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Blacks Must Drop Victimhood and Reclaim Dignity

Bill Cosby and Alvin F. Poussaint, Christian Science Monitor, November 8, 2007

{snip} But what we see today in poor African American neighborhoods is a nightmare.

We know there are forces that make the ability to escape poverty seem bleak: overburdened single-parent homes, a high dropout rate, joblessness, gangs, drugs, crime, incarceration, deaths at an early age from guns fired by angry black men. We know that systemic racism and governmental neglect still exist.

Yet we in the black community must look at ourselves and understand our own responsibility. We sometimes inflict ourselves with a victim mentality, feel hopeless, and do self-destructive things that make our lives even worse. Many people who are trying to make it find themselves struggling against fellow African Americans so lost in self-destructive behaviors that they bring down other people as well as themselves.

{snip}

Time to overcome

We cannot accept this current state of affairs. We must realize — and believe — that, for all the external hassles we face, we are not helpless. We can overcome the odds and succeed in spite of the obstacles. And we must try. Despite the fact that racial discrimination has not been eliminated, black strength lies in the resolve to keep on keeping on, never quit, never give up, never yield to the role of cooperative victim.

{snip}

For black people to hold their heads high even today means getting rid of internal feelings of inferiority.

A history of obstacles

{snip}

The way race is defined in the United States makes no biological or genetic sense. It’s been used primarily as a tool for political and psychological oppression — providing economic gain for many white people.

{snip}

Buying into victimhood

Although few acknowledge it, the doctrine of white supremacy has sunk deeply into the minds of too many Americans, black people included. It has slithered its way into the psyches of poor black youth with low self-esteem, who equate academic success with “acting white.” If success is “white,” then are they saying that to “act black” is to fail?

{snip}

Too many people, including some black people, believe many poor black youth — particularly males — cannot be educated. This position harkens back to the notion of poor genes determining poor performance rather than poor environment, poor schools, or a music scene that imparts destructive, degrading values. The good must be separated from the bad while treating black people with respect and not demeaning an entire culture.

Victors through community, family

When restaurants, laundries, hotels, theaters, groceries, and clothing stores were legally segregated, black people opened and ran their own.

Such successes provided jobs and strength to black economic well-being. They also gave black people that gratifying sense of an interdependent community with people working to help each other.

During legal segregation, white racists destroyed some of these economically independent communities. To their credit, our ancestors did not accept victimhood. They fought back as individuals and as a people. Most refused to become passive victims of the system.

Black neighborhoods today must adopt that same can-do attitude and take action. They must be enterprising and work hard to improve their own economic situation — and by so doing, help improve the community.

{snip}

We can pass this sense of strength on to our children by strengthening black families, whatever their structure, and nurturing our youth with love and guidance. We must put children first and sharpen our parenting skills in both single-parent and two-parent homes. Fathers must play a bigger role. They cannot be absent. Children do better when fathers are actively involved in their lives.

{snip}

The driving force for change has been the activism of African Americans and others who take up our cause. The key word is activism, yesterday, today, and tomorrow. We must be actively involved in empowering our schools and participating in the political process by exercising our right to vote. Being passive takes us nowhere. Activism is what gets us where we want to go.

{snip}

Original article

(Posted on November 8, 2007)

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Comments

Perhaps they could be encouraged to go emmigrate to a Black majority nation. After all, RACE is the single overriding factor in their thinking and actions. Going to a majority Black nation means that they could concentrate on non-Black thoughts like math, engineering, chemistry, etc.

Posted by at 5:14 PM on November 8


“Blacks Must Drop Victimhood and Reclaim Dignity”

How can some people reclaim that which they never had?

Why should some people drop that which has been so lucrative?

Bill Cosby has been on this rant for a long time. Whites see the common sense in what he has to say but blacks pay it no mind. Nothing will change, except for the worse.

Posted by Howard Fezell at 5:24 PM on November 8


This article was obviously written for young blacks, hoping they will take steps to quit acting like victims and take on new resolve. All very interesting. But I have to ask everyone here, who in hell thinks the gangbanging, rap-artist wannabes are going to READ the Christian Science Monitor???? I rather doubt there are any copies laying around in the barber shops, tattoo parlors, pawn shops, or any of the convenience stores they rob late at night. How does the Christian Science Monitor expect to get this article into the hands of those the article is intended? Will someone read it to them?

