29.7.04

At least someone is trying to do something

Bill Cosby's creating quite the furor these days. In several speeches he's taken the black community to task for the lack of ambition and education and behavior of the younger generation: Bill Cosby Was (Mostly) Right ("Over the years, comedic icon Bill Cosby has taken on some humorous characters —Fat Albert and Dr. Cliff Huxtable come to mind—and shaped American culture for the better. But in his latest role, Cosby the prophet is excoriating young black culture, urging African Americans to take responsibility for their lives and to stop blaming the "white man."").

While some in the community are blasting him for his comments, others are defending him for speaking out: "There are problems that handicap poor minority children that we must keep fighting, but the most important now may well be "attitude." So I come back to Bill Cosby. I believe that his call to action came out of a deep heartfelt despair about what he sees happening to inner city youngsters. He has tried so hard himself to fight their problems with too little evidence of success. Getting angry at him won't solve their problems. I wish I knew what would help. But I do know that refusing to look realistically at the situation and not requiring students to earn their diplomas will not help." (Getting angry at Bill Cosby won't solve the problems).

Usually I think that entertainers should do just that - entertain - and not use their celebrity to express political or social views (anyone remember Meryl Streep and the alar fiasco?) But in this case, I'm 100% behind Mr. Cosby. Even if Boondocks isn't.

2 comments:

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Aravis said...

I've been told that Bill Cosby also holds a Ph.D in child psychology and therefore not only has a right to speak out on such issues, but the knowledge to back it up. Perhaps that is why he resonates as genuine. At any rate, I agreed with what he had to say, as painful as it must have been to say or to hear.