Submitted by richbuckeye on Wed, 2007-08-15 15:43.

Bill Cosby hit it right on the nose. Please read below...I think this apples to the problems we have in our schools.

"They're standing on the corner and they can't speak English. I can't even talk the way these people talk:
Why you ain't,
Where you is,
What he drive,
Where he stay,
Where he work,
Who you be...

And I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk.

And then I heard the father talk.

Everybody knows it's important to speak English

except these knuckleheads. You can't be a doctor

with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth.

In fact you will never get any kind of job making a

decent living. People marched and were hit in the

face with rocks to get an education, and now

we've got these knuckleheads walking around.

The lower economic people are not holding up

their end in this deal.

These people are not parenting. They are buying

things for kids. $500 sneakers for what ? ?

And they won't spend $200 for Hooked on Phonics.

I am talking about these people who cry when their son is standing

there in an orange suit.

Where were you when he was 2 ? ?

Where were you when he was 12 ? ?

Where were you when he was 18 and how come you didn't know that he had a pistol ? ?

And where is the father ? ? Or who is his father ?

People putting their clothes on backward:
Isn't that a sign of something gone wrong?

People with their hats on backward, pants down around the crack, isn't that a sign of something ? ?

Or are you waiting for Jesus to pull his pants up ?

Isn't it a sign of something when she has her dress all the way up and got all type of needles [piercing] going through her body?

What part of Africa did this come from??

We are not Africans. Those people are not Africans; they don't know a thing about Africa .

With names like Shaniqua, Taliqua and Mohammed and all of that crap, and all of them are in jail.

Brown or black versus the Board of Education is no longer the white person's problem.

We have got to take the neighborhood back.

People used to be ashamed. Today a woman has eight children with eight different 'husbands' -- or men or whatever you call them now.

We have millionaire football players who cannot read.

We have million-dollar basketball players who can't write two paragraphs.

We, as black folks, have to do a better job. Someone working at Wal-Mart with seven kids, you are hurting us.

We have to start holding each other to a higher standard.

We cannot blame the white people any longer."

Dr. William Henry "Bill" Cosby, Jr., Ed.D.

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it's funny because it's true. Feel like school started two weeks early this year. Thanks Rich, and Mr. Cosby.

--These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will; in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. -Thomas Paine

but just let me say it and I'm racially prejudiced, and my statement is ignored. Bill Cosby says it and somehow he's wrong as well.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

In support of African Americans, Bill Cosby was not elected as the official spokesperson for the African American community. But, if you want to take his words as gospel, then you must also credit him with his praise of the millions of responsible African American boys and girls, men and women who communicate well and are either in the process of getting a good education or who have already obtained that goal. In addition, it intrigues me how all the other ethnic groups try to emulate African American culture.

I've always thought that Bill Cosby was an extremely smart man, back when he was doing Stand Up. He never really needed to reach as far into the gutter to find his humor, as other Stand Ups did - black or white. A lot of blacks got angry when he spoke out similar things not long ago. But he's on target with every statement. Madjack is right - if a white person says it, they are 'racist', but the blacks are just as angry if another black says it. I've wondered about a lot of what he's said for some time now. I think our country is probably the only one in the world, where blacks (some, not all) strive to look ghetto, pimpish, pants hanging down with boxers showing, huge gold chains, gold grills on their teeth, and talk the way they do. France & England have very large black populations, and they don't look or talk that way there. The made-up-to-sound-like-we're-from-africa names with bizarre spellings has been a gripe of mine for years. The moms want to be 'different' & 'unique' - but instead, they all have become this horrible cliche of gobbledy gook letters that nobody can pronounce or spell - and they all start to look & sound the same. And rarely, are they authentic, African names. (It's not always blacks that do this either - lots of white moms give atrocious names to their kids.)

I think Bill Cosby was referring to the blacks that were in fact, guilty of speaking, looking, behaving in the ways he was referring to. He never said "all blacks do this". And yes, there are a lot of young white (pick a race) guys who dress & speak the same way - they are trying to copy what they perceive the ghetto prison blacks to be, accurate or not. The baggy falling down jeans began when they tried to emulate prison & ghetto garb.

I am America. I am the part you won't recognize. But get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me.

Muhammad Ali The Greatest

rescue me

Just because Cosby has had personal problems and lacked discernment in other areas, doesn't disqualify his opinion on this issue. If our opinions were only credible based on our perfection, none of our opinions would be worth anything.

