Sunday, December 19, 2004

MSNBC Hates Blacks

It's almost like I am living on another planet! How does a magazine find the nerve to criticize Bill Cosby by quoting a bunch of LOSER, SKANK, SELFISH, CUNT BITCHES saying that Cosby doesn't know what he's talking about:
Does Cosby Help?
He's railed at black kids for choosing bling over books. What they think—and what Cos must do to reach them
By Ellis Cose

Dec. 27 / Jan. 3 issue - You would think the story would have died by now. What's the big deal, after all, about Bill Cosby's blasting a bunch of poor kids and their parents? While the initial salvo was fired months ago, the aftershocks are still being felt. Columnists continue to harp on Cosby's statements, and the comedian has gone on a crusade, sermonizing across the land—and being received like a revered Biblical prophet.

"It is not all right for your 15-year-old daughter to have a child," he told 2,400 fans in a high school in Milwaukee. He lambasted young men in Baltimore for knocking up "five, six girls." He tongue-lashed single mothers in Atlanta for having sex within their children's hearing "and then four days later, you bring another man into the house." "The audience gasped," reported The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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.

Kenny, 17, a 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]." "Times are different" than in Cosby's heyday, said Sonia, 20. "Back then even if [men] worked at a factory they'd get up every day and go to a job in a suit. Nowadays ... most black males don't have good enough jobs."

But even the most hardened delinquents don't dispute that there is some truth in Cosby's message. When young black males (15-24) are murdered at 15 times the rate of young white males, something is seriously wrong. Cosby, to his credit, has said no to complacency.

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.


kitty said...

I didn't have the same take on the article as you. I didn't read it as criticism of Cosby per se; it was more like defining a monumental problem he has decided to broach.
"Somewhere along the line street culture became confused with black culture, which became confused with black (and, to some extent, Latino) identity, which created a set of expectations that dooms many young people to mediocrity, that makes them, in short, become the "knuckleheads" who get Cosby so riled up."

Smoke Eater said...

Personally, this will only serve to humiliate MSNBC. If they want to start something with Cos, he'll be there and he will come up with the "solutions" they want, but no one will want to hear it because his solution involves (gasp, dare I say it) HARD WORK! The problem he sees is not exclusive to minorities, it just seems to happen more (and on a larger scale) in the "ghetto" or low income areas of LARGE NORTHERN cities, where minorities are actually not the minority. I know plenty of white boys and girls who would do VERY WELL to listen to Cos. Hell, I USED TO BE ONE OF THEM, then my mom got ahold of me.

kitty said...

I totally agree that this problem is not a "minority" issue. It's also not a problem exclisive to poor people, either.

Pat said...

I did read it the same way Aaron did; the article writer seemed to be taking the attitude that these stupid kids were right and Cosby was wrong. I couldn't help shaking my head in amazement at the comment from the 17-year-old stickup man who says if somebody would give him food and time to pursue his education, fine, but otherwise he was going to "make sure I get something to eat".

STCA said...

Exactly, Pat. MSNBC will find any idiot teenager to say things against Bill Cosby--why? Because he's sounding too republican.

Anonymous said...

More Cosby and less Jessie Jackson is a great start. And though I have sympathy with you I recpectfully ask that you use language that the Cos would approve of.

I am new to your blog and am going to be recommending it but there are some that I will not recommend it to because of the language. There is TOO MUCH of it already.


Anonymous said...

heh cool blog you have here!

I noticed you have a nice blog, read all of your links kept me interested for a good time! well done :)

Thanks for a good read instead of some of the other stuff people post here!

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