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News Cosby puts his money where his mouth is

  1. Jul 9, 2004 #1
    Cosby puts his money where his mouth is....

    http://www.cnn.com/2004/EDUCATION/07/08/cosby.students.ap/ [Broken]

    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 9, 2004 #2
    Cosby for President!!
    I can't say how impressed I am with what he is doing. FAR more, IMO, than Jesse Jackson's pathetic victim brigade.
  4. Jul 9, 2004 #3


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    Cosby rocks !

    Remember the flak he took from the Jesse Jackson types, for telling it like it is ? What a spectacular rebuttal !
  5. Jul 9, 2004 #4


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    Cosby does indeed offer wisdom over hubris. What would happen if he were asked his opinion on the direction and security of this country now. And what he thinks are the important issues in the upcomming election.
  6. Jul 9, 2004 #5
    Bravo Mr. Cosby!
  7. Jul 9, 2004 #6


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    I always thought his "I could have gone anywhere, but I went to Temple" thing was lame, but he really does put his money where his mouth is. Bravo.
  8. Jul 14, 2004 #7
    Cosby rocks.

    This reminds me of a bad statement that I made not too long ago. It was something to the effect of "If you live in the United States, it's easy to make enough money and have a good life." That was a statement made out of ignorance. Reading about kids whose parents deal drugs and go to jail drives home how ignorant such statements are.
  9. Jul 14, 2004 #8
    unfortunately that perception is shared by an enormous amount of people... kids growing up in ****ty environments and with parents without money doesn't one bit have the chances that normal kids have... not one bit... (some republican is prolly already looking for the two stories where a poor kid actually succeeded and will forget about the million others... :biggrin: )

    props to you for seeing things as they are... more people should...
  10. Jul 14, 2004 #9
    Are you then suggesting they should just give up? That they shouldn't even try to succeed? If you think they have no chance, then are you not giving up on them as well?

    First you say such a kid doesn't have one bit of chance, then you acknowledge situations where such kids do succeed.

    It isn't easy, but a lot of successful people today grew up very poor. The hardest part is overcoming their own attitudes built from living in a community with little sense of responsibility. With free education and scholarships, poor kids can succeed in this country if they put their minds to it. What is there to stop them that they cannot overcome?
  11. Jul 14, 2004 #10
  12. Jul 14, 2004 #11


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    No, that's not what he is saying. He said they don't have the same chances. In other words, he's saying that most children from bad socio-economic backgrounds find that oportunities are not as easily obtainable as other more fortunate children. The odds are heavily stacked against them to succeed. This doesn't mean it is impossible, but it sure makes it more difficult.
  13. Jul 14, 2004 #12
    And you are giving the poor all the ammo they need to give up.

    It is like telling an alcoholic that he may as well drink. He is an alcoholic, he will always be an alcoholic, and there is no point in fighting it. Oh, he shouldn't feel bad because it isn't his fault.

    I have more faith than you in the human spirit. Many DO rise out of poverty and become successful. You are suggesting that a large percentage shouldn't even bother trying, since the deck is hopelessly stacked against them.

    Success has to come from within. So we should support them and give them hope. We should offer role models of success and tell them "You can be successful too."

    If anyone is judging anyone, it is you. You are already classifying a large segment of the population as hopeless losers, with the qualifier that it isn't their fault. A lot of fat good that does them.

    You say that providing role models of success for the impoverished doesn't fix things, but what exactly is gained by telling them that their situation is hopeless? How does that fix things?

    But you don't have to be the same to be successful.

    Go to California's Central Valley and take a look at some of the big farms. Many of these farms are owned by former Dust Bowl migrants. These people were as poor as anyone has ever been in this country, yet many went on to eek out successful businesses. Hell, the entire Central Valley is owned by former Oklahomans and Armenians, both of them fleeing poverty and neither of which had much when they started.

    This is the Land of Opportunity. Your negative talk does nothing for anyone.
  14. Jul 15, 2004 #13


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    It's one thing to just be poor. You just have a lack of money to deal with.

    What if you are a little kid whose dad is in jail and your mother is a heroine addict. You're 10 years old and the oldest of 4 kids. You may be left home alone caring for your 4 younger brothers and sisters for several days at a time before your mother finally drags her sorry butt home. This is MUCH WORSE than just being poor. These kids are often also the victims of abuse.

