Is This Making the Rounds Again? Debunking Cosby

Since 2004 when Bill Cosby made his famous “we can’t blame white people” speech, it occasionally makes its rounds of the internet. I have to link to the Snopes article for a full quote because the first few pages of Google were, unsurprisingly, racist assholes saying “See? We told you black people were awful!”

Now, some of what Cosby says makes sense. Some of it, however, is needlessly reductionist or more the result of him being an old man rather than some truth-teller about his own race. Let’s look at some of the claims, shall we?

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.

I find this remarkably amusing from a guy who has made a career on talking like a drunk man having a seizure. All joking aside, yes, there is a certain type of speech that is more highly prized in many places and careers, and it’s important to learn to use it. However, that speech isn’t somehow more correct or more English. Does Jeff Foxworthy not speak English? Or Ron White? Or Larry the Fucking Cable Guy? What part of speech is “Git’r’done”, anyway?

Did he not pay attention in 2004? You don’t even have to be well spoken to be President of the United States!

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.

Hyperbole alert! Going to need a citation on “$500 sneakers” since the Air Jordan IIs, released in 2004, retailed around $100. But I see the point he’s trying to make. He’s suggesting that people’s priorities are out of whack.

And I would almost agree with him, except as a person with a doctorate in education he should know that inner city schools are seriously underfunded, so Hooked on Phonics, which was designed as a supplement to regular schooling, would be useless. Also, while I’m sure that he lived in a magical time when everyone spoke the King’s English in black neighborhoods, deviating from the cultural norm in any way (which includes wearing the wrong shoes or speaking in a dialect that’s considered condescending by others in your neighborhood) is a good way to get yourself beaten up or worse. It’s very, very easy to say, “X person should just make themselves better” without recognizing that doing so too openly may actually cost them their life.

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?

I don’t know, Bill. Probably working multiple jobs at minimum wage to make sure they continued to have an apartment to live in and food to eat. Also, if you’re making a point about black culture being incredibly misogynist and not encouraging men to treat women as more than sex objects that can be abandoned if they get pregnant, you’re doing it wrong.

People putting their clothes on backward: Isn’t that a sign of something gone wrong?

No. It’s a sign of fashion trends. Says the guy who wears sweater vests. A sweater without arms? 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?

Again, fashion trends. I may not like them, but there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with them. Just like men walked around without hats used to be very strange, but it’s the common trend now (though, thankfully, hats are coming back). Clothing changes over time.

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?

At this point, when he gives this speech, he breaks into a rousing chorus of “What’s the Matter With Kids Today“. I get it, you’re old and people didn’t pierce themselves as much in your day. Get over it. Also, the slut shaming is inappropriate.

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.

All of them? Really, Bill? Again, I know this is hyperbole, but it’s also kind of ridiculous. You think that they’re in jail because of a naming convention and not because of a racist legal system that is more likely to target and convict people of color?

Also, as my Uncle Giacomo used to say, it’s important to not have ethnic-sounding names (see what I did there?). In some versions of this, it talks about how European-Americans don’t identify as such, which might surprise groups like the Florida Federation of Italian American Clubs (which gave me a scholarship for writing an essay about my heritage), the Polish American Culture Club, people who wear kilts and put on Highland Games, and any number of other European cultural identifiers that white people use to link themselves to their European ancestry. People like to be tied to their culture, which is why my family proudly identifies as Italian-American, along with untold thousands of others.

He says a lot of other things, which I have no specific response to. But then we get to this

Someone working at Wal-Mart with seven kids, you are hurting us. We have to start holding each other to a higher standard.

Oh, this is about standards. It’s not that Wal-mart comes in, destroys locally owned stores that might offer better jobs, and pays low wages for backbreaking work at all hours of the day with little to no job security or room for advancement. It’s just that the people working there like getting paid shit for ridiculous amounts of work and no benefits. They’re just not motivated to go get a job as a banker, which they could easily do if somebody would just tell them that they could do better! Thanks for pointing that one out.

Now, I’m not being entirely fair here. While Bill Cosby did say all of these things (except the Wal-mart thing, which was made up), they were part of a larger speech that was given at the NAACP commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Brown v Board of Education and then this monstrosity was cobbled together out of the speech in order to make it a wide spread excoriation of everything about black people rather than a targeted speech about the problem with education in urban neighborhoods. The original isn’t much better, but at least it’s more than Old Man Yells At Cloud-style ramblings on how lazy and ignorant black people are.

However, the victim blaming and reductionism is pretty blatant here. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the world is a lot more complex than people like to make it out to be, and while I think it’s important to fight destructive cultural elements, it’s equally important to properly identify them. The problem with poor, black neighborhoods is something that can be addressed by the neighborhood itself, yes (which was another one of the original points Cosby was making), but it can’t just be about going back to shaming people more often into behaving. It has to be about fighting sexism, standing up for those who don’t conform, encouraging better, comprehensive education, and getting police officers to start doing their jobs instead of targeting minorities because they’re less likely to be able to fight back legally.

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49 thoughts on “Is This Making the Rounds Again? Debunking Cosby

  1. I made a comment about this one too – in the same facebook post that you linked this to:

    I was a little more angry about it.

    Wow – poster child for assimilationist assholery. He might want to take a Sociology or Linguistics class or something – or, you know, keep being an ass.

    ‘Cause y’know – all those problems are “black” problems?

    I think the last people who seriously thought that dialect correlated with intelligence were drummed out of academia about the same time, you know, that eugenics went out of style.

    The devil is in the details – and you can encourage others to make better life choices without simply adding to hurtful stereotypes or linking cultural expressions (such as fashion, dialect or naming) with instability and bad behavior.

    The lie this is perpetuating is that you NEED to assimilate to be successful. You need to change how you talk, how you dress, and even your name – in order to function. It is setting up the stifling false dichotomy that links cultural expressions that are inherent in ANYONE’S identity with doing bad in school, unplanned pregnancy, poorly compensated work, unstable relationships, etc.

    It is lifting up economic and educational success with assimilation and a rejection of black identity.

    It is the opposite of helping.

    Saying you NEED to perform for those in power in order to succeed is sort of the OPPOSITE of “personal responsibility” and POWER and independence.

    We all make our own compromises when it comes to that – but making it a “black and white” choice is unconscionable.

    That’s actually surrender.

    A mother working her ass off at Walmart for peanuts and trying to raise several children – is not “hurting” anyone. She and her family are people who deserve respect. She should be getting paid better for her work. Her children should have just as much opportunity to succeed as anyone else; and be seen as having JUST AS MUCH POTENTIAL as Bill Cosby’s kids.

    She should not have to deal with the stress of being pointed to as a representative of her RACE – as if she should be judged more harshly than others who have made similar choices in their lives – as if, due to her race, she is no longer an individual.

    SOC 101 : That’s called “stereotype threat”.

    Do you think spitting on women for having children without being rich is saying something profound and helpful?

    Don’t like baggy pants or CrissCross? Wow – that revelation is going to “turn around” profound dysfunction in Flint, MI. Notice how Bill Cosby’s visit changed that whole thing around? I don’t.

    (Oh yeah, remember when skinny jeans and goth make-up were making white people look bad; and popular white actors started scolding them? – and bars and nightclubs started making dress codes against ripped jeans and “wife-beater” shirts?)

    I know, I know, Bill has money! He is an actor. Let us listen to HIM instead of community activists who have ACTUALLY worked in the trenches and turned communities around.

    We had both come to Flint, and guess who sold the most seats?

    Sorry if it’s difficult to listen to a two-time drop out go on about the importance of education; who flunked his classes due to not giving a shit but got a track scholarship, who made a lot of money due to his ability to talk funny.

    Perhaps we’ll find out it’s just a Andy Kaufman style joke.

    Oh yeah, and white people DO occasionally have strong ties to their ethnic origins. (I know, since Bill apparently sees “white” as the default that’s probably a surprise to him.) It’s just when I name my kids OBVIOUSLY Northern European Christian names it increases their likelihood of hire….and perhaps, just maybe, that’s part of the problem?

    Oh yeah – and POINTING THAT OUT – is not somehow “playing a victim” or “blaming others” or not having “personal responsibility”?

    Maybe the employers should start being “personally responsible” for, you know, not sucking?

    I know Bill Cosby has said similar things in the past, but this particular scree seems over-the-top. I wish it wasn’t true. I grew up on Picture-Pages for goodness sakes. I wish he would go back to doing something actually worth-while like that.

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  3. in these statements he made some are true ..if you grew up in these neighborhoods and witnessed some of these things you would see where he’s coming from. The comment about mother at walmart is about personal responsibility . She may not have to work at walmart if she didn’t have all those children and gained a better education for herself respected herself better to not consistently have that many kids. I’ve seen this a couple times today and it always seem to me that those who don’t live in areas where he’s talking about haven’t witnessed personally. You do have to assimulate to make it . you can’t go around business office or with a client say “who you be”. A study was done that showed that the name of some children especially blacks do have a harder time acquiring better jobs because of the stigma attached to said name. So while many can poke holes in what he said i can also fill them . Its a matter of perspective.

    • The problem is that it isn’t about “personal responsibility.” You’re presuming that this person had the exact same chance at an education, for one, and somehow decided not to take it, even though inner city schools are horrendously underfunded, in many states she wouldn’t have gotten comprehensive sex ed that would have shown her how to have responsible sex, and that people have told her her entire life that her job is to please men and after having sex once she’s pretty much broken and not good for anything else. It’s a whole lot of victim blaming, slut shaming, and privilege packed into three sentences.

