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Commentary: What are the Folks Who Criticize Bill Cosby Doing to Help Uplift Poor Blacks?

Date: Thursday, June 08, 2006
By: Gregory Kane, BlackAmericaWeb.com


OOOOHHHH! Can you believe Bill Cosby "went there" on Michael Eric Dyson?

It happened around the middle of May. You may have heard about it.

Cosby was in the nation's capital, holding a forum at the University of the District of Columbia. The forum is one of nearly a couple of dozen Cosby has held with black audiences since 2004, when he supposedly went off on poor black folks during a speech "celebrating" the 50th anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling.

Actually, Cosby didn't go off on poor black folks in general. He went off, specifically, on the ones he clearly identified as "not holding up their end of the bargain" when it comes to taking advantage of educational opportunities.

This was more than some black liberals could bear. Dyson, a professor a the University of Pennsylvania, is one of them. Dyson rushed a book into print called "Is Bill Cosby Right? (Or Has The Black Middle Class Lost Its Mind?)" "” in which the author finds Cosby guilty of insufficient genuflection when the words "poor black folks" are mentioned.

Since then, there has been a clash of ideas between Cosby and Dyson not seen since W.E.B. DuBois and Marcus Garvey went at it back in the 1920s (Except that neither Cosby nor Dyson has called the other a traitor to the race yet, which DuBois and Garvey did with gleeful regularity.). Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page described what happened last month at UDC in what was the latest clash of ideas between Cosby and Dyson.

"(A) heckler ... started shouting from the audience. He derided Mr. Cosby's ˜watered-down dialogue' and demanded answers to ... Dyson's highly publicized book ... That's when Mr. Cosby lost his cool. (He) jumped off the stage ... and raced up the aisle to loom over his somewhat astonished questioner."

Page wrote that Cosby said he was sick of people like the heckler and Dyson.

Later, according to Page, Cosby "went there" on Dyson by questioning the latter's choice to teach at a ritzy, predominantly white, Ivy League school as opposed to, say, the more working-class, predominantly black UDC.

"And how much does it cost to go there?" Page quoted Cosby as asking about the University of Pennsylvania. "How many black students do they have at Penn?" Page said Cosby told him and another journalist he'd start listening to Dyson when Dyson starts teaching at UDC or a similar school.

I'll go Cosby one better: why isn't Dyson teaching in one of the inner-city black high schools across the nation that desperately need good black male teachers?

In his book, Dyson lamented the absence of resources, funding and good teachers at predominantly black schools in poor black neighborhoods throughout the country. I'll assume Dyson is a good teacher. So why's he teaching at Penn and not at a predominantly black inner-city school in Philadelphia? Or at Baltimore's Frederick Douglass High School, which is failing so miserably that state officials wanted to take it over?

I guess Cosby's saying that if Dyson wants to start talking the talk, he'd better start walking the walk. Cosby didn't say anything in 2004 that black folks hadn't said previously. According to Benjamin Karim, a former assistant to Malcolm X, his mentor said it back in the 1960s.

In his book "Remembering Malcolm," Karim said that one day he, Malcolm and some others were standing outside a black housing project. Malcolm asked how many reference books and dictionaries they'd expect to find if they went to each apartment in the project.

"Enough to fill the trunk of this car?" Malcolm asked. "How about a suitcase?"

Malcolm was saying, long before Cosby said it, that being black and poor didn't absolve poor black folks of their responsibility to "hold up their end of the bargain" in education. If there are no reference books, dictionaries and other reading material in poor black homes, then who's to blame?

What's to stop the poorest black parents from reading to their pre-school children every day? What's to stop poor black parents from sending their kids to free public libraries and having them read a book per week? And writing a book report on it?

The answer is, "Not a darned thing." Saying you can't is an excuse.

Cosby and I were both in the service, so we may remember what our basic training drill sergeants had to say about excuses.

Everybody has one, and they all stink.
 
 BLACK by NATURE, PROUD by CHOICE.
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Cosby takes a lot of heat, but the only reason black folks take offense to what he is saying is because they know he's telling the truth. It's funny how these same black folks have no problems praising and supporting rappers who glorify thug life, violence, and degrade women by calling them B*tches and Hoes..... YET the minute somebody says "Black people need to read to and educate their children"..... Oh now that's being a sellout and Attacking the black community. Roll Eyes
Cosby has made good points, especially about many of our poor and even well-to-do black folks aren't educated as they should be, and speaking inelligible speech. IMO, it's kind of ironic that this is the same guy who developed the character Mushmouth from the "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids" animated show. If not for Cosby's Fat Albert and Mushmouth, there wouldn't be a Jar-Jar Binks, am I right?
quote:
Originally posted by Serenity4Ever:

YET the minute somebody says "Black people need to read to and educate their children"..... Oh now that's being a sellout and Attacking the black community. Roll Eyes



And the minute Cosby talks about other people besides them "Lower Economic" folk he spoke about, in the most DETACHED and DISCONNECTED manner he did... the minute Cosby talks about anybody else but them... you don't hear all that fervor and enthuiasm in support of what Cosby said.

Now, why is that?

Seems to me, folks in the church love it when the preach talks about somebody else besides them. They're all "Amen!" then. But get eeirly silent when the CONDEMNATION is heaped upon them.

Oh but I guess I'll finally hear someone lay out what everybody's "part of the bargain" is/was.

I mean, Cosby admitted that he "AVOIDED" the Civil Rights Movement. But somehow, that is the pretense under which he ran his mouth about.
Huey, this is from a recent article from the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

quote:
"It has come to this," Cosby said, reprimanding his hosts and the audience as he took the podium, following civil rights leader Andrew Young at the 20th Annual 100 Black Men of America convention.

"Who would think that Andy Young would be sitting and I would be standing last to be the keynote speaker? Either they [the sponsors of the event] don't know. Or they tend to forget. Andy Young, every day, always has to be remembered by us."

...At times during his speech, Cosby had Young doubled-over in laughter as he recounted Young's bravery during the civil rights movement which Cosby said he avoided:
"What really was happening was I wasn't about to get hit by a brick upside the head."


Young, on the other hand, he said got up each morning expecting to march and expecting to get hit "square in the face" by "white men with clubs and the devil and anger in their bodies" until he fell down.

