Bill Cosby’s Rant

Bill Cosby concerned about slang.

They’re standing on the corner and they can’t speak English. I can’t even talk the way these people talk: Why you ain’t, Where you is, What he drive, Where he stay, Where he work, Who you be… And I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk. And then I heard the father talk.

Everybody knows it’s important to speak English except these knuckleheads. You can’t be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth. In fact you will never get any kind of job making a decent living.

People marched and were hit in the face with rocks to get an education, and now we’ve got these knuckleheads walking around. The lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal. These people are not parenting. They are buying things for kids. $500 sneakers for what? And they won’t spend $200 for Hooked on Phonics.

I am talking about these people who cry when their son is standing there in an orange suit. Where were you when he was 2? Where were you when he was 12? Where were you when he was 18 and how come you didn’t know that he had a pistol? And where is the father? Or who is his father?

People putting their clothes on backward: Isn’t that a sign of something gone wrong? People with their hats on backward, pants down around the crack, isn’t that a sign of something? Or are you waiting for Jesus to pull his pants up? Isn’t it a sign of something when she has her dress all the way up and got all type of needles [piercing] going through her body?

What part of Africa did this come from? We are not Africans. Those people are not Africans; they don’t know a thing about Africa. With names like Shaniqua, Taliqua and Mohammed and all of that crap, and all of them are in jail.

Brown or black versus the Board of Education is no longer the white person’s problem. We have got to take the neighborhood back. People used to be ashamed. Today a woman has eight children with eight different ‘husbands’ — or men or whatever you call them now. We have millionaire football players who cannot read. We have million-dollar basketball players who can’t write two paragraphs. We as black folks have to do a better job. Someone working at Wal-Mart with seven kids, you are hurting us. We have to start holding each other to a higher standard.

We cannot blame the white people any longer.

The full transcript of Mr. Bill Cosby’s Pound Cake speech at the 50th Anniversary commemoration of the Brown vs Topeka Board of Education Supreme Court Decision

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  1. Dark-Star said,
    October 24, 2007 @ 9:49 am

    Thank you, Mr. Cosby, for the years of laughter you gave blacks and whites alike. Thank you for being a lone voice in the wilderness, with the courage to speak against the gansterization that your own race is putting upon itself. Thank you for speaking the truth even when you’ll certainly be labeled a traitor and called ‘Oreo’ behind your back.

    Thank you…for ~everything~.

  2. quez said,
    October 24, 2007 @ 9:56 am

    Well, some of the things he said are certainly right. One cannot always blame other people for their problems. But with the way things are, not everyone is gonna be like what he’s proposing. I mean, people growing up in some very difficult communities have totally different and probably opposing views. And trust me, they don’t think they’re Africans as he seems to think.
    My opinion is that things will not work themselves out, and we need a plan to deal with the situation. A ban on a particular word will not work either, because thats just forcing the issue on people. This has to start with the recognition of the severity of this situation. The actual people in the situation (the man in the mirror) needs to recognize that they are on the wrong road. To achieve this, we first need more rappers like Master P. who’s promoting a better lifestyle of education and clean thoughts. These under-privilege people listen to hip-hop so thats why I think we must start there. Then they need to discover the fact that education can be as much fun as whatever else they’re doing. Start with just learning to read, and read self-improvement books. Next read books on how to start businesses. You don’t need much education to start a business, so rather than going all the way to PhD, start a business and your kids will be able to do the “school thing”. I’m not saying college is a no-no. Its actually imperative that they go, but focus on improving the financial situation first. (by the way, nice smiley @ the bottom)

  3. Tico said,
    October 24, 2007 @ 10:45 am

    God bless Bill Freakin’ Cosby. He may be getting to be a cranky old guy, but at least he is thoughtful and honest in his crankiness. I am sure many people of whatever race have had these same thoughts, and it’s not just black folks who make these absolutely stupid choices with their life and behavior. I’ve seen my share of dumb & dangerous whites and hispanics, too, with all the bad parenting and ignorance that goes along with this dubious social set. We as a society need to really put pressure on this segment of guaranteed societal failures to wise up, stop acting like an idiot, and get on with being part of the larger world, instead of trying to be “cool” in their poorly imagined ghetto style. It ain’t cool. It’s lame, and a waste of all of our time.