      As far as assimilation, it seems your argument is “the system is racist, so dance like the people in charge want you to.” Nobody is suggesting that a person goes around a business office speaking in the dialect of their neighborhood rather than a professional one, but there is nothing intrinsically wrong with speaking in the dialect of your neighborhood in your neighborhood. Especially, since we’re discussing assimilation (as I mentioned above), that trying to speak the way that you do around an office could actually get you killed there.

      Similarly, is there something inherently wrong with the names that black people often use? Do they explode if you shake them improperly? Do they mean derogatory things in other languages? No, they are simply names, and the fact that companies are racist enough to not hire people who have ethnic-sounding names means that the problem is with the racist companies, not with the people who want to name their children something that attaches them to their culture.

      I know people who have been shot and stabbed for not wearing the right clothes and speaking in such a way that their peers thought they were being talked down to. This is absolutely a problem, but it’s not one that is solved by having less sex or just working harder. It’s one that is solved by addressing how we treat poor people, women, and people of color in this country (often people are all three), not the least being the assumption that they have the same opportunities as middle class whites while, in the same comment, saying that they are less likely to be hired for no other reason than that they have a black-sounding name.

      It’s not a matter of perspective. It’s a matter of privilege.

      • White people don’t talk that way outside of an office either. It isn’t about race, it’s about being fucking professional.
        To me a black sounding name is “Leeroy” or “Chuck” or “Leon” or even “DeAndre”. I have a colleague i work with, His legal name is “D’Moufwash” (sadly, not a joke). He goes by Dean. He puts Dean on his resume, and his friends call him Dead. He does this, because he wants to be taken seriously and not as a clown.
        You keep claiming that somehow black people would be giving up their culture in order to “assimilate”. But the simple fact that you say your friend need to speak a certain way or dress a certain way in their neighborhoods or they were stabbed or shot. How the FUCK is that not forced assimilation? One way says, if you act like a professional, you can have a job. The other is, If you don’t talk like a thug, ima stab you. I know which way I’d go. I know which neighborhood I’d move out of. You speak of this culture like it is something to protect, yet you Yourself openly claim it as a threatening influence on it’s own members!!!
        That woman who had 7 kids because she was told her whole life she was a ho and to be used by men, and weren’t no good. Sure, I buy that. Thats why Mark Cuban is such a failure because he was fired 9 times and everyone told him he’d never amount to anything.
        Albert Einstein didn’t speak until he was 9 and they thought he was retarded.
        The fact is that the best people come out of the worst circumstances because simply put, There are people who work hard despite their surroundings, and people who submit. And the simple truth of the matter is that YOU Determine the type of person you will become.

        You do no one any favors by making excuses for them. A man shoots his wife. The news blames the gun lobby. The politicians blame our violent culture. The psychologists blame the mother. Another psychologist blames the father. The neighbors blame the wife. The statisticians say it’s an inevitability. The doctor’s say it’s an asymmetry in the temporal lobe. The jury, not knowing who to blame, sets him free. He kills again, because no one thought to blame the him.

        Keep making excuses for people who perpetuate their own circumstances and see what happens.

      • “To me a black sounding name is “Leeroy” or “Chuck” or “Leon” or even “DeAndre”. I have a colleague i work with, His legal name is “D’Moufwash” (sadly, not a joke). He goes by Dean. He puts Dean on his resume, and his friends call him Dead. He does this, because he wants to be taken seriously and not as a clown.”

        And you see no problem with this? That somebody is considered “not professional” and a “clown” because they have a name that you’re not used to? Yea, that’s totes not racist at all.

        ” I know which neighborhood I’d move out of.”

        Presumably with magical gold coins that materialize from sheer willpower? You are aware that people don’t live in bad neighborhoods because they enjoy the scenery, right? They can’t afford to move.

        “The fact is that the best people come out of the worst circumstances because simply put, There are people who work hard despite their surroundings, and people who submit. And the simple truth of the matter is that YOU Determine the type of person you will become.”

        The people that you mention are exceptions. Do you really think that there aren’t millions of people who try just as hard and aren’t fortunate enough to be remarkably good at physics? Here’s an experiment. Work really hard at physics, then win a Nobel Prize. Or, better yet, you said you worked in HR. How about you just become the CEO of your company. After all, it’s just a matter of hard work. Should be no trouble for a go-getter like you.

        The rest of your comment is just nonsensical strawmanning.

      • “And you see no problem with this? That somebody is considered “not professional” and a “clown” because they have a name that you’re not used to? Yea, that’s totes not racist at all.”

        Go. Please. Get on your soapbox. Say it’s unjust, and unfair. and that society shouldn’t judge anyone for anything about them. You need to view things for what they are, and not for what they should be. Do you think a mother named her son D’Moufwash in order to challenge society and hope for change? Grow up, and accept that the professional world will always judge you. There are simply those that know how to adapt to those expectations, and those who don’t.

        “Presumably with magical gold coins that materialize from sheer willpower? You are aware that people don’t live in bad neighborhoods because they enjoy the scenery, right? They can’t afford to move.”

        I’ve lived in Brownsville (go look it up), and I’ve lived in the Upperwest Side, and I’ve lived in subsidized housing in working neighborhoods. To your utter astonishment, they all cost the same. It’s not a matter of cost. It’s about being proactive. A nice apartment in a small town is cheaper than a shitty apartment in a slum in the inner city. If you want me to refer you to some real estate agents, I’d be more than happy to.

        “The people that you mention are exceptions. Do you really think that there aren’t millions of people who try just as hard and aren’t fortunate enough to be remarkably good at physics? Here’s an experiment. Work really hard at physics, then win a Nobel Prize. Or, better yet, you said you worked in HR. How about you just become the CEO of your company. After all, it’s just a matter of hard work. Should be no trouble for a go-getter like you.”

        I have no aspirations to become CEO. The point I was trying to make, is that a person is not simply the sum of what he is told to believe. I worked my way from entry level to HR manager in a year. I worked 12-14 hours a day. I made sacrifices. I didn’t go out partying. I saved my money. I worked for less than minimum wage. I didn’t do drugs. But yeah. you’re right. I was really privileged to start at entry level and work my ass off to accomplish my goals. My bad.

      • “Go. Please. Get on your soapbox. Say it’s unjust, and unfair. and that society shouldn’t judge anyone for anything about them. You need to view things for what they are, and not for what they should be.”

        So it’s ok to be racist because that’s just the way it is? Minorities should just learn to be more like white people, clearly the superior race, and everything will be hunky dory for them?

        “Grow up, and accept that the professional world will always judge you.”

        But I thought that if I worked hard I would succeed? That’s what you keep saying, at least. Now you’re telling me that I’m going to be judged on things other than the quality of my work? FSM protect me in Your noodly embrace, you don’t say! But I suppose that you would argue that race and social class certainly aren’t things that the professional world would judge people on.

        “I’ve lived in Brownsville (go look it up), and I’ve lived in the Upperwest Side, and I’ve lived in subsidized housing in working neighborhoods. To your utter astonishment, they all cost the same”

        Oddly enough, I did look it up. And it looks to me like the average apartment in Brownsville is anywhere from $1,000-$2,000 a month for a two to three bedroom. The average apartment in the Upperwest Side is $3,000-$4,500 a month for a two to three bedroom. Yea, an extra $1,000 a month at a minimum should be no problem for people to scrape up.

        “I was really privileged to start at entry level and work my ass off to accomplish my goals”

        Actually, yes, you were. You came into it with an education that other people didn’t get a chance at. You came in having been raised in a stable home. You came in without having a criminal record that you could have gotten for the crime of Walking While Black. You came in without the racial baggage that’s given to minorities in that they have to work twice as hard to receive the same amount of recognition. You came in with enough clothing to always look professional, enough food to eat, reliable transportation, living within a reasonable commute.

        The majority of people are no less motivated or driven than you. What you accomplished is great, but you didn’t do it all by yourself. You started far ahead of the people that you’re now saying are just lazy. You are given leeway and second chances and benefits of the doubt that other people don’t get, not because they don’t deserve it, but because we live in a system where certain people are discriminated against. And you seem to be entirely ok with this discrimination, shrugging it off as just the way things are, mostly because you don’t have to deal with it. In fact, you benefit from it. That’s privilege, and as hard as you’ve worked, it takes poor people and minorities three times as much effort to get where you have, so stop massaging your own ego by pretending that the ones who only make twice as much effort as you are lazy.

      • Wow. Brownsville for $1000-2000? Upperwest side for $3000-$4500. People really don’t have any idea about New york real estate. I paid $400 a month when I was living in manhattan. and $435 a month when I was living in Brownsville. I live now in West Havana in Miami, and i pay $450.

        “So it’s ok to be racist because that’s just the way it is? Minorities should just learn to be more like white people, clearly the superior race, and everything will be hunky dory for them?”

        Wow. Is that what that means to you? Race LITERALLY has nothing to do with it. If I white guy came into my office chewing tobacco with stains on his shirt, I’d throw him out just the same. It has nothing to do with privilege, or race, or culture, or upbringing. In a business, when you want other people to pay you and promote you, and respect your opinion, you dress professionally, you speak professionally, and you act professionally. Irregardless of race, if a guy walks into my office without a tie, and a suit with stains on the collar and an untucked shirt, I’m gonna take him aside and let him know that he needs to dress a certain way if he wants to be respected in this company. Same goes for Burger King. USPS. Whereever you are. People will Judge you based on the way you speak (no yo yo yo, or f-bombs, or discussion of politic, religion, or sex in the workplace), the way you act (Smiling, eye contact, positive attitude. Being respectful, etc.) And the way that you dress (Listed above.) Nothing to do with upbringing. I’ve had people from ivy leagues who’ve progressed slower than people with GED’s because the one was more open to learning, had a more positive attitude, and a better work ethic. It’s not rocket science. The themes are universal in all work places. If you wanna drag race into the mix and say that professionalism means white and unprofessionalism means black, then you’re the racist. I know plenty of white people who I wouldn’t want to work with, and plenty of blacks and latinos that I would hire in a second based on what I went over before.