"Then he would get up expecting to get hit again," said Cosby, turning and smiling at Young.

http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/atlanta/stories/0611metblackmen.html


Dyson was clear in outlining how Cosby was not one who, by all appearances, [1] was outspoken about or [2] wanted to participate in the CRM.

There were people like Harry Belafonte, Dick Gregory, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee... people in entertainment whose stance, contribution and role in the CRM were undeniable and well documented. Cosby, however, doesn't seem to be one of them. But that doesn't stop people from exaggerating and acting like he was like/among them.

People do weird things to try to support people they revere.

And for the silliness the commentary represents, I have two references:

quote:
M. A. Neal: Doesn't Cosby's willingness to give money to black causes make him a leader? Doesn't it give him a right to say what's on his mind?

DYSON:
Cosby's philanthropy is unquestionable. If he never gives another dime for the rest of his life, he's done more than a lot of people for 10 lifetimes. But the question is: Can we allow philanthropy to silence dissent or to squash opposition? Money giving can't be the litmus test for authentic black leadership. [That would make] Bill Gates the greatest black leader we ever had -- that cat done gave about $120 million to Negroes -- so it can't be that. In one sense, it's easier to give money, as opposed to stepping on the front line during the civil rights movement and putting your face out there. That would give [your contribution] more legitimacy. But it would also cost you some of your cultural standing with the white folk you want to cross over to.


quote:
While many of us lament or condemn the conditions of an "underclass" that threatens to become permanent, others are exploring and finding solutions. One of the problem-solvers is Salome Thomas-El, an educator in Philadelphia for nearly two decades. As a teacher and administrator at Vaux Middle School and as principal of Reynolds Elementary School, he has turned around the lives of many students for whom survival has been a constant uphill struggle.

His efforts have produced a steady stream of accomplished learners who have gone on to do well in college and in life. In addition, a number of his students have excelled at chess, winning national championships. Thomas-El, who wrote about his experiences in "I Choose to Stay," a 2003 memoir, shares more of his philosophy in a fascinating new book, "The Immortality of Influence."

I asked him why he was able to succeed with so many children who had already been written off as failures. "I think the key is that most of the time I've never given up," he said. "I have high expectations for each one. Every child. With our young people, if we believe in them enough, even when they don't believe in themselves, eventually they'll realize they can be successful -- success breeds success."

...Because so many of Thomas-El's proteges are poor, I told him about the e-mails I get from successful African Americans who argue that they have no connection to the many black men struggling in the inner cities.

"That's the middle-class mentality," he responded. "We don't understand that when you are blessed, it is your responsibility to bless others. We all make mistakes but we have to understand that there are people who turned around and reached out and helped us. It can no longer be about just 'me.' It has to be about somebody else."


I find it amazing how Thomas-El lives and works in Bill Cosby's neck-of-the-woods... and how Thomas-El hits on the same theme as Dyson talking about that MIDDLE-CLASS MENTALITY.

Somehow, you don't see people posing asinine questions about what Thomas-El is "doing" or what Geoffrey Canada is doing with the Harlem Children Zone when the very nature of their work vindicates those who "criticize" Cosby for doing little more than flapping off at the gums about those "Lower Economic" folk that Thomas-El, Canada & Co. engage in constructive and productive ways.

And, of course, by-passing this BS... I merely ask how come Cosby isn't out there promoting these brothers and the positive things they're doing as opposed to promoting himself and running off at the mouth?

I mean, Thomas-El works right there in Cosby's "neighborhood", so to speak. Now, if Cosby is supporting Thomas-El and traveling around the country trying to promote the positive things Thomas-El et al are doing then I'll stand corrected.

But it's clear by the way Cosby apparently treats people from his own alma mater, TEMPLE... It's clear what type of mission Cosby's on.
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You know, I get so tired of this H.N.I.C., can only be one negro, monolethic syndrome that us Black folk fall into. Rather than saying, "Okay, I disagree." And continuing to work our individual program, we feel compelled to demonstrate how anyone with a thought different from our own, is not only "wrong", but an a$$hole for even thinking the thought.

Truth is much of what Cosby said was true. And some of it reasonated in folks, poverty-stricken and middle-class, moving them to do what they hadn't been. Great mission accomplished.

For those that missed Cosby's message, someone else must step into the breach and articulate THE message in a way that moves.

And for those that Cosby's message missed, still someone else must step into the breach and articulate their responsibility.

But no one's interest is served by this constant bickering back and forth, other than those that would see nothing done.

quote:
In one sense, it's easier to give money, as opposed to stepping on the front line during the civil rights movement and putting your face out there.


and,

quote:
I merely ask how come Cosby isn't out there promoting these brothers and the positive things they're doing as opposed to promoting himself and running off at the mouth?


The fact is:

It is easier to to give money. And, money is needed to be given. No one has branded Cosby a "leader" or a "spokesman"; he is merely an affluent Black man with observations. Has failure to step out during the CRM shouldn't be used to censure his voice today.

But another fact is, Dyson shouldn't try to fool himself by claiming "Front line status" in any movement, any more than Bush can claim combat veteran status, merely for being president during a war.

People often confuse talking about something with doing something.
appl appl @ Kweli4Real!!

It's interesting you put it that way, K4R. While Googling in looking for an answer to question Huey put to Nmaginate, I found several instances where Cosby's inactivity on the front lines of the CRM were mentioned. But I also found this, which was interesting and goes to show, there's always two sides to every story.

quote:
But Cosby's critics are wrong to say Cosby is either "incognegro" or an appeaser. The man always had a plan. While his humor is nonconfrontational, his attitude has been anything but; like Oprah Winfrey and Magic Johnson's inner-city focused business empire, Cosby sees the acquisition of power as a civil rights strategy. He's worked to be in the meetings where decisions are made rather than outside picketing them, though he was an ardent supporter of the civil rights movement and used his shows to pay homage to it.
Full story America's Grandad Gets Onery

I figure if anybody/everybody doing something, it's better than somebody not doing anything at all. sck
quote:
Originally posted by Kweli4Real:
You know, I get so tired of this H.N.I.C., can only be one negro, monolethic syndrome that us Black folk fall into. Rather than saying, "Okay, I disagree." And continuing to work our individual program, we feel compelled to demonstrate how anyone with a thought different from our own, is not only "wrong", but an a$$hole for even thinking the thought.

