Sunday, October 14, 2007

Bill Cosby on ‘Meet the Press’

If you didn’t catch Bill Cosby on “Meet the Press” this morning, you should try to catch the rerun on MSNBC late tonight (2 a.m. Eastern time, 11 p.m. Pacific).

Or you can click here and stream it online. Or follow this link and download it as a video or audio file.

Cosby is promoting his new book, “Come On People: On the Path from Victims to Victors” (co-written by Dr. Alvin Poussaint).

Aaron McGruder can mock him; Michael Eric Dyson can try to rebut him. And surely some black bloggers will attack him for “airing dirty laundry” or not blaming whitey or whatever-the-hell...

But Bill Cosby deserves credit for focusing a public discussion on values and personal responsibility. Can you imagine if the black leadership class as a whole – politicians, academicians, the clergy, the media – did likewise?

I’m streaming a 4½-minute excerpt of today’s “Meet the Press” on my Vox audio stash. Click here to hear it.

15 comments:

Lynn said...

I heard the show live yesterday. Enjoyed it.

Not sure why people such as Michael Eric Dyson are so against the truths that Cosby puts out there.

justjudith said...

i didn't see that show but i've seen other interviews with mr. cosby and i agree with most of what he is saying. i think the people who are criticizing him would be more open to his ideas if he didn't seem so combative. there is an element of mean old man-ness coming out. sort of like the way robert dole was perceived. i'm not saying it's right to dismiss someone based on that but i do feel like when you alienate the people who need to hear your message the most, it's counterproductive.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ justjudith, Cos sort of explains his tactic in that audio bite I uploaded. He comes on so "combative" because he's trying to shock people out of their complacency.

All of us beyond the generation of teenagers are gonna have to deal with the problem of how to get kids to take this message to heart.

susie said...

I watched this yesterday morning and thought of you. The title of the book is pretty much what you've been saying here.

Bill Cosby has always been speaking this message, and if memory serves he's always delivered it like he's really mad.

I agree with justjudith that when someone is yelling at you it can be hard to hear what they're saying because the defense mechanism automatically kicks in and that doesn't facilitate real communication.

Hopefully people will read the book and it will get a dialogue going that's about creating solutions and not placing blame.

SJ said...

When discussing what Cosby has been saying with some of my black friends, they say that Cosby is "part of the problem." They say that instead of focusing on the betterment of society he just criticizes people.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Some behavior needs to be criticized. I mean, that's step one... but it has to start there.

justjudith said...

i agree that it is a societal issue and we are all going to have to be a part of the solution i just think he comes off as abrasive. and to us that grew up with the pudding pops and the sweaters we take him seriously bc he was america's favorite tv dad. but to the people he's trying to reach, he's just polarizing. but i don't mind his message.

memomachine said...

Hmmmm.

I rather like Mr. Cosby and his style of delivery. *shrug* my family is rather similar in delivering ... ahhhh ... constructive criticism. It's tough, but often necessary.

It's like AA. You have to recognize you've got a problem, before you can begin to address that problem.

Now what the solutions are I'm not entirely certain. And what solutions I think might work, aren't at all politically correct.

Edshugeo The GodMoor said...

There was like, over a half hour before the first commercial break. Were the sponsors nervous, or was it the network?

I notice Cos and the Dr. seemed to be careful to portray their views as not coming from the "right". Acknowledging systematic racism, etc.

I think what bothers some people, despite the truth of what he's saying, is that he seems to be using the language of the "enemy".

(White) Conservatives somehow own the trademark on personal responsibility, and some people don't want to hear what they've already heard from people they don't like. Though it tends to sound better from Black Muslims, than it does from "America's favorite dad".

Undercover Black Man said...

^ There was like, over a half hour before the first commercial break. Were the sponsors nervous, or was it the network?

No, that's par for the course for "Meet the Press." Minimal commercial interruptions.

But yeah, Edshugeo, the black leadership class has got to reclaim the concepts of personal responsibility and values from the Pat Buchanans. Personal responsibility, work, family, education and law-abidingness were public concerns of the black uplift movement a century ago.

memomachine said...

Hmmmm.

@ UBM

Personal responsibility, work, family, education and law-abidingness were public concerns of the black uplift movement a century ago.

What bothers me is that it seems some people, regardless of color, believe such principles are "white".

I was reading up on the stuff going on in Native American reservations. This is where young men would work very hard in high school, but then would simply collapse with all of their aspirations turned to alcohol and welfare. And it seemed that one term used to denigrate anybody who tried to accomplish more was that they were trying to be "white" and were becoming a "radish".

I.e. red on the outside and white on the inside.

Perhaps the real battle is combating the perception that success is somehow a "white" phenomenon.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ "Radish," huh? Maybe our first order of business ought to be retiring all those corny-ass ____-on-the-outside, white-on-the-inside food metaphors ("Oreo" for blacks, "banana" for Asians...)

I appreciate your comments, memomachine.

Anonymous said...

My problem is the subject is not new. All of these problems have been with us for years. where i live we have drug free zones,job centers for ex-prisoners,school for unwed mothers,shelters,drug programs,so why is Cosby acting as if this is new,and every timehe comes out he repeats his self.We are doing things to make this world a better place to live.WHEN
THE TALKING IS OVER WHAT THEN.....

ExpatJane said...

"Bill Cosby has always been speaking this message, and if memory serves he's always delivered it like he's really mad."

Susie is right.

Cosby's message has stayed the same. The problem is that a lot of my fellow black Americans do not want to accept our responsibility in our lives.

That's not talk from the right. It's talk from the right if you lean on responsibility as the only problem out there. We all know there is racism, but there comes a point where you say "to hell with racism, I'm still going to get my education and live the best life possible."

That's where I've always been because that's why my parents taught me. They taught me to go for mine regardless of racism.

Latimer said...

Nicely said... Bill Cosby is addressing within the black community a profoundly necessary truth which is this: if you aren't taking care of the basic issues of personal and social responsibility then you can't blame wicked racists for your problems.

Let's hope it has a legitimate impact because I'm really tired of discussions about race... I want to learn about genetics so that I can live forever and have a bigger penis.