Thursday, October 18, 2007

Tough, Sad and Smart

Bob Herbert with a powerful, spot-on Op Ed:

For three years, Mr. Cosby and Dr. Poussaint have been traveling the country, meeting with as many people as possible to explore the problems facing the black community.
There is a sense of deep sadness and loss — grief — evident in both men over the tragedy that has befallen so many blacks in America. They were on  “Meet the Press” for the entire hour Sunday, talking about their new book, a  cri de coeur against the forces of self-sabotage titled, “Come On, People: On the Path From Victims to Victors.”...
The book lays out the difficult route black people will have to take to free the many who are still trapped in prisons of extreme violence, poverty,  degradation and depression.
It’s a work with a palpable undercurrent of love throughout. And yet it pulls no punches. In a chapter titled, “What’s Going on With Black Men?,” the  authors (in a voice that sounds remarkably like Mr. Cosby’s) note:
“You can’t land a plane in Rome saying, ‘Whassup?’ to the control tower.  You can’t be a doctor telling your nurse, ‘Dat tumor be nasty.’ ”
Racism is still a plague and neither Mr. Cosby nor Dr. Poussaint give it short shrift. But they also note that in past years blacks were able to progress despite the most malignant forms of racism and that many are  succeeding today.
“Blaming white people,” they write, “can be a way for some black people to feel better about themselves, but it doesn’t pay the electric bills. There are more doors of opportunity open for black people today than ever before in the  history of America.”


October 16, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist
Tough, Sad and Smart

They are a longtime odd couple, Bill Cosby and Harvard’s Dr. Alvin Poussaint, and their latest campaign is nothing less than an effort to save the soul of black America.

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