By the way, I miss The Cosby Show. A show with REAL actors, with REAL talent, doing a show with respectable parents who actually taught their children between right and wrong. Now all we have are copy cat game shows and gym rat model wannabe's eating monkey balls.

After my mother retired from teaching, she became a student teacher advisor. One of the college seniors she was monitoring was at a local elementary and asked the second graders this:

Billy have 5 penny, if he give three penny away, how many do he have left?

Mom had to very gently speak with her about using the proper vernacular when teaching...

I understand local accents, and yeah, I say 'aint' and many other improper uses of the english language, but not when Im addressing a group, and certainly when teaching.

You wouldnt think a college senior would need to hear that. No matter where the students are from.

Billy, your mom should not have felt she had to be gentle about correcting proper grammer to a student teacher. All this politically correct, be careful to not make them feel 'bad', even when they need correcting is a big part of what's wrong with the education system today - with kids in general. Just my opinion, of course. And I wouldn't even try to compare Ali to the teens that speak & dress ghetto prison to be cool. When did it become cool to look ghetto & inmate? And a lot of these teens aren't ghetto, or even moderately poor. Some of them spend a lot of money to look like that.

What disturbs me, is this whole ghetto/prison image, is like teens are trying to emulate themselves to the lowest, common denominator. I believe a lot in visualization & of the "I" messages we give ourselves everyday - and if you envision yourself as ghetto or inmate, even for 'show', then that is probably the route your life will take. Again, just my opinion.

your mom should not have felt she had to be gentle about correcting proper grammer to a student teacher

Mom's paranoid - she already had one AA chick drop her class because she said mom was racist. Mom's crime? She called one AA girl by another AA girl's name...

DESPITE the fact that the accusor that day was sitting in the other girls seat!! And the University allowed her to switch sections over it!!!

Shit, she calls me by my brothers name all the time for cryin out loud.

Strange times we live in. And such bullshit we have to put up with.

is my name, at least pronounce it right.

Must be a cultural thing, when my oldest daughter was in kindergarten at Fulton, the white teacher could/would never say her name right. That was her last year of public education, after that she went to St. Anne's, then Notre Dame and Knoxville College and Howard University for her Masters.

Regardless of what your name is- Myeisha, Kor'i'An, Jameel or Mary Catherine the least a teacher can do is pronounce it right. I felt that the teacher was showing disrespect to my daughter by not knowing her name by the third month of school. If she did not respect that small part of her I surely was not going to trust her with my child's education.

purnhrt - yes, by the 3rd month, the teacher should have been able to pronounce the name. That first month however, some of these names are very difficult to pronounce - and they aren't always pronounced the way they are spelled.

billy - I have actually called my kids by the dog's name already - senior moment, rushed, whatever the reason - we laughed about it.

to learn a child's name.Laila is pronounced Lay-la. If a five year old tells you her name is Lay-la, regardless of how it is spelled, then you call her Lay-la. You don't call her Lay-eye-la. You associate her name with her face, not with how the name is spelled.

White teachers don't try to learn the names because of a disrespectful attitude towards the children and their parents. It happens all of the time.

It's a cultural thing. Children are told, by their parents "don't let anyone call you out of your name." Probably goes back to slavery when we were called whatever the master wanted to call us.You know the names, "Pickaninny, Sambo, Boy, Auntie, Chicken George, Uncle Tom, Jim, Joe, Darkie.......

White teachers don't try to learn the names because of a disrespectful attitude towards the children and their parents. It happens all of the time.

Oh that is such bullshit. Stereotyping the whole race because one teacher couldnt get her shit straight??

I dated a girl in high school named Deena. The math teacher called her Deema all year long. Even when Deena was up at the chalkboard she'd write her name above her work as DeeNa so it would stick out and still no use. We laughed it off. I called her Deema the last time I saw her as we were giving each other a hug and we laughed again.

Some moron cant pronounce a name right and now it's a racial thing. Take the plank out of your eye.

Although I usually ignore your comments because I know you get your rocks off turning every conversation on this board into a racial issue, I have to take specific offense with this statement:
"White teachers don't try to learn the names because of a disrespectful attitude towards the children and their parents. It happens all of the time."
This is easily the most ignorant and stupid statement I have read on this board to the present, and points out yet another reason to ignore you, and makes it impossible to take seriously anything you say on this or any other blog. I feel sorry for your daughter, not because some teacher couldn't get her name right twenty some years ago, but for having your sorry ass as her parent.

