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Bill Cosby Speaks on the State of African-Americans

Is Bill Cosby Right About the African-American Community?

Bill Cosby was in Ohio last night speaking in front of 2,000 people at the Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Oakwood Village. The 70-year-old comedian has raised hackles recently by referring to detrimental issues in the African-American community as "dirty laundry." Last night his speech had a decidedly more religious overtone.

Addressing personal responsibility, Cosby said, "Jesus never said, 'Sit down! I shall go forth and do it for ye!'" Adding, "Where did we go wrong? And they keep pointing to civil rights. We didn't lose it in civil rights! We won!"

Do you find Cosby's current message shocking? Is he an appropriate messenger? Do you think he's unfairly generalizing about a population? Is he right?

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Grandpa Grandpa 9 years
Thomas Sowell has written extensively on problems in the black community. He shows that historically even going back to slavery that the black community was based on an intact family, that criminal activity was negligible up until the “Great Society” was proclaimed by LBJ. Bill Cosby is talking to the black community because it is his community, he cares, and he wants to see them succeed. The point that they makes is that success is in your hands, not others. Why are historically oppressed Jews so successful? Why are Asians particularly successful, even though many had to learn English here in the U.S.? Who do you think is a better role model for black children Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, or Bill Cosby. I am of Irish Catholic heritage, I remember my grandmother in Ireland telling me about NINA (No Irish need apply) on help wanted signs in NYC, and later from others in Boston. That Catholics in the NYC transit system, were the last to get a bus assigned to them, which meant if it you couldn’t start your bus, you couldn’t work. I also think talking about an alleged rape accusation is odious, it is typical of liberals who do not want to talk about the issues on hand. Looking for flaws in the messenger is easier then dealing with the message. There are very few saints in this world, the only one I can think of off hand is my wife.
musewings musewings 9 years
I'm quoting Natalie because I think she hit the nail right on the head: "I think it's really sad that people who have no idea what it is like to be black in America think they have a right to say what black people, my people, do or do not face in this country. I agree that we've got a lot of issues to work out and I don't think it does us any good to "blame" white people, but it honestly breaks my heart that people who don't know the struggle, and don't want to know the struggle, think it's appropriate to judge." I honestly used to believe that racism in America was just a few isolated cases, in this day and age. Then I gave birth to my daughter, who is multi-racial. Experiencing it firsthand was one of the biggest blows I've ever been struck, and you absolutely cannot even begin to fathom how truly widespread it remains until you have experienced it. As for Bill Cosby, I think he makes some compelling points that are universal, and I commend him for standing up to be heard.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
Over the past 3 yrs I have heard and read excerpts from Cosby's speeches and watched interviews. As a man of color (African American/Latin/& Anglo) I have lived in and around urban communities and observed over my life time the behavior that Mr.Cosby speaks about move from being expressed by young men in their early twenties to youth in their late teens to youth in their mid-teens to youth in their pre-teen to our once innocent children. For any of you who dispute Mr.Cosby's claims I would simply ask you to ride a city bus through an urban poor neighborhood and immerse yourself in the fact of the matter. I have listened to parents and grand parents over my life time teach there children that they are victims certainly not as intended curriculum but simply through innocent unintended expressions of ignorance. This then becomes part of the child’s view of society and they grow up and act out as victims and unfortunately more often than not in an aggressive hostile manor. Mr.Cosby makes an excellent point of highlighting the particular problems that plague our African American urban communities however he is lacking in a solution. It's not his job though to have a solution. It's our job. We first need to accept the fact that the African American community has a cancer of hostility. Now it's o.k. to be angry about racial injustice because that also too exists but it is how we express that anger as a community and how we resolve issues of injustice that is at question here. Hostility through words, music and acts of violence simply help to create a perpetual vacuum which we see in today's poor urban communities. I also agree with his strong point about that these communities need to stop waiting for a helping hand. In this sense God and the government are pretty much the same. Help yourself and you shall be helped.
wackdoodle wackdoodle 9 years