Truth is much of what Cosby said was true. And some of it reasonated in folks, poverty-stricken and middle-class, moving them to do what they hadn't been. Great mission accomplished.

For those that missed Cosby's message, someone else must step into the breach and articulate THE message in a way that moves.

And for those that Cosby's message missed, still someone else must step into the breach and articulate their responsibility.

But no one's interest is served by this constant bickering back and forth, other than those that would see nothing done.


Though I tend to criticize Cosby, I can agree with this, K4R.

I think the HNIC tendency has the effect of concentrating power/influence in the hands of a few instead of spreading it out across a network of organizations and individuals. I believe this produces a great deal of inefficiency in terms of accomplishing our goals.... if for no other reason than that good ideas which might be very different from the conventional view never get tried...

And because influence/power is so concentrated, this leaves us extremely vulnerable...
quote:
Originally posted by Kweli4Real:

Truth is much of what Cosby said was true.



And I'm waiting for the parade that celebrates a preacher who says, "Ya'll be sinnin'..." I want people to be sure and clear in noting how that preacher, "Told The TRUTH!!"

Now, tell me how much of this is "true" from Cosby:
"With all the systemic problems of racism, the solution is parenting."

We can go down the list... And it's not about any HNIC stuff save for Cosby trying to be one.

quote:
People often confuse talking about something with doing something.


And that's the very point I've made over and over. People confuse Cosby running his mouth with doing something about the stuff he ran his mouth about.

You can try to divert the issue and talk about Dyson but you and I both know how that skirts the issue and how neither you or any of Cosby's supporters here have illustrated how Cosby has put money (as if...) where his mouth is.

Donating money to Spelman, Morehouse, etc. is not and does not tackle the problems Thomas-El and Geoffrey Canada deal with every day without one single penny from Cosby, apparently.

So what are you talking about? What was the talk about Cosby's money when it doesn't go towards the very parenting, academic issues he feigns concern about?

Now present some information that says Cosby is doing more than talking about all that. Otherwise, explain why it is you have missed the point.

quote:
No one has branded Cosby a "leader" or a "spokesman."


And who has "branded" Dyson anything that you want to suggest? Sorry, but you can't hide your bias behind the pretense of being even-handed.

Let's see you speak about what Cosby has self-styled himself as... as he goes around the country on his "Call Out" tours. Seems to me Cosby has branded himself into some type of leader or crusader. So let's see your commentary about how Cosby should be sure to not claim any said "status" or importance.

And his FAILURE To Step Out During The CRM hasn't been used to "censure" anything. But, lacking balance, you have not talked about other things should not be used as to "censure" others. Trying to paint or cloak Cosby under the banner of "an affluent Black man with observations" is pretty sad.

Dyson has "observations" but we don't see you promoting the idea that he's just an academic with an opinion or one who has made such "observations" with much of them being "true."

Please. There is more than enough for you to take issue with when it comes to the title of the commentary itself but we see what you are commenting on.

What are the Folks Who Criticize Bill Cosby Doing to Help Uplift Poor Blacks?

Awaits your comments, K4R...

quote:
Oh but I guess I'll finally hear someone lay out what everybody's "part of the bargain" is/was.

I mean, Cosby admitted that he "AVOIDED" the Civil Rights Movement. But somehow, that is the pretense under which he ran his mouth about.


Now, K4R, either you can respond to what I actually said, in the CONTEXT in which I said it, or you can stop pretending to take issue with stuff I present under that phony guise of being objective or balanced. That pose of yours is played out.

The Record shows exactly what I said: That Cosby opened his mouth and went on his tirade under the pretense the "bargain" which had everything to do with the CRM.

So, maybe you can lay out a full and complete list of everyone's "part of the bargain", including Cosby's without being deferential to Cosby and treating him with kit gloves or favoritism.
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quote:
You know, I get so tired of this H.N.I.C., can only be one negro, monolethic syndrome that us Black folk fall into. Rather than saying, "Okay, I disagree." And continuing to work our individual program, we feel compelled to demonstrate how anyone with a thought different from our own, is not only "wrong", but an a$$hole for even thinking the thought.


Like I said... The very title of the column and the sentiments it expresses AWAITS YOUR DIRECT COMMENT:

What are the Folks Who Criticize Bill Cosby Doing to Help Uplift Poor Blacks?

Sounds like some HNIC stuff to me. Sounds like some Not Only Are Cosby Critics Wrong... But They Are A$$holes for even thinking of disagreeing with Cosby's ignorant rant.

Now, tell me about the "truth" Cosby spoke when he said "in our cities we have 50% drop out rates."

Note the reference is plural, indiscriminate and non-specific. Hardly ever, if ever did he cite what he was talking about in particular. Just a ignorant rant with as much "truth" as a preacher saying, "Ya'll be sinnin'..." and with the same condemning effect which is markedly different from those like Thomas-El who are DOING SOMETHING about those things that relate to K-12 education and drop out issues.

Sorry, but STUPIDITY like that (Cosby's) should never go unchecked and should never be excused!
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quote:
Originally posted by Kweli4Real:
Truth is much of what Cosby said was true. And some of it reasonated in folks, poverty-stricken and middle-class, moving them to do what they hadn't been. Great mission accomplished. For those that missed Cosby's message, someone else must step into the breach and articulate THE message in a way that moves.


Moves us to do what though? To launch more judgemental and fault-finding attacks of criticism at the most marginalized group in the country? America is still a racially and economically-segregated country. People talk about this country as if the economic playing field has been levelled. But you go into any city and you can find where all the poor Blacks live and where all the rich Whites live. And its like this in every city. In my area, majority of the Whites have congregrated in the state of Virginia, far away from the violence, poverty, and Blacks. Many of them decided to leave Maryland and D.C. after seeing an influx of middle-class Blacks leaving D.C. for the suburbs. So if Cosby and others want to "move" someone into action about the state of Black America, why not discuss the widening economic disparity that continues to exist between Whites and minorities?
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Man, I totally missed that...

"Mission Accomplished"??

Please help me out and supply me with some evidence to that effect.

