was wrong.

  50. knockoutchick says:

    Great site and comments well done as well!

    I agree with Cosby 100%. He may be the “grumpy old uncle” but the BC needs one who is making sense. No coddling.

    I have attended speeches and book signings by both Cornel West and M. Eric Dyson and what I disliked about both of them was what I felt like pandering to the primarily black audience. Like “things maybe bad…but you’re OK with me”.

    Someone has to be shouting…no, we are not OK…we are not doing well, our family structure has completely disintergrated in only 2 generations. Of course we must force ourselves to face facts to change…as many posters have noted before me. We are too used to our “leaders” or “activists” stroking us.

    Let’s start taking it straight…no chaser. Racism exists but there are opportunities here for our children…black American children and the BC is NOT getting the message across to them. I know of uneducated, illegal, often illiterate immigrants of African descent, not just the well off, educated ones and UN connected who come to this country and the next generation of thier children are living a comfortable middle class life. I do understand the immigrant psyche is different…and why they are strivers. But we CAN do better and must.

    We need more “Cosbys” and less “Dysons”. Everyone keeps saying Mr. Cosby and Pouissant need to bring this message to those who need it most, to the “inner cities”…but honestly would they be open to a Mr. Cosby? Many folks are so angry with Cosby, after generations of being bamboozled and given the Okey doke, would they accept the truth????

    Many of you know what I mean if you have attended any forums or public discussions regarding the state of the black community…half the time is spent focusing on racism and what is said to be the root cause of the many dysfunctions that currently exist within the BC. I would like to see people start to walk in the door and say…”I am not here to discuss what has been done to us…but rather what we CAN do”!

    peace

  51. I just saw Bill on Oprah yesterday discussing the book. When you ask about the forum he’s choosing, I think he’s right on the money. Bill’s telling Middle class black people to take responsibility first. If you were watching Meet the Press, and I was watching Oprah (both ‘white middle-class’ shows) then we’re the demographic he’s trying to reach. The truth of the matter is that black people watch both BET and regular tv.

  52. I have always agreed with the Cos. I think he has the right point of view about black folks. I think he needs a little help with real solutions though. I somewhat understand where Dyson is coming from – life is not black and white there is a heck of a lot of gray that we DO need to consider. However I also feel that Dyson misses the point when he says that we middle class and working class folks have lost our minds – I think we are overwhelmed and don’t know exactly where to start. We know there is a big NEED though because of racially tinged issues like Jena 6 and threats becoming more common place. There is a lack of a standard that we as a people have, often to have a standard means that you are bourgeois not just simply wanting better and I think that Dyson has missed that distinction as well. Cos is talking about it, and is clearly talking to my generation about fixing it, however there is a disconnect because our parents generation do NOT want to take ownership of their part in how we kinda got here too. Now our generations combined we are a force to reckon with and we can reach the younger ones who are looking around for a road map to get to a better life. Heck, we can probably even reach those who never considered having a better life. We need to look at so much when it comes to building up our communities and his being brave enough to say some of the things that needs to be said is an excellent first step. Some of our generation need to be up there with him to though voicing our opinions and possible solutions. Somehow that free love, divorce, not being responsible, nobody knowing where the heck daddy is at from the older generation is being brushed off and that too has a lot to do with the break down of our families and our communities. If we are going to deal with the issues honestly, then voice them, forgive ourselves and move forward. Standing qround arguing over peanuts and shells won’t get a doggone thing changed.

  53. nearandfar says:

    I just watched som of Mr. Cosby’s discussion on MTP, from Korea.
    Everything he said and says is accurate and to the point. What I don’t understand is why there is a large number of our people who think it is hard given all of the opportunities, resources, etc. that we have in this day and age, to raise our children to be outstanding, intelligent, compassionate, decent human beings? When you get home from your jobs, careers, whatever, you are not dealing with “the man”, racism, or any other ism’, you are dealing with a child who wants and needs your love and guidance. When he said on another show how a lot of young black boys and girls can barely read and write but know every lyric, every curse word, etc. …it’s not the government’s fault, the school districts’ and definitely not the teacher’s fault. I don’t understand why we as a people are in this crisis?
    We are better than this.

  54. Jolynn Hope says:

    As a serial harasser cum philanderer, I am both amused and perplexed at the platform Cosby’s afforded as America’s #1 Dad. It might be instructive to speak to his children and see what they have to say about his parenting skills. I would hazard a guess that they might share that they had their material needs met but that their Dad was often absent from their home.
    His attack on poor folks is particularly troubling. Since his target is the poor uneducated, undereducated among us it would seem that he avoids speaking to his intended audience.

    Education, love, and compassion are the answers. Diatribe, scapegoating, and callous sniping are just more of the same that usually comes from those who purport to be neither America’s number#1 Dads but America’s #1 racists.

    If philanthropy affords one the bully pulpit to say whatever one wants with neither care nor worry about whom it may harm than Cosby has paid in advance. But I for one will turn a deaf ear to both him and his parsimonious sermonizing.

