No Apologies

I get quite a few comments on my blogs and appreciate all of them. Also, I usually do not respond in a blog to them, but the one I recently received has caused me to do just that. Someone sent the following comment:

      “I was loving this article until I saw featured a prolific rapist, Bill Cosby. How violent to dismiss the sixty women who stand as witness and cry out about their rapes, and men like you just ignore them. Where is the noble masculine?”

Many of you might recall the blog I posted “Why We Celebrate Black History Month,” explaining, from my perspective, how the millions of Black Americans who over the years have brought us as a race to this place in history. Of that million a few have stood out in their contribution to give us hope, as we plow forward in a constant battle against the evils our people confront in this country. One of those individuals happened to be Mr. Bill Cosby.

Mr. Bill Cosby and Camille

Whatever you think of Mr. Cosby, his good works will stand as an individual testament to the great contributions he has made to the race. From September 15, 1965, to April 15, 1968, he thrilled the entire Black world, in his role as Alexander “Scotty” Scott with Robert Culp who played Kelly Robertson in the spy thriller I Spy. Finally Black America could watch a television series featuring a handsome, articulate Black man, and not the usual Amos and Andy characters that the white control media loved to feed us. Through Cosby’s brilliant performance in that spy series, he effectively put an end to what roles Blacks could play and opened the door to many actors that followed in his footsteps.

Mr. Cosby’s next outstanding creation in the media world was the character Fat Albert. The series, Fat Albert and the Cosby Boys ran from September 9, 1972 until October 4, 1981 and then from September 1, 1984 until August 10, 1985 on Saturday mornings, and always featured an educational lesson. For ten years young children, both Black and other races received a lesson in math, English and other subjects that helped them in their educational growth. Andrew Wyatt of Purpose PR who is now Mr. Cosby’s public relation and crisis management representative (I know you all have seen him arm and arm with Mr. Cosby on many occasions) told me that as a young boy growing up in Bessemer, Alabama, he never missed Fat Albert on Saturdays because it helped him with his ABC’s.

Fat Albert Character

By the year 1984, all of Mr. Cosby’s media successes had made him a revered and household name throughout Black America. But what took him over the top and put him in a category all his own of greatness among Black America was The Cosby Show which ran from September 20, 1984 until April 30, 1992. Mr. Cosby drew up the blueprint for the show that featured a Black upper-middle class family living in Brooklyn, New York. It was refreshing to watch a television fictionalized show that was not about drugs, crime, and the negative portrayal of our people. We know it exists, but we do not need a constant stream of stories that do nothing to encourage our young to seek better things in life. That is exactly what The Cosby Show did. Today if you could take a poll, you would find a segment of successful Blacks in law, medicine, education, and business who found their encouragement to do better through that show. Today also with the out of control and exorbitant number of murders among our young we could use another Bill Cosby show to do what he and his cast did for those important years in the late nineteen-hundreds.

The Cosby Show

To my writer friend who feels because I featured Bill Cosby as one of the great heroes of our race, I am ignoring violence perpetrated against women in this country and where is my noble masculinity, this blog was not about that subject but about the great men and women who have helped bring my race up the rough side of the mountain of racism and bigotry, and Mr. Cosby is certainly one of the many who have done just that. If you care to hate Mr. Cosby as your response so indicates that is on you. But for me I will concentrate on his good deeds and many good things he has done to deserve a special place in the hearts and minds of all my people. If that makes me less than a masculine person, “Let it be, Let it be, LET IT BE!”

Juneteenth from 1865 to 2021

It has been one hundred and fifty-six years since Major General Gordon Granger landed in Galveston, Texas and announced that all persons being held in an oppressive system known as slavery, were free. It was a day for rejoicing and that festivity has lasted all those years. It was on Friday, June 18, 2021, that President Joe Biden signed legislation passed in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, and designated Juneteenth as a national holiday.

President Joe Biden signed legislation that designated Juneteenth as a national holiday.

It does not appear, however, that Black America in 2021 is showing the same joyous rejoicing as our ancestors did. There seems to be more reluctance to place a great deal of emphasis on the symbolism associated with a holiday. That probably is due to the failure of this country, over that one hundred and fifty-six years, to live up to the meaning behind freedom. Despite what many might view as great progress for the race, there is just as much pessimism regarding that progress. Black people are not looking any longer for symbolic examples, but more concrete facts and when we examine those facts it looks rather dismal.

Lynching of Jesse Washington, 1916

Soon after that joyous announcement on June 19, 1865, the ugly face of white racism exploded all over the South, first with the Black Codes and later with Jim Crow Laws. For those Blacks who refused to succumb to the vicious laws, they were lynched, and our women were raped. Immediately following that announcement in Galveston, Texas for the next twelve years, more than 2,000 Blacks were lynched. According to the Tuskegee Institute from 1876 to 1998, 3,446 Blacks were lynched. So much for freedom in America.

Even though lynching has waned in this country, the police departments have taken over. Since 2000 there have 22 shootings that resulted in death of unarmed Black men in this country. All toll, 181 Black men have been killed by the police since the execution on the street of George Floyd in 2020. One of the most disgusting acts of police brutality was the shooting of young Brionna Taylor while sleeping in her bed in Louisville, Kentucky, and no charges were brought against those racist cops.

Brionna Taylor

My position is not that anything good has happened in those one-hundred-fifty-six years. There has been some progress with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which ultimately led to the election of the first Black President. But now we are confronted with an attack on the passage of those acts. The response to the election of President Barack Obama, was the election of a racist president, the Impeached Donald Trump.

Trump and Obama
Major General Gordon Granger

The backlash has been overwhelming. The white racist occupying state legislatures are busy passing laws, to make it difficult for Blacks and other minorities to vote. The congress passes a law designating Juneteenth a national holiday, marking the freedom of Blacks in this country but will not pass laws to protect their right to vote. Many states are passing laws prohibiting the teaching of Critical Race Theory in the schools. They want to continue the conspiracy of silence regarding the unfiltered history, such as they did with Black Wall Street and the hate that destroyed it on June 1, 1921. They will do nothing to improve the equal rights of Blacks, (something Abraham Lincoln failed to consider) and freedom without equality is not freedom at all. We can only hold out hope that the next one hundred and fifty-six years from June 19. 2021, will prove much more successful and finally achieve absolute political and economic equality, for all the people of this country. Then and only then will Major General Granger’s landing in Galveston, Texas begins to represent real significant and not just symbolic achievement.