(The Root) — He’s at it again! Bill Cosby would really like you young whippersnappers to stop it with the sagging pants and the rap music and the being poor. Also, get off his lawn.
In a rather rambling op-ed he wrote for the New York Post, Cosby says that the problem plaguing our communities isn’t racism or oppression or anything big like that — it’s apathy. “There is this situation where people tend to think that we are all victims,” he writes. “Victim meaning somebody else is doing this to us. That’s not true.” He goes on to shake his finger at people who smoke and drink soda, and kids who curse and disrespect people on subways. He concludes that if we “behave better, eat better, we will feel better, think clearly,” and ta-daa! Problems solved.
Cosby has been lecturing blacks on what they’re doing wrong in life for some time now, and he’s still trying to kill a tree by snipping at its leaves rather than going for the root. Coming from a white person, his “stop being a victim and pick yourself up by your bootstraps” rhetoric would be decried as racist just as soon as it reached our ears. But since it’s Bill Cosby, beloved TV father and fellow black man, I’m assuming this is just “tough love.”
We might not call this racist, but we can definitely call it classist and elitist. When you’re at the top looking down, it’s probably easy to mistake institutionalized poverty and racism for laziness, apathy and professional victimhood.
For the most part, black people on Twitter weren’t positively moved by Cosby’s article. Here’s a bit of what they had to say about it.
I’m sorry but I don’t have time for Bill Cosby’s so-called social commentary based on diddly-squat he made up in his head today or any day.
— starfishncoffee (@starfishncoffee) June 9, 2013
Seems Bill Cosby wants to sit high and aim low. He is very privileged. Seems like he sees all less fortunate blacks as the issue.
— BreBre LaBeija (@_MissBre) June 9, 2013
Bill Cosby wrote an op-Ed piece for the New York Post? Well that says all that needs to be said about that article
— The Sultan of Chill (@sideeyespecial) June 9, 2013
Can’t wait until Bill Cosby takes on the apathy of Congress, corporate pillaging, Sallie Mae, the prison-industrial complex, etc.