        “But I thought that if I worked hard I would succeed? That’s what you keep saying, at least. Now you’re telling me that I’m going to be judged on things other than the quality of my work? FSM protect me in Your noodly embrace, you don’t say! But I suppose that you would argue that race and social class certainly aren’t things that the professional world would judge people on.”

        First of all, FSM is passe. Second, work ethic is definitely a major part of success. Lazy people don’t get promoted. Don’t care who their parents are. But I addressed this above. Don’t dress for the job you have, dress for the job you want. I know a lot of people who worked their butts of and never got promoted because they didn’t try to learn anything new, they didn’t network, never sat down with their boss and asked what they needed to do to get x, y, and z.

        As to everything else you said. I happen to work in an industry that doesn’t hire based on college degees. In fact, the man who runs the entire organization of 76 offices doesn’t have a college degree and worked his way up from entry level. The success in our business is determined by what I’ve laid out earlier. Not making excuses, taking control of your situation, and setting clear attainable goals. I have no sympathy for people after working with so many people who lived in public housing, and poverty who quit because they just Didn’t Wanna Try as hard as they needed to in order to succeed.

        You are the Kaoru, you speak for the under privileged. Very admirable. There’s always going to be injustice. But get your head out of your ass. We live in the United States of America. If you find someone who is poor and underprivileged and just wants to work their way out from under, call me. I’ll interview them. Qualifications for entry level are simple. Are you willing to work hard? Do you carry yourself professionally? Are you comfortable being judged based on your own personal performance? If so, welcome aboard.

      • “Wow. Brownsville for $1000-2000? Upperwest side for $3000-$4500. People really don’t have any idea about New york real estate. I paid $400 a month when I was living in manhattan. and $435 a month when I was living in Brownsville. I live now in West Havana in Miami, and i pay $450.”

        Yep. Perhaps there was a time when these places were basically the same. They aren’t any longer. The gap between rich and poor is bigger than it used to be, so the gap between rich and poor neighborhoods is also growing.

        “Wow. Is that what that means to you? Race LITERALLY has nothing to do with it.”

        If you consider it “unprofessional” to use your name if it’s “Leeroy” or “DeAndre” or any other name that you are not familiar with, that’s racism. People from different cultures have different name conventions, and they are not objectively more or less “professional” unless there is an element of racism within the system that arbitrarily denotes ethnic-sounding names as being less appropriate for the workplace. That is a problem, and one that as an HR manager you can actually do something about by simply not being dismissive of people who’s names are unfamiliar to you, as seems to happen in many companies.

        “People will Judge you based on the way you speak (no yo yo yo, or f-bombs, or discussion of politic, religion, or sex in the workplace), the way you act (Smiling, eye contact, positive attitude. Being respectful, etc.) And the way that you dress (Listed above.) Nothing to do with upbringing.”

        Part of my original point, and part of what both you and Cosby don’t seem to understand, is that there is a difference between how one acts in a work environment and how one acts at home. That being said, for all your protestations, some people are given fewer resources based on their birth and circumstances outside of their control, and it sometimes takes a change of thinking to realize that you are overlooking otherwise really qualified people, often without realizing it.

        You’re down in West Havana? I grew up just outside of Ft. Lauderdale! I would recommend giving the Miami Unemployment tax office a call and letting them know that you have openings. You should be able to find plenty of people who would be willing to work. Also, there are several Labor Readys in Miami, and I’m sure there are at least a few people there that would be both capable and willing to do something that isn’t manual labor per diem.

        I just hope that when you see names like “Leodanis,” “Alberto,” and “Yeon,” that you will consider that these are people’s names and not just write them off as being “unprofessional” for no reason other than that they happened to be born to and named by Cubans.

  4. Ok. I appreciate that everyone is pointing at circumstances are the problem and that all low income families can easily be labeled as “under-privileged” and wearing your pants past your ass is a “fashion statement” and saying “Who that is” is a dialect. It’s not. What you call Privileged education is a sham. I went to a private school. Some of my classmates are drug dealers now. Some in prison. Some went on to ivy leagues and working on wall st. Most went to the local state or community colleges. In the end though. We had a 100% high school graduation rate, and a 100% college acceptance rate BECAUSE, it got the parents involved at all steps in the process. I didn’t do my homework because my parents paid the school money. I didn’t get good grades because my teachers had advanced degrees. I didn’t get into a good college because out buildings were clean and new. I did that because my parents made sure I worked every night. They encouraged me to get involved in sports, and music, and academic clubs.

    What he was saying here is that it comes down to the parents.

    In the end, it comes down to personal responsibility. You can blame others constantly for everything that goes wrong in your life, but I have lived long enough to see people who CONSISTENTLY FAIL at any attempts to better themselves. I’m a human resources manager, and I interview candidates daily for entry level positions. We try to reach out and give people who don’t have a deep work background to break into the business world. I get people everyday, white and black and latino alike, coming in with dress shirts completely untucked, unshowered, unshaven, resume that was put together in 30 seconds, asking me questions like, “How much this pay?” and “Do i gotta like, be here everyday?” and “I just want something that ain’t too hard.”
    This isn’t one or two people. This is the majority. You can say it’s the public school system, and they’re not to blame, it’s society trying to keep them down. But, it’s just not true.

    I’ll show you two candidates.

    Candidate #1: Wearing a tie and a clean dress shirt tucked in.
    Candidate #2: His underwear is showing and his shirt is wrinkled and stained.

    Candidate #1: Is sitting upright, making eye contact, and listening to your questions.
    Candidate #2: Is slouching in his seat, chewing gum, looking around the room, and asks you to repeat your questions.

    Candidate #1: Has a well formatted resume on nice linen paper ($4 for a stack of 50) and he took the time to write a cover letter.
    Candidate #2: Says he forgot his resume at home, and asks if you can print it off his email.

    Candidate #1: Asks intelligent questions, and shows he did research into the company.
    Candidate #2: Asks questions about what kind of company this is, and what would he be expected to do, and how much it pays per hour.

    Candidate #1: Thanks you for your time, shakes your hand, and asks what he should expect.
    Candidate #2: Asks if he got the job.

    This isn’t rocket science. I have no pity for people who don’t seek to improve themselves. All this information can be found, online, for free. On Youtube and over the web, there are a series of free lectures attempted to make university level education free and open source. Homeless shelters provide bedding and food and employment programs to help get people off the street.
    There are simply those who wish to improve themselves and their families, and those who are comfortable living at the bottom. You can rebutt that all societies need these people, who work the jobs we don’t want to work, and they deserve the fair share because they try. You fail to realize that there is a huge need in this country for skilled laborers in vocations such as pipe fitters, plumbers, construction workers, welders, and many schools offer free or subsidized programs in these trades.

    Janitors make a good living, the people who don’t are the ones who aren’t even willing to sweep a floor to feed their kids.

    • “I appreciate that everyone is pointing at circumstances are the problem and that all low income families can easily be labeled as “under-privileged” and wearing your pants past your ass is a “fashion statement” and saying “Who that is” is a dialect. It’s not.”

      HItchens’ razor, yes it is. Would you like to try again, this time with evidence?

      “I went to a private school.”

      So what you’re saying is that you have no idea what it’s like to not have a good education but feel confident in your lack of knowledge to comment on it anyway.

      “Some of my classmates are drug dealers now. Some in prison. Some went on to ivy leagues and working on wall st. Most went to the local state or community colleges.”

      I understand what you’re trying to say, but this doesn’t prove anything other than that some people do different things. I would be curious to see the ratios of people who ended up with generally positive to negative outcomes in your schools as compared to inner city schools or people from poor neighborhoods. In the meantime, the plural of “anecdote” is not “evidence”. Show me data.

      “What he was saying here is that it comes down to the parents.”

      Alright, let’s examine this, because I happen to agree that parental involvement is incredibly important. How many jobs did your parents have to work to keep feeding you? Did they have to work overnights? Did they have to work evenings? How often were you worried that you wouldn’t have a place to live tomorrow, which distracted you from homework and studying. because your parents were out at work but had their daytime hours cut?

      I think it’s wonderful that your parents had the time to spend encouraging you, but in the areas that Cosby is talking about, many people are too busy making sure that their kids have consistent meals to make sure they’re doing their homework.

      “In the end, it comes down to personal responsibility.”

      The refrain of people who would like to not feel guilty about not giving a shit. “Personal responsibility” is only applicable if people start from the same place. If you and I were running a race, and I not only got to start fifty feet ahead of you but occasionally somebody would randomly smack you in the kneecaps with a crowbar, would you say that you lost because you just didn’t run well enough? Couldn’t those other factors have some sort of effect on your running?

      “This isn’t one or two people. This is the majority. You can say it’s the public school system, and they’re not to blame, it’s society trying to keep them down. But, it’s just not true.”

      Again, HItchens’ razor, citation needed. And no, the strawmen that you present below that are not evidence. Present data.