  4. venezian said,
    October 26, 2007 @ 8:37 am

    This isn’t a “rant” from Cosby.. they’re RATIONAL THOUGHTS.

  5. October 26, 2007 @ 10:00 am


    You are so correct. This world has gone crazy. It is out of control. Although I love the internet, I believe it has been a tool for coruption. Where have all the morals gone? Education is the key. I was raised in a divorced family. I was never given any direction or push to go to college. I had a daughter at the age of 17 and decided myself, I needed to continue my education. I graduated but never went onto college as I needed to work to live. I regret not making an opportunity to continue my education. I may be street smart, but if your looking for that 6 figure job, you might as well hang it up as they want the degree. It doesn’t matter how smart you are, without that degree you cannot work in those high position jobs. Taking care of my father and his finances for nine months until he passed was a real eye opener on how much I still needed to learn. Although most would have looked at it as a burden, I took it as a Blessing. Knowledge is truly power in our society and as our children become men and women, we need to really pay attention to how we bring them up and the resources we make available to them. They are our future leaders. Everyone has a choice. Lets stop the blaming and go look in the mirror! Doesn’t matter what color you are, we all have the same choices to make, its the ones we choose that will dictate the life we live. Thanks for the message and God Bless!

  6. Jay said,
    October 26, 2007 @ 10:28 am


  7. ryan said,
    October 26, 2007 @ 10:31 am

    truth hurts…

  8. October 26, 2007 @ 10:50 am

    Amazing that Bill Cosby would blame his own people for the effect of racism on their lives; just amazing. “Higher education” sure whitewashed him.

    • Beth said,
      July 12, 2010 @ 10:06 am

      He isn’t balming “his own people”, he’s blaming the parenting of those who choose to live this idiocratic lifestyle. He’s simply stating that if parents would take the time to educate thier children, and actually be parents rather than let the streets do thier job for them, this “new generation” might actually have a fighting chance at success. And this lifestyle has nothing to do with the “effects of racism on thier lives”. It has to do with ignorance do to lack of parental guidance. The same can be said for any race, not just blacks. I see plenty of whites, hispanics, orientals, etc all doing these same things. It isn’t really about race at all. And you can’t blame pop culture for the way today’s youth dress or act. Just because I listen to heavy metal, I’m not going to wear leather and chains! Again, it originates at parental upbringing. Parents need to focus on their children and raise them properly. Just because you live in deteriorating neighborhoods, or “the ghetto” doesn’t mean you can’t raise your children with a sense of dicipline, education, and sense of self respect.

    • kid a plus said,
      April 5, 2012 @ 7:14 pm

      Racism makes scores of teenage black girls have multiple children with multiple men who dont stick around? weird.

      Babies having babies for several generations now is cripling the black community.

      Preach on, btother bill!

  9. Eric S. said,
    October 26, 2007 @ 11:40 am

    Maybe, just maybe, when Richard Pryor (God rest his soul) was making fun of Cosby all those years ago, people should have shunned Richard/Eddie Murphy and the lot for decrying Cosby’s calls for proper role model behavior and language. There ARE role black models for boys and girls though, its just a matter of values, in the idea that parents need to have just as good role models (and behavior and language) to foster an environment where their children can look to them. Cosby is a good guy, a freakin ridiculously good guy, but his message is lost because he is TOO good a guy that others feel bad about their own behavior. Its easier to make fun of Cosby’s values being thrown in your face, than to accept that Cosby is telling you precisely what you need to hear to fix your life.

  10. Alan Riaso said,
    October 26, 2007 @ 11:41 am

    He’s absolutely right. Most of them act like animals and then blame anyone else they can, usually white people. (I am not white). Its time they “kept it real” and started taking some responsibility.

