Do Cosby’s Messages Prove Blacks are Just Being Lazier than Everyone Else?
An old internet forum debate I had saved in my files, based on the latest critique of the Black community by Bill Cosby. Here is a a typical case of a conservative trying to single out blacks as simply “not studying enough” and not “pulling their families together” like everyone else, and “liberals” making “excuses” for them. (They don’t take Cosby as evidence that they’re being too overgeneralistic. But I guess, he’s just a “good one”, right?)
A liberal will never say the blacks do poorly in school because they do not study as much as other groups like Asian-Americans who consistently score highest, even over white people. The reason Asian Americans consistently score higher than all other groups is because of their tight family structure and culture. They don’t let their kids play video games or hang out in the street all night, they have them in their bedrooms studying, and they check the homework afterward! As a group they have a higher regard for education. The Jews are the same, they put much emphasis on higher education and therefore are far more likely to be economically successful than some other groups. This is the effect of culture.
But liberals will always blame others and not the persons who are truly responsible. They will say that African Americans are at a big disadvantage, they are not offered the same opportunities. There was a time when there was much truth to this, but not any longer.
So, no way a liberal is going to say that African Americans need to pull their families together and get more serious about education. No, they are going to blame others, especially white Americans.
What people forget to take into consideration is that cycles of behavior from the past are hard to overcome. There were less opportunities; plus the so-called “separate but equal” education was not so equal, and blacks did work hard and were still marginalized. Eventually, the children find that they can get over on crime and public assistance. Why work then, like their parents did?
Once set in that pattern, it is hard to get out of it. You are used to it. And it’s hard to afford good education (specifically, college, which is now basically required to succeed). Then it’s hard to find a decent job once they look at the background. This system is geared so that “those that got, shall get, those that not shall lose” (the total butchering of the parable of the pounds/talents reference that basically reflected experience in the song “God Bless the Child”). And it’s much more competitive and costly since the time Irish, Jews and others pulled themselves up. All of this is overlooked.
While just throwing money a the situation may not be the answer, still, just think, how do you actually get a whole group of people to just up and change, and start taking education seriously and build strong families? That’s the same as asking how do you get the nation saved (for those evangelicals who believe in free will). You can’t; because it’s individual choice, and you can’t make people choose something; especially when the culture they are in is pointing them the other way. So what ends up, is that the conservatives just want to scold the race for it, compare them to the lighter skinned people who “did the right thing”, and soon it does come off as self-righteous prejudice. Why else could one suppose that this one group have so many problems others do not have? There are plenty of groups out there who would love to fill in the blank, and ultimately, however they may phrase it, it boils down moral inferiority. And then, some will even connect this to genetic inferiority! (Remember “Bell Curve”; less than 2 decades ago? Same ultimate agenda; of cutting “social programs”).
So this shows how easy to unwittingly blur the line between a legitimate claim, and racism.
Especially when; on the other hand, it’s also overlooked that many blacks have pulled themselves up. The whole thing about all of these blacks floundering at the bottom, asking for handouts is overblown, and the claim of this draining the economy is outright false. So where I believe racism can legitimately be suspected is when people pass these claims around (and then paint the whole race that way), and the ultimate goal of it is to divert attention away from the powers who really are draining the economy. So it’s basically divide and conquer. (And I include the liberals in this. Much of their campaigning over race is for their own goals, and further diverts attention from the real issues).
I’ve heard some of Cosby’s criticisms, and to me it came across more like “if the shoe fits…”, and was a good message. But then I haven’t read his books. So it might simply be a matter of interpretation. Yes, some people will rebuff any criticism as an attack. (What the conservatives said regarding some people’s criticism of Cosby’s remarks. However, this is another flaw often painted onto the whole race; just like what he’s pointing out here).
However those on the conservative side do tend to paint the whole race in a broad stroke, and then someone like Cosby they hold up and say “see; we’re right about yall!“. Again, they might not be interpreting it right either.
Again, if you’re going to compare blacks to those other groups, and say the circumstances were just as tough (and then confidently appeal to “reality” as if that justifies any conclusion drawn), then the question arises, why did only the blacks flounder? I don’t see any way out of that beyond some sort of judgment on the whole race, or recognition of particular circumstances they faced.
And I don’t see most liberals painting the white race the same way. [Conservatives claim they are biased against whites!] They might criticize economic inequity, and conservative policies that favor business, and a few may mention there being less blacks in the power bases, but you can’t put all those together as a judgment against the white race. Most liberals blame economics more than anything else, and even King in his final years came to see that that was the real issue besides race. So they may have then looked to socialism, but that is a criticism of capitalism, not the white race. (And don’t forget, most of the “liberals” are white themselves!)