Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Cosby on the Brain

I'm not sure if Bill Cosby has ever gotten so much midshare among AA's since the heyday of The Cosby Show. It is most disturbing to see how otherwise educated and informed people choose to demonize Bill Cosby on the basis of incomplete reporting and a whole mess of supposition and innuendo. The Black Commentator, whom has had some of the best "progressive" black writings found on the Web, has continued to sink into the quagmire of Cosby hating, and has employed numerous others ( white even) to continue to pile garbage on Cosby. After a two week reprieve BC came back with more vitrole in the sideways commentary of one Dr. Edward Rhymes. Now after Dr. Rhymes last guest column on that site I sent him a copy of my original commentary and we had an pleasant exchange where we ultimately agreed to disagree on the specific subject that some blacks equate being eduucated as being white. Now we are all entitled to our own opinion, but as a Dr. and teacher, Dr. Rhymes knows that he should be able to present alternative arguments or at least indicate that such positions exist. To begin is latest commentary Dr. Rhymes says:

It is the relative ease in which we as a people appear to believe the worst about ourselves. While a great deal of time and dialogue has been spent, lately, on our presumed sociopathic behaviors, we have ignored something even more sociopathic – our disturbing tendency to demonize ourselves.

I must agree. In fact just today I had to respond to someone online who insisted that blacks were inherently intellectually inferior to whites and possibly everybody else on the planet. Their "proof" being the apparent lack of "known" geniuses" and "accomplishments" in the hard sciences. So on this point I must agree with Dr. Rhymes.

Rhymes continues:
It appears that if we hear something negative about ourselves we are quick to take ownership. “Black people are drugs addicts and drug dealers,” and our response? “Yep, that’s us.” “Most Black folks are lazy and on welfare,” and our response? “Yep, that’s us.” It seems that we don’t challenge, we won’t question and we do ourselves a great disservice.

I'm not sure who Dr. Rhymes is talking about. Certainly I have not heard any black celebrities (including Dr. Cosby) make any claim that most black folks are lazy ( though the argument could be made, but not the way it's being set up here). Nor have I heard any black "leader" or "celebrity" (including Dr. Cosby) claim that blacks make the most of the persons on welfare. Most of the blacks that I know, who are critical of black behavior themselves, will quickly point out that whites make up the majority of the welfare cases regardless of what the TV tells us. So I would like for Dr. Rhymes to at least substantiate his claim by pointing out which celebrity has made such claims and when.

Rhymes continues:
Nowadays I can rarely turn on my television or radio without hearing some African-American analyst defending affirmative action (almost apologetically) as if we, as blacks, have been the greatest beneficiaries of it. This just isn’t the case. Although ethnic minorities have greatly benefited from affirmative action policies, white women, statistically, have benefited more than any other group from affirmative action.

Again, Dr. Rhymes has it right when he says that blacks have been the main defenders of Affirmative Action. He is also correct when he states that white women are the main beneficiaries of such programs. Again, I would like for Dr. Rhymes to provide us with the names of Celebrities or leaders who have been saying that blacks are the main beneficiaries. From my perspective the leadership, celebrities and educators that I know of , all decry the fact that Affirmative Action has been diluted to be a "diversity gimmick" rather than a true repairative tool for African-Americans.

Rhymes continues:
We are portrayed as oversexed or lascivious and yet the porn and adult entertainment industry is dominated by whites. Luke Skywalker, R. Kelly and Snoop Dogg are mere drops in the bucket compared to Hugh Hefner, Larry Flint and the Hustler, Penthouse and Playboy empires. Nevertheless, it is African Americans that get accused of being rampant, sexual beasts, unable to control our urges, unable to keep our legs crossed, unable to keep it in our pants. And do we take a stand against such flawed and misleading characterizations? No, on the contrary, we are more than willing to accept full title to them.

Well we all should know about the source of sexual anxiety in white America. But, ummm, has Dr,. Rhymes been studying the porn industry? I mean, I want to know? what kind of research has he been doing? Well ok.. I'm kidding. I just wanted comic relief.