I'm sure there are a number of "Mr. Cosby" letters with Shaniqua's thanking him for turning their lives around and telling them something they never heard before or never had someone break it down to them in quite that way.

Hmmmm.... Now, I think I can find a number of letters or sentiments to the contrary. So when and where did K4R take that into account?

Think of this what you will...
"Mr. Cosby, my name is Kiah"

quote:
People have been gasping since May, when Cosby blasted "lower-economic people" for "not holding up their end," for buying kids $500 sneakers instead of "Hooked on Phonics." His words (and tone) set off a raging discussion over whether Cosby's comments make sense and whether they can do any good"”over whether the problem resides in the poor people he criticized, or in forces largely beyond their control. No group has a larger stake in that debate than the poor urbanites Cosby presumably is trying to save. Yet they don't exactly seem to be rushing to Cosby's church.

...onetime stick-up man, puts it plainly. "Cosby is ... talking about me holding up my end of the bargain. Listen ... I robbed 'cause I was hungry. If he's going to put food on my table, if he's going to give me time to pursue education vigorously, then fine. But if he's not, then I'm going to hold up my end of the bargain and make sure I get something to eat."

Kenny was one of several young offenders called together, at NEWSWEEK's request, by the Fortune Society, a nonprofit that works with at-risk youths and ex-cons. None saw salvation at the end of Cosby's crusade.

April, a 16-year-old Latina from the Bronx, scoffed at the notion that poor mothers were buying $500 shoes. The only people she knew with such pricey sneakers were those "on the block pitching [dealing drugs]."

In "Code of the Street," sociologist Elijah Anderson wrote eloquently of the war in inner cities between "decent" values and "street" values. That is the war into which Cosby has leapt mouth first"”and into which Ameer Tate was born. "I grew up in a bad neighborhood ... and I always had to fight... My grandmother was on crack ... Both my uncles were pimps. My father was never here ... [I remember] being beat up as an 11-year-old by this 36-year-old fresh out of prison just because he wanted to put his hands on my mom," recalled Tate, an 18-year-old San Franciscan.

Telling people born into such circumstances to shape up is not much of a plan. Combating "a history of inequality and disadvantage" requires "systematic solutions," argues Stephanie Bell-Rose, president of the Goldman Sachs Foundation, which funds programs targeting achievers in poor communities. She believes Cosby has an obligation to be "more thoughtful."

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6732651/site/newsweek/
quote:
"Children don't get out of that by themselves. They have to have somebody," insists Spencer Holland, a psychologist and founder of Project 2000, an after-school program in Washington, D.C.

an organization started and run by Joseph Marshall, Ph.D. "Until I saw Dr. Marshall I never saw a truly positive role model outside of the movies," said Tate, who proudly rattled off some recent accomplishments: "I'm in City College, I just got an A on my psychology test, an A on my African-American-history test. I'm on track, I'm going to try out for football in January ... I box. I'm an actor." Kenny, the erstwhile stick-up man, will soon be entering college"”thanks in part to Fortune's guidance.


Cosby sure didn't "resonate" with Kenny or any number of the kids one could imagined would be offended by his tirade ranting about their names and situations with the most stereotypical ignorance.

But let's see the ignorant rhetoric expressed by the commentaries title pose that inquiry with respect to the opinions of the reps. from the organizations noted and their and "uplift" programs.

Silly rhetoric like that and Cosby's (with those critiques from people actually in the trenches) rings hollow, hardly resonating to anybody but those Church Members saying "Amen!" because the preacher preached their own self-serving message which hardly relates to jack but things they concocted in their own minds.

But go ahead and whip out all those Christian (and Middle-Class) thank you letters showing how those groups have been motivated and have demonstrated their response to Cosby's call to action.

Evidence of that please... Evidence that those Christians et al have done what Cosby charged them with doing.
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Wow ... Such a response ...

quote:
Now, tell me how much of this is "true" from Cosby:
"With all the systemic problems of racism, the solution is parenting."


I my view, a great deal of this statement is true. Parenting directs our youth toward positive action despite the negative influences that surround them. Parenting prepares our youth to take positive action against all that is negative in racism. Parenting prepares our youth to not believe that lies that are promoted about their potential. So, in my view, parenting is essential.

quote:
People confuse Cosby running his mouth with doing something about the stuff he ran his mouth about.


So how his Cosby's directive rant any different from Dyson's "this is what they should do" diatribes? [Other than, of course, his semantics.] Both are saying what someone else should be doing; while neither is actually doing anything other than talking. But wait ... Cosby IS donating $$$, and thus helping a few Black kids getting an education. I'm certain that those beneficiaries of his $$$ appreciate his $$$ far more than Dyson's speeches or books. But I may be wrong. Roll Eyes

No one said that Cosby, or Dyson for that matter, is or should have THE solution for all our community's ill. My point is commenting on one's observations is not DOING anything helpful; whereas, donating $$$ is DOING something. Plain and simple.

quote:
And who has "branded" Dyson anything that you want to suggest?


Bruh, You're putting words in my mouth. All I'm suggesting is that Cosby's observations are as valid as anyone's, including those that make a living putting their's in print; regardless of their historic participation.

quote:
Let's see you speak about what Cosby has self-styled himself as... as he goes around the country on his "Call Out" tours. Seems to me Cosby has branded himself into some type of leader or crusader. So let's see your commentary about how Cosby should be sure to not claim any said "status" or importance.


Is Cosby branding his speeches as a "Call Out Tour" or is that merely the media making an issue where there really is none. And thus, sowing dissension amongst our ranks.

When are we going to stop allowing the media to define our leaders, or even defining our need for singular leadership? Why can't we take observations as just that ... observations? If you agree with them ... Great. Act on it. If not, initiate an alternate plan; but initiate it, don't write about it.

quote:
And his FAILURE To Step Out During The CRM hasn't been used to "censure" anything. But, lacking balance, you have not talked about other things should not be used as to "censure" others. Trying to paint or cloak Cosby under the banner of "an affluent Black man with observations" is pretty sad.

Dyson has "observations" but we don't see you promoting the idea that he's just an academic with an opinion or one who has made such "observations" with much of them being "true.


