Black People : August 2004: Bill Cosby, Poor Logic and Charlatanism

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by Gary C. Booker, Aug 22, 2004.

  1. Gary C. Booker

    Gary C. Booker Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Apr 27, 2003
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    Freelance Writer, Researcher
    The Mantidote

    August 2004

    Bill Cosby: An example of faulty logic, poor scholarship, tokenism and Charlatanism.

    It feels good being back after a year hiatus. Sorry folks. A year of Americorps can have you busy like crazy. As those of you who have been following my commentary writings know, I am not a pure theorist. I believe, as any scientist should, that one must back theory with experimentation and testing in order to credit any validity to any postulation. I have made several statements about youth work in the past, including how to properly educate a black child in science and mathematics. My theory is backed by practice in four different states of the union. I try to avoid discussing things I do not know at least a little bit about.

    Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out here that don’t understand this. One of those people is Mr. William Cosby… the comedian and writer of the Cosby show as well as Fat Albert and the Cosby kids. Recently, Mr. Cosby has decided to continue is campaign to go from being “America’s Granddad” to becoming America’s newest and truest Negro-With-Ego by going on a series of rants about what black people are and are not doing… and again, I shake my head with disgust. Not Surprise, but disgust at how a nation of people that are supposedly so thoroughly educated could not look at the atmosphere of today’s media… presidents campaigning to bomb the living hell out of a country over blatantly obviously non-existent weapons-of-mass destruction, repulsive nonsense called “reality TV” and celebrity TV stars being spokesman for black people… and get away with it.

    “The slavemaster took Tom and dressed him well, and fed him well, and even gave him a little education -- a little education; gave him a long coat and a top hat and made all the other slaves look up to him. Then he used Tom to control them. The same strategy that was used in those days is used today, by the same white man. He takes a Negro, a so-called Negro, and make him prominent, build him up, publicize him, make him a celebrity. And then he becomes a spokesman for Negroes -- and a Negro leader.”

    - Malcolm X, Message To The Grassroots (1963)


    For those of you who do not know, Bill Cosby lives in a huge mansion along a isolated road in Shelburne Falls, MA... a Western Massachusetts town with a lily-white population. His brother owns a nursery in Atlanta, GA full of disenfranchised young blacks and Bill has never been that way to support his brother’s operation, which could grow into a Montessori-like school for young blacks growing up near the Allison Court area. His choices of college donations are financially elitist. Now, Bill offered to bail Morris Brown College out of its financial slump on the condition that he is allowed to check his books and I don’t blame him. It’s really unfortunate that MBC, a school with a fine faculty and brilliant minded students seeking to combine their desires for helping their people with their desire to become better educated, be ruined by administration members who have no interest in anything but robbing our people deaf dumb and blind.

    But wait a minute…

    I think Cosby should have taken this in mind before he went on his rant about how blacks need to stop doing ignorant things and become “better educated.” The members of the Morris Brown College Administration board were highly educated. That still didn’t stop administration officials from spending precious money on coming to work everyday in a different type of stretch limousine everyday, from stretch Benzes to stretch Hummers. The word “education” comes from the Latin root word Educar, which means to lead. The question we should ask is this: Is someone that (1) does not have enough sense to steal themselves out of a job and (2) does not have enough vision to see the long-term destructive repercussions of such an act really educated?

    Furthermore, he goes to college commencement ceremonies and makes comments like "Well, let me tell you... you haven’t done S***" to the graduates (all of Cosby`s degrees are honorary, btw). Therein lies a contradiction. I don’t believe Cosby, in the mist of all of his diatribes compared to the books that he has written, realizes this… again any true logic-literate person realizes that they must look for contradictions within their own argument, which is the first sign of an fallacy in your argument.

    So what exactly does Mr. Cosby call “becoming educated?” He criticizes young black people for having bad diction (I guess he thinks no students at Mohawk Trail Regional School and Greenfield High School have bad diction). Oh… people with good diction aren’t unemployed and underemployed, are they? I’ve seen PhD’s in Western Mass working in CVS… or maybe I was just freebasing in my sleepwalking adventures the night before I decided to go people who work in jobs where the uneducated and inarticulate work, right? Of course I was. Perhaps this is what Cosby means by his favorite “You haven’t done S***” liners when addressing black college graduates… but let us move on.

