|Cartoon decoding the essence of Bill Cosby's 2004 "pound cake" speech |
message to the Black community.
Terrence Clay - Was Bill Cosby mocking black people in his infamous "pound cake" speech from 2004? Was he also minimizing the struggle of black people in America?
Muhammad Rasheed - Of course there was some mockery involved in his delivery; he IS a legendary stand-up comic after-all. He was absolutely NOT minimizing the Black struggle however, but actually reminding the community of the tools that we used to use in order to aid us in overcoming.
I’m amused that everybody acts like Cosby was the one that made that stuff up, when in actuality, he was just the mouthpiece of his socio-economic class. The Black Bourgeoisie Elite have been talking that way since the slave era. As harsh as it sounds in the 21st century—especially when uttered by a salty old curmudgeon Black comedian irritated that he can no longer see his lawn to fuss at you about walking on it—it’s pretty harmless. Basically it’s just a call for the lower classes to take the challenge and rise to the Black Excellence Standard, talk we were all used to hearing from the elite before the ‘Integration Era’ began, back when all of our socio-economic classes had to live together to survive jim crow. Note that in those days, the average lower class Black person was suited up and well-groomed, and the poor weren’t permitted to have their own class distinctive style. “We’ll all rise up together!” was the motto of the times, and now that the poorer neighborhoods have been abandoned, caused by the ‘Integration Era' class segregation, there were no Black Excellence figures around to keep the people to the standard...
…until Bill Cosby went on his tour calling for everyone to get on the same page, reminding everyone of the responsibility of looking after each other on every level. Divorced from the cultural lessons of the previous generations’ insights, the people he was critiquing didn’t understand the context, and understandably pushed back. Unfortunately, Cosby’s own life-long, star-quality personal successes caused him to be quite out of touch with the people, and he didn’t know how to talk to the folks that weren’t already sitting in the choir, so to speak. But he was determined to keep it going as his way of giving back after a storied successful career, and spending from his own deep pockets on a mission that he obviously felt was long overdue. He had made it his personal mission to consolidate the Black Tribes under the ole school banner of BLACK EXCELLENCE. That’s powerful stuff. The effort alone was powerful, and obviously dangerous for the anti-Black establishment if the movement would indeed have caught on, so it was sabotaged.