Rhymes continues:
It also seems that we love to decry the notion that our young people can tell us what the words are to the latest rap album, but can’t tell us who James Baldwin is. My beautiful brothers and sisters, allow me to let you in on something: I have taught more white students than I have black students and I know a great many white students who cannot recite the preamble to the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence and can’t tell you who William Lloyd Garrison is, but can tell you the lyrics to the latest Ludacris song. How come they don't come under the same condemnation as our African-American students? Once again, a shortcoming that is prevalent in society becomes a specific black identifier.

I was going to save this one for lastm but I'll touch it now. Again, I don't believe that a single celebrity or leader has stated that black people have all the problems and whites don't. If I'm wrong I would invite Dr. Rhymes to provide us with specifics as to who said what and when. The issue with many of us "self critiquers", especially those of the Garveyite strain, is that while "all have fallen short" what we do has a larger impact on us than those of whites. One common comment I hear among my peers is that a white youth who wants to act a fool in school can decide later in life to straighten out and take advantage of tha racial preferences afforded him in hiring, housing etc. Not that it's fair or right, but that it's an option, and option often taken. However when black youths squander their time in school, the sysem is so crafty that they may find themselves at a permanent extra disadvantage. When a group has as many disadvantages on it, such as those detailed in the Urban Leagues numerous reports, it should be understood why blacks who want us to "rise up" would be extremely critical of negative behaviors of certain black youths. It is a mistake to then imply that by being so critical we are overlooking the dumb behaviors of whites. I believe that this is the point missed by Dr. Rhymes and, unfortunatly, The editors of The Black Commentator.

Dr. Rhymes continues:
We are crossing the dangerous threshold where myth is becoming reality and reality is becoming myth (this is increasing with each passing day). We have cloaked ourselves in the stereotypes of the most contemptible aspects of this society and have treated them as if they are unique to our culture and identity. Makes no difference to us if the majority of drug dealers and users are white, makes no difference if the “typical” criminal is a white, non-Hispanic male or that black males are less prone to abuse their partners than whites.

Dr. Rhymes puts out questionable information here. The Department of Justice in a report entitled Violence By Intimates published in 1998 showed that while Blacks have shown the greatest decrease in incidences of murders by intimates, the rate of murders by intimates are 3 to5 times the rate of white males/females. So while it would be correct to state that blacks have been putting in work to decrease the rates, the fact is that at the end of the day we are killing each other more often than whites. Also according to the same publication poor people, regardless of race, have up to a 7.8x rate of domestic violence than those making $75,000 or more. So, for instance, when Dr. Cosby directed his attention to "the lower economic people" and asking them ( the men) to stop beating on the women, he was dead on target. Of course we can argue that all people should stop domestic violence, but as stated earlier we, my peers, are concerned with what blacks are doing.

Similarly, with the issue of drug dealing:" It would be agreed that most drug dealers and purchasers are white. But what does that really matter to those in housing projects and other places where the black drug dealers are killing their kids and making thier neighborhoods unlivable? They are concerned with the black drug dealers and users they have to face each and everyday, Why should we NOT address those individuals? Again, this doesn't negate the facts of use and dealing it merely puts them in a context.

Dr Rhymes Continues:
Where was the “well done” for our young black sisters when the press release from the National Center for Health Statistics (dated December 17, 2003) stated that teenage pregnancy had gone down by 30 percent in the past decade and that the sharpest drop of any group was African-American teenage girls – 40% in the last decade and 50% since 1991? Where was the collective “bravo” for our young people when the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of the Census acknowledged that the African-American dropout rate (as of 2001) was at 10.9% - the lowest it’s ever been? Also, it was almost identical to the national average (meaning all students) of 10.7%. Most of us appear to be unaware of this information – so it appears that our youth aren’t the only ones who need to study more. Yes, I’d love to see the dropout rate down to 0%; but that shouldn’t preclude us from celebrating what we have achieved. I think it would be wonderful if none of our young women became pregnant in their teenage years, but I am proud of what they have done.  The high-profile prophets of black negativity, who are so geared up to impugn our youth, could not be found to herald their triumphs just as enthusiastically.

