NAACP leaders stunned by remarks of prominent comedian
Posted: May 20, 2004
In the presence of NAACP President Kweisi Mfume and other African-American leaders, comedian Bill Cosby took aim at blacks who don't take responsibility for their economic status, blame police for incarcerations and teach their kids poor speaking habits.
Cosby made his remarks at a Constitution Hall event in Washington Monday night commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education decision that paved the way for integrated schools, reported Richard Leiby in his Reliable Source column for the Washington Post.
Leiby said Cosby's remarks were met with "astonishment, laughter and applause."
When Cosby finally concluded, Leiby said, Mfume, Howard University President H. Patrick Swygert and NAACP legal defense fund head Theodore Shaw came to the podium looking "stone-faced."
Shaw told the crowd most people on welfare are not African American. He insisted many of the problems his organization addresses among blacks are not self-inflicted.
Cosby said, according to Leiby: "Ladies and gentlemen, 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 won't spend $200 for 'Hooked on Phonics.'
He added: "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' ... 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!"
The Post said Cosby also targeted imprisoned blacks.
"These are not political criminals," he said. "These are people going around stealing Coca-Cola. People getting shot in the back of the head over a piece of pound cake and then we run out and we are outraged, [saying] 'The cops shouldn't have shot him.' What the hell was he doing with the pound cake in his hand?"
It's about time that someone from the african american community actually had the guts to stand up and speak the truth for once. Three cheers for bill cosby. Now we have something to love him for other than those yummy yummy pudding pops.
This isn't the first time he's spoken out but it's the first time I can recall him being so blunt about it. I remember seeing a few interviews with him where he bemoaned the fact that he feels that this generation of black actors and comedians are crass and playing to the lowest common denominator and that they basically wasted the legacy that he and others passed to them. I also recall when wanda sikes went up to him during some award show and asked him what was the key to his success. He responded 'I spoke english'. *cheer* It's too much to hope that this will help to open the eyes of people like the NAACP head, but I can only hope that others will hear it and see the truth in it.