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Today is:
A Little About Cosby, More about Black America
By Clayton Ruley

This is overdue but I have to say my piece about the controversy Bill Cosby stirred up when he spoke at the 40th anniversary of Brown vs. Board Of Education of Topeka, Kansas celebration at Howard University late this past April. In the speech Cosby, the well-known Philadelphian, called out for Black people to take more responsibility and stop complaining about all the injustices while still doing no good themselves. Cosby was ridiculed by media and some blacks for saying these statements, in part, because some feel like we should be looking towards bigger solutions not picking on those who have had difficulties.

My questions are twofold. First: when did we become so sensitive? Second: if not internally, how do we check ourselves?

Cosby only said what many say in their homes. Black people need to step their games up. When I say that I mean we have to stop making excuses for why we are downtrodden and work hard to escape those barriers. And when I say work hard remember not to hurt each other and our people as a whole by being selfish. We do have some hard workers and we are no doubt, the creators and culture makers of the world but to what costs?

Take music for example: Hip Hop runs the radio and video stations but what do we talk about? Mostly what is getting promoted now is short skirts, getting money, gunplay, sex, having fun at the club, and doing illegal activities. It’s like a news broadcast to the youth and you see it in our children taking it all in as they are coming up. This is why you see thirteen year old girls looking like 21 year olds, Children looking like hoodlums instead of young men,

This is part of the reason education is devalued and treated like it’s not cool.

This is a generation who often cares more about getting money no matter the cost, rather that developing community and treating each other better. True Hip Hop didn’t start this show America did by its capitalistic system. Yet that still doesn’t mean we need to encourage this system by showing the impressionable that money and having a good time is more important than having a good home life or talking about more things with substance. It has become a clown show where you rarely see a positive artist with substance stay hot. Hip Hop has finally reach the homes in suburbia and over the world but the product is often cheesy and while doesn’t get a message of the struggles in America out as a people.

I mention Hip Hop so frequently because this is in part raising our children or at least having a great influence on them. While it may be cool to hear about the frivolous things with no substance if you have a good foundation and support in the form of parenting and resources (financially and others) it is no good when you are poor and lacking of those resources because often you look at those pictures and messages and try to emulate them without realizing the big picture. You remember how everyone wanted to be an athlete? Well now everyone wants to be a rapper or be big time. You see people walking around the hood trying to make that fast money instead of bearing down for hard work with the consequence of jail i.e. Hustling. You see people with nice cars with TV’s and rims (sometimes spinners) but their homes inside and out look like section eight homes. People throw trash out their cars or walking down the street then complain about their neighborhoods being dirty They don’t paying their mortgages or their taxes and complain that the man is trying to take their land! We complain about funding for children’s program and education yet pop out children at very early ages and can’t give them the best they deserve. Adults and Kids value their lives so little that they steal the stupidest little things like honey buns, coke and some phone cards and don’t care about the consequences of their actions or better yet try to get upset when they reprimanded for it.

There is a lack of pride when it comes to some of Black America, it brings to mind Chris Rock’s black vs. niggers piece on his Bring The Pain performance. There are a lot of people who go to work everyday and think of bettering the people by first bettering themselves and not by hurting each other but you also have those who will sell you down the river for their own success and in general I don’t see that in other races/cultures.

Do the Asians, Italians, Irish, Indian, Spanish and other nationalities sell themselves out for the benefit of themselves as much as the Black man in America does? I don’t see it. There are cutthroats in every race and culture but there has to be a place where you realize what is important for the all and not you and some are just getting pimped or are part of the pimping!

We need strong parenting that doesn’t make excuses for mistakes and doing wrong. Whether your struggling or not we have to many people and especially parents that show that show others its ok to steal, lie or cheat if it serves them a purpose. We need to stop blaming others when we are not doing our parts collectively. Treat yourself with respect and others will as well. Realize that you come for a strong people who were Kings and Queens and treat others with the same respect you would treat your best friend or love.

