Cosby on parents

Comedian Bill Cosby again stressed parental responsibility in a speech at Stanford.

Bill Cosby blamed parents for the shortcomings of students during a speech Sunday to educators at Stanford University, continuing a theme the comedian touched on last week when he linked the behavior of some low-income blacks with the community’s school dropout rate.

“We need to stop fooling around,” Cosby told a gathering of about 1,700 people at Stanford’s Memorial Auditorium. “The mother and the father born here didn’t learn to speak standard English — or math.”

Many parents are not doing their job, he told the group, which included 150 Bay Area educators honored for their work with low-income students. “I don’t know where we lost it, or how we lost it, but people are not parenting.”

Cosby’s remarks were well-received, though educators weren’t willing to put all the blame on parents. Debra Watkins, co-founder of the California Alliance of African American Educators, said, “We know slavery happened. We know kids are poor. We know they come to us woefully unprepared. But when they are in the classroom with the teacher . . . they are absolutely all you have and it is your responsibility to rise to the challenge.”

From a Los Angeles police officer comes a story of two cousins raised by their grandmother and her husband. Both fathers abandoned their sons; both mothers are drug addicts.

In 1970 there were 2.2 million children living in homes maintained by grandparents. By 1980 the figure had risen modestly to 2.3 million, or about 3 percent of all children under age 18. In 1997 there were 3.9 million such children, or 5.5 percent of all minors in the country. The report attributes this increase to “the growth in drug use among parents, teen pregnancy, divorce, the rapid rise of single-parent households, mental and physical illness, AIDS, crime, child abuse and neglect, and incarceration of parents.”

The 14-year-old has been arrested for the murder of his 11-year-old cousin. The body of the younger boy was found in a trash bin.

About Joanne


  1. Walter Wallis says:

    Another Black turned white by them sneaky Republicans.

  2. andursonne says:

    Poverty doesn’t explain how or why middle class Af-Am children are falling behind.

  3. Rita C. says:

    No, it doesn’t. Or why middle-class black children have bought into urban poverty values as “black” instead of the values of their parents and community.

  4. “The mother and the father born here didn’t learn to speak standard English — or math.”

    I hate it when they can’t speak math.

  5. Concerning the topic of middle-clas African American’s falling behind there is a wonderful study done by Professor Ogbu on this topic. Unfortunately the Ivory tower gang does not think it PC and therefore have simultaneously buried and discredited the study. To read it simply enter; ” ogbu and shaker heights ” into a search engine and you should find it. Kudos to Mr. Cosby for realizing the problem can not be solved until it accurately identified.

  6. Ken Summers says:

    Piss on Jesse Jackson.
    Piss on Kweisi Mfume.
    Piss on the whole current lot of “civil rights activists”.

    Bill Cosby is one of the best role models a kid (any kid) could have.

  7. D. Cooper says:

    I suppose Walter would think it better if Cosby was wearing 20 lbs. of gold chains and driving a tricked out Escalade instead. He just might have delivered a different message.

  8. Todd,

    Joanne covered that Ogbu angle when it came out, actually. I didn’t see it get much coverage elsewhere.

  9. Bill Cosby did at one time own a 427 Cobra with twin Paxton superchargers, but from what I read, he had it for an adrenalin rush and not as an ego thing. He certainly didn’t make it part of his identity.

    A few commenters on his recent speech have mentioned his piece about Ebonics which appeared in the Wall Street Journal. It should be hunted down and reprinted. I especially appreciated his description of the problems if a black gets lost in an entirely white area, approaches Officer Friendly for directions, and says “I want to axe you…”

  10. Mark Odell says:

    JC wrote: Joanne covered that Ogbu angle when it came out, actually.

    triticale wrote: Bill Cosby did at one time own a 427 Cobra with twin Paxton superchargers,

    A few commenters on his recent speech have mentioned his piece about Ebonics which appeared in the Wall Street Journal.


  12. George Rhynes says:

    Let Me see if Bill Cosby will use his influence to look into a real problem blacks and others have been suffering under….

    We will see if he will really come and help our young people here in Valdosta Georgia.

    PS, I agree with him but who really cares for their fellow man. We know the system is not always to blame but its the system that got us to where we are.

    Information Provided From: [Inmates/Sheriffs own: Capt. Yeager. Report to the County Commissioners/Valdosta Daily Times on 29 Aug 2003] [Located in Valdosta, Georgia problems 1989 – 2003]
    1. Inmates are incarcerated for months without seeing their Court Appointed Attorney. Therefore, they are denied due process.

    2. Deputy pulls out a pistol like object and waves all around before aiming squarely at inmate and telling inmate to “get against the wall.” All because inmates want to complete a complaint form on a deputy.

    3. Inmates kneed in back by deputy and his forearm in the back of his neck and trying to push inmate (Name withheld), face into the wall – at which time inmate (name Withheld), rightfully defended himself against those unwarranted, unprovoked acts by deputy.