Again, like he did in the reporting on domestic violence, Dr, Rhymes gives us a partial picture of teen pregnancy in black communties. The Guttenberg Institute released a report entitled U.S. Teen Pregnancy Statistics shows that while it is indeed true that the rate black teen pregnancy has dropped dramatically, black teen pregnancy rates(15-19 yoa) is almost twice that of whites (71.4/1000 vs. 154/1000). In fact, the same report shows that in every state that kept records, the black rate of pregnancy is always higher than that of whites. However it must be noted that in raw numbers whites teens get pregnant more than black teens, except in New Jersey and New York (a focus area of Bill Cosby) Now I won't get into the philosphical argument about whether teen pregnancy and abortion is right or wrong. Nor will I say that the drop in the rate is not to be commended, but clearly, if teen pregnancy is an issue of concern, then the rates are still an issue of concern.

On the drop out rate, I question these numbers. While it may be true, and I stress may because according to the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University the governments official cencus data og high school graduation tates ins obtained from surveys of individuals who self-report their own education status. furthermore the US department of Education surveys take in only about half of school districts nationally. many of the non-reporting districts are in areas with high dropout rates. that the drop out rate in high schools are 10.7% nationaly, the graduation rates tell a way different story. In 1998 the average graduation rate of black ( and you must graduate to move onto university) was 56%. If only 10% are dropping out, what happened to the near 40% that did not graduate? Did they drop off the planet? To all the Cosby criiticisers I have pointed these things out to, none, not a single one has presented information to the contrary. If Dr. Rhymes has information to refute these claims I would surely give him the space here at Garvey's Ghost to present that information.

Dr. Rhymes continues:
Further evidence of this need to falsely indict ourselves, are the comments Spike Lee made on the Tavis Smiley Show (Thursday, July 22) when he insinuated that blacks don’t embrace and support dramas as much we should – citing the lack of turnout for movies such as Antwone Fisher. Interestingly, Denzel Washington (producer & director of Antwone Fisher) was on the program the following day. Tavis put the question of whether or not blacks supported dramas as they should and Denzel’s answer was: “Well dramas, first of all, don’t do as well, period. Black or white, they don’t do as well.”

I've heard this debate and I've listen and watched Spike Lee talk about this topic a number of times. First lets say this: Spike Lee's recent movies have not been that good. I say this as a Spike Lee fan. It's been pretty much down hill since Malcolm X. But I think the true discussion about black drama has been around black historical drama. When I've had this discussion the movies that come up are "Daughers of the Dust" " Get on the Bus" "Bamboozled" and Oprahs "Beloved." The issue has actually centered around blacks supposed desire to see "positive" role models and films "relevant" to their history but then fail to give mass support to the movies mentioned.

Rhymes continues:
After watching the interview I decided to research to ascertain which claim was true. I found that of the top 100 highest grossing movies of all-time, there were only 6 dramas (and a few of those were not what I would call “true” dramas – Titanic, Gladiator, to name a couple). I also looked at the top grossing dramas that were released during the summertime (summertime being important because that’s when dramas usually do the worst – studios like to roll out the action flicks) since 1982. Out of the 59 dramas that were listed, 9 were either produced or directed by African Americans (Do The Right Thing, Boyz-N-The Hood, Mo Better Blues – if you haven’t noticed, two of these movies are Spike’s); had a predominately black cast (What’s Love Got Do With It) or one or more of the leading roles were portrayed by African Americans (Corrina Corrina, Courage Under Fire, 187).

This illustrates my point. Boyz in the Hood, Mo Betta, Do the Right Thing were all contemporary movies that with the exception of Do The Right thing didn't even begin to touch the deeper levels of racism in America. 187, which is one of my favorite movies, is fiction and has a lead black character that could have easily been white. In fact the movie itself was written by a teacher, though I do not know the race of that teacher (and don't particularly care). So again, while Rhymes is correct in his surface analysis of Spike Lee's comment, I believe that the observation is out of context. After all if, Movies such as Beloved had as strong a suport as Baby Boy, then we'd have seen more movies like it.