    • sweetangel31609 said,
      October 6, 2011 @ 11:34 am

      Wow…”Most of them act like animals”? “keep it real”?

      I believe that people are ultimately responsible for their own feelings, thoughts, and actions. However, it is absurd to believe that these people woke up one day wanting to speak English improperly, get entangled in various love affairs leaving them striving to feed multiple children, or hoped to one day be a Walmart employee. Pain, ignorance, trauma, anger, fear, misunderstanding, and so much more is responsible for people making poor decisions. Learning to speak a language is a social phenomena. Just because you hear someone speaking incorrectly does not mean he isn’t a hardworking man, an honest man, a loving person, or even a good person. It means that that is the way he learned to communicate. You try living in a broken home, growing up surrounded by violence, being hungry, abused, or poor. Oh, but excuse me. I never knew that shopping at Banana Republic and speaking English properly made you a good, moral, or productive citizen. Yeah, I agree that many people in such positions blame it on someone else. We all blame others for our suffering. There is not one group or person who doesn’t. The Buddha said all beings’ actions are just attempts to obtain loving kindness and compassion. It may not seem that way, but if you dig deeply you realize that is always the answer. We are trained to follow our emotions. We allow this to dominate our decision making. That means trouble for people with a lot of negative feelings. We need to practice loving kindness and compassion more. Its time for all of us to become invested in our country’s problems. We need to stop dividing ourselves and start questioning our own actions, thought, and perceptions. Much time has been wasted on researching and identifying obvious problems instead of creating solutions. The top own percent owns 31 percent of all financial wealth in America (not including categories like vehicles). I think that is an even bigger problem to focus on.

  11. GutZ said,
    October 26, 2007 @ 11:42 am

    Holy Crap Bill Cosby,
    That is a great logical statement.
    This goes to show that TV and peers have a large effect on what our children think like, and do. But I think this should go a step farther and say that we as “Humans” need to stop blaming every one and every thing, and get agreeing on something as common as “this is not right for us to be uneducated” or “we should have better standard”.

    This maybe my own rant, but its not all “black” folk doing what you describe, its everywhere, and its become a culture that really never needed to be.
    The blame for everything can be summed up as a simple thing.
    The Slave era was done by not just assholes, but by ignorant people.
    This just shows what ignorance is capable of even in the year 200x.

    People need to take responsibility.

  12. Omar said,
    October 26, 2007 @ 11:43 am

    1. Where do you buy $500 sneakers?
    2. Who would really buy them?
    3. Where are the laws that say you must where your clothes, that you have bought with your money, a certain way?
    4. From reading your rant, it seems to me, that you are really out of touch with the young black folks of today.
    Please stay quiet and enjoy your elder years.

    • sweetangel31609 said,
      October 6, 2011 @ 11:35 am

      omg thank you for saying that

  13. Eric S. said,
    October 26, 2007 @ 11:56 am

    Please stay quiet and enjoy your elder years.
    Whatever happened to “Respect your elders”? Or “Youth learns from aging”?

    • max said,
      April 4, 2010 @ 4:48 am

      thank you Bill, But its what kids do and they have had the right to blame white people for so long its now just what many do. But I don’t blame any one when some one does something to you, Your next move is to keep harming your self or stop and get ove it.

  14. John said,
    October 26, 2007 @ 12:00 pm

    to omar…
    so yeah…$500 sneakers is an example of buying something expensive that you don’t need…
    People do….
    There are no laws…it’s called “common sense” It’s like a guidelines thing…use George Carlin if you must: “It isn’t wrong, just don’t do it”….besides…everything you buy has “rule” about what you can and can’t do with it…(think electronics and movies/music for one) why should clothes be any different…
    and if he did keep quiet, he wouldn’t be excercising his right to free speech…and that would be un-american…

  15. Roland said,
    October 26, 2007 @ 12:23 pm

    to Omar
    3. Where are the laws that say you must where your clothes

    people actually WEAR clothes Omar… you are the epitome of what Bill Cosby is talking about.
    Thanks for showing us that he is 100% right in this “rant” of his.

