Bill Cosby’s Back Blaming Blacks in New Book

By Terry Keleher Oct 16, 2007

Bill’s back and still on the attack. Better brace yourselves. Cosby’s new book, titled Come on, People! On the Path from Victims to Victors, co-written with Alvin Poussaint, is being released this week by Christian publisher Thomas Nelson Inc. Cosby will appear on the Oprah Show, airing nationally on Wednesday, October 17. Guess it was only a matter of time before Cosby fully answered Michael Eric Dyson’s Is Bill Cosby Right? — a response to Cosby’s notorious 2004 speech at a Brown v. Board of Education 50th anniversary commemoration event. According to Publishers Weekly, Cosby’s book will address "the crises of people who are stuck because of feelings of low self-esteem, abandonment, anger, fearfulness, sadness and feelings of being used, undefended and unprotected." The new book’s purpose is "to help empower people to make the daunting transition from victims to victors." But columnist Earl Ofari Hutchinson has another take: “Cosby’s new book continues to tar black communities and the black poor as dysfunctional, chronic whiners, and eternally searching for a government hand-out.” “Stripped away it’s the same stock claim that blacks can’t read, write or speak coherent English, and are social and educational cripples and failures,” adds Hutchinson. But perhaps Cosby’s own characterization of the book, in his taped interview with Oprah, speaks volumes: OPRAH: Did you think that you were dragging out dirty laundry? BILL: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. And have you ever seen dirty laundry? OPRAH: It’s bad, isn’t it? It’s smelly. BILL: And we have to clean it, don’t we? Guess we shouldn’t expect any illumination of institutional racism on this week’s Oprah show. Bashing Blacks for their own problems is sure to rate high with most viewers. But Hutchinson reveals the truth: “The rate of drug use among young blacks is no higher than among young whites. Blacks are more likely to be arrested, convicted and imprisoned than young whites who if arrested at all are more likely to get drug rehab, counseling, and treatment referrals, probation or community service. This horribly distorts the racial crime picture…Then there is the black teen girls as baby making machine myth. The truth: The teen pregnancy rate among black girls has sharply dropped during the past decade. And they continue to fall.” Read more at: Hopefully, the new round of popular debate this book is sure to provoke, will get beyond the simplistic stereotypes and allow at least some room to seriously interrogate the structures of racism. And that would be some dirty laundry worth raising a stink about.