Posted by Don Reynolds at 6:08 PM on November 8


Too many people, including some black people, believe many poor black youth — particularly males — cannot be educated. This position harkens back to the notion of poor genes determining poor performance rather than poor environment, poor schools, or a music scene that imparts destructive, degrading values.

But this is exactly the fact of the matter; many blacks simply cannot be educated in any meaningful way because of their low IQ. Rather than too many people believing this, I would suggest that far too few recognize this truth.

Posted by at 6:15 PM on November 8


I watched some of the Larry King show featuring Cosby and Poussaint, then switched channels after hearing some of the same old, tired rhetoric about poverty, music, racism, self-destructive behavior, etc., etc…. The pure and simple fact is that blacks are responsible for their social shortcomings and lawlessness. The very same way that white people are responsible for their own. Blacks have been coddled and pampered since the days of LBJ and even before in some cases. In their minds, working is just not as much fun as not working. Obeying the laws and customs of civilized society is just too bothersome and interferes with their fun and games. Anyone with half a brain can easily observe these traits in blacks here in this country and in any country where they exist. Do our leaders see and know this? Of course they do. But they will continue to pander to this group as long as their is a chance they can get a vote for them. Disgusting.

Posted by White Boy at 6:15 PM on November 8


I have trouble cheering Cosby on when he remains but a voice in the wilderness. He’s doing the right thing, but I’ve always noticed that whites have trouble rallying behind “black empowerment.”

Posted by John R. Kennedy at 6:24 PM on November 8


“We know that systemic racism and governmental neglect still exist.”

Pets and children suffer from neglect, not races. This one word says so much about you, and negates all the sensible things you go on to say. How can you expect black people to take responsibilty for their lives, whilst at the same time infantalising them, encouraging them to see the Government as a parent that should be looking after their needs? I doubt if many whites in America think the Government should look after them, and any white person that said as much would be viewed by their peers as lazy and unmotivated.
Rather like the Cosby show, this article was neither funny or enlightening. Perhaps it’s another example of this ‘black comedy’ I hear about. Come to think of it, I never got ‘Fresh Prince’, either..

Posted by Regulation18b at 6:48 PM on November 8


Just look at the title of this article. “Blacks Must Drop Victimhood and Reclaim Dignity”

One gets the impression from this heading that we are about to read a common sense piece espousing that blacks drop the “victimhood” nonsense and start taking responsibility for themselves.

One would be wrong.

Posted by Mike Harrigan at 7:17 PM on November 8


“We know that systemic racism and governmental neglect still exist.

Yet we in the black community must look at ourselves and understand our own responsibility. We sometimes inflict ourselves with a victim mentality, feel hopeless, and do self-destructive things that make our lives even worse.”

Very inspiring Comrades Cosby and Poussaint, decrying a culture of the victim mentality while also perpetuating it?

Hey, hey, hey!

It’s Reverend Fat Albert and he’s gonna sing a song for you

And it’s is gonna show you a thing or two

You’ll have some fun now with he and all the gang

Learning from each other

While we do our blame “whitey” thang na, na, na

Gonna have a good time

Na, na, na

Gonna have a good time

Hey, hey, hey…!

As always, God help us all!!!

Posted by John PM at 9:25 PM on November 8


“Too many people, including some black people, believe many poor black youth – particularly males – cannot be educated.”

Who believes this, and where are they communicating their views? Why aren’t we hearing these VOICES OF REASON? (Instead of these two dullards, spouting their same-old same-old).

Posted by H. Dumpty at 9:46 PM on November 8


>>>The way race is defined in the United States makes no biological or genetic sense.

Funny, we have at least 2 Nobel Prize winners that have asserted otherwise..And no telling how many scientists that don’t dare speak their opinion. I personally know one myself, who is in the Smithsonian Inventor’s Hall Of Fame.

They tried to shove this same balderdash down my throat in college anthropology some years ago. Yawn……….

Posted by James at 9:47 PM on November 8


I think the three rules for living in the country are the same for race relations and apply here, as they might anywhere. “Keep your yard mowed, Don`t ask to borrow money and Drink indoors.”

Posted by Tim Mc Hugh at 9:49 PM on November 8


“Reclaim their dignity”? Was such a thing ever theirs to begin with? Decades before the PC-sanctified days of MLK, Rosa Parks, and Selma, there were race riots and the anti-White rantings of the bizarre (insane), yet revered W.E.B. Dubois.

