Monday, July 05, 2004

What's up with the Cos? Or why people are outraged without considering what he was saying. After reviewing the material posted in reaction to Cosby's speech since the full text of the speech is apparently not available, he raised certain, shall we say "delicate," issues, and has been tarred with "Black elitist" among other lesser angry labels. To the extent that I understand the gist of his speech from the excepts, he, in my opinion, was more accurately striking at the hypocrisy of both black elitism and sanitized, liberal racism. I just wish he would stop wearing sunglasses all the time. Lower income families in general are in major crisis, and have been for quite awhile, and we must be honest because this problem predates Chimpy. In addressing the issues around the 50th anniversary of the Brown decision, I think his point was more on the order of naming the fact that we as a society that has come to accept a two track public education system, rural and inner city in the impoverished category and more wealth suburban schools as the other. And all of this is a way of dodging the inequities that the ruling sought to remedy. Cosby's point I believe is that if African American low income people are ever to achieve upward income mobility they have to take themselves and the culture outside of the neighborhood seriously. Racism is a barrier, but there are also cultural and class barriers within and outside of the African American community which are tolerated to the point of damage and self destruction. Part of that process is taking education more seriously and not accepting the pernicious influences of drug dealers as cultural heros. A nurturing public education system has in the abstract the possibility of assisting an individual when their peers and family are entirely dysfunctional. White liberals and actual black elitists typically deal with such issues from a safe distance. The subversion Of the Brown decision and the underfunding of low income area schools should be taken as an inditement of our hypocrisy as a society and blog writers such as myself are not excempt from this as well. Now it is both a class and race issue rather than only a race issue, though if American society and civil rights organizations intend to honor their mission we need even more activism relative to what is happening to low income African American families. As such Cosby's comments were probably well directed, if not appreciated.
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