Sunday, August 08, 2004

Cosby, Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is, or Keep Your Mouth Where Your Money Is.

Bill Cosby claims that the “Lower economic class” of Black people is not carrying it’s weight. Sighting $100 dollar sneakers and expensive cars, as evidence that poor Black people are some how not doing their part, Bill Cosby sounds conspicuously like the Welfare Queen Witch Hunters of the mid 1980s. While his money has not made it into poor Black Communities over the years, Cosby’s judgmental, self-righteous commentary certainly has. Like George Bush’s, “No Child Left Behind Act,” Cosby’s concern for poor blacks is simple under funded rhetoric.
While Mr. Cosby is a noted philanthropist he is best known for his contributions to Historically Black Colleges and Universities and not for his Urban Development or Anti-poverty efforts.
It seems to me that if Cosby’s comments where generated by real and genuine concern for poor black people his money would follow suite and end up in the bank accounts of charities that have poor people as their interest rather than adding to the already huge endowments of historically black colleges and universities that cater to middle class and wealthy blacks.
Bill Cosby, however, has been noted for giving millions of dollars over the years to HBCUs. Dormitories, cafeterias, auditoriums, courtyards have popped up on college campuses all over the United states baring the Cosby name. The Cosby’s have given Millions of dollars to Morehouse College alone. One can only wonder if Mr. Cosby’s commentary makes it into the lives of Historically Black colleges and Universities with the same vigor as they make it into the lives of poor blacks?”
While educators, students, parents and health officials have engaged in discourse about the release of a 2003 study that suggest that Young Black men on HBCU campuses are disproportionately impacted by HIV and AIDS and are largely unaware of their HIV sero-positive status, Mr. Cosby has not joined the discourse. When huge organizations like NAACP and the National Urban League gave Cosby a platform for his opinions he opted to squander this resource away on jokes and disparaging remarks about poor people instead of addressing the multiplicity of problems at Black colleges.
Some may remember that while the nation buzzed in 2002 at the brutal beating of a young college student who was bludgeoned nearly to death while attending Morehouse College, a major recipient of Cosby dollars and the school of Cosby’s beloved departed son Enus, Cosby was silent. While organizations and leaders all over the country called upon Morehouse college to deal with the culture of homophobia and anti-gay violence on it’s campus Mr. Cosby one of their biggest contributors was unheard from. While Coretta King, Spike Lee, and other leaders and celebrities with connections to Morehouse cried out Cosby hushed.
While Mr. Cosby is more than willing to contribute dollars Black colleges he seems to turn a blind eye and a shut mouth to the issues that these institutions are plagued by. Conversely Mr. Cosby turns an empty hand at poor black communities but is more than willing to offer his critique of poor black families, parents and children. My hope is that Mr. Cosby will put some funding behind his rhetoric and support the development of the poor communities that he seems to be so concerned about, and that he shows some concern for what’s going on at the colleges that he give his money to so freely. In essence, my recommendation to Mr. Cosby is, Put your money where your mouth is, and keep your mouth where your money is. Then maybe one more member of the Upper Economic Class will be pulling his weight.

1 comment:

Icylyrics said...

Mr. Cosby needs to read this. As many comments as I've read on the subject in various groups over the past year, this one hits the nail on the head.