Thursday, December 23, 2004

A Man on a Mission

Earlier this year Bill Cosby took some heat for saying some pretty obvious things like:

Cosby blasted "lower-economic people" for "not holding up their end," for buying kids $500 sneakers instead of "Hooked on Phonics."
Other comments pointed to some fairly common pathologies in lower class communities (black or white) like poor grammar, lack of concern over education, and the epidemic nature of single motherhood (critisizing both the women for making themselves available and the men for abdicating responsibility).

Now he is back in public again and if anything is turning it up a little. Newsweek's idea of a hard hitting story on the subject:

Does Cosby Help?
He's railed at black kids for choosing bling over books. What they thinkā€”and what Cos must do to reach them
Step one: Miss the entire point of Cosby's message. He is not speaking to the kids. He is speaking to their parents and grandparents and saying: you are responsible for these kids; clean up your act, help them clean up theirs.

Step two: interview hoodlum kids about whether Cosby's message resonates with them.

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.

Good thinking. On the one hand we could listen to the lessons of a black man who grew up in the face of far greater adversity than what kids today face, a man with a PhD in education who devoted his life to teaching people through the medium of television and went out of his way to promote the idea that blacks could be integral upstanding members of society, all the while becoming fantastically successful. On the other hand we can listen to "Kenny, 17, a onetime stick-up man".

"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."

Yeah, the 50s and 60s were heady times for blacks in America. Truly the glory years. See, because Cosby is of a certain age, he is far too polite to lay into these idjits with the truth. And because of the very ignorance Cosby complains of, these kids genuinely believe that life in America today is much worse for blacks than the America of 50 years ago.

The article goes on to (in the parlance of modern liberalism) "educate" Cosby about all the problems kids today face completely missing the point that what he is doing is addressing all these issues head on.

It's always easier to make excuses than to take action. Just ask Newsweek.


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