NJ For Change

Thursday, May 18, 2006

A Call Out with Cosby

Bill Cosby is on a mission to spark a debate about the crucial issues facing black communities with his "A Call Out with Cosby” tour. His campaign is aimed at motivating people to take action against problems that plague inner-city communities — crime, illiteracy and teen pregnancy.

He has held ‘Call Out’ events in about 20 cities so far. They are locally sponsored meetings aimed at finding solutions for what Cosby sees as self-destructive behavior, and at offering inner-city kids encouragement and better options.

Of course Cosby has his critics, such as University of Pennsylvania professor Michael Eric Dyson who wrote the book: Is Bill Cosby Right? (Or Has the Black Middle Class Lost Its Mind?). Dyson premise it that Cosby’s “view is a simplistic one because it ignores institutional and societal forces, such as government neglect and racism, that have helped create the conditions in poverty-stricken neighborhoods.”


Cosby said he was undeterred by critics, who he says don't want to acknowledge that their way of doing things hasn't worked. "A lot of the people who criticize me are angry because the job that they were supposed to be doing hasn't been getting done," he said. "We've been able to give people examples of other people in their communities who've been down and are now up. If I didn't like poor people, why would I come and tell them how to make their lives better?"
We need more people like Bill Cosby telling folks the truth instead of some version of ‘you’re a victim of a racists system’ spiel. When people listen to Cosby they know he’s telling the truth – even if they don’t want to admit it out loud. Very few people are going to have a happy and productive life by joining a gang, dropping out of school, doing drugs, abusing alcohol and having children outside of marriage.

We have to take responsibility, first for our own lives, then for our family and then for our larger community. Until people get that though their thick skulls, life in our inner-city communities isn’t going to improve, no matter much money we throw at the problems.

Keep calling them out Cos!
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