Read my comments again ... My point was that Dyson's observations are just that observations that may very well be true. But my concern is that his observations about Cosby are useless/distracting/counter-productive/bitch-assed bickering. Take your pick, because his Cosby comments do not advance our community.

quote:
What are the Folks Who Criticize Bill Cosby Doing to Help Uplift Poor Blacks?

Awaits your comments, K4R...


Some folks, as you have noted, e.g., Thomas-El and Geoffrey Canada, are working on the front lines; others are writing books about others who have commented on their own observations. Tell me ... which group advance our cause ... and which detract from it?

quote:
Now, tell me about the "truth" Cosby spoke when he said "in our cities we have 50% drop out rates."


There is such a thing as hyperbole/dramatic effect. But that said ...

quote:
The national graduation rate for the class of 1998 was 71%. For white students the rate was 78%, while it was 56% for African-American students and 54% for Latino students.
www.manhattan-institute.org/html/cr_baeo.htm


44% way too high and pretty close to 50%.

quote:
Moves us to do what though? To launch more judgemental and fault-finding attacks of criticism at the most marginalized group in the country?


I am not suggesting that Cosby's observations are the total solution to our community's ills, nor are they an excuse for teeing off on Black folk; rather, I am saying that he is correct that when he comments that those that refuse to reach for the educational opportunities that are present, and those parents that allow their kids to, are shooting themselves in the foot.

We must admit that. And those that see a problem in that should spend their energies and resourses in finding ways to encourage our youth to take advantage of these opportunities.
quote:
TA-NEHISI COATES: Well, I think it's quite clear that, you know, in the African-American community there are plenty of problems and we can look at the statistics and see that. But in terms of Bill Cosby and the remarks he made on both occasions, I think this is really a case of perception first as reality.

So when Bill Cosby called out young African-American women and says that we're having a four, five, six, I'm sorry, they're having four, five, six seven babies at a time, I have to look at that and consider that the teen pregnancy rate over the past decade among young black women has declined by 40 percent. When he says that young black kids are not valuing education, I think that disparages the very real fact that the gap in SAT scores between whites and blacks has been cut by half. When he critiques black criminality and sort of gives us this picture of young black boys running wild in the street, I think that stands in contrast with the fact that since 1994, the crime rates across the border plunged, and particularly among young black men.


Not to say we don't have any real problems. There have been studies in New York that have basically concluded that among African-American men, the employment rate is around 50 percent or so. There have been plenty of studies that have looked at the fact that they have too many households in which there's only one-parent homes. So I don't think, you know, it's so much that we are without fathers, I think it's the nature and the way in which the dialogue is taking place.

The solutions to those problems don't lie in attacking the way people dress, they don't lie in attacking the way people talk, they certainly don't lie in attacking what people name their kids, as Bill Cosby did. My name is Ta-Nehisi, my son's name is Samari, my partner's name is Kinyata; my best friend's son's name is Kamati... all these people are God fearing honest people who want the same thing that any other American would want. And when Bill Cosby points us out because of the way we talk, the way we name our kids as opposed to sticking with the reality, have you to wonder how much of this is actually about reality and how much of it is actually about appearance.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/entertainment/july-dec04/cosby_7-15.html
And all the parenting in the world doesn't stop and therefore doesn't "SOLVE" racism, much less SYSTEMIC racism.

People with the best parents can and still do get discriminated against. So how is it that "parenting" is the "solution" to racism?

That just doesn't make sense. Cosby didn't posit that good parenting can help you overcome or triumph despite racism... He said it was the "solution."

Solutions speak to ending said problems. Good parenting or not, racism and particularly systemic racism still has an impact beyond what parenting can protect you from.

The idea is idiotic. And there are no licenses for the statement to mean anything other than what it says in (*ahem*) plain English. Surely you can appreciate that since Cosby made English (speaking it and, by extension, understanding it) an issue.
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quote:
Originally posted by Kweli4Real:

So, in my view, parenting is essential.



That's a non-argument. Parenting (in the Black Community... "good" parenting) will end job discrimination? WHEN?

quote:
So how his Cosby's directive rant any different from Dyson's "this is what they should do" diatribes?


When you find an actual argument... Let me know. Oh and thanks for showing your clear bias without all that phoniness.

quote:
Both are saying what someone else should be doing; while neither is actually doing anything other than talking.


Hmmm.... And? Your point?

quote:
But wait ... Cosby IS donating $$$, and thus helping a few Black kids getting an education.


How come you can't address what was clearly said?

Donating money to Spelman, Morehouse, etc. is not and does not tackle the problems Thomas-El and Geoffrey Canada deal with every day...

Cosby didn't open his mouth about Spelman or Morehouse ready Black folks.

Catch up, KWELI...

quote:
donating $$$ is DOING something. Plain and simple.


Doing something for what? for whom?
Again, Cosby didn't run his mouth talking about Spelman and Morehouse ready Black folks. So, frankly, those donations do little if anything towards what Cosby ran his mouth about.

Again... Catch up!

quote:
And who has "branded" Dyson anything that you want to suggest?

Bruh, You're putting words in my mouth.


That's funny... I don't recall saying anything about Cosby being the "branded" leader or spokesman... But you had no such issues making that non-point.

Why? I think you were trying to put words in my mouth... Roll Eyes


quote:
Is Cosby branding his speeches as a "Call Out Tour" or is that merely the media making an issue where there really is none. And thus, sowing dissension amongst our ranks.


You tell me. Cosby huffed and puffed about he'll air our dirty laundry if he'd damn well pleased, etc., etc., etc. So, please try those sorry rhetorical questions, steeped in your Cosby bias with someone else.

quote:
When are we going to stop allowing the media to define our leaders, or even defining our need for singular leadership?


Your silly rhetoric aside... It's funny that you mention that because Cosby already said... "It's The White Man's Fault!" (paraphrasing) when he told Tavis Smiley he's been saying this for years. But, the media sure had a bunch of folks clappin' and saying "Amen!"... "It's about time somebody spoke out!" as soon as "The White Man" published the Cosby stories.

Go figure...

quote:
Why can't we take observations as just that ... observations?