    According to Cosby, we aren’t taking advantage of hard-won opportunities from the civil rights movement. And what opportunities might that be? Is it the new jobs? Statistics from the U.S. Census don’t support that claim, and in fact, they refute it. Do the research for yourself, and here are a few places that you can start:

    United For A Fair Economy’s “State Of The Dream 2004 Report”

    USA Today Article on Black Unemployment - Job hunt gets harder for African-Americans

    Myth of Black Progress by Dr. Alphonso Pinkey

    The Myth of Black Progress

    The Myth of Black Progress [Alphonso Pinkney] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. In this important analysis of the status of black Americans since the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Professor Alphonso Pinkey refutes the popular...

    The University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee’s Center for Economic Development and its study of unemployment in Milwaukee since 1990.

    UW-Milwaukee: Center for Economic Development - Home Page

    The Center for Economic Development provides policy research and technical assistance that contributes to the retention and expansion of employment in Southeastern Wisconsin.

    “Black college men end up just a few dollars ahead of whites who went no further than high school.”


    “From 1939 to 1959, the earnings of black men relative to whites improved by over one third. However, from 1972 to 1992, the relative earnings of black men tapered off---and this was the period of affirmative action.”

    Information on site drawn from Andrew Hackner’s Two Nations


    If you are going to make comments about what goes on in “the hood,” you have to first know what you are talking about. People who do not understand the happenings of the 107 Hoover and East Coast Crip conflict should not talk about what needs to be done about black gang violence in South Central Los Angeles. Someone who has never spent time volunteering in South Atlanta High School or Minnie S. Howell Elementary School should not be talking about how to improve public education for black youth in the Atlanta Public School System in Atlanta, GA. Black Students from Atlanta Public Schools have outperformed their white counterparts in science fairs and forensic debates numerous times. Does Mr. Cosby think that there are no blacks at Crenshaw High School in Los Angeles that do not strive to make good grades but just want to be like Nelly (who now owns a part of the Charlotte Bobcats, BTW) or Trina? Shoot, from my experience there have been plenty of times where I have found black youth in today’s high schools that listened to other things besides pop rap, contrary to what Mr. Cosby says about black youth hurling at once to imitate rappers. I am not saying there aren’t any 50 Cent wannabes out there because there are (and I agree that the images of pop rappers are damaging to the self-images of black people)… but every black youth in America isn’t trying to be 50 Cent.

    I have never met an “at-risk” black youth, black convict or drug-addict that came out of the womb and told the doctor, “Hey, now wassup partnah, guess what? I am going to grow old and be a sorry mofo! I am never going to be educated. Instead, I am going to use drugs and sell dope!” Maybe Mr. Cosby has, but from my experience babies are born with nothing but instinct. Babies are so quick to put things in their mouths because it is a part of their instinctual learning system to analyze things with all five senses. It isn’t until several months when a baby first learns to speak or even walk.

    Albert Einstein could not walk until he was 5. The man grew older and, after surviving teachers that enjoyably flunked him and dismissed him as a retard, postulated the theory of special relativity. Imagine how many young black minds with such potential were ruined by what Dead Prez (who doesn’t promote “Blimg Blimg” in their songs) calls “They Schools.” Here’s some black history for you… most black inventors before the civil rights movement, including the multi-patent holding super-inventor Granville T. Woods, did not finish grade school. Instead, they worked in the real world and self-educated themselves along the way. After the so-called civil rights movement (I say so called because it really hasn’t ended), black baby boomers sent their kids to school to get “new opportunities” in a system that had made very little changes to the white supremacist curriculum that existed before the civil rights movement. Instead of learning about white serial killers called “American forefathers” 12 months a year, we learn about them 11 months a year while taking one month to do some black history crossword puzzles. Is that what Medgar Evers took a bullet for in Mississippi?