  55. I understand what Mr. Cosby is trying to do. I get tired of the gangsta rap that is on the airwaves and the lack of respect for education from our youth. However, I also understand the racism that breeds the attitudes behind these behaviors. Gangsta rappers are employed by White run recording labels and their music is supported by a White fan base. Lack of interest in education may be the result of limited educational opportunities in a country where most inner city schools cannot afford AP courses and good teachers. Teenagers should not have unprotected sex and have children, but then why should laws restrict sex education, especially in minority areas?

    I respect what he is trying to say to African Americans. We shouldn’t be apathetic about our fate in this country. We should be more cognizant about what is around us. However, there are still great obstacles ahead of us. Racism still exists and is still a very real detriment to African Americans. But sometimes, I just get tired of people telling us to clean up our messes and holding us up to a different standard of behavior. I get tired of people telling me that I’m “different” and so “articulate.” At the end of the day, as selfish as this may sound, I think most Black people don’t want to be ambassadors and spokespeople, but we want people to look at us as individuals and not have to worry about how people perceive us. That is the real issue; that we are not allowed to be individuals and I don’t think Mr. Cosby addresses that.

  56. nearandfar says:

    There is no excuse. It is not about money, opportunity, skin color, etc.
    It is simply about caring enough to respect yourself, your children, your community and your ancestors. If we through a million dollars at an inner city school, put Macs all over the place, PH.D’s for teachers, it still wouldn’t make a difference. The difference is you and what you want out of life. Period.

  57. I missed MTP, but just caught the clips on the web. I whole-heartedly agree with BC because he speaks the truth. I’m poor, black, and come from a very broken family, yet I am trying my best to live out my life on some positive notes. I’ve had to rebuild my own psyche and confidence from scratch. I have NEVER had anyone “rub my lamp” so the genie would come out. Infact, I was often berated for reading and studying (“Why is that girl wasting electricity! Tell her to read in the dark!” “What the hell you gonna find in a book?” etc.) by the very same people given charge to raise me! Yet, as an adult, I refuse to be a victim of my circumstances. As much as I would love to, I cannot hold anyone accountable for my present state other than myself.
    I am more aware than ever that my life is EXACTLY HOW I CREATED IT. I have the power, like we all, to mold my world to my needs. And that way of thinking is not celebrity or special. It is what it is. However, too many people are caught up in the “yeah, buts…” rather than trying to do anything to improve their situations.
    Personally, I think BC should air this dirty laundry over and over and over. Maybe the shame will finally clean the wash, ’cause keeping it hidden does nothing but promote the growth of mold.

    If blacks are so concerned with whites “knowing our business”, then why don’t folks grow up and learn how to be productive?

    Quit blaming the white man for your refusal to wear a condom, thereby spreading AIDS and making black women the fastest growing group in America to contract the disease.

    Stop blaming white folks for your crack habit. Oh, the CIA put it in the neighborhood?? Did they hold a gun to your head and make you smoke it, too? Funny, every time I drive by the Crack Corner 1/2 mile down the street, I don’t see any men in black holding shot guns to the wayward brothas prowling the night like agitated lizards.

    Once when my mother’s husband shot up heroin in front of me and tried to get me to use it, I told my mother. Know what she said? In a very hushed voice, she took me the side and said: “He doesn’t know what he’s doing. That’s just the drugs talking. Now don’t tell anybody?” To this day she will deny that ever happened. And to think we have an entire community with that mindset. Boy! I wish I was important enough to be invited to MTP. I’ve got several loads of funk that need to be aired.

    I guess I’ve been blessed with a little bit of brain and a great will to survive. Nowadays, I rub the bottle for myself and revel in the genie I have become. I welcome more public commentaries by BC…hang the soiled sheets high on the line and beat them hard, beat them long. As long as he doesn’t offer me any cough medicine, we cool.

  58. Oh yes, I forgot one thing…YOU GO MISTRESS SCORPIO!!

  59. nearandfar says:

    @Lori,

    Thank you for being you. I do not agree with one thing that you said. You are NOT poor. On the contrary, you are very rich in spirit. Judging from what you wrote, I’d say that your attitude and outlook on your life is going to get you out of a financially “poor” situation you may find yourself in. I would love to shake all of the “yeah buts” of the world and tell them exactly what you mentioned: that whatever the circumstances we are all ultimately responsible for our own lives and that only WE have the power to improve our lives, NOT the government or whatever or whoever most people love to blame and complain about. Real talk.

  60. I don’t think it’s about blaming white people for anything. We should not be perfect in order to be respected and allowed to be human. I don’t think teenage pregnancy is right, I don’t think alot of it is right, but these are not features that are inherent to the Black community. I don’t want to have to be a model minority just to get an interview for a job I am more than qualified to get, or to be respected as just an individual. My point was that as a college graduate, a person that speaks more than one language, and a person of integrity, I should be noted for those achievements and not have to explain, or excuse the generalized behaviors of a few. These behaviors do not describe the vast majority of Blacks all over the world. My point is to say that instead of apologists decrying the notion of true equality, why can’t we all agree that racism is still a problem and try to figure out how much it does impact individuals. We also have to hold ALL individuals up to a standard of behavior that creates social harmony with the understanding that not all poor and undereducated people engage in dangerous behaviors.