Rhymes concludes:
why should I have to answer questions about the supposed deviant behavior of the black community, when whites do not have to do the same? The minute I answer one question, I am saying: “I am inferior.” For me, it is absolutely that simple. Do we, in the black community, have real concerns? No doubt about it. Can we do better? Yes, most definitely. Misconceptions, miseducation and misleading stereotypes do not offer any real answers. The Christian scriptures tell us that “you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” As we, as a community, declare war on irresponsibility, ignorance, crime, poverty and the vast number of concerns that we face; we must be circumspect. I would think that we, who live in present-day America, would know exactly what it means to declare a war based on flawed and unproven information.

Let's answer that last question. It's the same as my previous discussion on black behaviors. In reality I don't have to answer to whites for black behavior, In fact in "mixed company" I refrain from doing so for the very same reason that Dr. Rhymes does. However, these issues can, should and are brought up by blacks to other blacks ( as was done in Cosby's speech) and we should be answerable to each other. Isn't that how community works? One does not inferiorise oneself by asking and answering questions asked by the community. Only if the charges are false is it an inferiorizing act to claim such charges. Unfortunatly Dr. Rhymes falls victim to the same Misconceptions, Mis-education and misleading "stereotypes" he attempts to refute. In his quest to, as the Yoruba say, to not let good be the enemy of best, he gives us a few half truths and uses them to smear unnamed and unverified "leaders" ,"reporters" and "celebrities." Fortunately for us there is the internet where statistics can be found by any and everyone who takes the time to look up the information.



DrRhymes said...

Dear Sondjata,

It appears that it is you, not I, that has Cosby on the brain. Not once in my article do I mention Cosby's name (as a matter of fact my focus was far from him). My focus was more on the black community as I have seen it in the past few years--- my article was also based on some of the e-mails I received in reference to articles that I have written. My reference in regards to what Spike Lee said were not out of context, I simply challenged what he actually said. He made no mention of movies that explored the depths of the history of racism that we as a people have had to grapple with; he said we did not support dramas like we should. He made that statement and Denzel and I answered it. I choose not to perform "autopsies" on the people's words--- meaning, I try to deal with what was actually said because I can't read minds. Only Spike knows what he actually meant by his words. You also went through great lengths to intimate that I did not mention the black leaders or entertainers by name. who said I was speaking specifically about black leaders and entertainers? That was your assumption. An assumption, by the way, that was not supported by the bulk of my article. I mentioned a few people here in there (Tavis Smiley, Spike Lee, Denzel Washington), but that was in the context of the previously mentioned comments.

One of my contemporaries (who shall remain anonymous) remarked that with the strides we have made in society that our children should be doing better, not worse, educationally. However, my learned colleague failed to point out one example of blacks doing worse. As mentioned before, the high school dropout rate is an all-time low; we are graduating from high school and college at greater rates and contrary to popular belief, we have improved in the areas of English and math. Our greatest “crime” is that we have not surpassed or equaled whites. Ahhh… there’s the rub. That is what we are tearing ourselves up about; that is the genesis for a great amount of our self-loathing and self-contempt. We are not (at least in some of our minds) as good as they are; we are not equal to them. Even the most self-aware and secure individuals among us have had to fight the formidable ghost of “Not-Quite-As-Good.” This specter hovers over us instigating the blank classism within our community; causing us to assault our young people with misguided and over-generalized accusations; convincing some of us that just because we are better off than others, it somehow makes us better than many of our black brethren & sisters; compelling us to preach the mantra of personal initiative as a means of achievement (and rightfully so), while simultaneously either minimizing or ignoring altogether institutional racism and white privilege. My astonishment isn't in how few blacks "make it," but rather how many of us actually do. The fact that many of us make it in spite of the unjust and inequitable obstacles that still exist in our society, does not justify the barriers nor does it excuse us from doing all we can to identify and eliminate those obstacles. I have come to the painful conclusion that the various times that I have been held up as a shining example of “black success” it has been to condemn, not inspire, others in the black community at-large. Maybe our miseducation reached its apex when we defined the “promised land” as a better job, a better home and greater material wealth. Maybe we experienced the nadir of our miseducation when we underestimated the resolve and initiative of the forces that were (and still are) opposed to the full _expression of our God-given identity and humanity.

