Flutterby™! : Cosby on culture

Next unread comment / Catchup all unread comments User Account Info | Logout | XML/Pilot/etc versions | Long version (with comments) | Weblog archives | Site Map | | Browse Topics

Cosby on culture

2008-04-13 21:15:24.941639+00 by Dan Lyke 8 comments

'This Is How We Lost To The White Man': The audacity of Bill Cosby's black conservatism.

Then he attacked African American naming traditions, and the style of dress among young blacks: "Ladies and gentlemen, listen to these people. They are showing you what's wrong ... What part of Africa did this come from? We are not Africans. These people are not Africans. They don'st know a damned thing about Africa- with names like Shaniqua, Shaliqua, Mohammed, and all that crap, and all of them are in jail." About then, people began to walk out of the auditoriam and cluster in the lobby. There was still cheering, but some guests milled around and wondered what had happened. Some thought old age had gotten the best of Cosby. The mood was one of shock.

I'm not sure that as a privileged white guy with no connections to modern day "black culture" (aside from the occasional ironic use of "Damn it's good to be a gangsta") I have any particular perspective, however, I think Cosby's message is one that needs to be applied to our culture, white, black, Hispanic or whatever, en-mass.

Lest anyone think that "gangsta" culture is just a detriment to those of African ancestry, this idiot looks white.

[ related topics: Sociology Current Events Race ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2008-04-14 00:32:06.568019+00 by: Mark A. Hershberger

Actually, googling on his last name, I'm betting on Hispanic.

But, yeah, not black.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-04-14 01:41:26.266+00 by: JT

Mark, My last name is Torres but quite a few people think I'm white judging only by looks.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-04-14 02:30:23.334723+00 by: ziffle

oh my; so soon?

#Comment Re: made: 2008-04-14 02:44:06.250038+00 by: ebradway

Umm... Why do you think Joseph Manzanares should look black? According to the article, that's the issue - he's Hispanic and his girlfriend is African-American. They are disagreeing over whether their child should become part of an African-American or Hispanic gang.

The teen mother, who is black, is a member of the Crips. Manzanares is Hispanic and belongs to the Westside Ballers gang, the woman said.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-04-14 12:56:28.633578+00 by: JT

Mark, sorry. Now that I've re-read this with eyes that are more awake, I saw the African comment in Dan's post. After a long weekend of hiking in the redwoods, I should avoid reading and commenting on things until after a proper nap and shower.


#Comment Re: made: 2008-04-15 00:44:27.52867+00 by: mvandewettering

I'm thinking that Cosby is referring to what I have begun to call "the lottery mentality". Consider the prevalent role models for successful African-Americans. The media is full of the following stereotypes: a) the rap star b) the athlete or c) the gangster. But quite frankly, to a first approximation, 0% of people who try to enter these fields have any tangible economic success in these endeavors. Those that do are basically lottery winners. Their success doesn't reflect any increase in prosperity to communities. It doesn't create new business or educational opportunities. It just enables a very, very few to buy more shoes than any individual should have.

Society is going seriously off the rails. It's not just among African Americans. The middle class of America is drifting down as earnings erode and unemployment increases, and ultimately people begin to think that trying to win the lottery is the only reasonable way they have to escape the poverty in which they find themselves. Cosby is old enough to remember that African Americans had a better future in mind for themselves as they struggled for civil rights.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-04-15 02:29:37.441542+00 by: meuon

"Cosby is old enough to remember that African Americans had a better future in mind for themselves as they struggled for civil rights." - He remembers the original dream.

There's always been a gleam of intelligent truth in Bill Cosby's humor, it's more than a gleam when he talks about humanity and race.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-04-15 18:01:53.367841+00 by: Dan Lyke

JT, after a long weekend of hiking in the redwoods, arguments could be made that avoiding the internet altogether would be a good thing. Nap and shower or no... (Yeah, I'm just feeling that way this morning).

Mark, I think the argument can also be made that not only is success in those fields limited, it's horrendously mis-represented. I've got a friend who's got a daughter who's working for a rap group that's on their second attempt at success, 'cause they frittered away their earnings from their first wave. They're now very conscious that there's a strong business side that needs to get managed, and it's not just about "representing a lifestyle". Much as Sudhir Venkatesh found that most drug dealers were living in their mom's basements.