One of the things I'm always struck by in the "culture wars" (which are really always ongoing, it's just sometimes the blasts are more civil or lowkey than they are right now) is how conservatives and right wingers will jump all over liberal celebrities for using their celebrity status to send out a message that they don't agree with. But then someone like Bill Cosby comes along and you never hear those conservatives bitching that he's using his celebrity status to send out a message, because lo and behold, it's a message they agree with. Idiots. In this case, Cosby is running around the U.S. holding revival-like auditorium-sized congregations where he gets all over the case of lower income black people for not acting, well, for not acting middle class. I say "middle class" whereas many people would say "white", but that's not the case. There are lots of working class and poor white folks I know back home whose behaviors are often very similar to that of lower income black folks. Income and social status are huge factors in shaping a person's perceptions of the world and what kind of future they can see for themselves, and in the case of poor people, that future sucks. They see the structures that pin them down because they're at the bottom, and when you're at the bottom you get a good look at the fat (often white) ass that's sitting on you. And after a while you start thinking, hey, this fucking stinks (in more ways than one) and I'm going to do whatever the hell I want to. I don't have a future anyway. People tell me get a job, but the only jobs I can get are at fast food restaurants. Why the hell not make money some other way, even if it *is* illegal. I'm going to be put in jail someday just like everyone else I know, so I might as well live how I want now.
Sure, there's a false logic to it, but at the same time, it does make a sort of sense. And then you have well-intentioned people like Bill Cosby running around in a suit telling these kids and their parents that they're dirty trash and need to shape up. Thanks Bill. That's really going to change things. There's a REAL problem here, sure, but it's not going to change by yelling at people. If you want to really help, you'd give some of your hard-earned cash to a good program that actually does help poor people. They need real educations, not the social jail system that so many inner city public schools are. They need money to buy the clothes that they can actually go to interviews in where they won't be turned away because of the fact that they're poor and can't afford a damned suit, you stupid ass. They need A LOT of things that you've had the luxury and benefit of having, and you can't expect them to act like you when they can't AFFORD to act like you. And why SHOULD they act like you? You're one of the people keeping them down, in their minds, and perhaps a little bit in reality. Racism occurs every day, no matter what anyone says. It occurs even within the communities of african americans, where the racism is turned on themselves. I have a black friend back home who told me how even in the black community, the lighter skinned you are, the snobbier you are. The blacker you are, the worse you get treated. White people like to think all this racism stuff is over and done with, but in reality they're perpetrating it everyday while saying it no longer exists. It just looks different nowadays, and it's easier to cover up if you don't want to see it.
I am not surprised in the least that someone like Cosby has risen up in these recent days to rail on about the things he's railing about. I am not surprised that this is happening right now, in the midst of the Bush Adminstration's war on civil rights and social progression and education. And there's Cosby himself, being their puppet, spouting their ignorance because he got a piece of their pie by acting like them. Mr. Jello fucking Pudding Pops himself. The thing is, these kids aren't going to want to change for a number of reasons. And one of the biggest ones is that they don't want their identities assimilated into something else in exchange for another step up the economic ladder. They're proud, and I don't blame them. You shouldn't have to give up certain aspects of your identity to have an equal share in the pie. You should just have it, damn it. That's fair. That's equality. If you want to determine who gets what and how much of it, find something to base it on beyond the markings of someone's humanity. Not race, not gender, not class, and not sexuality. And for god's sake, leave religion at the damned door. One of the things this country was supposedly founded on was freedom of religion, and here our government is trying to make it a Christian country.
Well I'm with Cosby's "trashy black kids". If that's who I have to be to get anywhere in this world, they can all just go to hell.