Yes, even I could go down to the country club and say I was there to “reclaim” the fire-engine red Ferrari in the parking lot, but it never meant that I ever had it in the first place.

Posted by at 10:42 PM on November 8


“We know that systemic racism and governmental neglect still exist.”

Most whites want governmental neglect. We want to be left alone. We want to keep more of what we earn and we want the freedom to decide who to associate with. As for systematic racism, whites go out of their way to avoid blacks, even giving up old neighborhoods and moving ever further out of the city.

If whites are the oppressor and blacks are the victim, it is strange that whites keep running away and blacks keep following us demanding to be integrated with us.

Posted by at 11:03 PM on November 8


He refers to “forces” that keep blacks in poverty: high dropout rate, joblessness, gangs, drugs, crime, ect., but those are not external forces, they are consequences of bad behaviour.

I just wish we could split up the nation. Let blacks solve their own problems, and when they fail to solve them, then let them blame themselves for a change.

Posted by at 11:11 PM on November 8


“I just wish we could split up the nation. Let blacks solve their own problems, and when they fail to solve them, then let them blame themselves for a change.

Posted by at 11:11 PM on November 8”

Here in South Africa, we had a word for what you are suggesting. It was “apartheid” (literally, segregation). But thanks to our allies in America and Europe, we don’t have that any more. Now, we are rehabilitated, and firmly on the road to Zimbabwe. Thanks, guys.

Posted by at 12:46 AM on November 9


They keep saying that (anti-black) racism is still a problem. Can we see some proof of this? Any brainwashed leftist will point to lots of data showing discrepancies in income, crime, education and incarceration - but all those statistics are, in fact, evidence of differences between the races and cultures. They do not prove systemic anti-black racism. I know there are a lot of leftists out there reading this so I’m waiting for you to post some real proof. Feel free to email it to me if you want. Remember. Discrepancies don’t count unless they are controlled in such a way that they cannot be the result of genetic or cultural differences. Women holding their purses when black men walk by is also not proof of racism; it doesn’t actually harm the black men and it’s a result of conditioning that comes with a much higher crime rate among black men. Even the likes of Jesse Jackson admits that. There is some discrimination in the housing market and among cab drivers. It should be allowed because it’s freedom of association. It is based on experience but it is not systemic or institutional. Furthermore, it could easily be argued that the pro-black discrimination by government more than makes up for that.

Posted by jewamongyou at 2:14 AM on November 9


We know that governmental neglect still exists.

Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country. To paraphrase, “Pull up those hip-hop, droopy jeans, we are tired of seeing your backside”.

Posted by Henry Stanton at 5:06 AM on November 9


I have trouble cheering Cosby on when he remains but a voice in the wilderness. He’s doing the right thing, but I’ve always noticed that whites have trouble rallying behind “black empowerment.”

Posted by John R. Kennedy at 6:24 PM on November 8

They are afraid…because perpetuating problems is big-business, It would leave a great many without a thing to do.

Posted by Lisette at 9:02 AM on November 9


“If success is “white,” then are they saying that to “act black” is to fail?”

Well, Bill, I don’t know if THEY are saying it, but I will say it: Yes, to act black is to fail.

Is this because “Amerika” is “racist”? No: it’s because “acting black” — neglecting education, living only for the moment, always going for the quick-n-easy buck, never delaying gratification, avoiding work, avoiding marriage, impregnating as many females as possible, never reflecting on your own shortcomings or trying to fix them, blaming all your problems on anyone and anything other than yourself — would be a recipe for failure ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD.

“Acting black” is, in fact, merely a euphemism for acting childish. Read my list of bad human traits again — would it not read just as accurately if I’d begun by defining those traits not as “acting black” but as “acting childish”?

White children start out in life much that way, too: selfish, silly, headstrong, unwilling to apply themselves. ALL youngsters generally prefer play over school. But as they get older, young whites come to see the value in the things their parents and their teachers keep telling them: that life is NOT one big recess-period. That they must study and restrain themselves and learn to be serious about life and generally GROW UP.

Unfortunately, the maturation process that comes more-or-less naturally to whites (and Asians) does NOT seem to happen naturally with blacks (and mestizos). In a saner, more racially-honest society than this one, these facts would be recognized by all — yes, even by the blacks and the mestizos — and our education systems would reflect that. Rather than trying to put little LaQuisha onto the fast-track for pre-med, or steer little Consuela into astrophysics, we’d have them in strictly-disciplined, sexually-segregated, no-nonsense training academies for the blue-collar occupations. In the long run, everybody — and I mean EVERYBODY, including the minorities — would be happier with such an arrangement.

