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Doctor recommended for optimal cerebral hygiene 

Bootstraps, anyone?

Friday, July 02, 2004

Very interesting stuff brewing in the African-American community. Just when you thought it was the politically correct thing to do as a white male, to blame racism for the ongoing struggles of blacks in America, Bill Cosby upsets the apple cart and says there's no excuse.

During Thursday's speech, Cosby said his detractors were not facing the facts about poor black communities and were just trying to cover up what he called their "dirty laundry."

"Let me tell you something, your dirty laundry gets out of school at 2:30 every day, it's cursing and calling each other n----r as they're walking up and down the street," he said.

Cosby continued railing about the state of black youth in America. "They think they're hip," he said. "They can't read; they can't write. They're laughing and giggling, and they're going nowhere."

To African-American men, Cosby ranted, "Stop beating up your women because you can't find a job."

He complained about rap music: "When you put on a record, and that record is yelling 'n----r this' and 'n----r that' and cursing all over the thing and you got your little six-year-old and seven-year-old sitting in the back seat of the car--those children hear that. And I am telling you when you put the CD on and then you get up and dance to it What are you saying to your children?"

And he also ripped into sitcoms targeting African-American audiences: "Comedians coming on TV [saying,] 'I am so ugly, you are ugly, yuck, yuck.' That's all minstrel show stuff. I am tired of it."

"I can't even talk the way these people talk, 'Why you ain't,' 'Where you is'...and I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk," Cosby said in May. "And then I heard the father talk...Everybody knows it's important to speak English except these knuckleheads. You can't be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth."

On Thursday, Cosby further elaborated his thoughts on the subject, saying once again that white people aren't to blame for teen pregnancy and high-school dropout rates.

"For me there is a time...when we have to turn the mirror around," he said. "Because for me it is almost analgesic to talk about what the white man is doing against us. And it keeps a person frozen in their seat, it keeps you frozen in your hole you're sitting in."

Easier said than done coming from a very wealthy man? I don't know. Does he minimize the very real impact of ongoing racism and socioeconomic inequality clearly held in place by a dominant white power structure? Could be. Does what he say have value? No doubt. It is not 'Uncle Tom' to take a hard look at how racism and inequality become internalized by the oppressed, to examine how this internalization often manifests as irrational, sometimes self-destructive behavior and cultural trends.

It took guts for Cosby to take this stance and I'm glad Jesse Jackson is supporting him.