--These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will; in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. -Thomas Paine

You wouldn't understand.

The back and forth about names and conditions and allegations of racism reminds me of growing up a kid/adult in the greater NYC area when the Bed-Sty neighborhood in Brooklyn exploded in violence.

Spike Lee made a movie about it called, Do the Right Thing.

I cannot help but see and read some of the tinder box conditions here.


comes together and has an open and honest conversation about race the tinderbox is an incident waiting to happen.

purnhrt -(gee, I hope I spelled that right) - You are really turning this into something it is not. There's a woman who works as a postal clerk at my local post office, and her name tag reads "Dot". But beneath it, is printed her real name - an impossible for anybody to pronounce name - gifted onto her by her parents. She told me a few times how to pronounce it (I asked) and laughed, and said that was why she just shortened her name to 'Dot'. It is NOT a 'Black Thang' at all. You also must keep in mind that there are usually 20- 30 students in a class, and if 1/4 or more have strangely spelled or difficult to pronounce names, that teacher is sure to screw it up now & then. And it is not always black children with these difficult names. To be honest though, whenever I see the spelling of a name (no photo, nothing more to go on than the name) like those we're referring to, I immediately assume the person is either a poor white person's child (who is trying very hard to be trendy), or a black person's name (an attempt perhaps to root their child in African roots, of which, few American blacks even have had for generations, if at all. I do agree that it is a sign of respect to use somebody's name properly, and it's important to try to remember that name & how to pronounce it. But cut people some slack here. If parents are going to be offended because people can't pronounce or spell their kids names right; if those parents don't want their kids to have to deal with that - then perhaps they should not go to such lengths to make up names or spellings of names that they feel are 'unique' or 'black'. ALL parents should think long & hard before they name their child. That trendy or invented name can easily come back to haunt the child. They should envision their child using that name as a professional adult (any physicians out there named Bambi or Brandy?). Too many kids get stuck with stripper or cutesy names. Or, a mish-mash of jumbled letters to invent a "New" name. Or, re-spelling a name to be 'different' - and often that new spelling just doesn't come off well, or looks contrived. To be honest, many of these names come off looking like the parent created it out of 2 or more other names - to be 'different'. But it's the child that is stuck bearing that name, and all because mom & dad wanted to stretch their imagination to sometimes silly extremes to be 'different'. Well, if you give your child a name like that, then don't be surprised if they go through life dealing with the publics difficulty in using it. When we named our 3 kids, there were a few names I loved - but after thinking hard about potential future problems, nicknames, teasing potential - I crossed them off my list. The two names I thought were unique enough, turned out to be pretty common by the time they got into school. (One was not even in any of the baby name books for girls, and then it was spelled with a different first letter - but it's an old name, easy to pronounce.) I don't know why so many parents (regardless of race) feel they have to saddle their kids with 4 or more syllable names - or use bizarre spellings, or made up strangely spelled names. But it's not a 'Black Thang' at all. I see it almost as often in poor white people's kids too. So if parents want their kids to aspire to something more than ghetto or stripper, I suggest they stop saddling their kids with names that brand them as such.

comes together and has an open and honest conversation about race the tinderbox is an incident waiting to happen.

This will happen when we start listening and stop talking.

I do not read the comments about name pronunciation as black, white, purple, chartreuse or any color.

I am Caucasian and I had teachers mispronounce my last name many times as a kid, some were accidental and stopped after they were corrected and some intentionally kept it up.

When we choose to listen and engage in dialog that is meaningful then we can have change.

Rev. Jackson and Rev. Sharpton are but two of the leaders in the community and there are many others who do not make the limelight and do work in the trenches so to speak every day and they have thoughts to offer us, all.


What's the over/under on purnhrt actually being a white racist who's posing online as both a moron and a minority, just to make minorities look bad?

Pure genius, I tell ya. If he just owned up to being a white bigot, everyone would tune him out. But if he pretends to be a minority and posts stereotypical crap playing the race card, he succeeds making minorities look bad.

I mean...he's gotta be a schtick, right???? No one is really that crazy...except maybe Al Sharpton.

No, I am not a white racist, white bigot or white anything. Neither am I a moron, minority or a he.

I am black and proud. I am not perfect but when I make a mistake I do apologize. Any good white teacher (and they do exist) will admit that black students get very angry when teachers take forever to learn their names. I take that as a lack of respect for people who you know nothing about, because if you did you would be quick to learn a student's name.

