In the back of the storeroom that my bride and I are currently renting, in a box with my Frampton Comes Alive Double Album, is an album by Bill Cosby. I believe the title is, “Bill Cosby is a Very Funny Fellow…Right.”
And, while I still believe that he is, with the following commentary, he’s way off the mark.
Last Saturday, The Washington Times featured the following report by Deborah Simmons, in her op ed feature, “Can We Talk”:
Those two simple words flowed easily from the mouth of social commentator Bill Cosby during an exclusive interview Friday regarding the Trayvon Martin case, arguably the most high-profile, citizen-on-citizen U.S. slaying facing the Obama administration.
Trayvon was killed Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla., by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman, who told police that a “confrontation” with the unarmed 17-year-old led him to shoot in self-defense.
Mr. Cosby, a Navy veteran, said “the gun” empowered Mr. Zimmerman, whose actions have stirred a firestorm of debate, protests and remarks from President Obama.
“We’ve got to get the gun out of the hands of people who are supposed to be on neighborhood watch,” said Mr. Cosby, whose remarks were the first he has made publicly about the case.
“Without a gun, I don’t see Mr. Zimmerman approaching Trayvon by himself,” Mr. Cosby explained. “The power-of-the-gun mentality had him unafraid to confront someone. Even police call for backup in similar situations.
“When you carry a gun, you mean to harm somebody, kill somebody,” he said.
An award-winning actor and great American humorist, Mr. Cosby, 74, is best know for the ground-breaking NBC sit-com “The Cosby Show,” stand-up routines and recorded performances, all of which are infused with familial humor.
Scheduled to perform April 28 at the Kennedy Center, Mr. Cosby continues to grace multiple platforms, and is scheduled to tickle funny bones as co-emcee at the April 12 gala celebrating the reopening of the historic Howard Theatre in Northwest Washington.
But it was at another celebration, the NAACP marking of the 50th anniversary of the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education school-desegregation decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, that saw Mr. Cosby take a spot on the forefront of controversial social commentary.
In his remarks at the 2004 event, Mr. Cosby pointed out to the audience that blacks had essentially created a new lower rung on the socioeconomic ladder by failing to police their children. Since then, he has traveled the nation and used social media to expound the virtues of personal accountability, responsible parenting and a sound education.
Did racial bias unintentionally assist Dr. Cosby in forming his opinion?
These results are from an April 2-4 USA Today/Gallup poll of 3,006 Americans, including 242 blacks, conducted as part of Gallup Daily tracking. Martin’s death has sparked national interest and, more recently, protests, because Zimmerman, who is white and Hispanic, was not arrested after he claimed self-defense under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law. With many black leaders and others calling for Zimmerman’s arrest and charging racism against the Sanford police department, the case has clearly captured the attention of the large majority of black Americans across the country.
…Blacks are much more likely than nonblacks to have an opinion about Zimmerman’s guilt. Overall, 72% of blacks say Zimmerman is definitely or probably guilty of a crime; 1% say he is not. Nonblacks also say Zimmerman is guilty, by 32% to 7%, but well over half of nonblacks say Zimmerman’s guilt is unclear from the available information.
Blacks are more certain about their opinions than are nonblacks. Blacks who say Zimmerman is guilty of a crime are significantly more likely to say he is definitely guilty than probably guilty, while nonblacks tilt more toward the “probably guilty” choice.
Additionally, 72% of blacks say racial bias was a major factor in the events that led up to the shooting death of Martin, with another 13% saying it was a minor factor. Nonblacks, on the other hand, are significantly less certain, with 31% saying racial bias was a major factor, 26% saying it was a minor factor, and 25% saying it was not a factor at all.
That may have have been a part of the thought process leading to Dr. Cosby’s pronouncement. Unfortunately, also painfully weighing on his mind was the 1997 murder of his son, Ennis, who was shot to death while changing a flat tire on his car. That would certainly explain Dr. Cosby’s hatred of guns.
However….on October 26, 2011, Gallup reported that
Forty-seven percent of American adults currently report that they have a gun in their home or elsewhere on their property. This is up from 41% a year ago and is the highest Gallup has recorded since 1993, albeit marginally above the 44% and 45% highs seen during that period.
Question: Do all of these Americans who own guns mean to harm someone or are they simply trying to protect themselves from being harmed?
Second Question: Why is Trayvon’s background being ignored? Why is the fact that he was pounding Mr. Zimmerman’s head into the sidewalk at the time not appropriate to bring up?
While I’m on a roll, here’s another question: Why did it take one month after Trayvon’s death for The Justice Brothers, Jackson and Sharpton, and the rest of the liberal race-baiters (sorry for the redundancy) to make this a national cause celebre?
Furthermore, why has Dr. Cosby appeared to walk back the comments he made in 2004? Did Obama, Oprah, and others scold him for being “misguided” in his forthrightness?
Meanwhile, less than five miles from where I live in the Northwest Corner of Mississippi, right across the state line:
According to the Memphis Police Department, four victims were hospitalized [last] Tuesday morning being treated for wounds they received in an early morning shooting.
All are currently listed in critical condition.
According to witnesses, a car with a number of people in it came around the corner and began shooting at a group of young men in front of 416 Washburn Drive. In the process, the gunmen shot up five cars, a house, and a mailbox.
So far no arrests have been made in the shooting.
Perhaps, it’s time that I looked in to joining that 47%.