I was reading an article on Global Grind where Russell Simmons calls Bill Cosby intolerant because of his views of the black community and its failing systems of education and its lack of parenting. I just have to disagree with Uncle Russell here, because both him and Bill Cosby are right. There isn’t a one-step solution system to the problems that hurt blacks in this country, it’s a multilateral approach and first and far most it starts at home. We have to teach people how to parent, and we have to commit our lives to parenting our children. A good parent can do so much more for a child than any government welfare program can. However we have a lost generation of children who were force to raise themselves because their parents gave up and gave into the streets, the crack, the welfare system. (That doesn’t mean welfare is wrong, that just means everyone that’s on welfare don’t necessarily need welfare).
What they don’t understand is that the young people who they criticize did not create their own realities. They did not create the crumbling education system that we school them in. They did not create the drug epidemic and drug wars that have resulted in a dysfunctional family structure. They did not create the health care crisis that does not treat them. They did not create the culture of violence that they fall victim to.
When the President brought the Cosby attitude to his NAACP speech a few months ago, I was disappointed. It is nice to tell black people to stand up, but isn’t that really Min. Farrakhan’s job? The President’s job is to tell them to walk to the program that he placed on their corner. It is our job to instill the inspiration that gets a young person to walk into the program and not stand on the corner.
Old people are quicker to destroy the planet, abuse the animals and promote wars and then act like young people are violent. Young people are more compassionate, giving, promote gay rights, animal rights, human rights, protect the environment and want to end the wars. When they point out the contradictions that come up and say it on a record and say it LOUD, you can’t believe it!
Too often people like Russell Simmons criticize people like Bill Cosby and Barack Obama because they don’t buy into the single system solution; they know that personal accountability and choices have a large part in shaping the way people behave. I need Russell Simmons to stop making excuses for what people can’t do, and stop putting limitations on people because they are victimized. You can have a crack head mother and still be a doctor. There is no system that can benefit you better than hard work, and that starts with the parents.
Lastly, Russell Simmons is right. Those that have made it need to help others across. Go back and support a child who may not have that parent. Go back and donate money to a community center that helped you. Lobby the government for funding to school districts. Put on a free concert to buy books and computers for school. But, what ever you do, don’t knock another man [Bill Cosby] for his approach. It isn’t a choice of either or, but of all the above.
Work together, and shut it up! Who cares if Bill Cosby don’t like rap, stop defending why he shouldl like it, and start working with him to end the problems that create a need for children to use rap as an avenue out of poverty. Defending an art form of a younger generation to an older generation is a waste of breath; there was once a time when “gospel” and “the blues” were considered evil. The problem isn’t the music, the problem is the community and the music is just a reflection of that life. What we need is a national “Get Your Ass Up & Do Something Day”…