Cosby Urges Parents to Stand Up Against ‘Forces of Evil’
Entertainer Bill Cosby urged members of a primarily Black audience to protect their children from the crime and promiscuity attacking poor urban neighborhoods, and to use their collective voice to stand up to what he called “the forces of evil.”
“Detroit, you’re 87 percent (Black)! Get up, do something. Get up, remove this reputation. You’ve got a reputation, and it stinks,” Cosby shouted at the audience of about 1,800 gathered last month. “You can’t ask God to do all the work. The devil is very busy.”
The event at the downtown Detroit branch of Wayne County Community College was billed as a town meeting.
The comic icon demanded parents take responsibility for their children, pay attention to their friends and habits, set rules and stick by them and set a good example. He pleaded with absent fathers to establish some presence in their children’s lives and challenged the community to express zero tolerance for drug use and crime.
“Our children are trying to tell us something and we are not listening,” Cosby said. “And the poverty pimps and victim pimps keep telling the victims to stay where they are, ‘You can’t get up, you can’t do this, you can’t do that.’ … I’m telling you, you better get up.”
“And please don’t give me anything about systemic racism. Yes, it’s there, but why is your mouth not working?”
The forum was billed as a chance to bring together Detroit parents and community organizations to discuss problems facing the city — mostly revolving around crime, education and drug abuse. There were 384 murders in Detroit last year, up from 366 in 2003.
Leaders of community organizations pitched their groups, and church leaders, businessmen, activists and sociologists rallied the crowd ahead of Cosby, all urging communities to work together to solve the tough problems facing inner-city youth.
In several forums last year, Cosby criticized some Black children and their parents for illiteracy and said some had squandered opportunities the civil rights movement gave them.
“By this time I would think you would be a little embarrassed that Jesus is watching all this,” Cosby said. “Forget about Dr. Martin Luther King. What would Jesus think?”
His remarks have drawn praise and outrage, both of which Cosby has said he welcomes as long as he makes people think.
— Associated Press
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