Yeah, I know I'm a couple of months late, but I really hadn't thought much about this issue. You may recall that I made a pact to stay away from political issues. Especially those that seem to strike a nerve in our community. Cosby has been a public icon for many years. Even his bizarre Fat Albert characters made a resurgence in the Hip-Hop culture, as they were found on more than a few t-shirts in the hood. Perhaps he his best known for his work on the 'Cosby Show' and 'Different World'.
Probably least known is the fact the he is an activist and philanthropist to Historically Black Colleges and Universities. In fact, he came to my alma mater, FAMU, and dropped $600K. Having done all of this 'good' for the community, I must say that I'm puzzled about his recent comments.
Judging by the conversation on various lists to which I subscribe, many people have an opinion of sorts. So I figured, I'd contribute my $0.02 cents.
I happen to believe that many affluent people tend to forget how difficult it is to change the socio-economic condition. It is quite rare for a middle-class person to become a multi-millionaire in a generation. As such, it is typical for their offspring to mimic the socio-economic condition of their ancestors. Likewise is true for impoverished people. To paraphrase Cos's words "Lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal. These people are not parenting. They are buying things for kids – $500 sneakers for what? And won't spend $200 for 'Hooked on Phonics.' ". Well Bill, it's quite simple, the value systems are quite different in the hood than in Beverly Hills. Yes, I would agree that these 'ideas' must change if the cycle of poverty is to be broken, but you don't resolve the problem by addressing the symptoms.
Bottom Line: The view from above is quite different. Methinks, Cos is a victim of this rarified air. Wealth and prestige can do that to you.
The essay below is a well-argued rebuttal to Cosby's diatribe.