Hmmm.... You might want to do that with regard to Dyson and anyone else who makes observations about Cosby's "observations." Why can't you take them as "observations" instead of all this expending all of this fake biased rhetoric you have here?

quote:
If you agree with them ... Great. Act on it. If not, initiate an alternate plan; but initiate it, don't write about it.


What?? Don't write about it?

Please... Proof that you don't believe in "taking" observations across the board. But maybe you can explain this curious notion of yours.

quote:
My point was that Dyson's observations are just that observations that may very well be true.


"Very well may be true..." That wasn't your "take" on Cosby's "observations." With bias fully in hand, you declared with no equivocation that the stuff Cosby said was "true". No caveats. No reservations save the "much of" clause. A clause you didn't extend to Dyson or those who have plenty of "observations" differing from Cosby.

quote:
But my concern is that his observations about Cosby are useless/distracting/counter-productive/bitch-assed bickering. Take your pick, because his Cosby comments do not advance our community.


And that's the very clear thing communicated by those who take issue with Cosby's rants: THAT THEY DO NOT ADVANCE... "OUR"... "OUR"... (what happened to the anti-monolith pretense)... OUR Community.

quote:
Some folks, as you have noted, e.g., Thomas-El and Geoffrey Canada, are working on the front lines; others are writing books about others who have commented on their own observations. Tell me ... which group advance our cause ... and which detract from it?


Sorry, dude... I don't do rhetorical questions.

I just stated what's abundantly clear among those who not only "write books" but those who ARE ADVANCING OUR COMMUNITY. A good number of those people took issue with Cosby's remarks.

Catch up!!



quote:
The national graduation rate for the class of 1998 was 71%. For white students the rate was 78%, while it was 56% for African-American students and 54% for Latino students.
www.manhattan-institute.org/html/cr_baeo.htm


Wait... Try that again... (quoting from the CONservative Manhatthan Institute)...

quote:
Cosby cited a 50 percent dropout rate for Blacks. However, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, the dropout rate for African-Americans was 13.1 percent in 2000, the last year for which statistics are available.

http://www.strangecosmos.com/content/item/100283.html


Maybe you can clarify the difference between GRADUATION RATES and DROP OUT RATES. Cosby spoke about the latter. Profusely.

quote:
The gap in high school graduation rates between blacks and whites has been cut in half over the past 10 years, with 84.9 percent of white students now completing high school compared with 78.5 percent of blacks. That compares with 79.1 percent and 66.2 percent a decade earlier.

http://www.ncpa.org/pi/edu/pd121900b.html


And for all you other biased rhetoric about Cosby, again, I raise the accounts of all those people and organizations who took exception to Cosby's counterproductive TALK. Those people and organization employing plenty of time, energy, etc. into addressing the problems Cosby mere TALKED ABOUT.

Again, donating money to Spelman, Morehouse or even mere scholarships to those who "got it" on a high school level does not address the issues Cosby ran his mouth about.

Cosby didn't run his mouth like there was a lack of a Negro College Fund or Funding for scholarships on a high school level. The disconnect is rather pathetic. No one can be that hard of learning. No one can confuse what the issue is and what Cosby ran his mouth about.

No amount of rhetoric can excuse how Cosby's rhetoric was not received well among those organizations I cited. No amount of rhetoric can avoid dealing with the fact that there are and remain plenty of people who have and continue to direct their time and energies towards addressing real problems who took exception to Cosby's ignorant rants.

So the stuff you've had to say here KWELI is MOOT!

Stephanie Bell-Rose - Goldman Sachs Foundation
Cosby has an obligation to be "more thoughtful."

A Letter to Bill Cosby


Oh and thanks again for exposing your clear bias (and phony pretense of being even-handed).
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See this is why I hesitated to enter this discussion [with you]. 14 You're back to discussing/interacting to win the debate, rather than attempting to understand what people, in this case both Cosby and myself, are saying. And I must say that it involves far more mental gymnastics to frame your arguments than merely understanding.

But whatever ... You continue doing you. Roll Eyes

Oh, yeah ... Peace
KWELI,

It's your patented and demonstrated bias that shows how you don't care to understand anything.

You made the bogus comment about how Cosby's comments were more or less "inspirational" to those "Lower Economic" folk he condemn. Well, you can't just say that based off of what you think.

You also wanted to know who came up with the "Call Out" idea. By all appearances, Cosby endorses it, if he didn't come up with it himself.

Now, YOU are not Cosby and no... I will not grant you the poetic license to completely interpret his wild statements beyond what common, plain English dictates. People talk nostagically about their parents, especially during prior generations but you and I both know none of that parenting "SOLVED" racism.

Sorry, but stupidity like that doesn't get the "what he was saying is true" stamp. Nor is there any other understanding or interpretational spin to be put on that.

You entered this thread under the phony pretense that you were being even-handed/balanced. All you've come to do is support Cosby. Now that's dishonesty and "mental gymnastics" at his highest.

Here you are rushing to try to defend Cosby citing the WRONG stats (from a questionable source, perhaps).

Bill Bennett donates $$$$$$$. What Bill Bennett said about "aborting Black babies" is technically "true"... But you and no one else here would be trying to defend his statement(s) based on his philantrophy, etc.

So what's there to understand but the fact that you approach this subject from a position of BIAS? What's there to understand besides the fact that it is you who has chosen to not engage or understand the legitimate issues people have with Cosby's RHETORIC?

Again, you didn't take issue with Gregory Kane "writing" about people's "observations." Neither did you question what Kane is doing. All you did was fell right in-line with those who support Cosby despite of how his RHETORIC amounts to little more that TALK when it comes to the things he ran his mouth about.

I presented plenty of things for you to discuss and engage. Instead of doing that, instead of trying to "understand" yourself... for a moment, apparently, you thought you could "Win The Debate" or whatever you imagined. Oh but when that clearly didn't happen, you fell back on this bogus line that it's me and NOT YOU who doesn't want to "understand" and discuss things.

Again, you entered this thread with that HNIC stuff and that phony pretense of being balanced when you and I both know/knew you were not. If you were, you would have been able to maintain that pretense throughout this exchange demonstrating how you "understand" or at least seek to understand both sides as opposed to you taking up the defense of one.

You said this:
"...some of it reasonated in folks, poverty-stricken and middle-class, moving them to do what they hadn't been. Great mission accomplished.

