, at Washington's Constitution Hall, Bill Cosby was part of a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education decision.
Some of his comments, though, didn't sit well with members of the Soul Patrol.
After Cosby's excoriation, NAACP head Kweisi Mfume came to the podium, accompanied by NAACP legal defense fund head Theodore Shaw and Howard University president H. Patrick Swygert. Their stony visages gave away their displeasure of Cosby's remarks.
Shaw told the crowd that most people on welfare are not African American, and many of the problems his organization has addressed in the black community were not self-inflicted. Figures. Taking responsibility is obviously not one of Shaw's strong suits.
All I can say is that it's about damn time that Cosby spoke up.
Go Coz!! I do like hearing about folks who believe in *personal responsibility* and *parenting*!!!
Posted by: sonstress7 at May 19, 2004 10:13 AM (jEGU/)
The difference of course is that Cosby really wants to improve things. Mfume and his ilk have no interest in things getting better because it does not do anything for them; if anything it renders them unnecessary.
Posted by: Brainster at May 19, 2004 12:18 PM (PJWdB)
Hopefully more people will speak up, and speak up often. Nice to see some (unfortunate) truth-telling about certain segments of black Americans. Their bad stuff helps prevent us as a community from being where we should be. However, we can still reach the mountaintop if more people challenge black liberal orthodoxy.
Posted by: molotov at May 19, 2004 02:35 PM (h3FX8)
Wonder how he'll like being shunned because he will be and worse. No deviation from the party line is permitted.
Posted by: erp at May 19, 2004 03:24 PM (A9yNh)
Good for him! The truth hurts!!
Posted by: Julie Anne Fidler at May 19, 2004 05:43 PM (0GNJF)
Well, ain't THAT a bitch?
Posted by: Beau at May 20, 2004 03:08 AM (GpmN8)
And he did it in the heart of D.C.......DARK Country?!!! (Oooooh, my God - I'm think I'ma gonna die!!)
Posted by: Beau at May 20, 2004 03:17 AM (GpmN8)
FOXNews is on this and loving it...YES!!!
Posted by: Sissy Willis at May 20, 2004 06:35 AM (3yHhC)
Bravo - way to go, Cosby! I new there was a reason why I liked him. I think my parents, who are amongst his biggest fans, would soundly approve of his statements as well.
Posted by: Lola at May 20, 2004 08:59 AM (V1eTE)
Acutally I think the tag "Soul Patrol" is too charitable. The name "Soul Patrol" refers way back to the all black secondary of a championship NFL team (among other things). I think it was the Oakland Raiders back in the day...
Soul Patrol dignifies this knee-jerk mindset too much.
Hows about "Negro Nabobs" as a replacement....
The link to Mike's blog has some people saying that the Coz will be shunned now that he has "spoken up". I don't think so. He is saying what many in the black community are thinking, particularly the middle class Negro, although it is not politic for the prominent to utter it publicly...
Here's a theory on all this negative "laundry washing":
It could be argued that even white liberals these days would nod approval. They are increasingly exasperated with blacks, and find their complaints tiresome. They increasingly see internal failures in the black community that are not being adequately addressed, except to trot out the usual charges of "racism", ask for mo' taxpayer money, and lobby for more preferential treatment. And even when the preferential treatment is given, blacks aren't taking advantage of it- witness the high dropout rate of those admitted to selective schools under "affirmative action."
There is a general fatigue in dealing with blacks-although they may be temporarily useful as symbols, especially around election time or as deisgnated hitters (race card) in the ongoing kulture struggles. People constantly throw out the stereotype of mean white conservatives that view blacks in a negative light. But let us not fool ourselves- white liberals increasingly view blacks negatively-- from clutching purses within 10 yards of any black male, to a polite contempt for those admitted someplace under quotas. It may even be a generalized negative feeling (politely concealed of course)- not wanting "too many" blacks around, as some charge over the recent "American Idol" fiasco.
Under this theory, you will see a lot more of "black bashing" from liberal blacks. That's what Debra Dickerson's book "The End of Blackness" does, some maintain. She tries to innoculate herself somewhat by gratituous bashing of white conservatives, while giving white liberals an easy pass. Having covered her flanks thus, she is then free to publicly say some of unspoken things white liberals are saying behind black backs. And she gets credit for showing "courage" while doing it.
Indeed under this theory it could be said that "the Coz" and Dickerson represent another twist on the old Uncle Tom. The standard "Uncle Tom" charge has a stereotypical black conservative mouthing what white right wingers "really" think. But the same charge could apply in the reverse. You also see LIBERAL blacks "bad mouthing" the brothers. They have several advantages- they can serve as relatively immune front-men, stalking-horses that will provide cover to say what exasperated white LIBERALS tired of blacks are "really" thinking.