      “All this information can be found, online, for free. On Youtube and over the web, there are a series of free lectures attempted to make university level education free and open source.”

      And they can access it with the free, magical computers and internet that come to everybody via wishful thinking? And before you say that libraries have free access to this, let me point out that you have never been to a library in the inner city. I know this, because you were about to make that argument and seem to have no idea that if you show up to one, you’ll find a line of people, often who will wait outside in any weather, just to be herded into a waiting room and be allowed limited time on the computers there. They can’t just spend all day after school watching lectures on Youtube, they may barely have enough time to get even some of their homework done.

      “Homeless shelters provide bedding and food and employment programs to help get people off the street.”

      Hold on, let me translate this argument into Dickensian: “Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?” Let me guess: you’re a libertarian. Let me also guess that you’ve never seen the inside of a homeless shelter in your life and have no idea how they are run, how limited their resources are, or how difficult it is for people in some areas just to get inside because there aren’t enough to fill the incredible need.

      “There are simply those who wish to improve themselves and their families, and those who are comfortable living at the bottom.”

      You would very much like to believe that, wouldn’t you? The idea that there is something that could be done, things that you could do, but don’t really want to can be a killer. But if you simply blame the victim, then you don’t have to worry about that. You can go on about your daily life pretending that people enjoy living in poverty, that the vast majority of the poor are just lazy and complacent, they don’t want to work because if they did, then they would be doing as well as you.

      This is what we mean by privilege: you got to go to a private school, have parents that didn’t have to spend their time working so they could be there to encourage you, had access to educational resources that many inner city kids can only dream about, and conclude that the only reason for this is that you simply wanted it more.

      • I like your style you adopted as the original article does. Taking specific sentences and needling them. I’ll mirror. And we’ll go in order of the rebuttals as you made them.

        “””“I appreciate that everyone is pointing at circumstances are the problem and that all low income families can easily be labeled as “under-privileged” and wearing your pants past your ass is a “fashion statement” and saying “Who that is” is a dialect. It’s not.”

        HItchens’ razor, yes it is. Would you like to try again, this time with evidence?”””

        I’m not entirely sure what it is that you wanted evidence on. You want me to give you the CIA World Factbook on the % of liberal journalists who referred to low income families and under-privileged and conservative journalists who referred to the top 1% of earners as “Job creators”? I’ll be sure to do that as soon as it’s possible.

        “So what you’re saying is that you have no idea what it’s like to not have a good education but feel confident in your lack of knowledge to comment on it anyway.”

        I was commenting on my background. And how the end result was not correlated to the standard of education, but the effort of the students.

        “”Alright, let’s examine this, because I happen to agree that parental involvement is incredibly important. How many jobs did your parents have to work to keep feeding you? Did they have to work overnights? Did they have to work evenings? How often were you worried that you wouldn’t have a place to live tomorrow, which distracted you from homework and studying. because your parents were out at work but had their daytime hours cut?””

        I’m pleased we agree, because I feel too far between discussions focus on the points on contention instead of agreement. And yes, my father worked evening. and weekends. and holidays. and birthdays. and my mother also had a full time job. I didn’t worry that I wasn’t going to have a place to live tomorrow, but for all I know that very well may have been the case. My parents weren’t home to tuck my in every night nor did they spend every waking hour looking after me. But they did mind who I hung out with, and they kept in touch with me, and they checked my homework every morning. You can say that the Poor, Low income parents work 20 hours a day and never have a second to spend with their kids. But I spent 2 years going door to door in the dangerous neighborhoods in Brooklyn, and Queens, and Staten Island, and Newark, and I can tell you. In these households. around 2 in the afternoon. Everyone was sitting on their stoops. People would drink beer outside at noon. Smoke. Let their kids run wild. I would point to you and say PLEASE provide evidence on what percentage of these kids are left alone because their parents work 2 or 3 jobs.
        Would you like some statistics? Let’s talk about the most important. Monetary motivation.

        Total # of States where Welfare pays more than an $8/hr job: 40
        Total # of States where Welfare pays more than the average teacher’s salary: 9.
        # of people on Foodstamps: 50,000,000
        # of people on welfare/unemployment: 10,000,000.

        I think I can count a few people there who aren’t too busy working to watch their kids.

        “”And they can access it with the free, magical computers and internet that come to everybody via wishful thinking? And before you say that libraries have free access to this, let me point out that you have never been to a library in the inner city. I know this, because you were about to make that argument and seem to have no idea that if you show up to one, you’ll find a line of people, often who will wait outside in any weather, just to be herded into a waiting room and be allowed limited time on the computers there. They can’t just spend all day after school watching lectures on Youtube, they may barely have enough time to get even some of their homework done.””

        Again, an anecdote to counter mine. But I lived in Brooklyn, in Brownsville. Right next to one of the most dangerous projects. Library, empty. When I lived in Little Havana, Library, old white men. It is both an impossible argument and a fallacy to claim that every library in every low income neighborhood in America is brim full with people filling their literacy programs and renting booking to suppliment their TERRIBLY underfunded educations, and the computer’s with lines reaching out the doors. The access to information in this country is so tremendously available there is LITERALLY no excuse to not be able to do so. Everyone has an email. If you can show you’re on welfare Assurance Wireless will give you a free phone. Libraries provide free computing and internet services. Free books. If you can show me they have a 100% saturation rate with any legitimate study by any organization ever, I will concede. Oh, also, you’re saying the people who don’t have time to better themselves through lectures are the ones who are too busy doing homework. The ones who do all their homework, are clearly not the people we are talking about.

        “”You would very much like to believe that, wouldn’t you? The idea that there is something that could be done, things that you could do, but don’t really want to can be a killer. But if you simply blame the victim, then you don’t have to worry about that. You can go on about your daily life pretending that people enjoy living in poverty, that the vast majority of the poor are just lazy and complacent, they don’t want to work because if they did, then they would be doing as well as you.

        This is what we mean by privilege: you got to go to a private school, have parents that didn’t have to spend their time working so they could be there to encourage you, had access to educational resources that many inner city kids can only dream about, and conclude that the only reason for this is that you simply wanted it more.””

        Simply put, if what you are proposing is in fact the case, there will be a permanent underclass in America who will suffer in perpetuity because they just need our help. It’s an elitist argument. Continue to help them point the finger at others. Plaster the news with stories of killers who gunned down innocent victims and blame the gun lobby. I could answer each of these arguments individually, but in the end, it serves no purpose. The only person, who can change your circumstances is You. For every inner city youth who got trapped and is doing drugs because his daddy didn’t love him enough, I will show you a man who took responsibility for his future, stopped blaming his circumstances and picked himself up. Demonize me as a libertarian and heartless conservative, but the simple truth is that they are the Only people who can do anything about their situation.

        It’s not a matter of blame. I’m not slut slamming or blaming the victims. Sucks that they were born in the place they were. Sucks their parents didn’t give a shit about them. Sucks their school didn’t have enough quality teachers.
        I have two choices, “Your fault, your fault, his fault, their fault. I didn’t do anything wrong. Why should I have to do anything about it?”
        Or.
        “What can I do to better myself. I don’t have internet at home. I’ll rent a book. I don’t learn enough in class because there’s too many students. I’ll ask my teacher if I can stay after school. Or the librarian. Or a parent. Or a family friend. My friend offered me drugs, and said I’d be a fag if I didn’t take some. I should just say no. That persons not my real friend. No one will give me a job. I’ll make my own work, or I’ll volunteer. (Far easier than you think).”

        It all boils down to a simple mentality switch. Instead of victimizing as you say I do, “My toy broke.” or “This happened to me.” Take responsibility and empower yourself, “What could I have done to avoid this.” or “How can I do to prevent this from happening again?”

        I’m not victimizing them. you are. Giving it all something to blame helps no one. No matter what, in the end. You can’t fix it. Anything you do to fix it will only perpetuate and exacerbate the problems. Only solution is, as I said, personal responsibility.

        Or you could dress them, bathe them, take them to rehab, teach them to speak professionally, force them to wake up early, force them to go to work. Force them to take adult education courses, force them to work to better themselves, and do that every day for the rest of their lives.
        Whichever works for you.

      • “I’m not entirely sure what it is that you wanted evidence on”

        Evidence that the way people speak is not a dialect, the way they dress is not fashion, and a person’s income doesn’t denote their relative privilege. Or, to put it in the context of my original comment, why these things should be treated as moral failings.

        “I was commenting on my background. And how the end result was not correlated to the standard of education, but the effort of the students.”

        But you said you had 100% graduation and college acceptance, and still some people didn’t end up doing well. Did they work all the way through high school, then suddenly stopped?

        “And yes, my father worked evening. and weekends. and holidays. and birthdays. and my mother also had a full time job. ”

        Here’s another point that I am confused about. You say both of your parents worked, your father worked on nights and weekends, your mother worked full time, but you also grew up in a lower middle class neighborhood. But you also went to a private school. And spent your time at the library in an even poorer area. You’ll excuse me if I’m getting a might skeptical about your background.

        “Total # of States where Welfare pays more than an $8/hr job: 40
        Total # of States where Welfare pays more than the average teacher’s salary: 9.”

        You should really cite your sources, but I looked up that ridiculous Cato study and noticed something: it makes no effort to compare to cost of living. And low and behold, you can’t actually live in most states working for minimum wage. What your statistic says is that the free market, without a social safety net, leaves people in even more abject poverty.