Urbanites, in particular, tend to act like we aren’t in the same struggle and some will even take from people in their own community instead of building with each other and getting justice from the real powers that be. Nothing is impossible with collectivity. Why steal when we can make a collection?

Most blacks came to the country in chains and later we whipped, hung and made to go through slavery. We wanted freedom and we fought hard for it: through the Jim Crow laws to Brown vs. the Board of Education, to getting bit by dogs and blown down the streets by water hoses.Through everything we preserved. But then came the 80’s and it seems we hit a serious low (That’s why Reagan sticks out to me, forget saving foreign policy what about home?) Now ask yourself: What do we have to complain about compared to the fight our parents and other people before us?

A lot of the freedoms we fought so hard for are being wasted and our predecessors are spinning in their graves! Cosby was right; we need to get off the pot or pee, meaning we can’t be part of the solution if we are the part of the problem.

Don’t give the police a reason to detain you and send you to the prison systems, a lot of people’s home away from home! If you know something continues to happen why do you place your position to fall in the trap. It’s like the baby and the kitchen stove flame: once you get burned once (or for this case see many of the same people getting burned) don’t you learn? If you don’t please blame yourself more than someone else because you need to have self control and respect. Babies please stop having babies! Once upon a time, we could start raising a family as a teen but this society is different: without knowledge you will forever be a slave to the system and education is tantamount. Don’t get mad when your young with children, have no education or skills and don’t have a life outside your neighborhood! You choose that!

Could the system be better hell yeah, but fight for change not accept and complain when no one of significance can hear you. Other races and cultures are breeding and encouraging more professionals that we are and this must end! Why do more some people (even our brown people from overseas) come over here and create businesses and professions and we still have some of Black America tries to have the drug game as a job? We don’t bring it in but do we have to push it! Stop living your lives like your trying to get on the Jerry Springer Show. That is only entertainment people!

Why do I see mad young urbanite women pushing strollers when they need to be pushing books? Fellas, it’s not cool to be on the corner your whole life it is sickening! Also men it’s not cool to corrupt our women and/or leave them with children while you dip and dabble with others soiling your oats! We as men and women need to work better together and give our children proud role models that they can aspire to be. Women you have to stop accept these brothers because they have the quick fix and make it clear that you want more in a man and a partner.

Black men we need to pick up the ball and run with it because we have to be fathers to our children and led our boys and girls know what is acceptable. You can the lack of positive role models in our boys’ and girls’ faces and attitudes.

Black people in general: don’t fall into the trap of mediocrity! There is no reason blacks can lead the world in culture but aren’t leaders in other realms. Let’s stop doing things that is getting us locked up and use our talents collectively and individually to make money and be in a better position.

Lets stop thinking that our natural talents aren’t good enough and try to do them because obviously someone does! Are you a great designer, baker or want to own a corner store? Lets do what it takes to achieve those goals: together if need be. Sometimes it is the system, though often it’s us as a people holding ourselves down by stooping to the same standards that got us in this current position. We are better than that and that is all Bill Cosby was saying. Don’t complain about something when you are doing nothing in your actions and efforts make change long term. Don’t give someone any reason to take what is yours and what your people worked hard for!

Stay on a righteous path, get as much education and networks as you can and lets work to become better people. Those in the middle: ascend to the top and not the bottom. Have focus and realize that it’s part of your mission to help those in the heavy trenches, not give them excuses to continue on a negative path. Lets stop trying to get make money and lets make careers. Who wants to work for someone who doesn’t care about your well-being and pays wages below respectable? No one so do not put yourselves in that position.

Lets have belief in ourselves as a people and individually and know that we don’t have to hurt each other and ourselves to get what we want. Lets not blame others fully for what is going down. We know about the past: who did who wrong but don’t make excuses for lack of hard work. Lets get on the horse and make a better future by being bigger people in our attitudes and better in our every day lives. Slowly and surely we will close the gap of equality and get ourselves a bigger piece of the collective pie!

Any questions, comments, suggestions email Clayton at




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