As for the truth of my assertions regarding domestic violence, the teen dropout and pregnancy statistics; I am attaching the data from whence my conclusions came. I have absolutely no problem speaking about what I believe is wrong in the black community, but it appears that we only speak about our problems (or what we view as problems) and not our triumphs. As an educator, parent and coach; I have learned the value of positive reinforcement. Why does it seem that the only time that we speak to our young people is when we are telling them what is wrong with them? At any rate, thank you once again for your insightful comments.


Dr. Edward Rhymes


Drop Out Rates
Black young adults made significant gains in completing a high school education over the last quarter of a century, although, like whites, their completion rates appear to have stabilized in recent years. The 1998 black completion rate of 81.4 percent is significantly higher than their completion rates before 1981, indicating that a greater proportion of black young adults are now completing high school than they were in the 1970s. In addition, completion rates of black young adults continued to rise in the 1981's. Since 1990, black completion rates have fluctuated around 83 percent, and trend data over the period suggest that their completion rates have remained unchanged in the 1990s.

A relatively low percentage of Hispanic young adults complete high school programs. For example, in 1998, about 63 percent of all Hispanic 18- through 24-year-olds had completed secondary schooling. Overall, completion rates lot Hispanics have fluctuated over the last quarter of a century, but have shown no consistent trend over the entire period. For example, completion rates for Hispanics increased between 1980 and 1985, declined between 1985 and 1990, and then remained at the same level between 1990 and 1998. The 1998 completion rate of 62.8 percent was not significantly different from the 1985 rate of 66.6 percent.

In 1998, as mentioned previously, Asians/Pacific Islanders were included as a distinctive group in the racial-ethnic categories being studied here. Overall, Asian youth are more likely than their white, black, and Hispanic peers to complete high school (table 4). For example, in 1998, 94.2 percent of Asian youth ages 18 through 24 had completed high school, compared with 90.2 percent of white youth, followed by 81.4 percent of black and 62.8 percent of Hispanic youth. Although a smaller proportion of white youth completed high school than did their Asian peers, they completed high school at higher rates than both black and Hispanic youth.

Age and Sex

Young adults ages 18-19 who were no longer enrolled in high school were less likely than older adults to have completed high school. In 1998, approximately 82 percent of 18- through 19-year-olds not currently enrolled in high school had completed their secondary schooling, compared with 86.3 percent of young adults ages 20-24 (table 4).

As might be expected given their relatively lower status dropout rates, females ages 18-24 who were no longer enrolled in high school were more likely to have completed high school than their male peers, in 1998, 87.0 percent of female young adults completed high school compared with about 82.6 percent of male young adults.

Region and State

Overall, young adults in the Northeast and Midwest had higher completion rates than their contemporaries living in the West and the South (table 4). Approximately 88 percent of young adults in both the Northeast and Midwest completed high school compared with 83.4 percent in the South. In addition, young adults living in the West had a lower completion rate (80.4 percent) than those not only living in the Northeast and Midwest, but those living in the South as well.

Often interest in geographic comparisons extends beyond the regional level to state-specific data. In order to compare high school completion on a state-by-state basis, completion rates are computed based on data spanning a 3-year period. The resulting state-specific completion rates represent the average annual rate over the 3-year periods of 1990-92, 1993-95, and 1996-98?2 These data show considerable state-by-state variation (table 5).23 Using the 1996-98 3-year average, the national rate was 85.6 percent, with the average completion rates ranging from about 75 percent in Oregon to approximately 94-95 percent in North Dakota, Maryland, and Vermont.