So Mr. Cosby, although I appreciate the fact that you’re not a race-pimp like Sharpton or Jackson — that you’re at least TRYING to talk some sense into your people — you’re still suffering from some of the same old racial denial and dishonesty.

And until you face the fact that we can’t simply spend our way out of these problems — that at least some of these problems are in fact ROOTED IN THE BLACK RACE ITSELF — your efforts will be mostly in vain.

Posted by at 10:25 AM on November 9


If all of us Whites step up and speak out for freedom of association, there just might be an awakening.

Posted by True Resistance at 11:36 AM on November 9


“If whites are the oppressor and blacks are the victim, it is strange that whites keep running away and blacks keep following us demanding to be integrated with us.”

Not really. Where would black income be without the white man to suck off of? That is why as long as whitey continues to bend toward the demands of blacks, they will NEVER disassociate from whites.

Posted by at 12:11 PM on November 9


Click template icon. blah Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah Blah blah blah

I will think Cosby and all these other so called conservative blacks march against Sharpton et al and demand justice for the White victims of hate crimes by blacks.

Did they ever come out in favor of the Duke 3? Have they mentioned the reign of terror the Jena 6 created in that small town for the last few years? Did they express outrage that the Whites girls beaten in Long Beach Ca last Halloween were denied justice by liberal judges and the Weisenthal Center?

Have they said anything about Christian Channon and Chris Newsome?

Just like affirmative action employees, blacks can talk, but they can’t walk.

blah Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah Blah blah blah

Posted by at 1:10 PM on November 9


Perhaps Jim Crow laws weren’t so horrible. After all, one need only look at the statistics (unwed births, fatherless homes,etc) under Jim Crow versus the 60’s to the present. Unwed births amongst blacks pre-1960’s - what was it about 9%? And now - 72% of black children are growing up in homes without fathers. There’s something to be said about those who should govern and those who shouldn’t.

Posted by Gayle at 2:13 PM on November 9


“Activism” is not what blacks need. They needs a willingness to take the undesireable jobs that others are willing to do, to show up to on time, and to do the work. Subliterates who dropped out of junior high will never be Fortune 500 CEOs. Drug-addled felons will never be civil servants. A kid with a chip on his shoulder isn’t even going to last long in fast-food work.

Activism is merely organized whining for more unearned tax-funded goodies. Community activism is a cheat, excusing individuals from acquiring what they really need: self-discipline.


Posted by Michael C. Scott at 2:32 PM on November 9


Can’t we spend a few trillion more to help these folks?

Posted by lars at 8:10 PM on November 9


Unfortunately, the maturation process that comes more-or-less naturally to whites (and Asians) does NOT seem to happen naturally with blacks (and mestizos). In a saner, more racially-honest society than this one, these facts would be recognized by all — yes, even by the blacks and the mestizos — and our education systems would reflect that. Rather than trying to put little LaQuisha onto the fast-track for pre-med, or steer little Consuela into astrophysics, we’d have them in strictly-disciplined, sexually-segregated, no-nonsense training academies for the blue-collar occupations. In the long run, everybody — and I mean EVERYBODY, including the minorities — would be happier with such an arrangement.

So Mr. Cosby, although I appreciate the fact that you’re not a race-pimp like Sharpton or Jackson — that you’re at least TRYING to talk some sense into your people — you’re still suffering from some of the same old racial denial and dishonesty.

And until you face the fact that we can’t simply spend our way out of these problems — that at least some of these problems are in fact ROOTED IN THE BLACK RACE ITSELF — your efforts will be mostly in vain.


Posted by at 10:25 AM on November 9

And this is the truth…brother from another mother. I watched Bill Cosby on the Larry King show and I could not believe my ears….this goes to show how powerfull the demon called victimhood really is…sensible people hooked on race/skincolor instead of common sense is dangerous for everybody.

Posted by Lisette at 1:24 AM on November 10


I admire Cosby for trying to tell the black community to take more responsibilty in improving their own lives.
True, there aren’t many black voices as bluntly candid as his, and arrayed against him are the Jacksons and Sharptons, and various other race-victim hustlers who make a fine living on TV repeating the easy excuses that persuade blacks to blame others and do nothing positive for themselves - but he is a voice telling truths that need to be stated.

