The Cos' Cause (It's a Retro Notion, so Please Read!)

Saturday, October 20, 2007
Bill Cosby’s mad as hell, and he’s not going to take it anymore! The Cos (looking more like Stevie Wonder because of an eye problem) recently appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show to talk about his new co-authored book, "Come On People: On the Path from Victims to Victors" and the detrimental values of modern society, particularly in the African American communities. Cosby spoke about violence, school dropouts, and the lack of parenting going on today. Clips were shown from a blunt but truthful speech that he gave in 2004 at the 50th Anniversary commemoration of the Brown vs Topeka Board of Education Supreme Court Decision, which later became dubbed the Ghettoesburg Address. Here’s an excerpt from that speech:

"Ladies and gentlemen, these people set, they opened the doors, they gave us the right, and today, ladies and gentlemen, in our cities and public schools we have fifty percent drop out. In our own neighborhood, we have men in prison. No longer is a person embarrassed because they’re pregnant without a husband. (clapping) No longer is a boy considered an embarrassment if he tries to run away from being the father of the unmarried child (clapping)

50 percent drop out rate, I’m telling you, and people in jail, and women having children by five, six different men. Under what excuse, I want somebody to love me, and as soon as you have it, you forget to parent. Grandmother, mother, and great grandmother in the same room, raising children, and the child knows nothing about love or respect of any one of the three of them (clapping). All this child knows is “gimme, gimme, gimme.” These people want to buy the friendship of a child….and the child couldn’t care less. Those of us sitting out here who have gone on to some college or whatever we’ve done, we still fear our parents (clapping and laughter). And these people are not parenting. They’re buying things for the kid. $500 sneakers, for what? They won’t buy or spend $250 on Hooked on Phonics. (clapping)

Are you not paying attention, people with their hat on backwards, pants down around the crack? Isn’t that a sign of something, or are you waiting for Jesus to pull his pants up (laughter and clapping ). Isn’t it a sign of something when she’s got her dress all the way up to the crack…and got all kinds of needles and things going through her body. What part of Africa did this come from? (laughter). We are not Africans. Those people are not Africans, they don’t know a damned thing about Africa. With names like Shaniqua, Shaligua, Mohammed and all that crap and all of them are in jail. (When we give these kinds names to our children, we give them the strength and inspiration in the meaning of those names. What’s the point of giving them strong names if there is not parenting and values backing it up)."

Cosby said further on Oprah: "It's not what they're doing to us. It's what we're not doing...Brown vs. the Board of Education—these people who marched and were hit in the face with rocks and punched in the face to get an education, and we've got these knuckleheads walking around who don't want to learn English. I know you all know it, but I just want to get you as angry as you ought to be," he said.

The reason I’m mentioning this on a retro blog is because, to me, the Cos’ idea of parenting IS retro. There just doesn’t seem to be enough of it going on in the year 2007, and it’s not restricted to just African Americans, either. What would the people who were parents during the 1950s and 1960s have thought if they got to look into the television of the future and saw Supernanny? I’m sure they would’ve thought the fact that in the 21st century people don’t know how to discipline their kids and teach them to be decent human beings ludicrous. Yet that’s exactly what’s going on today, and it is pathetic with a capital P. And no one seems to care.

Except for Cosby. So I say way to go, Bill! And his entire 2004 speech is well worth checking out on this site:

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