  61. You know, there are a lot of people who always want to use RACISM as an excuse why black folks just can’t get ahead. I daresay, Bill Cosby’s generation was subjected to far worse acts of RACISM than are present today, and yet he managed to do something with his life besides stand around with his thumb up his bum crying about how RACISM is keeping him down!

    It is my belief that people in this generation have absolutely NO IDEA WHAT REAL RACISM IS. I mean, how many of today’s 20 or even 30 somethings encounter burning black bodies swinging from trees on average of two or three a week? How many restaurants have these same people gone two that had signs posted on the doors that read NO N*GGERS OR DOGS ALLOWED? How many can say they were turned down for work for obvious racial reasons??

    Hell, if you want wear that victim badge all your life, crying that RACISM is responsible for everything wrong in your or your fellow brother’s/sister’s life, that is your perogative, but I challenge you to find ways in which true RACISM has had an impact on your everyday life.

    Oh, the inner schools systems don’t get the kind of funding that the white suburban schools get? True, but is that a legitimate reason for child XYZ to skip school for the streets? Is that reason enough for child XYZ’s parents to throw up their hands and cry RACISM is keeping their children from getting an education so they can better themselves? If so, then child XYZ and his/her parents better take a long hard look at the education system available to blacks back in the early 1900′s. Does Mary Mcleod Bethune ring a bell for anyone? A poor washer woman with a vision who, despite real RACIST threats from the KKK, established a school for black children during a time when it was damn near impossible.

    Now, nobody is saying that black people have to be extraordinary to make it in this world. We can be as underachieving as anyone from any other ethnic group. I am all for being average and getting by. And you sure don’t have to be a model citizen. It still comes down to personal choice and responsibility. But I am here to tell you, in this day and age, RACISM IS AN EXCUSE CHERISHED BY THE WEAK FOR NOT EVEN TRYING!!!

    You want to talk RACISM…take a look at what went on in Rawanda, and what is happening over in Darfur at this very moment. You want to be angry and bitter about something, get angry and bitter about how an ENTIRE generation of black people are being wiped out by the RACIST Sudanese government. What is happening over in Darfur, the out of control genocide that is wiping out hundreds of thousands if not millions of men, women and children, is an example of REAL RACISM!

    Sudanese soldiers are raping their black victims in order to produce a LIGHTER RACE! This is RACISM!!

    I daresay, there are few Western (or anybody) societies where conflict of interest does not exist, where people don’t use skin color, religion, sex, political affiliation, class, or money to promote their own agenda. I mean if you’re gonna holler RACISM all the time, why not include SEXISM, AGEISM and WEIGHTISM, too, as these are also ways people are judged and discriminated by.

    I venture to say that the reason we can’t all agree that RACISM is a stumbling block for achievement is because all of us do not allow it to be. I daresay, there are those of us who realize the opportunities we have at hand today far outweigh what our forefathers and mothers had at their disposal. I am grateful to be alive in this day and age and living in America. There is something very sweet about it despite the many imperfections.

    You want to stomp out RACISM? First, quit using it as an excuse. The rest will follow.
    Peace.

  62. nearandfar says:

    @Lori

    Thank you!!!!! Thank you!!!!!! I was thinking along the same lines as you, especially when I read the comment from “Keke”. You hit the nail on the head and drove it to down deep! I was thinking to comment on her last words but I was just too disgusted to even bother because I too, am so tired of people using racism as an excuse as to why people are in the circumstances that they are in. It is your personal choice that you are where you are and it is your RESPONSIBILITY to improve your circumstances if you are not satisfied with your current reality. Period. Our ancestors, mother and fathers suffered far worse than we will ever have to and do you think they sat at home moaning and groaning about RACISM?! They created better lives for themselves, their children and other people’s children by taking the bull by the horns and doing something with their lives because they had to and they KNEW that they could better, thus they did do better. Some of us want to do STUDIES about how racism impacts the lives of Black people? Please. Go tell that mess to those affected by Hurricane Katrina and see what kind of response they’ll give you.

    Thank you for your wise words.

  63. Genevieve says:

    I am a black Trinidadian who watches MTP all the time. Mr Crosby is 100% right. Keeping things “in-house” does not work in the black community because the issues will be swept under the rug. It is time for our people to wake up and be the people who God created us to be.

  64. TV doesn’t want to interview black women who have had the answers for years. Bill Cosby says black men have suffered the most. I say black women have suffered the most.

  65. I couldn’t be prouder than Mr. Cosby. He is a true leader. Leadership is not about going with the flow, but standing up for what is right. Mr. Cosby is right and people will better understand it in 10 years or so when we reflect back on to this period. Enough of the guns, violence, senseless killings, pimps & hos, drugs, materiality, disrespect of women, etc. Hip hop needs more balance!

  66. I find I continue to keep coming back to your blog. Great info. Many thanks for posting.

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