        “It is both an impossible argument and a fallacy to claim that every library in every low income neighborhood in America is brim full with people filling their literacy programs and renting booking to suppliment their TERRIBLY underfunded educations, and the computer’s with lines reaching out the doors.”

        I don’t have to. You’re the one claiming that anyone who doesn’t succeed is just not trying hard enough. I’m saying that there are plenty of people who don’t succeed that work their ass off and have to overcome systemic problems that you deny exist.

        “…Assurance Wireless will give you a free phone… ”

        Yes, but not a smartphone. I suppose they can call somebody with a computer?

        “Oh, also, you’re saying the people who don’t have time to better themselves through lectures are the ones who are too busy doing homework.”
        They get part of their homework done. Try to keep up.

        “Simply put, if what you are proposing is in fact the case, there will be a permanent underclass in America who will suffer in perpetuity because they just need our help.”

        I’m saying that there is an underclass in this country that is kept that way by privileged people who don’t need to overcome half the challenges they do and still get twice as far, then blame that underclass for simply not working hard enough.

        How about instead of the reductio ad absurdum you engage in at the bottom, we just make sure that the same quality of education is given to every student, that police stop targeting minorities, and that companies actually pay a living wage?

  5. “But you said you had 100% graduation and college acceptance, and still some people didn’t end up doing well. Did they work all the way through high school, then suddenly stopped?”

    Being accepted to college, and then not going to college, or flunking out of college, and turning to drugs, are all case notes from my graduating class.

    “Here’s another point that I am confused about. You say both of your parents worked, your father worked on nights and weekends, your mother worked full time, but you also grew up in a lower middle class neighborhood. But you also went to a private school. And spent your time at the library in an even poorer area. You’ll excuse me if I’m getting a might skeptical about your background.”

    Want a full disclosure? I grew up in a lower middle class neighborhood. But my parents worked their ass off so I could go to a good school (in high school. the rest of my schooling was entirely public) (as well my grades and test scores qualified me for a scholarship to this private school.) After going to college and having to graduate in 2 years because i didn’t have enough money to afford full tuition and not wanting to go into debt, I worked independently. My parents didn’t have the money to support me after graduation, so I lived in relative poverty. Spending less than $12,000 a year in order to avoid going under. I didn’t have the credit to sign contracts for internet, so I stole wi-fi, or went to the library. I got a job working on commission only, and worked my way up. Now I’m the HR manager. Still have a habit of living well below my means, but thats because I refuse to use my credit card outside of minuscule charges i pay off immediately to pad my credit score or spend money I don’t have. But I guess that makes me some over privileged white guy.

    “And low and behold, you can’t actually live in most states working for minimum wage.”

    Nope. because the minimum wage is not meant to be a living wage. Minimum wage is typically reserved for people with absolutely no experience who work shifts at McDonalds over the summer. Wal-mart, for example, pays their greeters at the door $12.50 an hour. For those people working minimum wage jobs as their living, i have two things. Go train a marketable skill and get a new job.

    “I don’t have to. You’re the one claiming that anyone who doesn’t succeed is just not trying hard enough. I’m saying that there are plenty of people who don’t succeed that work their ass off and have to overcome systemic problems that you deny exist.”

    And, yet, i have shown evidence of avenues to work their way out of poverty for all of these individuals to which you have promptly responded with a carefully worded “Nuh uh.”

    “Yes, but not a smartphone. I suppose they can call somebody with a computer?”

    Wasn’t supposed to be. But free phone and phone number is one less cost. Opens up funds for any number of useful spending options. Like internet, or a new tie.

    “They get part of their homework done. Try to keep up.”

    These poor inner city schools don’t teach anything, but they give so much homework, a child can’t even finish it all! I went to school with a lot of South Korean students, and in high school, they were in school for 8 hours a day, had at least 3 hours of after school hogwans (school after-school) and then 4 hours of homework a night. The average South Korean student gets 5 hours of sleep a night. Boy. wouldn’t it be easy for them to say they don’t have time? Strangely they don’t say that. They work harder.

    “How about instead of the reductio ad absurdum you engage in at the bottom, we just make sure that the same quality of education is given to every student, that police stop targeting minorities, and that companies actually pay a living wage?”

    Simply put… thats… not gonna happen? I would love for the Rockafeller drug laws in new york to be revoked which basically sets minimum penalties for possession charges. That being said, if I were a minority, and my neighborhood was riddled with a bunch of racist cops with an arrest quota just waiting to take me down. I’d start walking the straight and narrow. No drugs. Save money, stay out of jail.
    And if you want higher quality education, it starts with compensating teachers properly. It’s a public institution by the way. Not a matter of privilege, it’s a social service specifically targeting at helping everyone. Free School, who’da thunk it. Janitors in schools make more money than teachers. The problem that leads down this road for bad teachers being in these schools, is that teachers are not held to standard, at all. A Terrible teacher is protected by his union, and will continue, in perpetuity, to teach these poor kids, poorly. Institute performance reviews and expectations from teachers, and you’ll see a sharp jump in quality education even in the public school sector.

    • “Nope. because the minimum wage is not meant to be a living wage. Minimum wage is typically reserved for people with absolutely no experience who work shifts at McDonalds over the summer. Wal-mart, for example, pays their greeters at the door $12.50 an hour. For those people working minimum wage jobs as their living, i have two things. Go train a marketable skill and get a new job.”

      If that’s the case, then your point about welfare paying more than the minimum wage is meaningless. Welfare is designed to help people continue to live between jobs. If they can’t live on the minimum wage, then setting it as less than that is worse than pointless.

      “And, yet, i have shown evidence of avenues to work their way out of poverty for all of these individuals to which you have promptly responded with a carefully worded “Nuh uh.””

      No, all you did was say, “But if the situation weren’t the situation we’re talking about, it would be entirely different!” And you’re right, in a completely different situation things would be different. But we’re not discussing that situation.

      “Wasn’t supposed to be. But free phone and phone number is one less cost.”

      Assuming they had the money to pay for that cost in the first place. If I don’t have a dollar to spend, and you give me something that’s worth a dollar, I don’t suddenly have an extra dollar.

      “These poor inner city schools don’t teach anything, but they give so much homework, a child can’t even finish it all!”

      Strawman argument. Again.

      “Simply put… thats… not gonna happen?”

      Not with that attitude it won’t. The question should be, why the hell not? Why shouldn’t every child receive a quality education? Why shouldn’t teachers be paid decent wages? Why shouldn’t racist laws be repealed and racist cops be held to account?

      “That being said, if I were a minority, and my neighborhood was riddled with a bunch of racist cops with an arrest quota just waiting to take me down. I’d start walking the straight and narrow. No drugs. Save money, stay out of jail.”

      Oh, you think that racist police officers need you to commit an actual crime to arrest you. That’s so adorable. I assure you that if a police officer wants to arrest somebody, or needs to make quota, then they will choose a random poor minority because those are the people without resources to fight it in court, and it doesn’t matter how straight you fly, you will get pinched.

      But, again, I don’t expect that you will have even considered that because you have never, ever had to deal with it. Nor will you ever have to. You will never get stopped and frisked, delayed for hours, held without charges, or any number of other hassels up to and including the catch all crimes of “creating a public disturbance” and “resisting arrest” that are inflicted on black people for simply being outside.

      • “If they can’t live on the minimum wage, then setting it as less than that is worse than pointless.”

        Yeah, it’s not meant to be a comfortable alternative to working full time for minimum wage. If you make more living off government assistance than contributing to society. That is worse than pointless. It’s antithetical to all things productive.

        “Strawman argument. Again.”

        When you proclaim underfunded inner city schools don’t teach as much as other schools. AND students don’t have time to do all their homework. Sounds like I was pointing out a very clear flaw in your argument. And was simply mocking it. Which is not a fallacy.

        “Not with that attitude it won’t. The question should be, why the hell not? Why shouldn’t every child receive a quality education? Why shouldn’t teachers be paid decent wages? Why shouldn’t racist laws be repealed and racist cops be held to account?”

        Because all schools fundamentally cannot be the same because they exist in a free market society where the best teachers will funnel into the far more lucrative private sector, and the less motivated teachers will be funded into the public sector. And in any attempt to hold teachers and schools accountable, funding is allocated based on standards and performance so school will always receive separate funding with teachers of disparate quality. The alternative is a socialist or communist society where all things are divided equally regardless of performance and everyone will exist at an equal level of mediocrity and the living standards of everyone go down. It’s not a perfect system, but it’s the least imperfect system in the world.

        In addition Racist laws don’t exist and racist cops are fired and disciplined. Are there some cops who fall through the cracks? Sure. But they don’t put them in the high crime, low income areas. They’d get killed and be completely ineffective. They tend to cycle cops in areas where they are from. The police generally arise from the neighborhoods in which they exist.

        And if you’re planning on bringing up laws that disproportionately effect African Americans or Latinos over other groups, such as the Rockafeller Drug Laws or specific noise ordinances, then you’d have to submit that insider trading laws and embezzlement legislation is also racist as it disproportionately effects white bankers and accountants.

        “Oh, you think that racist police officers need you to commit an actual crime to arrest you. That’s so adorable. I assure you that if a police officer wants to arrest somebody, or needs to make quota, then they will choose a random poor minority because those are the people without resources to fight it in court, and it doesn’t matter how straight you fly, you will get pinched.

        But, again, I don’t expect that you will have even considered that because you have never, ever had to deal with it. Nor will you ever have to. You will never get stopped and frisked, delayed for hours, held without charges, or any number of other hassels up to and including the catch all crimes of “creating a public disturbance” and “resisting arrest” that are inflicted on black people for simply being outside.”