If you understood the history surrounding black issues you may not be so quick to judge.

Until Toledo has an open and honest discussion about race it is one wrong word or action from being on CNN again.

Its good to see all this love being shared by everyone.

Any fact is better established by two or three good testimonies than by a thousand arguments.

rescue me

I'm really curious what why parents give their kids names that are so difficult to spell & prounounce, and aren't true 'ethnic' names at all, but made up names. If Blacks get that upset (happens to white kids names as well), then you'd think they'd stop creating these strange made up to sound exotic names, and stop saddling their kids with the hassles they'll cause. What is wrong with a normal spelling? Or, if you want to be creative - at least spell it in ways that make some sense. A lot of races pick names that are derived from their ethnic roots - No problem with that at all. But when you saddle a difficult name on a kid, you'd better assume that the name is going to cause some difficulty. And, if you're going after an ethnic name, then make it a true ethnic name. Most of what I see are not true ethnic names. prnhurt - don't assume people just don't know anything about black history, or what they've gone through. A lot of non black people are very educated in black history. But don't keep expecting people to presume you or your kids have ever been shackled or enslaved, because they haven't been. Suffered prejudice? Sure they have. There will always be racists - some against blacks, some against Jews, etc. Not a perfect world. But most people mean well I think. I think you need to stop taking every small slight as a personal affront to your race. Everything is not racially motivated. You have this huge chip on your shoulder I think, where you often presume racial intent where there is none intended. I hope your kids don't pick up on that - because it will only breed more racial strife & shoulder chips. My mom has a horrible, difficult to pronounce & spell name - and she's white. But her mother thought it was 'unique'. My mom hates that name even still.


Since you are not the authority on racial motivation nor are you an authority on ethnic names I will take your words with a grain of salt. As far as Black History goes, I don't even know all of my History, and I am pretty well versed in that subject, so I will also take that information with a grain of salt.

prnhurt -I never claimed to be an authority on anything, just my opinions, and what I've observed in over 50 years. I did not intend to 'put down' blacks for their name choises - it is not just blacks that choose difficult or silly or oddly spelled names. I can appreciate why blacks are tired of being stereotyped - but many races are as well. I just don't ever recall seeing a public racial outcry from the Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, etc. who also have been badly stereotyped. The Japanese have as much a right as the Blacks to feel they've been enslaved, as per WW2 when they were confined to camps in our country for no other reason than that they were Japanese. Pick a race, any race - and every race or ethnic group will be able to tell you of abuse, stereotypes, maltreatment, bad jokes, etc. It's not just the Blacks.

Having said that - I can only point out what I've observed as far as names go. Sight unseen with no other information to go on, except the 'name', I can tell you that many people will automatically zoom in on that name & make assumptions that 'it's a black person'. Unfair, of course it is, because many whites choose similar names. The other observation I've made is that when whites choose those types of names for their kids, they tend to be more often than not (not always, but usually) presumed to be of a less wealthy, less educated family, oftentimes presumed to be white trailer park trash. I get annoyed when people make the 'trailer park trash' jokes - because it's a gross generalization that does not represent many people who live in trailer parks. It generalizes all mobile home residents to the lowest common denominator. When in fact, many people live in trailer parks who are upstanding, good citizens of whom none of the bad stereotypes fit at all. Some are young people starting out (as we were), some are older, retired people, some it is the best they can afford, but being poor does not make them trash - or mean they live or behave like trash. And yet, that stereotype persists. It's not just a 'black thang'.

I don't claim to fully understand the 'black thang'. But if I was a black expectant parent, I'd want to give my child the best possible opportunities, and not cripple them unnecessarily with names that will be stereotyped or cause them grief. Sometimes (not always) it seems they do so to satisfy the parents desire for their child to know it's 'roots' or heritage - when a lot of time, the parents don't know that much about it themselves, or they don't really have such roots, but like the idea of ethnic or 'creative' names. I'm not suggesting blacks just name their kids 'Mary" or "Tom" to make them 'more white' (ie; accepted). Just use some discretion & forethought before branding a child with a difficult or silly name. Your child is not going to want to go through life having to re pronounce or spell their name all the time. Your child is not going to want to have their resume or loan or college applications shuffled to the bottom of the stack because somebody made a wrong, rash stereotyped decision based on the child's name. Try to think ahead to when that child is older - if the name sounds like a stripper name, the child will suffer for it. There will always be some racist jerk out there who will do this - and not always to blacks. I meant no offense - but there's a huge number of kids out there right now, with such names that will only give them grief. Fact is, regardless of race or name any parent chooses - few people grow up to really love the name they were given. I just think by choosing those odd names, it sets up unnecessary problems & roadblocks for their child - and why would a parent even want to do that?

