"This Is How We Lost To The White Man..."

More

I don't think anyone who's paid close attention to Bill Cosby over the years should be the least bit surprised by this:

I agree with President Carter that racism is playing a role in recent outbursts against President Obama.

Or this:

During President Obama's speech on the status of health care reform, some members of congress engaged in a public display of disrespect. While one Representative hurled the now infamous "you lie" insult at the President, others made their lack of interest known by exhibiting rude behavior such as deliberately yawning and sending text messages.

Various polls prior to the election indicated that between five and ten percent of Americans would never vote for an African American president. That number, of course, only includes those who actually admitted to their prejudice. How many others harbored such feelings but did not respond honestly when asked the question? And how many people oppose Obama's plan because the President is African American?

In "Birth of a Nation," D.W. Griffith used white actors in black face to portray black legislators as having low intelligence and acting like fools. Today, we have a band of real life congressional fools seemingly bent on blocking any meaningful reform of the health care system. But if we allow even one American to die simply because he or she cannot afford treatment, we are creating a shameful scenario that could aptly be called "Death of a Nation."

People like to forget that this is the dude that rolls with Randall Robinson, protested against apartheid, gave a gazillion dollars to Spelman, supported Jesse Jackson for president, and quotes the rhetoric of the Nation of Islam (to be fair, with caveats.) I think it goes too far to call Cosby a nationalist.--but he's much closer to the conservatism of black nationalism, than to the conservatism of Shelby Steele. But don't take my word for it. Actually, please take my word for it.

UPDATE:
Heh. From Comments over at The Hill:

BILL BILL BILL PLEASE AND TO THINK I ADMIRED YOU, WELL YOU ARE DEAD WRONG! HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH RACE, BUT TO DO WITH HIM JUST BEING AN IDIOT AND A LIER!
And:

I am so disappointed Bill Cosby is following this line of thinking. I thought he was above this.

We have this construct of "black people,"--or maybe liberalism--which holds that people who cite racism, must go home and tell their kids that it's fine to drop out of school. They can always say it was The White Man. They should do some crack while they're at it.
Jump to comments
Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

The Time JFK Called the Air Force to Complain About a 'Silly Bastard'

51 years ago, President John F. Kennedy made a very angry phone call.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

From This Author

Just In