        Oh boy. Alright, have there ever been trumped up charges? Sure. Have some arrests been racially motivated. Of course. But you cannot try to claim that the NYPD or LAPD or MPD are somehow out to get the black population and keep them down. There’s no conspiracies here. There are areas where there are much higher reports of violent crime where the police are forced to increase their presence which, when there are more police, there are inevitably more arrests. If you wonder why most people are arrested in low income black neighborhoods in NYC, it’s because thats where the cops are because the crime rate is Simply Higher. Come on. You’re sounding like Alex Jones.

      • OK, I really don’t have time to give you a 101 course on the racism endemic in our criminal justice system. Suffice it to say that you are hopelessly naive, likely because your ideology only works if racism is solved. However, when 80% of stops by the NYPD are done on minorities and only 8% of whites who are stopped are actually frisked, and officers are caught saying to stop black males age 14-21, then maybe it’s a little more than a conspiracy theory to suggest there might just be a hint of racism there. Try using the Google machine, it can tell you all sorts of wonderful things about racism in the criminal justice system.

        “But they don’t put them in the high crime, low income areas. They’d get killed and be completely ineffective. They tend to cycle cops in areas where they are from. The police generally arise from the neighborhoods in which they exist.”

        All bullshit. You don’t even have to Google this, you can simply follow the links I already provided. The evidence is there.

        “…then you’d have to submit that insider trading laws and embezzlement legislation is also racist as it disproportionately effects white bankers and accountants.”

        That may be one of the stupidest arguments I have ever heard. You don’t see a difference between laws that disproportionately punish people for minor infractions and demonstrably gives white perpetrators shorter sentences for the same crime, and rarely prosecuted white-collar crimes in which the more you steal, the less likely you are to be punished.? Those two things are exactly the same to you?

  6. “Yep. Perhaps there was a time when these places were basically the same. They aren’t any longer. The gap between rich and poor is bigger than it used to be, so the gap between rich and poor neighborhoods is also growing.”

    Yeah, I lived there about 8 months ago. So…. yeah. It’s not a question of ye ol’ days. It’s about actually looking. Not making excuses and assuming I won’t be able to do something. Gotta try before you can succeed. Applies to low cost housing as well.

    “If you consider it “unprofessional” to use your name if it’s “Leeroy” or “DeAndre” or any other name that you are not familiar with, that’s racism. People from different cultures have different name conventions, and they are not objectively more or less “professional” unless there is an element of racism within the system that arbitrarily denotes ethnic-sounding names as being less appropriate for the workplace.”

    Whoa, slow down there hot shot. I said, those are what I think of as black names. If i read Leeroy Jones on a page, I’m going to think. Leeroy’s probably a black guy. I am not going to dismiss his resume for it. If I see a resume that says, “Shenaynay Latifa Johnson” I will also think she’s black. I won’t dismiss her for it. But if i were her, I wouldn’t put Shenaynay on a resume. I’d change it to… “Shey.” or something similar. Just like if my parents named me Jebadiah. Or Judas. or Analrapist. I’d think twice before putting it on a resume. It’s about branding. You’re selling yourself on your resume and in your interview. Would you want your taxes to be done by Issac or LaShanequia. People have to be smart. I go by Thomas on my resume, but my friends call me by my gamertag. However, that has no place in the office. Simple Simple Simple. You can say “Oh the humanity, the discrimination.” But again, working in the private sector, and you’re sorting through 100+ resumes, style counts. I will throw away resumes that are not formatted properly, or have glaring spelling errors, or omits basic contact information. I have 100 other qualified candidates who put time into the way they were being perceived and compensated as such. Sounds like a level playing field to me.

    “is that there is a difference between how one acts in a work environment and how one acts at home”

    I don’t care how people talk at home. I interview a lot of cuban candidates. I live in Little havana inside Big Havana A.K.A. South Miami. I meant only in the work place. Take pride in the way you present yourself. My boss is a HUGE stoner at home. But it doesn’t leak into her work at all. She would never smoke with anyone from the office. She would never talk about it in the office or with her co-workers. She maintains a professional relationships with her business associates because thats how she wants to be perceived. Do whatever you want at home. Just when you’re at work, people are gonna judge you. always. in life. and if people aren’t comfortable being judged, or they wanna work in a place where it’s ok to wear jeans down past your ass and talk the way you do at home, be prepared that a position that allows that is going to be significantly less essential to the market than a corporate position and they will be compensated appropriately.

    “I just hope that when you see names like “Leodanis,” “Alberto,” and “Yeon,” that you will consider that these are people’s names and not just write them off as being “unprofessional” for no reason other than that they happened to be born to and named by Cubans.”

    I’m only going to write them off if I call them and all they can say is, “Get someone who speaks Spanish? I no English. You give job now?”

    • “Whoa, slow down there hot shot. I said, those are what I think of as black names. If i read Leeroy Jones on a page, I’m going to think. Leeroy’s probably a black guy.”

      Well, yes, then you followed it up with, “I have a colleague i work with, His legal name is “D’Moufwash” (sadly, not a joke). He goes by Dean. He puts Dean on his resume, and his friends call him Dead. He does this, because he wants to be taken seriously and not as a clown.” Why should using his name make him not be taken seriously? And, again, please observe the study linked above showing that plenty of HR people will look at resumes with Caucasian-sounding names and ignore the same resume with an ethnic-sounding one.

      “Would you want your taxes to be done by Issac or LaShanequia.”

      The one who gets me a better return. You start by saying that race doesn’t matter, then you imply that somebody with a “black sounding” name would be less preferable to do your taxes based on nothing besides their name. How do you not see that that is racist?

      “Do whatever you want at home. Just when you’re at work, people are gonna judge you.”

      Then I have no idea why you’re responding to this thread since Cosby is specifically talking about the behavior of people in their homes and neighborhoods. So, again, the conversation is one thing, and your response is to say, “But in this entirely different thing, this is the case” apropos of nothing.

      • Ok. I’m taking it back now. Black culture is not synonymous with thug culture. A guy walks up to you with gold teeth, ball cap on backwards, pants down to his knees. You are not going to ask him for his qualifications. My point is simple and straightforward and realistic. EVERYONE is judged based on just about Everything. Both in business and in life. If my parents named me Turdburgler, I wouldn’t put it on my resume or business card. If they named me Bluttentrinkerfasten, i wouldn’t put it on my business card. You keep drawing this assumption that it is only about Black culture somehow, or that it is linked specifically to a person’s race. It doesn’t matter what color, creed, sexual orientation. The point I am making is people act like there is no judgement in this country. They walk around with their pants around their ankles and complain why no one is giving them a job. People are NOT taking personal responsibility. I would love it if I could let my freak flag fly all day long and just be whatever i felt like being and dress however I felt like dressing. But I take pride in my professional appearance and cultivate this persona because it is the way I wish to be perceived.

        “The one who gets me a better return. You start by saying that race doesn’t matter, then you imply that somebody with a “black sounding” name would be less preferable to do your taxes based on nothing besides their name. How do you not see that that is racist?”

        No, it really doesn’t. Maybe Issac was a black guy. I’d still prefer Issac because he takes consideration of his public perception by using a name that reflects his dedication to his trade. Everything has a stigma. Everything has a connotation. And when people act despite these things, they have to take personal responsibility for the way they’re perceived.

        “And, again, please observe the study linked above showing that plenty of HR people will look at resumes with Caucasian-sounding names and ignore the same resume with an ethnic-sounding one.”

        Thanks for that. You made it known it’s public knowledge how people perceive others. Now they have no excuse for being more hire-able. I work with a lot of Chinese immigrants as well. Xingzi, ZhouZheng. Liangjing. Weishu lan. You know what they insist on being called? Ellise, Zee, Lilly, and Wendy. They wear clean suits and pressed shirts. They are well groomed, and speak perfect english. They’re not from rich Chinese families, they immigrated to the states because they were poor and had no opportunity in China. Now, when we talk about Chinese culture, in your head, you can think of poor farmers in rags, or triad gangs, or dirty polluted cities with workers who live in sub human conditions for $0.60 an hour. These immigrants know who to make a professional impression and don’t let their cultural background affect their jobs.

        You wish the world would change. Which seems to mean changing the way people perceive and think about race. My solution, people need to work hard to take control of the way they’re perceived. Your solution is something like…. a mass brainwash? I’m not too sure.

      • “If my parents named me Turdburgler…”

        And you see no difference between “Turdburgler” and “Leeroy.” Gotcha. And that is why you’re racist.

        “I’d still prefer Issac because he takes consideration of his public perception by using a name that reflects his dedication to his trade.”

        Because somebody named LaShanequia couldn’t possibly be dedicated to her trade. After all, she went to all that trouble to have her parents name her something that white guys aren’t used to.

        “My solution, people need to work hard to take control of the way they’re perceived. Your solution is something like…. a mass brainwash? I’m not too sure.”

        No, your solution is that people need to be just like you. My solution is to convince people through argument that racist actions are a bad thing and beneath us as human beings. There are lots of ways to change people’s mind without it being “brainwashing.”

      • Ok. Seriously. Leeroy is a name that I am saying is Positive, Good. Yay! Good name. If your name is Leeroy Malcolms put that on your resume. it’s professional. If your name is Dashaniqueekna Martin. DON’T! Jesus. You’re failing to see the difference between being black and emulating thug culture.

        “Because somebody named LaShanequia couldn’t possibly be dedicated to her trade. After all, she went to all that trouble to have her parents name her something that white guys aren’t used to.”

