Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Cosby on Fulfilling the Dream

Bill Cosby has a piece in today’s Detroit News, in which he continues his argument about the need for African-American parents to be more engaged in their children’s lives and education. Here is a taste:

Proper education has to begin at home. We must demand that our youth have an understanding of spoken and written English, math and science. We must transform our communities with a renewed commitment to our children, and that means parents must show that they value education. We don’t need another federal commission to study the problem.

What we need now is parents sitting down with children, overseeing homework, sending children off to school in the morning well fed, clothed, rested and ready to learn.

Some media people or government people, who are already ethnically insensitive, cannot hurt us if we begin to address and act on what is already epidemic. We will then be empowered.

The only question I had after reading this article is: how long will it be before Jesse Jackson’s "blame" coalition takes aim at Cosby?

Discussions - 20 Comments

Every parent I know instinctivly already does this. Why is this news? And why is it when a Republican says this he’s racially insensative, but Cosby can get away with this? If you have to be of a particular ethnic group before you can give sound common advice to that group, that strikes me as looking to be wounded, or victim-hood. When I read what he is saying, I don’t see the black community, I see kids in need of a good education.

I agree with you, but the even larger question is, why do so many African Americans attack Cosby, as Robert points out?

Tony-you are right. There’s sort of a crab-pot mentality. When one of them trys to climb out of the mess, the others pull him back in. To agree with Cosby’s advice would be to admit the responsibility is theirs.

Gary - heh. Not just Republicans. Try anyone not black.

Mr. Cosby has, through his comedy enterprise, firmly established himself within the country’s well-heeled elite (as has Jesse Jackson). I don’t find much of what either of them (Cosby or Jackson) says to be particularly insightful or useful. Nonetheless, that doesn’t eliminate the reality of institutionalized racism. I highly doubt that any white person on this blog, if given the choice to wake up as a black person or a white person tomorrow AM, would be indifferent to their future skin tone, or consider a change to black a lateral shift of little or no consequence.

Generally speaking, I think that white people can get away with many mistakes that, when displayed by blacks, are seen as indicative of either a cultural indifference or distaste for education OR (as The Bell Curve fellas argued) a racially-inherited dimness. For instance, I’d guess that harsher conclusions would be drawn - and the credibility of the commenter would be questioned - if a black person misspelled the following fairly basic words (that have already been misspelled in other comments above):

tries

instinctively

insensitive

As long as Cosby continues to toe the conservative line, he’ll be embraced as a credit to his race, or even a public intellectual. Otherwise, he’ll be dismissed as an entertainment option who happens to exist at the wrong end of the bell curve.

I agree with everything Cosby is doing. The black community needs to shift its focus to study.

Just one question. Do middle/higher income blacks have these problems.

Additionaly, families working to get out of the lower economic spectrum, regardless of race, often have both parents working long hours to get ahead.

Can anyone point me to any studies by socio economic group on this issue. I cannot imagine that white/hispanic/other ethnicities all spend quality time working with their children on math/english/science.

Hey M Piracyz

I think it would take me less than a minute to chose to be a Cosby child. Lay the black on me, as well as the lifestyle. If you thought about it, you would realize how condescending your comment is. And as to the toeing the conservative line bs, my grandmother used to says "it takes one to know one." Your one. A toeing the liberal line regardless of the harm done kinda guy.

My question is- How much money has Jackson spent on programs related to what Cosby is talking about? Probably not as much in his lifetime as he spent challenging in the Ohio vote.

Generally speaking, I think that white people can get away with many mistakes that, when displayed by blacks, are seen as indicative of either a cultural indifference or distaste for education OR (as The Bell Curve fellas argued) a racially-inherited dimness. For instance, I’d guess that harsher conclusions would be drawn - and the credibility of the commenter would be questioned - if a black person misspelled the following fairly basic words (that have already been misspelled in other comments above):

Wow, what an obnoxious comment. Does Mr. Piracyz really think that what Cosby was complaining about was the misspelling of words like "instinctively"?

to M piracyz

There is no instittutional racism.

This is the silliest type of myth. If you cannot find any real examples of unjust discrimination, just accuse everyone! Who would have the courage to stand up FOR the discriminators!

No one argues against the science in "The Bell Curve".

You’re logic finding fault with those who who would rather not change races is absurd.

