Thursday, March 6, 2008

Bill Cosby On Oprah Discussing Controversial Comments

Bill Cosby appeared on Oprah today in an effort to further clarify past statements that he made about the plight of lower income African Americans. Over the last few years, Bill Cosby has traveled the country to spread the word about the violence and lack of education faced by minority youth in the United States. Mr. Cosby came under fire by many in the African American community for being insensitive to the institutional racism that pre-disposed black youth to negative behaviors and for airing the black community's dirty laundry.
According to Bill, the desperate situation of many minorities has resulted in some of these shocking statistics:

*At least a third of all homeless men are African-American.

African Americans make up 12 percent of the general population, but they account for almost half of the prison population.

*According to the U.S. Justice Department, 28 percent of black men born today will go to prison in their lifetimes.

*Black youth are six times more likely to die of homicide than white youth and seven times more likely to commit a homicide.

Homicide is the leading cause of death among African-American males ages 15 to 29.

Frustrated by these numbers, Bill gave an unexpected, uncensored speech in 2004: "In the neighborhood that most of us grew up in, parenting is not going on," he said. "They're buying things for the kid—$500 sneakers. For what? They won't buy or spend $250 on Hooked on Phonics."It's not what they're doing to us. It's what we're not doing. … Brown vs. the Board of Education—these people who marched and were hit in the face with rocks and punched in the face to get an education, and we've got these knuckleheads walking around who don't want to learn English. I know you all know it, but I just want to get you as angry as you ought to be," he said. The Clip below is from meet the press.

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