The audience laughed and black leaders frowned when Bill Cosby mocked underclass blacks at a D.C. event commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision. From the Washington Post:
“Ladies and gentlemen, the lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal,” he declared. “These people are not parenting. They are buying things for 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,” he exclaimed. “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 Post’s Hamil Harris reports that Cosby also turned his wrath to “the incarcerated,” saying: “These are not political criminals. These are people going around stealing Coca-Cola. People getting shot in the back of the head over a piece of pound cake and then we run out and we are outraged, [saying] ‘The cops shouldn’t have shot him.’ What the hell was he doing with the pound cake in his hand?”
When Cosby finally concluded, Howard University President H. Patrick Swygert, NAACP President Kweisi Mfume and NAACP legal defense fund head Theodore Shaw came to the podium looking stone-faced. Shaw told the crowd that most people on welfare are not African American, and many of the problems his organization has addressed in the black community were not self-inflicted.
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Comedian Bill Cosby wants black Americans to follow the example of civil rights leaders in improving their neighbourhoods and reaching out for higher education.
“These people marched and were hit in the face with rocks to get an education and now we’ve got these knuckleheads walking around,” he said Monday evening at an NAACP gala commemorating the anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision 50 years earlier.
“Take the neighbourhood back,” Cosby said, chiding parents who do not take an active role in caring for their children.
. . . In one of the lighter moments, comedian Dick Gregory pretended to run off with the medal he presented to Cosby.
Cosby and his wife were honored for their donations to historically black colleges.