After going through a series of comments I was making with some fellow black bloggers with whom I respect the opinions of I thought about the content of the discussion and decided to post my feelings on the matter. The post which we were all typing away on was called “Yuk it up Mr Cosby” centered on the controversy of Cosby and Whitlock and the fact that they disparage the black community in what can be conceived as faint attempts to help our community out.
When I thought about the things they say and how they are interpreted by non black people I find that they are not helping us but hurting us by adding fuel to the raging fire. This is because all too frequently I hear white people who want to diminish blatant racism by stating “well Cosby said…” and “Jason (Whitlock) said that.” The fact that what Bill Cosby and Jason Whitlock say aren’t aimed at the majority of blacks. Yet I have never once heard them speak this fact.
They say that they are saying these things out of love and care for the black community. If I wanted to help the black community I don’t think that I would bother writing a book or touring around on white run TV shows such as Larry King. The fact is that poor blacks whom these admonishments are normally being thrown at don’t watch these shows. I would go and tour the communities in question book a community center and bring a couple of big name stars they want to see. Offer it for free and actually speak to those people and tell them what “I” feel they need to do to improve them and their children’s lives.
But to constantly sit in front of Joe White and his wife telling them the ills of the poor black community serves absolutely no point. I might be inclined to agree with some and I mean a slim few points made by Cosby. I don’t think that Whitlock knows what the hell he is talking about but that is just me. Now, the main problem I have about what Cosby is telling these people is that all that is needed for poor blacks is good food, a lot of talking and saving their money. I think that he needs to get his feet dirty and walk in these people’s shoes for a little while.
Good food isn’t always available, I just did a post on the fact that in some of these black neighborhood grocery stores and I mean large chain stores, you can’t always find healthy alternatives. It is like they are making the food choices for you. Not to mention it takes actual education for these people to make correct food choices. I haven’t seen television shows aimed at blacks that actually addresses these issues. But I see a plethora of black stars on commercials for fast food not to mention every fast food chain is explaining why we should indulge there instead.
Talking to your kids is a must, I agree with his assertion on that one. You can’t get around good communication. Yet, if you are coming from dysfunction you pretty much only know dysfunction. So, wouldn’t you and I think that what it will take is education? Again it falls back to education. You can’t just spout off to people who already know or people who do not represent those you speak of and think that this is somehow going to make change happen. I can’t talk to the people at work about my neighbor’s dirty yard and think that this is somehow going to get him/her to move their butt and clean it up. They aren’t really privy to what I am trying to say.
Saving money isn’t even on the horizon. I know that if I were working for minimum wage with the two kids I have I wouldn’t be able to save a dime and that is just basic mathematics. Maybe we need to look into trying to do more education. That isn’t rocket science. We have to do more than just chastise. We know that doesn’t work. Or at least those with kids know that chastising a kid won’t get them to do what you want. You have to take a proactive stance in getting things done.
So the reason why I can’t get behind what Cosby or Whitlock says is the fact that it is big money to tell the wrong people what is wrong with the poor black community albeit most of the message is bogus. Cosby wants to seem caring and talk all of this rhetoric yet what does he really stand behind? Things such as Coca Cola, Jell-O and Fat Albert! Those things don’t do one thing to lift blacks out of their predicaments. I know that this is unpopular and that these blacks should pull the bootstraps etc.
But, these people don’t have bootstraps. They are poor, un or under educated, saddled with debt, low self esteem, depression and fantasies about a lifestyle they are not privy to. And writing a book or telling their woes to Larry King is somehow going to get them to put it in gear is just as silly as it sounds. Getting your hands dirty and I don’t mean with the ink from the books you write and all the money you will collect from it. I mean from actually working and getting to know the people that you are demonizing.