    Black youth would not have to depend on the media as heavily as they do if they had access to a real educational system. The system that nobody learns is real, because whites are taught a feel-good HIS-story. They are not taught about the ancient black African scientist Imhotep, the relics and the advanced blacksmithing of Zimbabwe, the mathematical sophistication of the Yoruba number system, or the Astronomical Genius of the Dogon of Mali. They are not even taught (or fully taught) about the biochemical genius of George Washington Carver, the Physics Genius of Benjamin Banneker, or the Mathematical Genius of Kathryn G. Johnson. One might respond, “Well they can get this stuff at home!” How does that happen when both parents are at work most of the time and then spend what little time they have at home with their kids fighting over J. C. Penny Bills? People did not criticize The Cosby Show for being unrealistic because nobody thought black people could be educated or have money, but because most families did not interact with each other like that and the sociological conditions of Black America were far more intense.

    Dr. Huxtable seemed to go totally unaffected by the influx of drugs and fully automatic weapons into the black community as a result of the Iran-Contra affair (courtesy of our dearly beloved friend and saintly “promoter of peace” Ronald Reagan). Before the 1980’s, black gangs had to break into homes to get weapons, rob and steal to fund themselves and there were no “Ballers.” Only the numbers runners and pimps truly made money off organized crime. However, the 80’s brought a change to this. Gangsters now had access to crack cocaine to sell and fully automatic AK-47’s, Tec 9’s and Mac-10 Uzi’s to defend their assets. Why didn’t these brothers just go get jobs? Uh… hmmm, I guess people forgot what the economy was like during the Reagan and Bush Sr. years. Does the word “Reaganomics” ring a bell? Does Mr. Cosby recall the assaults upon the Civil Rights act of 1964 (that Cosby says we should take advantage of) ring a bell by the Reagan Administration? Dr. Huxtable never seemed to be affected by that, either.

    Then again, I shouldn’t expect to get views on Black America from television or from Mr. Cosby. He’s not a sociologist. He’s not a teacher. He’s not a social worker. He’s not a community volunteer. He’s an actor. He does not have the qualifications to make the statements that he has made because he does not have the experience to validate them. Going to talk at a commencement ceremony or making an appearance does not compensate for thousands of hours working with a child; dealing with his/her emotional trials and tribulations, being there to be a shoulder to cry on when a relative dies, being extra help to assist with learning times tables, and continuously encouraging the study of black history. Sylvester Stallone’s appearances in Rambo does not give him the qualifications to advise a Navy SEAL team in Iraq on demolitions operations. Ice T’s appearance in New Jack City does not give him the qualifications to teach search and seizure to Narcotics police. Bill Cosby’s role in The Cosby Show does not give him the qualifications to advise the improvement of black America.

    The Difference between Cosby and people like and Sister Souljah is that the former is mainly a celebrity, and the latter is both a celebrity and a community worker. Perhaps Cosby should follow his own advice when he tells people that they should volunteer across the street rather than go to Africa. If he did, then he’d realize that there are several organizations doing just that. Why, then is the condition of Black America still worsening? I’ll leave that to my readers to answer.

    What Bill Cosby is doing is nothing more than Charlatanism. Cosby needs to let the REAL experts (Jawanza Kunjufu, Maya Angelou, Cornell West, and the many different hard working teachers striving to push their black students to excel) handle these matters and keep his moth shut, because his unintelligent babbling is giving white politicians justification of attacking our community. He is essentially doing nothing more to impress his lipservice liberal and moderate conservative friends. This is dangerous. Because he is somewhat of an icon to many disillusioned middle class blacks, he can be easily be twisted into a spokesman for blacks by the media as he has been in the past. If it were Alan Keyes or Condolezza Rice making these statements, we’d jump all over her. Their alignment with the Republi-CON party makes where they stand obvious. But Cosby is the case of the zig-zagging mainstream black man. When will we put a stop to this?
    Delicia Hagen
  2. $$RICH$$

    $$RICH$$ Lyon King Admin. STAFF

    United States
    Mar 21, 2001
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    BUSINESS owner
    very good point to hear more from you and new updates on articles
    of yours here
  3. 1poetsought

    1poetsought Well-Known Member MEMBER

    United States
    Jan 14, 2003
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    The Lone-Star State
    Mr. Booker, I applaud you and Dr. Cosby, the dialogue, I find most stimulating.