Well, to enhance your understanding... I presented evidence how Cosby's rant elicited the opposite response. Now, either your problem is one typical of a FALSE CONSENSUS (overstating your personal feelings and pretending it's more widespread than it is)... or you can speak to how that is so, based on what Cosby actually said and not what you imagined he said or what you want to spin what he said into.

Instead of "understanding" why I took issue with Cosby's weird remark about Parenting = Solution To Racism... What did you do? You tried to "win" the debate or justify Cosby's statement by your odd interpretation of it.

Again, a SOLUTIONS speaks to the END or something. So why all the disconnect, K4R?

What was your rhetoric "is this something the media did" (re: "Call Out") about if you didn't want the answer to it?

How is it that you don't see the inconsistency in your stated position where at one point you wanted to argue for "diversity" of thought (and action)... only to turn around and lobby for the opposite:

Why can't we take observations as just that ... observations? Don't write about it.

Apparently, "WE" should all be beholden to your wishes and interpretations even as you reject the very legitimate sentiments of people who say Cosby's RHETORIC "does not advance our community" (another attempt of yours towards SINGULAR definition)... Clearly, you were not and have not put forth anything towards understanding that.

So don't try that BS with me about "understanding." Your very posts here indict you on those charges.
Now, KWELI... How about explain your "His Observations Are Just As Valid" idea when it comes to Black CONservatives and the like?

They make "observations", too. I suppose their "observations" should not warrant a response and "we" should just accept their "observations" as just that. No comments. No critiques. Just let them say their piece and automatically consider their views as equally "valid" as anyone else's because they're Black & "Concerned" and arguably "telling the truth."

You know, like you did <<< H E R E >>>


You and I both know you don't, won't and wouldn't suggest taking that stance when it comes to all or even most or many of the "observations" Black CONservatives make (my reference to your comments on that old thread included or not). So I 'hesitate' to say how phony that idea of yours is too.
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quote:
Truth is much of what Cosby said was true. And some of it reasonated in folks, poverty-stricken and middle-class, moving them to do what they hadn't been. Great mission accomplished.



quote:
Q: Whatever you think about Cosby's words, what effect do you think they have had on African America?

A: Other than sparking a debate, largely amongst the Black middle-class , his words, just like anyone's/everyone's words, have little to no effect on Black America.
Yep ... I wrote both comments. And I'm sure you can see that the two comments are NOT inconsistent. They can be considered inconsistent only if:

1) One is stuck in absolutist terms.

2) One is attempting to dissemble another's writing to prove ... what? Roll Eyes

Note that I said
quote:
some of it reasonated in folks, poverty-stricken and middle-class, moving them to do what they hadn't been.
I did not say that it reasonated in ALL folk.

I also wrote
quote:
Other than sparking a debate, LARGELY amongst the Black middle-class
That clearly denotes that others are reacting in other ways. Further, I wrote:
quote:
his words, just like anyone's/everyone's words, have little to no effect on Black America.
Was, BTW, was the meat of my response.
And the "meat" of your response is, indeed, inconsistent with MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

You certainly were NOT implying that Cosby's speeches/words/CALL OUT sessions were having LITTLE or NO effect. Quite to the contrary, you wanted to suggest that he was having an effect.

And the main thing I wanted to emphasize is the INCONSISTENCY with whom you suggested Cosby's words were for - i.e. The Black Middle Class. Sure, his words were "largely" about the "Lower Economic" folk but, as you've admitted, his words were geared towards a Black Middle Class audience which is the reason why it resonated so well with that part of the congregation. Which is the very same reason why that part of the congregation feels so comfortable with the sermon. Which is the very same reason why that part of the congregation hardly ever mentions the part of the sermon that pertains directly to them.

And, dude, I highlighted your phrase that said "LARGELY" (and "some")... So you can drop that anti-absolutist argument.
Why can't you understand that if his mission reasonated with ONE Black person and moved him/her to act to control those aspects of their life they can control, then YES, Great Mission Accomplished.

quote:
Sure, his words were "largely" about the "Lower Economic" folk but, as you've admitted, his words were geared towards a Black Middle Class audience which is the reason why it resonated so well with that part of the congregation.


I have reviewed this thread and I have never made such an admission. In my view, his words are his words and they are "geared towards" whomever hears them. That's why I posted:
quote:
Truth is much of what Cosby said was true. And some of it reasonated in folks, poverty-stricken and middle-class, moving them to do what they hadn't been. Great mission accomplished.
Bill cosby is absolutely irrevalent on the streets of america in many of our communities. Part of countering a billionaires rants and raves is to proactively and conciously serve in your community. First you have to make a decision am i going to just go and make money and be about myself or am I gonna become an activist. Its a decision that one has to make and one should not be criticized for choosing to be a individualist focusing on him or herself. SO really what can we activists do, really use Bill cosby's words to double our efforts in our communities. Bill Cosby will die and go and his money will come and go but the poor will still be here unless we use our energies to break this vicious cycle. My youth martial arts program for youth has and is doing more for young people than any lecture, speech or tv debate that Bill could hope to achieve, when i see my kids advance in the martial arts and improve there lives I know that this is the real work and not the public spectacle of people who really live in glass houses.
God Bless and stay strong.
As salaam alaikum
[QUOTE]Originally posted by ExtremeFOI:
Bill cosby is absolutely irrevalent on the streets of america in many of our communities.[QUOTE]

I found your speech to be quite moving and motivational ... however, I would venture to say that the millions of dollars that Cosby had donated to HBCUs has helped at least as many (and just as much) young people improve their lives and achive their dreams as your community martial arts program has done.

Wouldn't ya say? sck
Yes, VIRTUE, "venturing" to say and actually correctly "venturing" are two different things.

I mean, if someone is going to criticize someone else who they think is wrongly criticizing Bill Cosby... Well, they can't "venture" wrongly.

It really is a very simple concept: Cosby opened his mouth about the "Lower Economic" folk, even the schooling (or willingness to be schooled) by kids in K-12 or so.

Now I've voiced that in at least a couple of places and finally came across someone come up with some nugget about Cosby (and I believe it was his wife's idea) donating money to a Catholic school for a scholarship program. Credit where credit is due. But those things Cosby talked about, e.g., that 50% Drop Out rate he illiterately rambled about... Well, ain't no scholarships gone help that.