    • sweetangel31609 said,
      October 6, 2011 @ 12:03 pm

      He obviously meant to ask, “what law says you must wear certain clothes in a certain manner? ” Some people like to look like hobos with holes in all of their clothes. Some people like to wear all black and wear nails as earrings. Some people like to wear shirts with foul language or offensive pictures on them. Some people like to dress up as skanky barbie dolls. What problems will you blame on those people?

  16. Nick said,
    October 26, 2007 @ 12:33 pm

    I agree with him. But what a lot of white people have to remember is that it is not all black people that are like this. So please don’t let his article breed hate. Yeah the ones that talk like that are very annoying and have as many kids as possible so they can get more welfare or are just to dumb to use condoms. We are better off with out them but please don’t label them as “black”.

  17. Levit said,
    October 26, 2007 @ 1:13 pm

    I think that it needs to be clarified that being black has absolutely nothing to do with asinine behavior and juvenile deliquency. The issue at hand is inner city and poverty-stricken cultural problems, areas of which happen to be populated mainly by minorities.

    Thus, it is not a problem of race, but a problem of social engineering, since it does not matter what tone your skin is when you grow up in the worst possible situation.

  18. Karen said,
    October 26, 2007 @ 1:22 pm

    Amen to everything Bill Cosby said. The butchering of the English language heard everywhere everyday makes me cringe. Even TV newscasters, who have good jobs and are educated, drive me crazy by telling everything in the present tense as if every event they mention is happening right now, even if it took place yesterday, a week ago, or even an hour ago. Another disturbing and disgusting behavior, exemplified right now on national TV in the World Series, is the vast number of people spitting all over the place. How uneducated is that?! It’s certainly not just black people who talk, dress, and act like ignoramuses, though; it’s in every race and culture. In my opinion, it just makes them all look, act, and sound stupid. It’s no wonder the United States is losing credibility in the whole world, and it’s no surprise to me that so many of our high-tech and other jobs requiring highly intelligent and well-educated minds are going to persons born and raised in other countries, where an education is still highly desired and sought. We are going to lose the very freedoms our forefathers fought for because we no longer appreciate and value them. Unless this trend reverses by people waking up as to what is happening, this beautiful, glorious, FREE country that we are taking for granted will soon go the way of the Roman Empire and we will no longer be free to enjoy life as we have known it. Listen to Bill Cosby and others like him. He is so right on!

  19. Joe said,
    October 26, 2007 @ 3:00 pm

    Omar, are you a high school graduate?
    Do you have a legit job with a paycheck?
    Can you name any of our past presidents or even present ones?
    Chances are you will answer NO to all of those questions I have asked above…

    If I were to ask you about the newest rap album that was released or what the 5th track on Lil’ John’s latest album was,I am sure you would have those answers….If I asked you how to vote or where to even start with voting you would have no clue I am sure…It is probably in your best interest and those of your “friends” if you stay quiet and have people think of you as uneducated rather than speak and have us remove all doubt and see you indeed are.

    • sweetangel31609 said,
      October 6, 2011 @ 11:52 am

      You are leaning on bias and prejudice, not fact. I wonder how you even came to the conclusion that this man is uneducated, has no job, listens to rap music, and doesn’t vote. Yeah…none of that is racist. You asked him, “Can you name any of our last presidents or even present ones?” You shouldn’t try to burn anyone for being uneducated if you don’t know how to construct a sensible question. At present, we only have one president. So no one can name you more than one. I think that it would be in your best interest to remain quiet rather than speak and have us all see how ignorant you are. Crazy ass

  20. Chris said,
    October 26, 2007 @ 3:22 pm

    wow… he hit the nail on the head here. Its not a problem of race, its a problem of culture.

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