The man best known for using his humor to sell Jello Pudding Pops is fast becoming known for his publicly baffling comments — and last night’s appearance at Rev. Al Sharpton’s 2011 National Action Network convention was no exception.
In recent years, Dr. Bill Cosby has made a number of controversial, cringe-inducing remarks about bad parenting in the Black community – yet he’s still beloved by so many.
His heart is in the right place. His words and thoughts are often not. For nearly 45 minutes last night, his historical references meandered into unfocused stream of consciousness diatribes.
“There’s something about us missing pictures,” Cosby said. “Something about us misinterpreting things. I understand the picture of slavery, let us not forget that it was some Black people who pointed out where we were hiding…” — a line that got dutiful laughs.
“You know, I just get tired of people saying we were kings and queens. Yes. And, we were people who squealed on where we were hiding. So they could stay back there and eat well. And, it hasn’t changed.”
I admire Dr. Cosby’s courage to say something about the deterioration of the Black family and personal responsibility. Few among those who have to watch their poll numbers could go there. I just wish Dr. Cosby would prepare some notes rather than going off-the-cuff. Had he stopped somewhere shortly after “I’m 73 years old, …I never thought I’d see the day when I’d have to have my people taught how to parent,” peppered with the few salient points about spending as much time on homework as on the basketball court, Dr. Cosby would remain more in this reporter’s mind the sage, compassionate Dr. Huxtable and less my crazy uncle.
Instead, Cosby says things like: “I want my grandchildren to be able to skip rope and walk down the street and go over to Muslim neighborhood and learn some Muslim philosophy. Things like ‘Trust in Allah, but tie up your camel. Trust in Allah, but tie up your camel’.”