    Do not compare their situations with those who are merely poor. To these kids, having a lack of money as their only setback would be a miracle.

    Yes, there is always hope, but unfortunately for some it is so far away, with so many obstacles, it is pretty near unobtainable. Unfortunately, it is usually the good ones that care enough to stay and try to protect their family members that do not go on to succeed. Often, they would have to leave the ones they love in order to get ahead.
  15. Jul 15, 2004 #14
    Well, if you put it that way no one is going to disagree. In fact, that is why parents work hard -- so that they can place their children in a better place to succeed.

    So there is no hope. Oh wait, there is.

    So what would you tell a person who has had such a background? That he shouldn't bother even trying, for the cards are too stacked against him?

    Once they grow up to be adults, are they responsible for their own behavior? Do we also excuse any crimes they commit?

    Only a lad, you really can't blame him
    Only a lad, society made him.

    I guess that's how the song goes.
  16. Jul 15, 2004 #15


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    excellent point...parents/families with money who are living a low standard of life can also contribute some severe psychological setbacks...

    america is a land of opportunity, i know a wide circle of romanian people who immigrated to the USA n the early 80's with nothing-including a lack of knowledge of the english language-and now have a home of their own, a career they love, and a close loving family...they understand what opportunity is...then there are people born and raised here in america, who have everything they could want but take the opportunity they have for granted to be the best they can be...

    i say bravo to cosby for his influence on the american youth...
  17. Jul 15, 2004 #16
    Ive never seen anyone twist anothers reply as much as you just did. Dan isnt talking to the poor people here, hes trying to explain to YOU what the problems are the dispositioned face.
  18. Jul 15, 2004 #17
    Do not put words in my mouth. I am not talking to the people that I am talking about. I am talking to you and the others on this board. I am not saying there's no hope. I'm saying that you can't dismiss people's misfortune on the basis of their character when their conditions hold them back (often through affecting their character). I am a proponent of helping them. Sure, a small minority can succeed in these situations, but will not. Saying that you have hope for them doesn't change a thing. If we really want these people to succeed, we need to provide them with the environment and resources they need. That is where the hope lies.

    I did not suggest any such thing. I was just statement what the case actually is. A big problem is that many don't try because of the psychological effects of their environments. Although, there are people who will not succeed, even if they try, or for whom the level of effort necessary is extraordinary. We should not abandon these people.

    I agree. It's too bad their environments often do not provide this encouragement.

    I never called anyone a loser. I am not judging. I am not saying this person deserves this or that and that person doesn't. What I am saying is that many people live in environments which perpetuate low-income, low-happiness lives. I believe that if you raised these people in the same types of environments that I and many others here grew up in, they would do well.

    I'm saying that watching from outside and saying that it's possible to succeed, so if one doesn't, it's his/her own fault, doesn't fix things. Actually going into ghettos and providing people with inspiration would probably be very helpful.

    And for every Okie or Armenian that owns land there, dozens more died in poverty. Also, these people probably grew up with much more supportive families, even though they were poor, which is a lot different from growing up in a poor, unsupportive family.
  19. Jul 15, 2004 #18

    My life:

    Divorced parents
    Father in prison
    Father an alcoholic
    Mother out of work disability, feeding off the system.
    Mother narcotics addict

    Now, I still find your old statement to be 100% spot on. If you are in America, and you are an able bodied person, it only takes you to get off your ass and work.
    I am 22 and just starting school this fall. It has taken be 4 years out of highschool to do this. I have worked this time and worked my ass off to get where I am. This is possible for everyone who has an able body. And yes, it really IS easy in the grand scheme of things. LIfe was never made to be a 365 day a year vacation.