During the last school year I had a little girl, one of my A.A. students was asking me what I was going to name her. When I said I wasn't sure, he replied "just put the first part of your name with the last part of your wife's name, that's what we do" Example: Mike- MI and Rebecca- becca gives you Mibecca. It was funny and we all had a chuckle in class, but as I said earlier, It is funny because there is some truth to it.

--These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will; in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. -Thomas Paine

He is not the spokesman for African Americans and last time I checked he himself had a kid who was strung out on drug's, should I question his parenting skills?

The only justification for ever looking down on somebody is to pick them up. --- Jesse Jackson

rescue me

I agree, if a white person says such a thing most likely he or she will be perceived as a racist. What Bill Cosby has said fits a lot of people, but it doesn't fit most African Americans. What I'm saying is that everyone focuses too much on the negative. With this kind of negative focus we tend to lump everyone who looks a certain way as being the same. I will reiterate, there are millions of African American boys, girls, men and women with good old Jewish names such as James, John, Andrew, Mary, Ruth, etc. and anglo names such as wilfred, winston, Gary, Boodica who communicate well, and are in process of getting a good education or have already achieved their goal.

I asked around about the half-on pants thing, and was uniformly told that prison pants don't have pockets, hence the pants were moved down to expose the top of the underwear so that a sort of pouch could be used to carry things in.

In effect, people are emulating kangaroos.

Ali is one of our great Americans ... head and shoulders above the thugs we allegedly identify with today, like Mike Tyson and Karl Rove.

No offense to any Muslims, but I still think Cassius Clay was a great name.

Monkey balls...that's great...

--These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will; in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. -Thomas Paine


Someone can't pronouce your name and suddenly its the equivilent of calling someone a pickaninny?
I guess that means this woman I work with (who is black) can't get my name right, despite me correcting her every single time.
By your definition I guess that makes her a racist doesn't it?
Or are you suggesting that racism is a one way street?

what was going on until you stepped in with the "its a black thang" comment as well as your RACIST comment that white teachers intentionally show disrespect to their black students. You have been called on your racist attitudes before and each time you have replied with the "its a black thing". Your beliefs are as ignorant as those of the neo-nazis! You are no more of a help to the black community than Jesse Jackson (hymietown) and Al Sharpton (Tawana sp. Brawley). Even Louis Farrakhan has told his followers to stop blaming whitey for their problems. You have a very black and white view.. black is good, white is not.

I am pretty sure it is a racist idiot thing, and you understand perfectly.

--These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will; in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. -Thomas Paine

Sure I would. I was gonna name my son "Ask" but then I found out his kindergarten teacher was black...

I agree with your statement that there is a racial tinderbox waiting to explode, not just in Toledo, but nationally. However, I'm not certain just what an 'open' and 'honest' conversation about race contitutes these days.

I think our education system does a decent, perhaps not perfect, job of teaching black history, the roots and ramifications of slavery, the roles many great black American played in our country's history and how our nation's better off because of the actions of those black Americans.

I'm a fairly liberal 53-year-old white male. I attended a school district many moons ago that was about 30-35% black/hispanic. Besides the academic curriculum, perhaps the best edcuation I received from that district was the interaction with those of a different skin color, a different cultural experience from my own. It was a learning experience of the highest order. It doesn't make me black, understand totally the black experience, nor does it make me an expert on black/white issues.

So, I don't know it all, but I know enough to say this: when you post this:

White teachers don't try to learn the names because of a disrespectful attitude towards the children and their parents. It happens all of the time.

you are not contributing to the solution of racial issues in this city, area, state or country. In point of fact, it basically prevents any kind of meaningful, open and honest discussion with you about race. If it's a just "black thang", as I believe you put it, how in the world can anyone who's not black even begin a dialogue with you or any black individual about this issue?

just put the first part of your name with the last part of your wife's name

Since I have no wife and no children I decided to test this theroy with my siblings and their spouses names. Here is the list I came up with:

  • Steborah
  • Miaren
  • Joharen
  • Jamaura
  • Rianis
  • Togela
  • If man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth. ~Japanese Proverb

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