"Why would being pulled over or being thrown a snotty look at a department store be enough to completely hinder the success of the black community" It implies guilt or criminality because of skin color. A being hindered from equal access can hinder someone's success or pursuit of happiness. And it's not JUST a "snotty look" in a high end department store. I have been dressed very nicely and followed by multiple store security staff as soon as walked into Barney's or Gucci BECAUSE I was the only black face in those stores. The message was clear, I was not to be trusted not to commit a crime. I was automatically an issue because of associations that people make about my race. The way I resolved it is the way I've learned to resolve it over the years - I walked up to the three security people and asked them LOUDLY but POLITELY "Why are you following me? Is it because you think I'm a celebrity and need extra protection or BECAUSE OF MY SKIN COLOR and the fact that you think you KNOW that I will steal because I AM BLACK? Please call the store manager now, I want to file a complaint." That does two things it gives them an out and it calls them out on their assumption which was based solely on my race. And by bi-racial nephews (who both have extremely fair complexions, the majority of people don't even know their technically "black" if you go with the 16th rule- which apparently most people here do) get pulled over by the LAPD all the time, though they drive crappy cars and aren't breaking any traffic laws. My older nephew says,"It's because they KNOW I've got a black mother - so it's DWB." My oldest nephew when he was in France was asked by several people if he was part Algerian. Since September 11th, I jokingly tell him that the police maybe pulling him over for DWA - Driving while Arab and having a "No W" sticker and One that says "No Jingoistic Ideologies, please" on his car. In reality the LAPD is probably pulling him over because young men his age regardless of race are troublemakers. Ha! I made an assumption based on facts not in evidence.
bransugar79 bransugar79 9 years
Bella I have to disagree with you on one point. I don't think Dr. Cosby is overlooking the inherent racism that still exists in society. I think the point he is making is that it's no excuse. as a member of the community he is trying to shake up, I applaud his efforts. Everyone wants to say that this man has no background and no right to be making these claims. He has always tried to educate and not just by being on the Cosby show or selling Jello pudding pops. All of his comedic endeavors and his shows have been challenges to the community to see itself in a better light than it had. It was a way for him to reach out. I think his outrage is much like that of a parent who cares for a child they see going down the wrong path. I think what he's saying is that people of his generation struggled and fought for a better more equal America and now a new generation is squandering that reward. I don't think that this is limited to the African AMerican community, but I think we all look to our own community first when trying to right a wrong, and I think that is what Dr. Cosby is about.
liliblu liliblu 9 years
I never mentioned computer labs. Although having computer labs is a plus.I mentioned the type of teachers you attract when more money is on the table. I mentioned the types of classes that can be offered, AP (Advanced Placement) and IB (International Baccalaureate). These types of classes prepare students for college level work. But few are offered in poorer school districts. New books have more up to date information and are needed. I don't care what Freakonomics says.I find it funny that people don't think money helps. Tell that to students, parents, and teachers when their schools lack heat in the winter, air conditioning in spring. Some schools can't afford to fix leaking roofs. Can students still learn in these conditions? Yes, but the road to learning is a lot harder.
foxie foxie 9 years
Studies show that more school funding doesn't make for a better education, just FYI. Maybe 'ghetto' schools don't have nice computer labs, new books, and nicer facilities, but these things have been shown not to matter as far as learning. Just another interesting factoid from the ever-wonderful Freakonomics.
liliblu liliblu 9 years
Economics, Racism, Educational Opportunites,and Personal Decisions are all important. Race still matters in America. We've come a long way. But there is still work to be done. Poverty is a issue regardless of race. Just think of how are schools are funded, usually through property taxes. Students who attend schools in wealthier areas have teachers with higher pay and usually more education. They have are more AP and IB classes. Only a small percentage of minority students have these programs available in their schools. But these are the classes that best prepare students for college. There are not as many blue collar jobs that pay a living wage available as there have been in the past. Just pointing your finger and telling one group of people that they are not doing their part is not the way to achieve change.
mymellowman mymellowman 9 years
You said he needs to check himself on the alleged rapes, well the County checked back in 2005 (3 year ago) and said there wasn't anything to charge him with, hence, I believe he's been checked and cleared. Additionally, there was a civil suit which end back in 2006. As far as I know, the terms of the settlement are unknown because there was an agreement to privacy on the issue, which implies the woman was willing to shut her mouth if she received something to be quiet. My point, it's old news that has never been confirmed as being true and doesn't seem to have much relevance to the topic other than to trash him.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 9 years
As of rme most celebs are loonies anyway who live on a moral plain different to us schlebs so if I want life lessons I'll have me a sit down with mygreat aunts and uncles lol before I take advice from thee t\people.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 9 years
Note I said allegations about rape, i didn't say he committed it.
sarasonne sarasonne 9 years
It's just as the reporter says... the "harsh REALITY". Cosby is absolutely right and people need to hear it from someone.
ME2 ME2 9 years
mymellowman mymellowman 9 years
