I recently read on Facebook, this article about something Bill Cosby said back in 2005:
They’re standing on the corner and they can’t speak English. I can’t even talk the way these people talk: Why you ain’t, Where you is, What he drive, Where he stay, Where he work, Who you be… And I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk. And then I heard the father talk.
Everybody knows it’s important to speak English except these knuckleheads. You can’t be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth. In fact you will never get any kind of job making a decent living.
People marched and were hit in the face with rocks to get an education, and now we’ve got these knuckleheads walking around. The 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 they won’t spend $200 for Hooked on Phonics.
I am talking about these people who cry when their son is standing there in an orange suit. Where were you when he was 2? Where were you when he was 12? Where were you when he was 18 and how come you didn’t know that he had a pistol? And where is the father? Or who is his father?
People putting their clothes on backward: Isn’t that a sign of something gone wrong? People with their hats on backward, pants down around the crack, isn’t that a sign of something? Or are you waiting for Jesus to pull his pants up? Isn’t it a sign of something when she has her dress all the way up and got all type of needles [piercing] going through her body?
What part of Africa did this come from? We are not Africans. Those people are not Africans; they don’t know a thing about Africa. With names like Shaniqua, Taliqua and Mohammed and all of that crap, and all of them are in jail.
Brown or black versus the Board of Education is no longer the white person’s problem. We have got to take the neighborhood back. People used to be ashamed. Today a woman has eight children with eight different ‘husbands’ — or men or whatever you call them now. We have millionaire football players who cannot read. We have million-dollar basketball players who can’t write two paragraphs. We as black folks have to do a better job. Someone working at Wal-Mart with seven kids, you are hurting us. We have to start holding each other to a higher standard.
We cannot blame the white people any longer.
The Snopes Article is here: http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/cosby.asp
I agree with him in some ways, though I wouldn’t confine it to a single ethnicity. The problem is our culture. Look at our media; we’ve glorified instant fame instead of education and hard work. We’ve shown this generation, and the next generation, that our government can’t be trusted, that businesses can’t be trusted, that their neighbor can’t be trusted.
When we’ve taken trust, and told them instant fame is all they need, that they will get money, and influence, and sex, and drugs, and all the things they want, then they won’t see education as a way to advance their lives; as a way to enrich themselves, they’ll see it as the hard road, and when someone shows you a map to easy street, who’s going to take the hard road?
When everyone’s a special snowflake, people forget that everyone is a special snowflake. What makes you unique also makes you common in your uniqueness, and that alone will not help you succeed. You need skill, you need determination, and you need to work for it.
The people this generation sees held up as examples of instant wealth? They’re the outlier, they’re the exception to the rule. For every moron that makes it on TV, a million uneducated people fight for low paying jobs.
This isn’t just a race issue, it’s also a culture issue. This isn’t a “kids these days” issue, this is a generation of people who have lost the trust and faith the previous generations had in which to build their own foundations. We live in a first world where we can have what we want, when we want it, and as much of it as we want. We have the recipe for emotional gluttony, when one doesn’t have to think, only to feel, and that’s okay, that’s fine, that’s acceptable. We’re fostering the generation of “it’s good enough.”
Where I disagree with Bill is in the small stuff. Who cares if these kids let their pants hang at their ankles? Who cares what their names are, or whether they wear their hats backwards? That doesn’t bother me at all, but the inability to grasp their native language, to lack the ability to convey complex ideas, THAT bothers me, and THAT is where we need to focus. These kids have absorbed the notion that they can have what they want when they want it, and that is a dangerous notion in a world that sits on the precipice of scarcity lest we change our ways, and our minds.
We need innovators, thinkers, idealists. We need people who can apply knowledge to skill and revolutionize how we see, how we do, how we shape the future. Where we’re going? We’re in trouble if we can’t change. This lifestyle we’ve adopted cannot be maintained indefinitely, or even long term, and the more we think we can, the more likely we will waste what precious resources we have. THAT is what needs to change; clothes, hair, body style, names? Doesn’t matter, but we cannot lose in the war for ideas, for intelligence, for critical thinking. THAT CANNOT DIE, because if it does, if it languishes solely in the minds of the few, then we will fail, all of us. I don’t think we want that.
Just my two bits.