    4. Inmates denied the right to file a legitimate complaint form in the State of Georgia when it is against a deputy.

    5. Georgia Inmates have problems getting regular complaint forms notarized as proof that action was taken deputy said; “I ant’s signing a damn thing – get it signed yourself.”

    6. Inmates must show copy of sixth amendment to educate deputy on inmate rights. (The deputy tells inmate to “get out of my face,” and pushes inmate, unprovoked. All as a result of attempting to fill out a Georgia complaint form.

    7. Incidents are swept under the rug rather than being properly investigated. And no one will listen to inmates concerns within Jail facility.

    8. Inmates must endure cruel and unusual punishment at the jail. There must be an outside agency to inspect this jail for things to change.

    9. Many tours are done through the jail. But the bad areas are not shown. Only tailored tours are given. The kitchen is not always shown; therefore, no valid review of the jail is done.

    10. Drinking water is unfit to drink and food is terrible.

    11. Inmates are required to live in inhumane, unsanitary and abusive conditions. (Squalid Conditions).

    12. Cell doors sticks when opened from control booth — that creates problems! Inmates are locked in cell because of malfunction!

    13. Deputies play with the fans and taunts and agitate inmates in cellblocks where there is no ventilation or air conditioning.

    14. Inmates must endure leaky water pipes, in dormitory; pools of water are over the floor. This is a hazard because inmates are required to wear flip-flops.

    15. When inmates try to keep a potential bad situation from getting worst. Deputies often make things worst by not paying attention to the needs of inmates—as it was on 23 July 2003!

    16. Lowndes County Administrations lie and don’t acknowledge the handbook they give out to inmates.

    17. Food is not nutritional, and inmates have questioned its cleanliness.

    18. Two cells (cell 12 A & B) has no bed frame or nothing in it at all, besides out of order toilets and the sink does not work at all.

    19. If an inmate does something, like cursing a Sgt. or Officer. He will be booked 9 out of 10. He is going to one of these cells depending what Sergeant.
    20. Inmates are stripped naked left in this conditions for long periods of time.

    21. Jail staff will not provide water as needed and inmates do not get showers or wash his/her hands face or do any hygiene customs.

    22. Inmates are placed in cell (12B) with no mattress or nothing else for necessities.

    23. Inmates are placed in handcuffs and shackled for 7 days and six nights straight. (Copy of incident on File in Jail).

    24. The jail has a restraint chair, inmates are not allowed to use the bathroom, and a chance to stretch as provided by polices in force by the State of Georgia.

    25. Medical staff is very much on the side of the Sheriffs office, and does not administer the needs of inmates.

    26. The Medical Staff lies, hides issues, and don’t document incidents that happen that could cause legal trouble for the administration.

    27. Inmates families are lied to by Jail administration when they call concerning their love ones welfare.

    28. This jail is very unconstitutional and several inmates say that it is ran in a racist manner.

    29. The jail handbook is a fraud; in fact, it is so easy to prove.

    30. Inmates needs to be interviewed, and the facility should be inspected everywhere there is a swinging doors.

    31. Vivian Miller Cody was recently fired; she could be a vital witness in every issue if she is willing to do so — to confirm these horrendous conditions.

    32. Since the Jail started toting lasers to Las inmates when out of control. But that’s not how they are being used and I believe the situation will get worst.

    33. Inmates are denied their rights to have access to the Law Library even without requests and that’s not happening.

    34. Inmates are taxed when they buy stamps and on store items.
    (Inmates believe they are exempt from this practice.)

    35. PERSONAL REQUEST: Inmates requested that I (George B. Rhynes) call on the community to sign a petition for the inspectors office and the U. S. Marshals Office to inspect and investigate the Jail Administrations.

    36. Inmates (Name Withheld) was left in the restraints chain for 18 hours straight on one occasion in the past.

    37. HANDBOOK VIOLATIONS: Each inmate may designate up to twelve immediate family members etc. [This is not being done we are limited to six]

    38.Each inmate will participate in an organized and supervised program of daily cleaning within his housing and common areas. [This is not being done at all]

    39.Inmates in the hold (cell 8) do not ever get to clean his call — practically have to beg to receive cleaning materials.

    40. Each inmate will be entitled to shower daily and required to shower three (3) times a week. [This is not happening. Inmates in (cell 8,) and the (MP) area. Also medical isolated inmates are forced to receive the minimum (3 showers a week). Even officers try to rush inmates out of showers.

    41.Disciplinary process must be fair and systematic so that no person staff or inmate may plead ignorance of the rules or bias in the procedures. Hasty arbitrary decision and/or corporal punishment shall not be allowed. [This is not the case]

    42. Inmates are convicted by one person, where inmates are suppose to be placed in lock-up then incident is supposed to be investigated and then a hearing. [This is not being done}

    43. ABOVE ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT VIOLATIONS: But there are many more!

    44. The Medical Staff and Administration: Shirley Lewis LPN/RN is the Head Nurse. She distributes medication in water out of the capsule before she’s in inmates presence. This violates inmates rights to confirm exactly what’s in the water and if it’s the correct medication.

