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Thursday, August 12, 2010

An Open Letter to Bill Cosby

I woke up this morning, angry. I can’t remember that last time this happened. I sat at the edge of my bed for five minutes, not wondering where this feeling came from, but why. The answer was slow moving. So I got on with my morning until it hit me. The thought of our people crossed my mind.

Mr. Cosby, everyday I walk with the responsibilities and hope of our people on my shoulders. I’ve never dreaded it. I embrace it. But I can’t help but to get angry at the lack of fellowship and vision we exhibit. I think about how much strength it took for you to stand in front of your peers and tell them the raw and uncensored truth about our future if we didn’t take care of our dirty laundry. I think about how every one turned on you… how could they turn on you?

Mr. Cosby, it was you, and your vision for a stronger people that gave us “The Cosby Show.” You gave us a well-rounded, intelligent and loving African-American family to believe in at a time when our hoods were being ravaged by the Cocaine era. I’d hate to see what our people would be like today without the added boost of confidence and self worth that your show delivered. Michael Jordan wasn’t enough; Run-DMC wasn’t enough.

Speaking of those examples, who needs “Affirmative Action” when a majority of our youth recognizes success as playing a professional sport or rapping; not to mention modeling and music production. People are in an uproar about education in Urban areas. Yet in Urban areas, the unemployment rates are high, teenaged pregnancy are high, incarcerations are high; where are the tax dollars? And it’s not because of the school systems, it’s because of our home systems. An urban city can’t survive on State funds alone. Libraries are closing, Boys & Girls Clubs are cutting back, after-school programs cancelled. And people are blaming the government, when it is us that aren’t cleaning are laundry and being responsible for what we bring into this world.

I am angry and disappointed… how many more times will I have to read a rumor of your demise. Why you… why four times? The ingrate that starts these rumors can’t see the pain that it causes?! The nonsense you’ve endured over the past ten years has been nothing short of a tragedy. And through it all, you’ve smiled… through it all, you smile.
To me, you are walking, talking, and game changing Black History in motion. You were at one point “America’s Favorite Dad” on television; a national treasure. And I believe that I’ll be angry until our people come together, apologize to you, defend you, and treat you with the respect that you’ve earned over the past 50+ years.

I hope that this letter reaches you in clear mind and spirit. Mr. Cosby, your life inspired me to be better, to live better, and most important, to deliver discomfort to the masses if it is the only way to change the status quo. I am proud to say that I am a Cosby kid. Continued success to you, sir.

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