Skip to comments.Cosby explains - but doesn't back away from - comments
Posted on 07/01/2004 1:58:07 PM PDT by dave k
Cosby explains - but doesn't back away from - comments
CHICAGO - Bill Cosby blasted critics who complained when he upbraided low-income blacks for squandering opportunities afforded them by the civil rights movement, saying Thursday that the "dirty laundry" they don't want aired is the black child without the most basic skills to succeed.
"Let me tell you something, your dirty laundry gets out of school at 2:30 every day, it's cursing and calling each other (racial slurs) as they're walking up and down the street," he said during an appearance at the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition & Citizenship Education Fund's annual conference here with the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the organization's founder and president.
"They think they're hip," the entertainer said. "They can't read; they can't write. They're laughing and giggling, and they're going nowhere."
Cosby made headlines in May when, at a commemoration of the anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education desegregation decision, he criticized the poor grammar of some blacks and said African-Americans who commit crimes and wind up behind bars "are not political prisoners."
In a talk interrupted several times by applause, the longtime education advocate elaborated - but did not back away from - those comments. He castigated some blacks, saying that they cannot simply blame whites for problems such as teen pregnancy and the school dropout rates that plague some segments of the black community.
"For me there is a time ... when we have to turn the mirror around," he said. "Because for me it is almost analgesic to talk about what the white man is doing against us. And it keeps a person frozen in their seat, it keeps you frozen in your hole you're sitting in."
Cosby lamented that the same racial slurs used by those who once lynched blacks are now a favorite expression of black children. And he put the blame on parents.
"When you put on a record and that record is yelling (racial slurs) ... and you've got your little 6-year-old, 7-year-old sitting in the back seat of the car, those children hear that," he said.
Cosby made it clear that he stands behind his earlier statements about how the importance of speaking proper English is lost on certain "knuckleheads" in the black community.
"If they set up businesses in the neighborhood, then they can have their own languages," he said to cheers and laughter.
Cosby repeatedly came back to the theme that those who struggled and died during the civil rights movement deserve better than what they are getting from those who benefited from their sacrifice.
"Dogs, water hoses that tear the bark off trees, Emmett Till," he said, naming the black youth who was tortured and murdered in Mississippi in 1955, allegedly for whistling at a white woman. "And you're going to tell me you're going to drop out of school? You're going to tell me you're going to steal from a store?"
Cosby also said that he wasn't concerned that some whites took his comments and turned them "against our people."
"Let them talk," he said.
Jackson defended Cosby's statements. "Bill is saying let's fight the right fight, let's level the playing field," Jackson said. "Drunk people can't do that. Illiterate people can't do that."
People who attended Cosby's appearance on Thursday echoed Jackson. "We as black people are in many ways in denial about what's happening now," said Shirley McKinney, a Chicago teacher and musician. "We need to take responsibility for our children."
"I think he voiced concerns of many of us in the African-American community," agreed Sharon Ransom, a Chicago public schools official who added that because Cosby "had the courage to make those comments, attention will be given to that segment of the community."
Cosby is the real deal, a great comedian who tells it like it is, and a great American.
The way I look at Jackson's quote, it took him exactly thirteen words to twist Cosby's words from their own meaning and to one more convenient to his own agenda.
There have been some, who never liked Bill Cosby's presentation of blacks. As a kid, one of my favorite shows was Fat Albert. Then, when he had the Cosby Show, it was criticized for the family being too "upscale."
No, Bill said nothing about the tilt of the playing field, he's saying your team is not on the playing field.
Agreed, everyone has to take personal responsibility seriously.
Jackson and the others need no explanation, but a nice cup of "shut the fck up!".
I heard some of these fine youths that Cosby is talking about last night. They were sitting in a car outside of their house--"Yeah, I was so f-ing drunk..."
Cosby is a documented, card-carrying conservative-hater.
That being said, this makes a total of ONE issue he's taken the right tack on.
Praise the Lord! Cos has finally had enough of the PC BS!
Double-barrelled Mega-PING! to both lists! If you want on, FReepmail me!
I wonder what old Cosby really thinks of Je$$e...
Cosby is no "hater".
Now THAT's a shocker ... first time Jesse "blame whitey" Jackson agreed with someone saying it "ain't whitey"!
Hey, Hey, Hey!
"Some whites", of course, refers to any conservative talk show hosts who may have mentioned Cosbys words, and agreed with them, during the course of their show.
Am I to assume that you know this because of your close personal relationship with him?
Wow! I'm impressed all over again. I've always liked Cosby, but now I like him even more.
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