22 The sample sizes of the numbers of completers at the state level in the CPS are, by definition, substantially smaller than the counts of completers supporting the national estimates (but appreciably larger than the counts of dropouts). To improve the stability of the state-level estimates for high school completion rates, the rates are displayed as 3-year averages (for example, the data for 199092 represent the average of the data from 1990, 1991, and 1992, and the data for 1996-98 are based on averages of data from 1996, 1997, and 1998). Even given this situation, sampling variability is increased substantially, especially in states with relatively smaller populations in the 18 through 24 age range. Thus, it is not surprising that the rates for some states fluctuate over the 3-year periods. Moreover, it should be noted that survey respondents may have attended school in a different state from the one in which they lived at the time of the CPS interview.

23 A table of overlapping three-year average completion rates from 1989-1991 to 1996-98 is provided in appendix B (tableBII).

COPYRIGHT 2001 Hispanic Times Enterprises
COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group


Teen Birth Rate Continues to Decline; African-American Teens Show Sharpest Drop
Final 2002 United States Birth Data Now Available

For Immediate Release: December 17, 2003

Contact: NCHS/CDC Public Affairs
(301) 458-4800

Births: Final Data for 2002. 114 pp. (PHS) 2004-1120.
View/download PDF 7.8 MB

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today released the annual detailed report on birth statistics for the Nation, which shows a continued decline in the teenage birth rate with the sharpest drop in births for African-American teens.

"Births: Final Data for 2002," from CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics shows that the teen birth rate declined by 30 percent over the past decade to a historic low and that the rate for black teens was down by more than 40 percent. For young black teens (15 to 17 years) the results were even more striking—the rate was cut in half since 1991.

The report documents other record findings:

The average age at first birth was 25.1 years in 2002, an all-time high in the United States. In 1970 the average age at first birth was 21.4 years.

Birth rates for women 35-39 (41 births per 1,000 women) and 40-44 (8 per 1,000) were the highest in more than three decades. The rate for women ages 20-24 (104 births per 1,000 women) was on the decline and the rate for those 25-29 was stable, but still the highest of all age groups, at 114 per 1,000 women. In contrast, the rate for teens was 43 per 1,000.

The number of births to unmarried women reached a record high of 1,365,966 in 2002, up 1 percent from 2001. This increase reflected the growing number of unmarried women rather than an increase in the rate, which was stable at 44 births per 1,000 unmarried women. The birth rate for unmarried teenagers continued to decline.

Just over 1 in 10 women smoked during pregnancy in 2002, a decline of 42 percent since these data were first collected in 1989. Smoking declined for all age groups and most race and Hispanic origin groups in 2002.

Cesarean deliveries increased 7 percent from 2001 to 2002 to reach a rate of 26.1 percent of all births, the highest ever reported in the United States.

The preterm birth rate (less than 37 completed weeks of gestation) rose to 12.1 percent in 2002, and has risen 14 percent since 1990, reflecting in part the rising multiple birth rate. However, the preterm rate for single births has also risen, up 7 percent from 1990.

The twin birth rate continued to rise, increasing 3 percent between 2001 and 2002 to 31 twin births per 1,000 births. This rate has risen 38 percent since 1990 and 65 percent since 1980.

The rate for triplets and other higher order multiple births dropped slightly to 184 per 100,000 in 2002, the third decline in the last 4 years after an increase of more than 400 percent between 1980 and 1998.

The new report covers a number of key findings not addressed in the 2002 preliminary birth report issued last spring as well as more detail and updated findings on some topics presented then. This report includes trends, data by State, and detailed data by race and ethnicity.

Data on births are based on information reported on the birth certificates filed in State vital statistics offices and reported to CDC through the National Vital Statistics System. The report is available on CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics Web site.

