Saturday, September 19, 2009

Bill Cosby agrees with Jimmy Carter regarding race and Obama

Not necessarily an lgbt issue per se but an important one as far as I am concerned.

Turns out that President Carter's statement about how racism plays a part in the criticism of President Obama has a supporter - Bill Cosby:

I agree with President Carter that racism is playing a role in recent outbursts against President Obama. During President Obama’s speech on the status of health care reform, some members of congress engaged in a public display of disrespect. While one Representative hurled the now infamous “you lie” insult at the President, others made their lack of interest known by exhibiting rude behavior such as deliberately yawning and sending text messages.

Health care reform is the most important domestic issue facing America today. Disease does not discriminate. African American, White, Asian, Latino, Republican, Democrat, no one in America is immune. So it seems obvious that a debate on health care reform should not include views born solely of partisanship or bigotry.

Various polls prior to the election indicated that between five and ten percent of Americans would never vote for an African American president. That number, of course, only includes those who actually admitted to their prejudice. How many others harbored such feelings but did not respond honestly when asked the question? And how many people oppose Obama’s plan because the President is African American?

In "Birth of a Nation," D.W. Griffith used white actors in black face to portray black legislators as having low intelligence and acting like fools. Today, we have a band of real life congressional fools seemingly bent on blocking any meaningful reform of the health care system. But if we allow even one American to die simply because he or she cannot afford treatment, we are creating a shameful scenario that could aptly be called “Death of a Nation.”

Cosby, because of his harsh assessment of some behaviors of my fellow African-Americans a while back, had been a cause celebre of some conservatives. In several speeches he has come down hard on some black parents concerning the morals instilled in their children and also has made criticism regarding the goals and aspirations of some black youth.

Those on the right salivated over the idea of a black man criticizing his own community, quickly placing Cosby as a "substitution" for such black leaders as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, while ignoring the fact that both Jackson and Sharpton have also made the same type of statements regarding the black community.

No doubt Cosby's recent statements will end the love affair that some on the right have with him.

Of course reasonable people will assess Cosby's past and present comments as proof of the complexities of race and self-empowerment in America.

Too bad there seems to be a dearth of reasonable people in America these days.

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