Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
OpEdNews Op Eds

Cosby, Not Ebony Magazine, Fanned Stereotypes of the Black Family

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message earl ofari hutchinson       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   No comments

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; , Add Tags
Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 10/18/15

Author 13975

From twitter.com/EBONYMag/status/654731038183194624/photo/1: Image from Twitter User emergingERA
Image from Twitter User emergingERA
(Image by Twitter User emergingERA)
  Permission   Details   DMCA
- Advertisement -

Ebony Magazine stirred a mini-firestorm of rage when it dredged up an old photo shot of the TV Cosby show family, plopped it on its November cover, and then fractured the picture. The obvious point being that embattled comedian Bill Cosby not only disgraced his legacy but disgraced the hitherto near sacrosanct image and legacy of the celebrated Cosby TV show family, the Huxtables. The premise of the show was that there is fully intact, respectable, high achieving, prim and proper black middle class families. The Huxtables was an in your face, counter to the ancient damaging, hurtful and false stereotype of the black family and by extension blacks, as crime, drug ridden, , dysfunctional, eternal wallowing in ignorance and poverty single parent black families.

The show's wild success and popularity was evidence that it gave many blacks a positive, upbeat look at themselves, and the strengths of many black families. It also gave many non-blacks a glimpse of an upwardly mobile black family that seemed to be no different than any other such family. The Ebony cover is under fire because it seemed to tear down the last remaining shred of what was good and decent about Cosby and the black family.

The criticism badly misfires and ignores too much. Namely, that it was Cosby who in lectures, speeches, press appearances, and a best-selling book went on a one man crusade to tell the world how supposedly lousy the black family was.

- Advertisement -

Along the way, he cobbled together a mish mash of his trademark anecdotes, homilies, and personal tales of woe and success, juggled and massaged facts to bolster his self-designated black morals crusade. He made the stock claim that blacks can't read, write or speak coherent English, and are social and educational cripples and failures because of their own ineptitude, sloth, and indolence. Cosby was lionized by conservatives as the ultimate truth speaker for hammering blacks.

While Cosby was entitled to publicly air black America's alleged dirty laundry, there was more myth than dirt in that laundry. Some knuckleheads in black neighborhoods do kill, mug, peddle dope, are jobless untouchables, and educational wastrels. They, and only they, should be the target of wrath. But Cosby made a Grand Canyon size leap from them to paint a half-truth, skewed, picture of the plight of poor blacks and the reasons and prescriptions for their plight.

- Advertisement -

At the time, Cosby publicly bristled at criticism that he had taken the worst of the worst behavior of some blacks and publicly hurled that out as the warped standard of black America. Cosby insisted that he did not mean to slander all, or even most blacks, as derelict, laggards and slackers. Yet that's precisely the impression he gave and the criticism of him for it was more than justified. Even the title of his book, Come on People: On the Path from Victims to Victors (a hint they're all losers) conveyed that smear.

click here

Cosby did not qualify or provide a complete factual context for his blanket indictment of poor blacks. He made the negative behavior of some blacks a racial rather than an endemic social problem. In doing so, he did more than break the alleged taboo against publicly airing racial dirty laundry; he fanned dangerous and destructive stereotypes.

That was hardly the call to action that could inspire and motivate underachieving blacks to improve their lives. Instead, it further demoralized those poor blacks who are doing the best to keep their children and themselves out of harm's way, often against towering odds, while still being hammered for their alleged failures by the Cosby's within and without their communities.

Worse, Cosby's blame the victim slam did nothing to encourage government officials and business leaders to provide greater resources and opportunities to aid those blacks that need help. Come on People, intended or not, continued to tar the black communities and the black poor as dysfunctional, chronic whiners, and eternally searching for a government hand-out.

- Advertisement -

Cosby's one sided, stereotypical laced crusade against alleged black dysfunctionality was a zero sum catch 22 contradiction. If any of what Cosby said about the black family's alleged chronic dysfunctionality was true, then that must mean that his be knighted Huxtable family was nothing more than a made for TV fraud. And that he and the show gamed millions to believe that such a black family really existed, when it didn't. There were more than a few critics even then who knocked the Huxtables as just that, a myth, and lambasted the show and Cosby for creating the fairy tale image of an intact, achieving black family. Ebony's fractured cover of the Huxtables merely messaged what Cosby had done long before his disgrace and fall; and that's publicly malign the black family.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is the author of Torpedoing Hillary: The GOP Plan to Stop a Clinton White House (Amazon ebook). He is a frequent MSNBC contributor. He is an associate editor of New America Media. He is a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on Radio One. He is the host of the weekly Hutchinson Report on KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles and the Pacifica Network

 

- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is a nationally acclaimed author and political analyst. He has authored ten books; his articles are published in newspapers and magazines nationally in the United States. Three of his books have been published in other (more...)
 

earl ofari hutchinson Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The House is duty-bound to Bring Articles of Impeachment against Clarence Thomas

Tea Party Now a Huge GOP Liability

Think of the Two Decade Embarrassment of Thomas We Would Have Been Spared If We had known about Thomas's Porn Alleged Ob

The Awful Transformation of Bernie Sanders

Clarence Thomas Can Breathe a Sigh of Relief with Weiner Downfall

Did Race Explain Penn State's Blind Eye to Sex Scandal?