5 May 2005

Michael Eric Dyson and Cosby on NPR

Listening to Michael Eric Dyson on NPR discuss Bill Cosby's remarks of a year ago in a speech to educators. Cosby said quite a bit in the speech, but it mostly chastised blacks for embracing dialect and frivolous spending:

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.

The other speakers were described as being "stone-faced" after he finished. No doubt. On NPR not long after Cosby's original speech, Dyson criticized it and Cosby clarified it. Any dialog with Dyson quickly turns into a monologue--he's a preacher and often got on a roll that pushed Neal Conan off of his own show.

Through all of the noise, Dyson seemed to be saying that Cosby was attacking the poor. I'm not so sure, but I'll listen to more of his arguments if only to avoid trying to read his book Is Bill Cosby Right? [Amazon] that is currently getting ripped to shreds by customer reviews.

He also railed upon, coincidentally, anti-intellectualism in the black community.

[ posted by sstrader on 5 May 2005 at 12:07:35 PM in Culture & Society ]