        You’re literally on the borderline of trolling at this point. As I have said, and will say, hundreds of times over. When you work in business, your presentation matters. I’d love if it I could walk around in a Hawaiian shirt all day and then yell at people who don’t hire me, “HEY! I’m somehow not a good manager cuz I don’t wear a suit all of a sudden? Bigot.” That would be so fun and really make my day. Unfortunately, what I’m saying to you now is that most people Would go to Issac before LaShanequia because that name they don’t associate with professional behavior. So Lashanequia has two options. Join you up on your soap box and preach how the world has to change, or she can put Shannon on her nametag, and move on with her fuckin day.

        Lemme preempt your arguement. There is nothing inherently wrong with her name as it exists. In a moral sense. This isn’t about moral hierarchy, this is about the cold hard truth of the world as it is. You want it to change. I doubt you’ll succeed. Do I want it to change, OF COURSE. I’d love if everyone could be whatever they wanted and go about and name their babies Dancer, and wear orange lip stick and lime green eye shadow and no one would think twice about it.

        Oh, shit. Forgot I was living in reality.

        “No, your solution is that people need to be just like you.”

        Hell no, people shouldn’t be like me. I am not even being like me when I’m in the office. I put on my business persona. I dress up in clothing I would never otherwise wear, I speak with vocabulary I would NEVER use in my day to day life. It’s completely different.

        “My solution is to convince people through argument that racist actions are a bad thing and beneath us as human beings. There are lots of ways to change people’s mind without it being “brainwashing.””

        Because thats worked so well. Racism (in so far as you define it as any decision or judgement that is based on a person’s race or any qualities that you feel are related to their race such as name, dialect, speech pattern, clothing choice, walk, music choice, etc) will never end. Until multiculturalism is abolished, and cultures merge to become the same, people will be inherently unequal. What was it the Supreme Court said so many years ago? Separate is inherently unequal. You can’t refuse to assimilate and expect to be included at the same time. Thats not a thing.

      • Arguing that because things are a certain way that there’s no way of changing it ignores centuries of social progress. We are a more permissive and more accepting society today because people challenged the way things were done and demanded rational reasons for behaviors and attitudes. That I may never see the end of racism in no way lessens my obligation to continue to struggle for that goal. You’re right, that’s not how the world currently works, but it’s better today because of the efforts of people like me, telling people like you that we should be better than we are. That people can’t use their own damn names is racist, no matter how you slice it, and if that’s reality in the business world, it demonstrates my point that the business world has a racist undercurrent to it. That can be combated by convincing people that since there is no rational basis on which to discriminate against somebody because of their name, then it simply shouldn’t be done. And somehow people will manage to get over it and move on.

      • Yeah, I just don’t see it happening. A world without hate, or bigotry, or prejudice, just isn’t a possibility. When people tell me they want world peace, I just roll my eyes. It’s in the essential nature of humanity.
        Could Theoretically the world be a better place if we took away all the guns, and the nukes, and the drugs, and the racial intolerance. Sure. And monkey’s might also statistically, on a quantum basis of course, fly out of my butt.
        So long as black culture insists on separating itself. As well as Pakistani culture, and Chinese culture, and Japanese culture, and Cuban culture, And within them, white culture, black culture, cuban culture, native american culture. So long as there are ethnic groups, there will always be a mistrust, and a misunderstanding of others. It is embedded in the very fiber of our beings to stick to our own kind, and to reject outsiders. It’s an evolutionary perspective and it’s not going to be bred out of us for hundreds of years (if EVER). So long as people insist on maintaining their cultural history, well. I don’t have to tell you that you can’t progress socially and maintain traditional values at the same time, now do I? At least I hope I don’t. If you want people to stop being so judgmental, you’re gonna have to make everybody the same.
        Any hopes that we can all hold hands and join in peace love and understanding is misguided and a wasted effort.
        You can enjoy fixing the world, and in the meanwhile, these communities will continue to struggle. Perhaps needlessly. But actually. regardless of reason. They are, and will, until they fix it themselves.

  7. I just have to say, I grew up in a stable home, although we had little money and almost no “privilege”. I had no chance whatsoever for furthering my education. I’ve completed my Bachelor’s degree followed by a graduate degree. How, I joined the military. Last time I looked unless you were a convicted felon, you can too. I had goals in HS and I worked toward them. Trouble and not studying would hamper that goal so I stayed clear of it. There are MANY military recruiters available to the inner cities, I know several who have worked there. So how is it that someone can be held back and not allowed to go to school? The military will pay you, cover medical for your family and pay for your school. But, you have to earn it and be responsible. I’ve since retired after 21 years in and now work using my degree. The majority of the time, the only thing holding someone back is themselves! And it’s NOT my fault is YOU chose not to!

    • So what you’re saying is that there is no imbalance in how people are treated because you can risk your life if you really wanted? The point is that people in better situations, who generally are suburban white kids, don’t have to potentially be shot in a foreign country just to get an education.

      I’d be curious to know what you mean by you having no “privilege”. Were you not white? Were you not male? Did you grow up in the inner city? What’s your definition of “little” money? I’ll put dollars to donuts that you benefited from a whole lot of things that you don’t even think about.

      • Obviously, he doesn’t realize that being able-bodied and straight isn’t a privilege – if he thinks that the military is the great equalizer.

  8. Wow, people. Mr. Cosby is an intelligent, educated man and makes good sense. Instead of picking apart the statement of someone who has actually worked hard all his life to better himself and others, maybe you should take the parts you agree with and do something about it.

    • Even intelligent, educated men can be wrong sometimes. And if this wasn’t passed around Facebook every other month by racists looking to justify their preconceptions about the vast majority of black people, I wouldn’t have felt the need to make these corrections.

      • Damn, I loved the back and forth between Tom and Kaoru. Proof that there can be two very valid points of view. Neither is totally right or wrong. Both make excellent arguments and I’d love to see people like Tom and Kaoru come together in the proper forums to publicly discuss their points of view for the purpose the betterment of all. Well done, you two. Don’t put a wall up…tear it down.

  9. Although I agree with your general observations on what Bill has said, I think that you fail to see what he is actually saying. He is directing it at ‘his people’ but actually he is comenting on modern poverty and behavour justification! Poverty is no excuse for a lack of self respect, respect of others, the willingness to do good and help each others. Please have a look at India, Kenya, china and other third world countries. This is a social question not a racial question. Not even to mention have a good look at ‘white people’ history and you will see that just because you are poor, are supplied with inadequate health care, education and a social welfare system – does not give you the right to murder, rape and deal drugs. What he is speaking about is self-evident. African leaders such as Thabo Mbeki (second democratic president of South Africa) touched on this exact topic. Take responsibility for yourself, poverty is no excuse! stop blaming others and make changes because this is the African century, we require an African renaissance, a change of thinking not the blame culture that we find ourselves in. Thank you allowing me to air my opinion in the matter. Regards

    • Sorry, got lost in the shuffle.

      I think this has been covered already in this thread, but just to re-iterate, it’s not just poverty, but also racism. “Personal responsibility” in this case doesn’t account for the fact that minorities are seven times more likely to be arrested and incarcerated for crimes that white people commit at the same levels. It doesn’t account for the fact that while, yes, poverty is an issue, minorities in this country tend to be impoverished. And it doesn’t change that if they work extra-super hard they might achieve the same thing as middle class white kids do by being entirely average or below, that is relevant in the discussion of why that is and why just telling people to work harder is a poor substitute for creating a system in which the same amount of work benefits everyone equally. By saying, “Take responsibility for yourself,” what you are also saying is, “It’s really hard to make the system benefit you as much as it benefits me, so instead of making an effort on my part to change that, I’m just going to put the onus on you and ignore the injustice that works in my favor.” It’s a terrible attitude, one unworthy of other human beings.

      “Not even to mention have a good look at ‘white people’ history and you will see that just because you are poor, are supplied with inadequate health care, education and a social welfare system – does not give you the right to murder, rape and deal drugs.”

      I’m not sure what the first part of that sentence has to do with the second part. White people do all of those things at the same levels of black people. The only difference is that black people are far, far more likely to be punished for them.

  10. Pingback: Dr. Bill Cosby’s “Pound Cake” / “We can’t blame white people” Speech | Impressions

  11. Pingback: the internet is stupid, we need to be smarter than it | Bee's Blog

  12. I’m a black man, and I agree with most of what Cosby said.

    “However, that speech isn’t somehow more correct or more English.

    It’s objectively both these things.

    “Does Jeff Foxworthy not speak English? Or Ron White? Or Larry the Fucking Cable Guy?

    They speak English, it’s just corrupted and imperfect. You shouldn’t speak like that either, but to pretend southern drawl is anywhere on the same level of grammar butchery as ebonics is very disingenuous.Also, talking with an accent/dialect is a bit different from not using proper sentence structure. Get her done spoken quickly is not the same as “why you ain’t, where you is, what he drive” etc.

    “No. It’s a sign of fashion trends. Says the guy who wears sweater vests. A sweater without arms? Isn’t that a sign of something gone wrong?”

    Do you realize that many of these ‘fashion trends’ Cosby is talking about originated from prison? One pant leg higher than the other: done for shackling prisoners together. Excessively baggy clothes: came from being issued the wrong prison uniform size and making it ‘cool.’ Sagging your pants: belts are prohibited to keep prisoners from using them as weapons or in committing suicide.

