Gut Rumbles

November 07, 2007

Notice the reaction

Originally published June 4, 2004

I've admired Bill Cosby since I was a kid. The man is a brillant comedian, a great actor and a fine father. He also got a college education and took the road to success at a time when it was much more difficult than it is today for a black man to do it.

Have you ever noticed that he can do a one-hour comedy routine, have the audience rolling in the aisles and NEVER use the word "motherfucker?" In fact, Cosby doesn't cuss on stage at all, except for that hilarious story about believing his name was "Dammit" when he was a boy, because his father always yelled, "Dammit! Come here to me!" when young Coz was in trouble. (Wasn't Coz also convinced that his brother was named "Jesus Christ" because that's how dad called his brother to task? "Jesus Christ! Yeah, you. Not YOU, dammit. The other one. Jesus Christ, come here to me!")

Cosby said some things that a lot of black people and guilty liberals don't want to hear. I am not surprised that the speech he gave didn't get a lot of coverage. It was politically incorrect.

The guy who really nailed the Cosby story was Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service editor Gregory Clay. He witnessed Cosby's speech, and penned an op-ed. Clay wrote, "Cosby openly chastised some black people for our dirty, little secrets. We are exposed.... Cosby broke the black code.... Give Cosby credit for having the guts to voice his displeasure at such a regal event.... Some have said Cosby is pitting lower-income blacks against middle- and upper-class blacks. That's silly. Cosby's central theme simply was this: Better parenting and educational achievement are in black people's best interest, and some have failed miserably. Don't let the Brown case die on the vine. We have to admit this; it's about survival."

I've beat this drum before and received a lot of flack about it. But I don't care. I WANT to see black people succeed in the USA. I WANT this place to be a true melting pot, a gumbo of every cultural ingredient anybody can bring to the party and throw in the stew. I WANT to see rich, prosperous people all around me, and I don't care what color they are.

But blacks will never get to the party if they stay on the track they've been following for the past 40 years. Illegitimate births. Gangs. Ghettos. Prison. Murder in the street because somebody "dissed" you. Wearing pants around your goddam knees with only boxer shorts covering your ass. Illiteracy. Dropping out of school. Becoming "street-wise" instead of educated. Crack cocaine.

That IS NOT the path to success, people, and when society either turns a blind eye or condemns you as a racist for saying so, we're in a world of trouble. I don't give a damn what the Democrats say--- I know one thing for a fact. NOBODY can help someone who isn't willing to help himself.

Just look at Bill Cosby. He is rich, successful and he also has the intelligence to recognize a problem when he sees it. But when he speaks his mind, he is ignored or chastised for doing so. There are some things you just don't say in this free country, because the truth pisses people off.

I don't buy that philosophy.

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