    45. Shirley Lewis (LPN) ignores inmates verbal complaints. If it is about issues and Sheriff Admin Office say, “they can’t make medical to nothing.”

    46. Some nurses will refuse inmates his/her medicine if the inmates and nurse has had an altercation and jail Administrators condone the action and will not stop it.

    47. Constitutional Rights and Civil Rights are still being violated as of 2003.

    48. Inmates have exhausted all their avenues, and they seek outside help from any body that will help them. They believe many people only procrastinate about providing relief about the ill Administration in the Lowndes County Jail.

    49. Some inmates are willing to take some steps but not nearly, enough that would be significant to bring enough stress on the jail to change their ill actions, inhuman, treatment towards inmates.

    50. The whole issue of the extreme bad conditions in the jail rests on Sheriff Ashley Paul because of his lack of concern and interest of the Jail’s operations.

    51. Sheriff Paulk is intentionally accepting fabrications from jail administrations to hide the facts that there are some serious violations inside his jail and with its operation in my opinion.

    52. SHERIFFS DEPARTMENT OWN ADMISSION: Capt. Yeager from the Sheriffs Department! We have massive plumbing problems.

    53. Water runs non-stop in sections of the jail creating safety hazards.

    54. Toothpaste tubes are stuffed into showerheads in attempt to stop leaks.

    55. Water in cell refuse to discharge any water this is typical.

    56. Staff has to pour acid down all of the drains to keep leeches and other pests from entering the jail especially shower areas.

    57. Rusty shower frames, which Capt. Yeager said inmates are using to make shanks.

    58. Heat swelter to over 100 degrees and no air.

    59. Many windows no longer opens and oscillating fans only serve to push heat air around.

    60. Cell locks are obsolete larger security pods can be opened with as little as a bed sheet or an identification card, giving the inmates undesired freedom of movement.

    61. Control boards are also fading that controls operate most of the doors. The alternative is to give jail personnel individual keeps, which is a liability risk.

    62. Jail held 570 people, but jail staff was forced to cook three meals in a 1956 kitchen designed to feed 80 prisoners.

    63. Capt. Yeager said “A jail our size should have a kitchen four times this size.”

    64. Jail intake area was designed to handle 120 people though they have 500 and there is no way to segregate male and female prisoners at the intake desk.

    65. The Infirmary has a capacity of only 10 prisoners. It has no negative air flow areas to handle infectious disease cases—it has become a logistic nightmare.

    64.Transporting prisoners to court appearances are so inadequate that inmates are stacked in visitation areas.

    66. Sewer lines are also corroded and the City of Valdosta has put the Sheriffs Office on notice that they jail will soon need its own lift station and grinder to keep solid waste out of the city’s treatment system.

    66. Doors jambs are stifling, creating unstable doors, which could potentially be forced opened.

    67. The conditions at the jail also effect the 108 jail employees.

    68. Employees should not be exposed to such bad conditions that now exist in the jail.

    CONCLUSION: For more monsters: Read the legal section on page 6B of the
    Valdosta Daily Times dated 5 September 2003. And ask the real question-
     Who is responsible for allow this jail to get into this condition?

    Note: Most of the violations are the same ones identified in U. S. District Court For the Middle District of Georgia Valdosta Division. Civil Action No. 89-54-VAL, Consent Order And Decree, and Class Action dated June 6, 1989, and should have been corrected and complied with.
    a. The Question to this community should be—who ensured that this order was complied with? Was it the DA, County Commissioners, Sheriff, or the concerned citizens! Somebody should be held accountable! Compiled from letters received from Inmates & Valdosta Daily times

  13. still black and stupid says:

    I am so sick of bill Cosby low rating poor black americans. He was once poor himself. I used to be so crazy about bill. Now, I can’t stand to watch him on tv. And for the record, God didn’t say anywhere in the bible what kind of enlish to speak. so I can care less what he speak on. People have one life to live and how they choose to live it is not his business. If he don’t want to give his money to help the blacks, then don’t. I have an education. And I push my kids everday to get an education, also. And I’m not asking him for no hand out. And I’m sure, a lot of peolpe fill the same way I do. He sure as hell, is not getting a messege across by low rating black people. So “Bill, Keep your Opinion to your self!” All blacks are not, uneducated. And those that are, don’t need your ass. You played out long time ago. Your skin is still black no matter how rich you are. And all black man don’t beat their wives. You are too busy worrying about what goes on in people house. Give credit to the good black man and parents.

  14. “still black and stupid” is correct, he/she IS still black and stupid after ALL the so called education he was exposed to. Africa is a large place and plenty of room for people like that to go to and start their own ‘Colony’ and invite all their kind to join them and see what great thing they can do with it!!


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