In regards to Bill Cosby, I think it is important to note that the County prosecutors never pressed criminal charges against Cosby for the allegations. So I'd say it's a bit extreme to call Bill Cosby a rapist, but do as you please.... "Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr. said in a statement that he also reviewed claims by other people that Cosby had "behaved inappropriately" toward them, but that detectives could find no instance "where anyone complained to law enforcement of conduct which would constitute a criminal offense."
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
Thanks for the link nyara. I read the article and I don't buy it, especially from the 2nd accuser that came forward 30 years later. She doesn't exactly have a clean record herself. I personally feel accusations like these when it comes to celebrities are mostly from people who are looking for the 15 minutes of fame. There is not substantial evidence that he did this, and until there is, I cannot, and will not hold it against him.
natalie5785 natalie5785 9 years
you're absolutely right foxie, i don't know where you're from or what you're about which is why i'd never presume i had any right to agree or disagree with how you (or people like you) live your life. and i don't think my struggles are harder or more pertinent than yours, because i don't know what your struggles are and i don't think you should assume about mine either. there's a difference between someone who can presumably understand your background judging it and someone who can't. you telling me about racism, even if it's as mild as stank look in a department store, is like a man telling me something about having a period. just like i won't be listening to any man who hasn't been doubled over in cramps tell me "it's not that bad", i won't be listening to anyone who hasn't been on the receiving end of some bonafide racism.
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
nyara, There are so many scholarships and programs here in the states that if people want it, it is there for the taking. One of my best friends grew up with no electricity or running water on the Navajo reservation, and she worked her butt off, got a full scholarship to college. She was dealt a really rough set of cards, but she did it and now her younger sister is on the same path as she is.
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
It is better to teach someone how to fix their own problems then to fix their problems for them. For example, I tried to help two of my friends who were homeless and needed a leg up, letting them stay at my place for free so they could save for their own, and it completely went over their head. Three months later, they still hadn't saved any money, nearly got me kicked out of my home because of all of their illegal activities, caused about a grand worth of damage to my home, and I actually had to give THEM money (almost $1,000) to just get them the hell out so I could move on with my own problems. No good deed goes unpunished. :( There are some people that you just cant help.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 9 years
cine go to type in bill cosby in search and enjoy. the article on cnn was removed but head to ossip they have the links for you.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 9 years
cine as person who is one of those who had to struggle to get to where she is i can safely say that sometimes no matter how hard you try the odds are stacked against you. If it wasn't for my uncle I would definitely not be in university right now, even though my parents worked so hard for it.
piper23 piper23 9 years
I don't understand why this is considered a "poor" black issue. I know plenty of not so poor black people that dress and talk the way Bill Cosby is pointing out. I also know just as many black people that do not talk or dress that way. One of my good friends here at work is black, she gets accused of "talking white" by other black co-workers. She recently got a promotion over another black woman. That woman gave her such a hard time because she said that the only reason she got the job was because she acts white. (A white woman applied for and lost the job to this lady too.) She even gets picked on for where she lives. Boggles the mind. So really, if you have the mind-set that everyone is against you then you're going to take offense to everything anyway.
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
nyara, do you have any links to articles about him drugging and raping women?
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 9 years
And while he's advocating responsibility he needs to check himself on the whole allegations of drugging and raping women business and other ish. Maybe he needs to clean his dirty laundry first of all and then become an advocate and a leader people can respect.
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
"there are many success stories but for every success story there are probably 5 behind it who are struggling and need a push to change,not everone can do it by themselves." Nyara, I believe he is trying to be the push, and get other people involved to help with the struggles by getting people active in their community. And everyone can do it, some just choose not to.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 9 years
If he has then that's good for hi cine but does that give him the right to be the African American communities moral conscience, I firmly believe in people taking responsibility for their own actions but do we really need someone like Bill Cosby to tell people that. It's like he's Al Sharpton in reverse only equally annoying. I don't know, maybe this just needed a more personable articulate person and not a crotchety old man saying this. And sometimes it's not up to an individual to change their life, there are many success stories but for every success story there are probably 5 behind it who are struggling and need a push to change, not everone can do it by themselves.
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