This is very basic stuff. People curiously lauding Cosby's donation to kids who already get it... Well, it's clear he wasn't flappin' his gums about them.

Bill Bennett gives donations for what I understand... Yet, I'd "venture" to say his donations, Bennett's or the idea that he was "doing something" motivated those who are motivated to side with or otherwise esteem/defend Cosby into using that as a reason to question those critical of Bennett.

I'll search but I bet I won't find very many if anyone Black defend Bennett on those terms especially given the "Abort Black Babies", Freakanomics controversy. I mean, there was, perhaps, a "technical" truth there, too. But, as I've a lot of people have reflexively said in defense of Cosby, I don't recall many if any Black folk rushing to say "Bennett was telling the truth."

Maybe the "truth" is a BLACK (and agree with me as I agree with dominant culture's idea) THANG. 9

And maybe donations only count when you're Black.
quote:
Curious,

The money that Bill Cosby sent t
quote:
o HBCU's.... where does that money go?

Cosby criticizes poor Black people.... and the types of offenses he lists are they directed to the Black youth who attend college?



Peace,
Khalliqa


I know the money that Cosby gave to Spelman College allowed them to build a new acedemic building (the Cosby Center).

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spelman_College

quote:
The Camille O. Hanks Cosby Academic Center, dedicated in February 1996, was made possible by a $20 million grant from Drs. Bill and Camille Cosby. This building houses the Departments of History, English, Religion & Philosophy, and Modern Foreign Language. The center also has a museum, the College Archives, an auditorium, the writing center, the Women's Research and Resource Center, reading rooms and a foreign language lab.
quote:
I know the money that Cosby gave to Spelman College allowed them to build a new acedemic building (the Cosby Center).


And I know, without needing a citation, that that has nothing to do with Cosby rambling, stammering about, speaking half-illiterate (I'm being generous) erroneously talking about a 50% Drop Out rate which was suppose to be typical of K-12 Black kids. Not them kids going to HBCU's.

He was talking about those who wouldn't or didn't make it. On that, there should be no disconnect.

BLAKE... You did not answer VIRTUE'S question:
Cosby criticizes poor Black people.... and the types of offenses he lists are they directed to the Black youth who attend college?

Part of the answer (and it was a two-part question) is:
"NO. Cosby's list of offenses were NOT directed at college bound or college attending Black youths"

I don't think they made the list. So why the disconnect?



___________________________________________________________________________________________________
quote:
And I know, without needing a citation, that that has nothing to do with Cosby rambling, stammering about, speaking half-illiterate (I'm being generous) erroneously talking about a 50% Drop Out rate which was suppose to be typical of K-12 Black kids. Not them kids going to HBCU's.


I don't know that Cosby is correct or incorrect on this matter. I've seen stats saying that the dropout rate is as low s 13%, and as high as 50%, but I wonder about the accuracy of both these sources. This only means that the polls are being taken on different sets of schools. This is a story talking about some of the things that help this large gap of difference.

http://www.ed.gov/pubs/OR/ConsumerGuides/dropout.html

Here is an example from USA Today saying that there is a 50% dropout rate in inner city schools in Baltimore.
http://www.usatoday.com/educate/college/careers/hottopic12.htm. There are several other stories about inner city schools in DC, Chicago, Gary, and a number of similar cities across the nation.
quote:
Originally posted by Nmaginate:
Cosby criticizes poor Black people.... and the types of offenses he lists are they directed to the Black youth who attend college?


Actually ... there are college kids named Shaniqua ...

But generally, it is difficult to go to college if you have 5 kids without a father, or do drugs, or are incarcerated, or drop out of high school - regardless of whether it's true that the drop out rate is as high as 50%.

Not having kids makes it easier to go to college. But I do know a woman who has 6 kids who - later in life - successfully completed college.
I would think that Cosby's criticizims were directed at those to whom they apply. Although, many people to which they don't seem to be greatly upset by them.

I wish more of this "brother's keeper" mentality could be applied to other crises within our community ... like bettering underperforming schools in the inner cities or trying to reduce the ridiculous rate of incarceration of our young Black men. sck
quote:
ER: I wish more of this "brother's keeper" mentality could be applied to other crises within our community ... like bettering underperforming schools in the inner cities or trying to reduce the ridiculous rate of incarceration of our young Black men.


And you speak from your uninformed perceptions again. Hence your "wishes" are fraudulent. That is the very point of it, though... Cosby, apparently, is doing NEITHER. Both of which he ran his mouth about. Profusely. I guess your wishes follow your biases.

There is no reason for this DISCONNECT.


quote:
HB: Actually ... there are college kids named Shaniqua ...


And that relates to what Cosby said about the Shaniqua's and Muhammad's (whatever names he used)... HOW?

Anyway, thanks for illustrating how Cosby's diatribe was rather simplistic, to say the least. I've already recorded how someone with such a name (and perspective setting facts to boot) didn't take too kindly to Cosby taking a swipe at something so sacred as the way folks go about naming their children, no matter how (*ahem*) he caveated his statement. (((So, EBONY'S uninformed perception ("many people... don't seem to be greatly upset by them")is, hence, contradicted.)))

But I'm sure the vast majority, most, many... hell a lot of the "Lower Economic" folk (you know, the ones and apparently the only ones who really aren't holding up "their end of the bargain") have children in bunches. You know, your whole thing there about 5 or 6 kids was justified just like Cosby's quasi-literate diatribe.


_______________________________________________________________________________
RIF, Nmaginate ...

quote:
Originally posted by Nmaginate:
("many people... don't seem to be greatly upset by them")


... is simply not what I said. Take your little dots out and replace them with my actually words and you will be closer to my true meaning of what I wrote! Eek

For the ease of your intellectual comprehension, I will add a word (just one!) to my comment that might make things a little simpler for you ... but can't possibly (even for you) change the context of the statement itself! Eek

*** CORRECTION ***

"Although, many people to which they don't seem to be greatly upset by them."

*** should have been written ***

"Although, many people to which they don't (apply), seem to be greatly upset by them."

Now ... you can reformulate your tirade based on this new inforation and come back with something that might make a little more sense. Smile

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