I like books.


I live in a small town and enjoy writing about the inhabitants. I spend most of my time perusing through used book stores looking for that one great book that I don't have; consequently, I have rooms filled with books. I am a book addict.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Cosby friend or foe

If you are not up-to-date on the issues surrounding Cosby, check out the story at ABC News. Mr. Cosby admonishes the poor African American to be better parents and to teach their children to speak standard English.
The article says, "As a famous African-American with a doctorate in education, Cosby seemed to validate the long-held beliefs of some white conservatives who would have been labeled racist had they delivered similar tirades, Chapman said.
"People like William Bennett used to talk about the moral poverty of black people," Chapman said. "It's like he [Cosby] is falling into their hands and they can say, 'See, look what one of your own said.'""

I am torn over the issues at hand. First does Cosby have the right to criticize the poor people from his own race? When it comes to admonisment is there an etiquette different from that of say comedians who blast the African American and get laughs from both white and black audience members with little or no criticism from the public. This brings me to conclude from the article and from observations made in my many decades of life that criticism against a race by a member of that race is okay unless it crosses over the socioeconomic boundries. It's as if it's okay to laugh at a white woman trying to dance, or a white man trying to rap, but it isn't alright to criticize the poor white people on the neglect of certain aspects of their lives unless we are willing to step up to the plate and be a part of the solution. I see why the anger from the poor African Americans exists against Mr. Cosby.

This brings me to the issue of his wanting the African American's to teach their children Standard English. I have to say that while Standard English is what is taught in schools and is what people attempt to speak, it isn't the only way to communicate. AAVE is a perfectly legitimate language and has its roots in West Africa. Many of the word choices and lack of copula are charateristics of West African language. It is perfectly fine, in my opionio, to allow your children to speak the language of their forefathers. I do agree that they need to speak Standard English, but I believe that the school systems owe a transition to the young speakers of AAVE just like we allow for a transition to other languages.

I think Mr. Cosby has confused AAVE with the slang of hip hop. And that reminds me of the days of my youth when we were admonished for saying the slang of our day. Slang comes and goes and sometimes stays long enough to actually make it into the OED. Wow.

Poor people suffer enough in this world without having to be made the object of one elitists rantings and ramblings about how to rise above the poverty. Guess what poverty only gets worse when the Republicans are in charge. So, Mr. Cosby if you want to see changes, perhaps you could donate a few million to help lift those poor people out of the projects and into some kind of reasonable life and if you are not a part of the solution guess what?

Monday, February 21, 2005


I can not believe that I have finally figured out how to create my own blog site. Not that I was unable to complete the task before, but I was always too busy to complete the process. Now I am here and find that all those wonderful things that I had planned to say have left me, leaving me temporarily speechless. So for now, I'm here and I hope it is still working tomorrow morning.