You’re spelling and prose are above board. I’m amazed that someone who has such obvious verbal skill can be so wrapped in dogma as to be totally blind!

Just because I prevented a perfect response rate for mutual affirmation and back-slapping regarding the Cosby article, I don’t see why that makes my comments condescending in the least. I don’t look down on blacks or NLT bloggers, for starters. (I’m sure there’s nothing I can do to be acquitted of the "obnoxious" charge among this group, so I won’t even try)

I never even pretended that the main thrust of Cosby’s argument was that blacks can’t spell, and must learn how. I merely noted that those nodding their heads to Cosby’s take on how blacks should shape up - including, from the paragraphs Mr. Alt found worth highlighting, that "We must demand that our youth have an understanding of spoken and written English" - were themselves displaying some fairly obvious deficiencies in that particular realm (presumably we adults should not be exempt from the standards of excellence DEMANDED of our youth?). Okay, MAYBE "instinctively" could be called tricky, but "tries?" I’ve been surprised to see such displays continue. Both Mr. Maxwell and pajamazon failed to use "your" and "you’re" correctly (pajamazon twice). Regardless of their skin color, perhaps they should apply Mr. Cosby’s advice more rigorously at home.

Also, to Mr. Maxwell, you assert that you’d eagerly opt "to be a Cosby child."
I think you know that wasn’t the hypothetical scenario that I sketched. As for whether I am a "toeing-the-liberal-line-regardless-of-the-harm-done kinda guy" (note: hyphenation added to facilitate clarity of concept), you’re probably assuming too much about my political affiliations and viewpoints. I’m generally against affirmative action (hold that muted praise - that opposition’s for BOTH blacks AND conservative college profs., and for reasons not aligned with NLT or most of the right), for example, but I also think Cosby’s prescriptions are more than a wee bit simplistic (even if they are laudable personal goals). Ok, see you all at the inauguration!

Affirmative action? Spelling/Grammer errors? Being born again as a Crosby? I guess I must have read a different main point to the whole issue.

Isn’t the point about Cosby’s insistance on black communities taking responsibility instead of seeking a perpetual victimized status? Personally, I think the man should be lauded.

Well I am reminded for some odd reson of the character Charles Winchester lll on the Mash tv show. And I also can clearly recall many times when Hawkeye listened to his boring and pompous oration and then simply said " shut up Charles". Seems appropriate here as well.

Thanks to everyone for supporting my efforts. There are a lot of reactionary blacks who blame whitey for all their problems. They’re losers and deserve nothing but contempt. I’m justtrying to instill a bit of pride back in my people.

Why do you feel sick, Matt?

I have a nagging suspicion that maybe Bill Cosby himself hasn’t really posted a comment here at NLT.

No. I was referring to M*A*S*H. But . . . uh . . . Bill can make me sick too if you’d like? I used to watch his educational videos like a fiend when I was just a little Matt Mingus. I had the books and everything. I was hardcore Bill Crosby. Yeah, that’s right. Everyone’s trying to hop on the Bill Cosby train right now, but I’ve definitely been on this train since 1990 (or maybe before, but I was too young to remember). So, ha! Without Bill Cosby I might not know my colors as well as I do today! Heh.

The real question is What kind of world do any of you envision? What kind of future is heading our (meaning ALL of us, collectively) way? Blacks go on marrying blacks, whites go on marrying whites, and each group stays in its own racially ignorant enclave? People (white and black) go on having kids that they don’t really want? Then they set their kids down in front of televisions to watch pop culture garbage and let their minds rot? That’s the inescapable American way of life for many of us, like it or not. So where do you fit "education" into that scenario? Bill Cosby’s on the right track, but he’s too rich and too out-of-touch to be that credible. Sorry. Go out today and help somebody. Do your part to make the world a better place. Then tell your story.

Based upon the comments provided I question if any of the authors had any contact or understanding of the totally separate and distinct world that black people and families must endure. Most comments appear to be provided from a vacuum or a position of lack of knowledge but spoken with a tone of knowledge, which is why black people basically ignore non-blacks. I fully understand the position of the hurricane suffers rejecting counseling from non-black, however non-white will not have a clue and see it as racism.

"There is no instittutional racism. This is the silliest type of myth."

What country/dream are you living in?
I pray that I misunderstood your comment...probably not.

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