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June 19, 2013

Bill Cosby: A plague called apathy

The star on what's wrong with our communities - and why the revolution needs to begin at home.

It is almost becoming a faith. We have to continue to say these words, we must not give up.


There should be marches in every neighborhood every day telling the people about the negativity of drugs and how the drugs help us to behave negatively.

Now, if a white person does it, sells drugs to black people, then we’re up in arms, then we’re marching, but when a black person sells another black person crack cocaine, heroin or something that will give us addiction and cause us to not want to support our children and even give our children the same disease, nothing is said, nothing is done. But it has got to be hammered over and over.

We can fight. How can you not realize that? Some say, “Don’t bring out our dirty laundry.” How much sense does that make?

What are you doing with your dirty laundry? You walk around with it! Your children are walking the streets loudly using profanity feeling kind of powerful as they storm the subway or whatever. I’m not asking people to not be children, but this is anger stuff. They get on the subways and they’re disrespecting elders. What happened to the old saying, “I didn’t raise you like that.” It’s true! You knew that your mother and father didn’t allow you to go around and disrespect elders. So, the dirty laundry is very simple, man: You wouldn’t have it if you did something about it.

A guy said to me, why don’t you go over there and talk to the white people about dirty laundry. I said I’m not concerned. I wasn’t brought up being concerned about how white people behave. Except when they were looking at us and saying I don’t like you because of your color and that’s when I’m concerned because they’re crazy. If you look at my color and all you’re concerned about is the color of my skin than you’re crazy because you are disregarding black colleges, people who grow up and become great at things that the racists tried to prevent.

There were abolitionist whites who did more than a whole lot of black people, abolitionist Asians, abolitionists of every color, some Jews, some Catholics, Irish, everybody joining in. They knew that racism and slavery is wrong — but they also knew that apathy is not good.


When you have all of these things going wrong, we go back to the drink and the cigarette smoking. There are things that, if we behave better, eat better, we will feel better, think clearly. We will begin to challenge the apathy.

I’ve said it 100 times, the revolution is in the house. Now if you don’t want to be a part of the revolution, you say to the school system, “I want you to raise my child.” No, the revolution is at home.

Earl Lloyd, the first black NBA basketball player, tells a wonderful story of coming home and his mother said, “Where have you been?” He said, “I was out.” “No, no,” she said, “where have been?” He said, “Momma I was just . . .” She said, I asked you a question; he said, I was on the court. She said, I told you not to be out there with those boys. He said, I wasn’t doing anything.

And she said, “Look, when you’re not in the picture, you can’t be framed.”

Now, that’s the kind of stuff parents need to be doing. Stay away from the guys on the corner fighting to be nothing. The revolution is in the home.

It even happens with celebrities. People knew what Michael Jackson was doing, people knew what Whitney Houston was doing, and then they became addicts.

Michael should have been kept in rehab. Where was the family? Why weren’t they making sure Whitney and Michael got help? Michael, well, why is it that his family stood by and allowed him to have a Dr. Feelgood when they knew Michael had sleep, drug and other problems? Why didn’t Whitney’s family take the crack pipe away from her?

These people had more than enough money to do what was right. Everyone looks to protect their own interest — but not the person, which in Michael’s case, he was a company unto himself.

I’m a Christian. But Muslims are misunderstood. Intentionally misunderstood. We should all be more like them. They make sense, especially with their children. There is no other group like the Black Muslims, who put so much effort into teaching children the right things, they don’t smoke, they don’t drink or overindulge in alcohol, they protect their women, they command respect. And what do these other people do?

They complain about them, they criticize them. We’d be a better world if we emulated them. We don’t have to become black Muslims, but we can embrace the things that work.

We need people, not just in the church but in the community, who are not afraid to speak up because they want to hear a child’s laughter — not a child’s blood-curdling scream because a bullet hit them. We want them playing outside.

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M. Elmasry

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