The Myths of Bill Cosby
Earl Ofari Hutchinson
Comedian Bill Cosby can't help himself. In his latest shoot from the lip outburst against blacks he still claims they can't read, write or speak coherent English, and that they beat their wives. Cosby didn't cite one fact, statistic, survey or study to back up his repeat of the same silly and wrong-headed outburst he let loose in May. It was a near textbook example of not letting facts get in the way of a good, headline-grabbing yarn. But that didn't stop the legion of black leaders that have weighed in on Cosby's remarks, and that includes Jesse Jackson, NAACP President Kweisi Mfume, some members of the Congressional Black Caucus, and a horde of black commentators, from stumbling over themselves to hail Cosby as the ultimate truth-giver. Cosby is entitled to publicly air black America’s alleged dirty laundry but when there's more myth than dirt in that laundry, than he must be called out on it. Cosby myth: "You've got to stop beating up your women because you can't find a job, and you want to get an education and now you're minimum wage.” Truth: It's not clear what bed and living rooms in poor black households Cosby peeped in to make that charge, but a Justice Department study in 2000 found that since 1993 domestic violence plunged among all groups. It further found that the murder rate of black females killed by their partners sharply dropped, while the murder rate jumped among white females killed by their partners. The Justice Department study and a UCLA School of Public Health study in 1996, however, found that blacks are more likely to REPORT domestic violence than whites, Hispanics and Native Americans. In the UCLA study, the blacks that physically abused their partners were young (under 30), lived in urban areas, had lower income and were less educated. The study noted that only about five percent of the men resorted to physical violence during their marital arguments and that the "vast majority" reported discussing their disagreements with their partners calmly and without resort to physical violence Cosby Myth: "They think they're hip, they can't read; they can't write, they're laughing and giggling, and they're going nowhere.” Truth: But many do think it's hip to read and write. The U.S. Dept. of Education found that in the decades since 1975, more blacks were enrolled in school, had improved their SAT scores by nearly 200 points, and had markedly lowered their dropout rate. It also found that one in three was in college, and that the number of blacks receiving bachelors and masters degrees had nearly doubled. A survey of student attitudes by the Minority Student Achievement Network, an Illinois-based educational advocacy group in 2002, found that black students were as motivated, studied as hard, and were as serious about graduating as whites. Many of the blacks that now attend historically black colleges and probably other colleges are from lower income, disadvantaged homes. In a majority of cases they are the first members of their family to attend college. Cosby Myth: "Well, Brown versus Board of Education: Where are we today. They paved the way, but what did we do with it." They don't hold up their part of the deal.” Truth: The ones who aren't holding up their part of the deal are Cosby's lower income whites, and middle-income blacks not the black poor. According to the latest census figures, a higher percentage of lower income blacks were registered to vote, and actually voted, than lower income whites. The same can't be said for their more well to do black brethren. The census found that a lower percentage of higher income blacks were registered, and voted, than their higher income white counterparts. The quantum leap in the number of black elected officials in the past two decades could not have happened without the votes of thousands of poor blacks. Some poor young blacks can't read or write, join gangs, deal drugs, terrorize their communities, and beat up their wives or partners. Many whites, Hispanics, and Asians also engage in the same type of dysfunctional and destructive behavior. Cosby did not qualify or provide any factual context for his blanket indictment of poor blacks. He made the negative behavior of some blacks a racial rather than endemic social problem. In doing so, he did more than break the alleged taboo against publicly airing racial dirty laundry; he fanned dangerous and destructive stereotypes. That's hardly the call to action that will inspire and motivate underachieving blacks to improve their lives. Quite the contrary, it will further demoralize those poor blacks who are doing the best they can to better their lives. It will do nothing to encourage government officials and business leaders to provide greater resources, and opportunities to aid those blacks that need help. In doing that, Cosby, not poor blacks, failed miserably to hold up his part of the deal.

sondjata said...

Hello; Dr. Rhymes. I see you have posted Ofari Hutchinson's commentary on Cosby. I have already written a critique of it that can be found here:

See posting "Facts? What Facts?

ronnie brown said...

Sondjata, for me, you and Dr. Rhymes are describing two symptoms of the same distress...demoralization. Dr.Rhymes described it as Not-Quite-As-Good. the self-loathing and contempt that causes us to mimimize our progress is the same dynamic that prevents us from any sober assessment of critical issues troubling our community...If we feel like our successes will never be regarded with equal value with white folks, the motivation to deal with the issues in our community that need improvement will be lacking as well...the constant of white supremacy is pressing the fighting spirit right out of us...too sick to counter the hype and stereotypes about our existence that come from without...too tired to deal with the interrace stresses that exist from within.