Unlike black conservatives, said black liberals can hide and disguise this more effectively. All they have to do is hurl a few barbs at "conservatives" and they get a three-fer with the white liberal establishment- (a) they put those hapless Negroes in their place in a way no white could, (b) they provide excellent cover by playing the "race card" in the ongoing war against conservatism/libertarianism, and (c) they get hailed for their "courage" in "speaking up".
Another example of this is the black "Equal Opportunity" officer in some institutions who will present a smiling, sympathetic face to a complainant, while ruthlessly harvesting all the information said complainant has in his or her favor. During the end game, the smiling Negro will turn around and use the data remorselessly against the employee.
In short, it could be argued that the "Uncle Tom" of today is not the stereotypical Clarence Thomas, but the smiling Negro serving his liberal masters, and he can do that effectively, because his very presence provides innoculation and cover for those he serves. White liberals are not stupid. They know how to deploy front-men for their own ends..
Just a theory mind you .....
Posted by: Scourge at May 20, 2004 10:38 PM (lSe9H)
I like this theory - I hope you don't mind if I quote from it hither and yon...
Posted by: mhking at May 21, 2004 04:20 AM (cLf53)
Thank you Bill Cosby, I have been preaching this for a while to every young and of age person I know and come in contact with. The blame game has been over for some time now and it is time for the collective "black community" to pick up a mirror and realize that we are our own worst enemy. Alot of the issues many blacks complain about are of our own making. The state of the black community is ridiculous and embarrasing. The one thing I despise more than anything is "ignorant people who won't even attempt to educate themselves and get better." People like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, despite having good intentions, I have to believe, unconciously pacifies this dependant mentality. NOBODY OWES US ANYTHING, democrats have been getting the bulk of the black vote for years and what has changed in the black community? Are we going to keep giving our votes away for nothing. The one thing that is good is that we vote together but that is overshadowed by voting wrong, the only thing worse than ignorance is "collective ignorance", if we give our vote to a candidate, we better be damn sure we get something for it. It is past time to re-evaluate ourselves and to take a harsh stance against the ignorant, video watching, spinning rim buying, platinum chain buying, welfare receiving, food stamp using, racism screeming, ghetto glorifying people of our race. That's it, I'm done.
Posted by: Vandy Fitzpatrick at May 21, 2004 05:30 AM (nO4LX)
Just imagine a world in which more prominent black personalities spoke up like Mr. Cosby.
Within a very short time period, we would see real change in the black communities that are identified with generational poverty and welfare issues in the US.
I think it is simple ignorance and a feeling of hopelessness that has pervaded many black families. And it is not an easy issue by any means.
I'm a white teacher in an all black southern high school, and I see some success stories - kids scoring Advanced on state testing and high ACT scores. But without exception, behind every single one of these success stories is an active and motivated parent visiting my classroom and being supportive and nice to teachers. And yes, it is actually often a single parent home too. Yet somehow, the single parent, mom or dad, hold the kids feet to the fire and do the right thing for their futures. This is the only way to break the cycle and embrace a better and different future for the black community.
On the other hand, over 70% of first time black marriages in our community end in divorce, at any time the local penal facility has over 80% black male population, over 25% of black males in this community will go through the local jail or juvenile detention facility during their lives, and sadly only 10 out of 75 seniors this year are going to college straight from our high school due to low scores and limited opportunities. This has got to change.
Many teachers are sick and tired of having a momma or daddy come to the school and snap the fingers, hands on the hips, twisting the neck around, enjoying the heck out of telling off another teacher in an effort to deflect blame for their own kids lack of school performance. I usually just walk out of those meetings nowdays. I don't have time for it. There are kids sitting in my classroom who need to learn while these hotheads and pitiful excuses for parents get some joy out of telling me how bad a person I am or horrible a teacher I must be because their kid scored low. Without fail, the kid is almost always a 'thug-wanna-be' and doesn't value the education anyway. Their minds are on pimpin, and ridin, and ho'ing, and bling-bling, etc...(you've heard it before) There is usually little we can do to help those kids until they come back to reality.
It's time to stop blaming the system and the teachers - hell, we are more than ready to teach and help these kids. The problem, which is never addressed, is the parents not preparing their kids for school and not enforcing good social behavior at home. If you really want to change things...find a way to make the parents accountable for their child's education. Make them responsible to have the child ready and fully prepared to learn prior to entering school.
I think Cosby hit the nail on the head. It hurts my soul to hear kids call each other n*****. I don't allow it in my classroom, never have, never will. My kids know how I feel about it, and respect me enough not to say it anyway.