Posted by Gary at 3:31 PM on November 10


I once read a very inspirational book called “Think Big” by Ben Carson - one of the world’s best neurosurgeons and also black. Although it was years ago, I remember many of the amazing things his mother did for his brother and him. She had to be at work when they got home from school. To keep them busy and away from the trouble they could get into with the neighborhood kids, she assigned them “book reports” that they had to turn in to her. This introduced Ben to the library, caused him to become a reader, and changed his life. He found out much later that the reports he turned into his mother were never read - she was illiterate!
Like all people, white or black - to improve ourselves or our lives, we have to immitate good examples and avoid bad influences. In that regard, it IS harder for blacks as they have fewer of the good and too much of the bad to choose from. But the choice - is theirs…

Posted by at 1:44 AM on November 11


Like all people, white or black - to improve ourselves or our lives, we have to immitate good examples and avoid bad influences. In that regard, it IS harder for blacks as they have fewer of the good and too much of the bad to choose from. But the choice - is theirs…

Posted by at 1:44 AM on November 11

Right on cue……the can do attitude is what made America the greatest nation on the face of the planet…so nobody has an excuse to claim victimhood….the choice is always yours in the good ole USA…the land of the free and home of the brave!

Posted by Lisette at 3:28 PM on November 11


10:25 AM POSTER ON November 9th:

Your post is right on the button. Absolutely true. I have worked with SCORES of black men in all sorts of different jobs over the past three decades and the one common denominator that has struck me so forcefully about them is their overwhelming immaturity. I just can’t believe what petty, self-absorbed IMMATURE persons they are. I am talking about full-grown adult black men here, not your ‘male under 25’ types. These guys are out partying, fooling around, clubbing, skirt-chasing, squandering their money, no thoughts for the future, like a bunch of 21-year old ‘frat-boys’. They never seemed to get tired of it. To be completely fair, there were a FEW exceptions, but certainly not very many. I can think of no other race or ethnicity where such a large block of grown males behave this way.

Posted by at 11:37 PM on November 11


Don’t read what Cosby and conservative blacks write. Don’t listen to what they say.

Watch what they do. And they do and have done nothing for the last 70 years but let NOI, New Black Panthers, Sharpton, Jacka$$ and black thugs and criminals lead the black community.

When they do something, then I will believe them. Until they actually do something, I must conclude that they are just a false flag operation to make Whites think that some blacks don’t condone black criminals and race hustlers.

Posted by at 2:29 PM on November 12


I have trouble believing Bill Cosby is even remotely interested in white America. Years ago my father-in-law knew a guy who ran a limosine company in Baltimore. Cosby would come into town frequently, call this limo business owner to send a driver to pick him up. He always requested the same driver- a black guy. Well, during one visit the black driver was sick, so the limo guy sent a white guy instead. Cosy jumped into the back of the limo and took one look at the white guy. He asked who the driver was there to pick up, indicating there was some mistake. The driver told him he was there for Mr. Cosby. Cosby got out of the limo and told him he wouldn’t be drving HIM around. Cosby then called the limo driver furious. He told him to find him a black driver- any black, but no white. I know he preaches the truth about blacks, but it is only because he believes they are better than us. He panders to whites for one reason only- MONEY. I can see through his methods, can anyone else? Perhaps only because I know what I have just mentioned to be true- my father-in-law was a cop and never lies.

Posted by jenbelievesinwhites at 12:16 AM on November 13


Bill Cosby gave money to Al Sharpton and Twana Brawley to further their hate festivity against 5 totally innocent White men, one of whom killed himself.

Cosby is as much an enemy of the White race as is Sharpton.

So he is appalled by rap music lyrics. Big deal, so are most people his age. So is every person in the country but blacks.

At least he made big bucks early on to escape the black occupied and managed ghetto that his black brothers created in his home town Philadelphia. He never had to live in a black thug controlled neighborhood. He never had to send his kids to a ghetto school. Back when he went to Temple it was in a safe White neighborhood, not one of the most dangerous black neighborhoods in the country as it is now.

He should feel sorry for the Whites drived out of Philadelphia by his thug black brothers instead of bloviating and blithering about the n word and rap music lyrics.

Posted by at 4:13 PM on November 18



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