    You don’t think Bill Cosby knows that this comes from a culture where black men go to jail as a badge of honor? There is a difference between wearing a sweater vest and wearing clothes in a way to promote going to jail as a good thing.

    You call out hyperbole and you’re pedantic about. Oh if only you were as well rounded as you think you are

  13. Great analysis Kaoru Negisa. I came to your page after one of my FaceBook friends shared Cosby’s speech (interpolations and all) and I started looking for its source. Your conversation with “Tom” was a treat to read! It is people like you who make this world a hopeful place.

  14. Not all black people are like this and not only blacks have these issues …. I think it’s really more about what the world has turned into , and why people end up where they do …. Sure you may be a great person , but if you don’t present yourself in a proffessional way , how will people take you seriously ? Just because your from the hood , does not mean you have to walk around with your butt showing , mooning the world … we are all responsible for setting examples to our children ! I get it, growing up you think you have to act like everyone else or you won’t fit in …. But to reply to this article nobody is going to get shot for not talking the way your boys do , or wearing the coolest shoes! Infact u may get shot or robbed FOR wearing the best shoes out there . But everyone thinks they have to spend money they dont have , so they can impress these so called “boys” of theirs . Grow up , stand up for yourself . It is sad that the schools are how they are , it’s disgusting , but we as parents have to be there for them and raise them up the best we can for their future , hence the whole orange suit thing . Yes I’m sure alot of moms work constantly , but if you can’t make time to there for your kifs , don’t have them!! We need to prepare our kids for life . Atleast teach them morals , so they don’t think growing up and stealing cars is cool . There is more out there . Show them that!!! It doesn’t matter what color you are , we all have a job to do , and that’s to make the world a better place by raising children the best we can . They are the future of our world and honestly , I’m a little worried . How are they going to get a good job talking like that? No it doesnt mean they are not intelligent by any means , but it doesn’t make them look good either . If you want the best for your children you may want to think about that !

    • “But to reply to this article nobody is going to get shot for not talking the way your boys do , or wearing the coolest shoes!”

      You’re incorrect. In some places, people get shot regularly for wearing the wrong thing. Sometimes it’s the <a href="http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Gang-members-shot-men-for-wearing-red-cops-say-3293178.php&quot; target="_blank"wrong color. Sometimes it is the wrong shoes, both identifying with a gang when you don’t want to and not identifying with a gang when you do since the lack of police attention to minority neighborhoods often makes gangs the only source of protection.

      “Grow up, stand up for yourself.”

      So says the person who has never had to worry about being shot for doing so.

      “Yes I’m sure alot of moms work constantly, but if you can’t make time to there for your kifs , don’t have them!!”

      Many of them didn’t have to work constantly when they had their kids. Were they supposed to return their children when the fathers left, or they lost their job? And considering that options for birth control and abortion for low income women are being systematically eliminated, it’s to be expected this is going to happen.

      You’re coming at this from the place of somebody who clearly does not understand the reality of living in many neighborhoods, or of being a low income mother, or of risking your life just by being outside, but I assure you that things are not nearly as simple as you would like them to be. It’s not a very good situation, but people have to live in the situations that they live in and many of them don’t want to martyr themselves because you disapprove of how they’re dressed.

      • So…a low income mother in a bad neighborhood just HAS to have 8 babies? SOCIETY makes her do it? SOCIETY makes black men drop out of high school. Yup..it is ALWAYS someone else’s fault. Never take responsibility for your own failures. Never accept that you are clearly a burden to society.

  15. I think the racist person is clearly you, which is why he is a well respected personality and educator and you are a welfare recipient blog writer. Every single word of what he said is true. If you don;t LIKE the facts, then change them. Don’t blame others for living in reality when you choose to live in a fantasy world.

  16. .
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    A BRIEF WORD ON … “THE GREAT-COSBY’ …
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    .
    The person who is now referred to as “Dr.” Bill
    Cosby (“THE GREAT-And-POWERFUL COS”)
    is quite simply The World’s Biggest Hypocrite …
    and this is being stated …. Due To the FACT that:
    .
    (In addition to (1) his well-known, and unrepentant,
    Adultery and Womanizing; (2) the Sexual-Assaults
    of which he has been repeatedly-accused (and
    paid “hush money” to keep this out of the press);
    (3) his Double-Standard regarding the subject of
    interracial-romance; (4) his abandoning, as well
    as his (5) vile mental and cruel emotional abuse,
    of his (known) Out-Of-wedlock-Offspring; etc.) —
    (5) even the way that he “obtained” (i.e. Purchased)
    his so-called “doctorate” degree is just yet another
    example of how … the “super-rich” can quite easily
    buy their way out of or into nearly any and everything.
    .
    Cosby is 100% BOTH a Fraud AND a Hypocrite —
    AND he is the last person on the planet who we,
    as the decent and moral members of our society,
    should ‘hail’ as being the one who we deem as
    “worthy” of being selected as THE MESSENGER
    of bringing THE MESSAGE (which, anyone with
    a brain stem can see is a GREAT MESSAGE)
    to his own people — (particularly seeing that
    he secretly-lives in the very EXACT SAME
    lifestyle as do those in his group that he
    both hypocritically and publicly-condemns)
    .
    (THE LINKS BELOW PROVIDE MORE ON
    … “THE-GREAT-AND-POWERFUL-COS”)
    .
    https://www.facebook.com/speakinmymind/posts/559859290703091?comment_id=6229054&offset=0&total_comments=7
    .
    https://www.facebook.com/speakinmymind/posts/559859290703091?comment_id=6187149&offset=0&total_comments=7
    .
    Now — before anyone MISUNDERSTANDS
    the POINT that I am making here … perhaps
    you may be interested in noting the FACT that
    —- it is “THE MESSENGER” (who is nothing
    more than MERELY …. (1) an Un-repentant and
    Adulterous-Cheater and Notorious-Womanizer;
    (2) a Stereotypical-Breeder of at least one KNOWN
    Out-of-Wedlock Child …. that he then left up to the
    government (via the very hard-working American
    taxpayers) to have to support; (3) someone who has
    been accused of RAPING multiple women (whom he
    later ‘paid off’ or ‘threatened’ in order to keep silent);
    AND (4) someone who (although he brags about his
    degrees ad-nauseum) did NOT actually ‘earn’ even a
    SINGLE ONE of his purchased educational-degrees)
    — and that IT IS *NOT* “THE MESSAGE” that I’m
    CONDEMNING and / or criticizing in my comments.
    .
    The “Great and Powerful Cos” is both just a total hypocrite
    (as, he does the very same things that he condemns his
    own people for when they do it) and is also a 100% Fraud;
    he is the very last person on the planet who should have
    made any statement about the bad-behaviors of his people
    (seeing that he is actually “no different than they…only richer”);
    and it’s high time that someone both noticed and exposed
    ‘The Man Behind The Curtain” and used a “worthy” person
    found within his group in order to try to get his people into
    the shape that their earlier leaders once sought for them.
    .
    Cosby is a disgrace to every actual DECENT (and
    non-hypocritical) American who (unlike him and
    those of his ilk) actually are living lives of VERY
    hard work and moral behavior — and (unlike this
    Cosby-fraud) are not rich hypocrites and frauds who
    are no different than the people that we scold … but
    we (those of us Americans who ACTUALLY are the
    hard-working, tax-payers) do NOT have the millions
    of dollars (that Cosby-the Fraud) had with which to
    buy ourselves out of or into any situation .. and then
    pretend to be different from those that we criticize.
    .
    Maybe if all of those Black people of America had
    heard from someone within their group who was not
    some WELL-KNOWN and TOTAL 100% FRAUD —
    those people would have taken the advice that was
    handed to them (unfortunately by Cosby-the-Fraud
    –who, again, behaves in the EXACT SAME manner
    which he condemns when it is done by other people).
    .
    There are plenty of actual moral and hard-working
    people found among his grouping (some of whom
    are even as well off as is ‘The Great and Powerful
    Wizard of Cos’) and those are the people to whom
    the rest of us should tell them to listen in order to get
    their lives and communities improved and in shape.
    .
    Just a thought and thanks for listening.
    .
    – AP Gifts
    .
    allpeoplegifts AT gmail DOT com
    .
    LINKS TO OTHER TOPICS OF POSSIBLE INTEREST:
    .
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TheLastDaysWakeupCall/message/14
    http://www.facebook.com/allpeople.gifts/posts/300777016632181
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4236
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TheLastDaysWakeupCall/message/6
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4238
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4154
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4153
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4160
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/4162
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/2885
    .
    http://www.youtube.com/user/apgifts/about
    .

  17. The sad truth in all this people no matter what colour their skin is love to blame others for their own problems. If you look at Africa there is not one stable or successful country due to the mindset of wanting everything now and not investing in the future. Every country and I include South Africa who have become self governing are in a state of perpetual anarchy. South Africa is now the rape and murder captial of the world..Being Racist is a two way street and if anyone can explain to me why white Africans whose families have lived there over 400 years are not considered African then maybe I will listen to their belly aching self pity.If you look at Asia India, Sri Lanka Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Loas and Indonesia have all blossomed since becoming independent why because they embrace education and invest in their people.
    Personally I think America is a great country and people need to embrace being American not calling themselves Irish American, Italian American etc.

  18. I hear the word “personal responsibility” thrown around a lot towards blacks while they will blame the entire black community for what a handful has done. Using that word conveniently ,but not effectively only makes you seem hypocritical. Most comments are hyperbole but, remember the value of “personal responsibility” and realize that generalizations and personal responsibilities are antonymous.

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