Was Bill Cosby Right?
(archived broadcast )
Comedian Bill Cosby has declined to retract remarks that were highly critical of “the lower economic” African Americans that he claims are willing to pay $500 for sneakers but not half that amount for educational tools. The comments speak for themselves:
“I’m talking about these people who cry when their son is standing there in an orange (prison jump) suit. Where were you when he was two? Where were you when he was 12? Where were you when he was 18 and how come you don’t know he had a pistol?”
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“Five, six children — same woman — eight, 10 different husbands or whatever. Pretty soon you are going to have DNA cards to tell who you are making love to. You don’t know who this is. It might be your grandmother. I am telling you, they’re young enough!”
“I can’t even talk the way these people talk: ‘Why you ain’t, where you is’…I don’t know who these people are. And I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk. And then I heard the father talk. It’s all in the house. You used to talk a certain way on the corner and when you got in the house you switched to English. Everybody knows that at some point you switch to English, except these knuckleheads.
“We’re raising our own home-grown immigrants.”
“The lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal.”
“These people are not parenting. They are buying things for their kids — $500 sneakers for what? And won’t spend $200 for ‘Hooked on Phonics.’…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.”
“We can’t excuse these people.” “There are generations who have been born here and their English is worse than Koreans who have just been here a few years.”
“These are not political criminals. 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?”
“I didn’t say all black people from the lower classes were to blame. But I said that when you have a 50 percent graduation rate, and some people can’t put two sentences together, and can’t write or spell…you’ve got people who have put themselves on a track to failure.”