Amy Alexander's article is one of the best I've seen about Cosby's crusade to criticize lower-class black people. I think Alexander makes an important point in comparing Cosby to Tavis, who both have the same concerns about uplifting and improving the image of black people, but Tavis is much more willing to work from the ground up and to actually interact with folks who are part of the problem rather than preach from the ivory tower. Tavis travels the country a good part of the year and hosts town hall meetings that are open to anyone who wants to come, and he goes out of his way to interact with local media when he comes to town. During these town hall meetings, and on his broadcasts, Tavis welcomes critics as long as they agree to be civil and respectful in their disagreement. Compare that to Cosby, whose focus meetings are usually not widely publicized and are held before hand-picked audiences; the only media usually allowed into these sessions are reporters invited by Cosby.
I'm a journalist and agree with Alexander about Cosby's distain of media people who are not part of his "Amen Corner." I have been to more than several events where Cosby has appeared, only to be told "Mr. Cosby will not be available to the media." Cosby has been criticized by many, including Dr. Dyson, for his refusal to subject himself to questions and debate from the media, academy members like Dyson and the subjects of his criticism. I would be more impressed with Cosby if he held a series of town hall meetings around the country seeking proposals on how to improve Black America; an all-day session where people would have five minutes each to make a pitch or PowerPoint presentation to Cosby. Bill could pore through the proposals and chose the best ones to fund, and write a book about why the good proposals were great projects, why some of the other proposals weren't so hot, and encourage people to submit more proposals and his peers to fund similar projects.
San Francisco, CA
Nov 16 2007 - 10:55am