Elder Black folk of the world, forgive me, but I can’t help but say publicly that unless Bill Cosby (pictured) is talking about pudding pops or cracking jokes on “Late Show with David Letterman,” I don’t want to hear it anymore. I try to avoid disrespecting my elders, but at this point Cosby, continues to belittle sects of our community without putting things in complete perspective. As much as he’s done in the way of advancing the images of Black people in the media in the past, there’s no excuse for that kind of behavior in the here and now.
Almost a decade ago, the comedy legend unleashed his tirade against poorer Black people, scolding parents as he claimed, ”The lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal. These people are not parenting. They are buying things for kids–$500 sneakers for what? And won’t spend $200 for `Hooked on Phonics.’”
I never understood how the creator of “Mushmouth” got away with this kind of commentary, but I digress.
Cosby’s latest criticism comes by way of an op-ed in the The New York Post. There, Cosby continues to sing a paean to personal responsibility — this time claiming that apathy is this generation’s greatest issue. Yes, at a time when Black people are voting more than Whites for the first time in history. Not long after the Occupy Wall Street Movement began. As if there aren’t Black children out protesting school closings in their neighborhoods across the country in 2013.
The system being broken isn’t the issue, our apathy is.
Once again, Cosby is speaking anecdotally and without facts, highlighting the peril of allowing people to lead public policy discussions centered on their emotions and personal experiences versus concrete data to back up their claims.
Like when he speaks about drugs in the Black community:
Now, if a White person does it, sells drugs to Black people, then we’re up in arms, then we’re marching, but when a Black person sells another Black person crack cocaine, heroin, or something that will give us addiction and cause us to not want to support our children and even give our children the same disease, nothing is said, nothing is done. But it has got to be hammered over and over.
So in all of his 75 years of walking the Earth, Bill Cosby’s never come across groups of Black people pissed at other Black people for selling drugs to their own? Not even during the height of the crack epidemic?
There’s also this random claim about the benevolence of some White people:
There were abolitionists who did more than a whole lot of Black people, abolitionist Asians, abolitionists of every color, some Jews, some Catholics, Irish, everybody joining in. They knew that racism and slavery is wrong — but they also knew that apathy is not good.
Uh, okay, but if you’re going to bring up the good some Whites have done for Black people, why not also indulge in topics like gentrification, racism, the school-to-prison pipeline, the foreclosure crisis, among other wrongs?