Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Great minds think alike

After I posted my thoughts on The Cos, one of my friends sent me his take on it. If you haven't heard of Boyce you should check him out. He is an up and coming scholar who writes provocative and critical essays on what's going on. He is often called "The peoples scholar".

Five Reasons Black People Don’t Listen to Bill.Cosby


My questions for Dr. Huxtable, as he engages in his ego-maniacal "reign of terror", completed in celebration of his latest cure for 400 years worth of social ills would be listed below. Of course, Bill would never have a conversation with any scholar with the ability to rip his ideas apart. His only response (on the "O" Show, with no dissenters present) is "My critics are all crazy". Sounds like a doctor to me....Here are my questions for "The Cos":

1) Why does Bill only have the courage to blame black people for racial inequality? The baby of racial inequality has both a mother and a father. Sorry Bill, you can’t just beat up on the group that can’t fight you back. You have to be a bigger man than that.

2) Bill: Ask yourself this question: Why does a man considered to be “America’s dad”, only feel comfortable addressing the white community when you are telling jokes or dogging your own people? Perhaps that is the only time they will allow you to speak. What better time to address white America for their role in the creation of racial inequality, than during trips to “Meet the Press”? Bill, do you think more whites than blacks watch that show? Why not talk to the people who are watching?

3) If Bill were to address white America and its institutions as harshly as he addresses blacks, how fast would he be UNINVITED to Meet The Press? Dr. Huxtable would suddenly be as out of favor as OJ Simpson. Even the strongest puppy doesn’t bite the hand that feeds him, as Bill has spent many decades eating from the hands of major corporations and media conglomerates who helped create the very problems he is upset about. Like many other "mainstream" African-Americans, Cosby knows full well that any perceived assault on American institutions would lead him to be black-balled from the predominantly white media outlets and right-wing organizations that are cheering him on today.

4) You say that you don’t talk to white America because they won’t listen to your comments? Well guess what Bill, BLACK PEOPLE don’t listen EITHER. Why not speak in a way that challenges both individual behavior and institutional infrastructure? The same way corporations change their business behavior based on IRS rules, individuals change their behavior based on opportunities available, the quality of the school systems, etc. You can't talk about the individual's choices without talking about the individual's options. Bill and O's ridiculously simple-minded analyses of complex social problems is reflective of the growing gap between the rich and poor in the black community. THEY DO NOT REPRESENT ALL BLACK PEOPLE, especially the poor, whom they spend no time listening to. They only feel the need to preach.

5) It’s always easiest to attack poor, single black mothers, because they are not invited onto talk shows to defend themselves. Cosby has learned that verbally abusing women and children is an easy way to feel strong and self-righteous. Even among black people, how often has he mentioned BET and his buddy Bob Johnson for their role in creating a generation of hoochie-mamas and wannabe thugs? Oh, I forgot, it’s all their parents’ faults, even though many of them are working 12 hours a day at minimum wage, something that Cosby knows little about. Don't you think that if it were that easy to create such a perfect and wonderful life, people would already be doing it? Perhaps someone has persuaded Cosby that the perceived cultural inferiority of black people is quite real, for this is the ONLY message he communicates in his constant ranting to mainstream media.

Bill, in order to solve a problem, mathematics says that you must work on both sides of the equation. Why you are afraid to challenge America’s institutions, but boldly go after black mothers and children is beyond me. It is not productive to walk in the middle of a fight and tell one of the kids that he is wrong, while allowing the other kid to go off and play. But then again, that’s the way the black kids are always treated in our school systems, as we learned in the Jena 6 case.

One can’'t be sure who is worse: Bill, who engages in the non-sensical and unproductive act of complaining about black people in front of predominantly white audiences, or the scientist James Watson, who said that he can prove that black people are genetically inferior to whites. What is scary is that Watson would listen to the words of Cosby and agree with him 100%....did you notice that Bill O'Reilly likes Bill Cosby too?

When a proven racist agrees 100% with what you are saying about your own people, perhaps that should give you a moment of pause. But it doesn't appear that Cosby is pausing....he spends too much time flapping his gums. As a professor, I have a saying "When you are 100% teacher and 0% student, you are 100% idiot." I wish he were still telling those corny jokes.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Finance Professor at Syracuse University and author of “What if George Bush were a Black Man?” He makes regular appearances in national media, including CNN, ESPN, CBS and NBC. For more information, please visit www.boycewatkins.com.

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