    The idea that "The people who can't see the possibilities need us to give them money"is stupid. The people need to see the possibilities, but that's as far as anyone needs to do for them. It's up to the individual to act.
  20. Jul 15, 2004 #19
    I'd also, once again, like to reiterate who disgustingly skewed our idea of poor is in the USA.
  21. Jul 15, 2004 #20


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    I do feel bad for you phatmonkey, because my list of personal tradgedies is almost identical to yours, but an able body sometimes isn't the only thing one must have to make it in the world. A large part of it is the environment one is brought up in. If you are raised poor, chances are you will be too, save having an unusually highly motivated personality(which to me isn't fair since you tend to meet a lot of rich kids in school, who don't even want to be there and attend only because their parents are paying tens of thousands of dollars.) I went to school in Union City in northern California which for a while had one of the highest high school dropout rates in the nation. Not surprisingly, I didn't graduate, and only became interested in my future three or four years ago, when I took myslef out of that environment and put myself into junior college, now attending UCSB. So I can relate to being in a household where you aren't really encouraged to do anything above average, since you are learning the more important skills related to day to day survival, which doesn't leave much room for self betterment.
  22. Jul 15, 2004 #21
    goddamn, man...
    now, first of all, of course they should try and succeed... and i'm not saying they don't have one bit of a chance, i said they don't have compared to rich kids... try and actually read what i'm typing or please don't bother to reply...
    i'm not saying that money is the only issue either... like you said, environment is a big issue aswell... but that environment stems from poverty and not from just a bunch of stupid people, although i know alot of people want to believe otherwise...
    very few poor families can afford sending their kids to a good school, and many young kids have to take jobs along with school to support their family... this leaves less time for studying...
    i could name a large number of other fators, down to little things such as the shape their facilities are in, which have been proven scientifically to influence learning and mental welbeing...
    furthermore... poor people can succeed... but don't give me **** about it not being much, much harder... very few people can get scholarships, simply due to the fact that there's a limited number of them...

    do you agree, that it is much harder for poor kids to succeed? or are poor kids simply more stupid that rich kids?
  23. Jul 15, 2004 #22
    Not one bit = 0. If a normal kid as 10% chance, and a poor kid has not one bit of that chance, he has 0 chance. At least that is how I interpreted your statement.

    So you tell them differently? If so, should they believe you?

    What good are words of encouragement if you don't even believe them?

    I worked 40 hours a week as a mechanic throughout my entire undergraduate career. Why shouldn't they as well? Are they somehow better than me, and shouldn't have soil their hands to attend college?

    And it CAN be done. So we should be encouraging those that come from bad backgrounds to pull out the stops and give it a whack. And if we say the words with conviction, then our message will be more effective.

    And if they don't pull it off, well at least they tried. You have to at least TRY.
  24. Jul 15, 2004 #23
    John, your constant distortion of what I say is aggravating.

    As I talk to people on this board, I have focused on the fact that people from certain environments are much less likely to succeed than others. With the current way things are, there are people who will succeed. There are even more who definitely won't. This is not judging them. It is stating empirical fact.

    I have focused on this because it is what the contention on this board is about.

    If I was to talk to people in these conditions, I would not say the exact same things I am saying here. I would not lie or contradict what I am saying here; I would just have a different focus because the facts that I stated here are not motivational for such people.

    I am stating the reality of the difficulties in order to show those of us who are more well-off that reality. That is my purpose. If I were to speak to people who live in the ghetto, I would focus on showing them opportunities. That would be my purpose, and my words would differ accordingly. Different audience + different purpose->different focus.

    Like I have already stated, there are those who can pull themselves out of the gutter, and I applaud them. However, to think that this can or will be the reality for the rest is fantasy. If we actualy care about these people or the truth, we will acknowledge this.

    I noticed people apparently think that they read proposal for how to help these people...something along the lines of throwing money at them. I cannot remember any such proposal in this thread. Please do not assume. That is the problem, you come into a debate pidgeonholing people to fit into your worldview.
  25. Jul 15, 2004 #24


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    The duality of the situation is what makes it difficult - yes, you can overcome an underpriviledged beginning, but yes, it is difficult. That makes it tough to know how to (or should you) provide help.

    Cosby's sort of help is the kind I like - it requires years of hard effort on the part of the person being helped before the help is given - but the reward is worth the effort.
  26. Jul 16, 2004 #25
    I don't think that we all disagree as much as we think. IMO, however, some of the statements in here have been too negative. These people have more chances than some are letting on.

    Ultimately, they have to be responsible for their own success. And success is within their grasp if they do the right things. That is all I am saying.

    Now, I admit some of them have not built the type of character that breeds success because of their living conditions. But they still can. There is nothing to prevent them from forming into hard-working, law-abiding citizens. And there is no excuse if they don't.
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