I think that Bill Cosby has the potential to make a really positive impact in the black community. He’s almost the only one being brutally honest about the problems affecting so many people in this country.
There is still racism in the United States, I do not doubt it, but it is not pervasive. If you put in the time to get an education, learn to speak and write intelligently, and work hard, nothing is stopping anybody from getting ahead. Not color, not gender, not anything. And, though things are pretty good right now, they’re improving all the time! Increasingly, the people making hiring decisions weren’t even alive before the civil rights movement. Increasingly, they have no history of racism.
‘Affirmative action’ and other forms of “blaming whitey” are not going to solve anything. As Bill Cosby said in the above article, “For me there is a time . . . when we have to turn the mirror around.” A well-educated, well-spoken black man or woman will have no problem getting a solid high-paying job without the help of ‘affirmative action’ (and, in my short work experience, I have met quite a few people who did just that). But getting well-educated takes time and effort that too many people simply refuse to put into it.
I hope that Bill Cosby represents the first wave of black community activists who will play a community-improvement game, rather than just a blame game. Inner-city youth (who are predominantly black) need help, but up until now it seems like nobody has been willing to talk about real ways to help them. Nobody has been willing to talk about the family and educational problems that lead to long-term poverty. Nobody has been willing to address the real problems, or the real ways to fix them.
This is progress. I hope it will continue.
- Cosby Has Harsh Words for Black Community (AP via Yahoo! News [no longer available])