I think it is degrading and insulting not only to the person it is directed at, but to people of other ethnicities (me) that have to hear it. Its embarrassing and elicits a feeling of pity for the obvious ignorance of the individual saying it. But don't just tell kids not to say it around other people of different races, practice it yourself...don't say it anywhere at any time. Consistency with the kids is one of the cornerstones to good parenting.
I think the kids, if left alone by the previous generation, would be ok for the most part. Too many of the previous generation is obsessed with making these kids carry a burden of the horrors of the past, instead of trying to help them improve their lives.
It's the never ending battle.
My students tell me they just want to move on and not be identified as the minority - just kids and Americans like other ethnic groups. They are bored and tired of being singled out and are shutting it out entirely.
But, it seems to me that this is never going to happen as long as the black community has words like the 'n' word that only alienate and seperate them from other groups.
Doesn't make sense to me to have a word that you can say to each other but get severly offended when it is uttered by other groups - the very same groups that you a ticked off at for being exclusive instead of inclusive. It's just crazy and beyond my understanding I guess. And yes, I've been told this before - I'm the one who doesn't understand. Give me a break.
What we need is for everyone to just do their best and be Americans first and stop worrying about trying to make the next generation fight the same ole battles. All it is accomplishing is institutionalizing generation poverty, limited opportunities, ignorance, and hurtful segregation.
So, at some point, like Mr. Cosby eluded, things have to change. We need to grow up and stop worrying about this not being politically correct and just confront the issues and problems head on. If you do this with love in your heart and wanting only the best for your fellow man - we can't help but succeed.
Here's to better days.
(Yes, you probably guessed it, I'm a southern writer for a local newspaper, a teacher, professor, and incessant thinker about these issues. And I want things to be better some day.)
Posted by: J.B.Dunn at May 21, 2004 09:36 AM (GGliW)
I LOVE YOU COSBY! I UNDERSTAND WHY THE OTHER RACES MOVE FAR AWAY WHEN MORE THAN ONE BLACK FAMILY MOVES INTO A NEIGHBORHOOD. I HAVE BEEN WITNESS TO MY PEOPLE TRASHING THEIR NEIGHBORHOODS, STANDING ON THE CORNERS BEGGING FOR WINE OR CRACK, WHILE THEIR CHILDREN TERROR THE NEIGHBORHOOD, WITH VIOLENCE AND STUPIDITY. THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS NO LONGER TEACH ABC'S BUT NOW HAVE GUN CONTROL. I HAVE TO SEND MY CHILDREN OUT OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD FOR A SAFE EDUCATION AND I AM SICK OF IT. BLACK PEOPLE GROW UP AND START RAISING YOUR CHILDREN. BLACK MEN, FIND YOUR WAY HOME TO YOUR CHILDREN, AND IF YOU HAVE A CHILD IN SEVERAL DIFFERENT NEIGHBORHOODS, VISIT THEM ALL, LIVE UP TO YOUR DUTY AS A HUMAN BEING. AND FOR THE MOTHERS, STOP LIVING IN THE PAST, IF THE RELATIONSHIP DIDNT WORK, AT LEAST MAKE THE BEST OF RAISING YOUR CHILD ON YOUR OWN. CHILDREN FIRST!!! EDUCATE YOUR CHILDREN, LOVE YOUR CHILDREN, YOU TOO CAN LIVE THE LIFE OF THE COSBY'S, IT WASNT ABOUT THE MONEY, IT WAS ABOUT RESPECT, MORALS AND LOVE.
Posted by: BLACK WOMAN at July 01, 2004 06:00 PM (G9iNp)
I wished he would have included White's, yes we have the same problems.
Posted by: White Trash at July 02, 2004 07:24 AM (BwEeM)
I'm 21, and white, and I think Cosbys doing a great thing. At my college almost on a weekly basis black kids keep coming to partys and either get caught stealing stuff, beating up kids and robbing them, gang beating a kid for being white, showed my friend a gun to try to get free beer at his party, and even last week one stabbed a white kid and stole his watch. I hate to say it but most of the white kids around here dont want black kids coming to there parties because of this, and thats a shame. I find that a large group of black kids, think its cool to be a thug, and rap musics not helping that. I find that when I meet a black kid whos got it together, and pays attention in class, and talks educated, I really admire it, and its a shame that I rarely see that.
Posted by: White Kid at December 14, 2004 08:26 AM (x5Z9h)
One more thing....the white kids who pretend to be black are even worse.
Posted by: White Kid at December 14, 2004 08:27 AM (x5Z9h)
I just love how you
write. Reading your blog for me is like sitting down and having a conversation
with you. You always make me smile and you have a way with words. â€¦
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