Cosby puts his money where his mouth is

  • News
  • Thread starter member 5645
  • Start date
  • #1
member 5645
Cosby puts his money where his mouth is....

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


Cosby foots college bills for top grads
Thursday, July 8, 2004 Posted: 9:32 AM EDT (1332 GMT)

SPRINGFIELD, Massachusetts (AP) -- Comedian Bill Cosby, who recently said black children are "going nowhere" because they don't know how to read and write, is paying for the college education of two top high school graduates who support themselves.

Cosby, who lives in Shelburne, read a story in The Republican of Springfield about Loren M. Wilder and Jimmy L. Hester, who are also black. They went to three colleges in a tour arranged by Cosby, and selected Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia after visiting the campus on Tuesday.

"This is all about your careers, your lives," Cosby told the teenagers, who are black, as they traveled with him on his private jet, The Republican reported for Thursday editions. "The more you study, the better you do now, the more will open up to you later."

Wilder was 14 when his mother was jailed for dealing drugs, and Hester left home at 15 after years of moving around and fighting with his mother.

Both moved from place to place before getting an apartment together this winter with another student from Putnam Vocational Technical High School.

Cosby was scheduled to honor a dozen high school students and graduates, including Hester and Wilder, on Thursday at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

"Fifty percent of African-American males drop out of high school. We're talking epidemic here," said Cosby, who has recently drawn both praise and criticism for his strongly-worded comments. "You've got kids who never get told how important it is to study. They've got the designer shirt, but no one's telling them to study. People have to start seeing the light."

"So to find two young men whose values are on the right side, it's refreshing," he added.

The teenagers said they were impressed by Cosby's generosity and the attention he paid to their story.

"Experiencing this with Mr. Cosby has been great," Wilder said. "Here's a guy who has millions of dollars and he's focusing in on the two of us. It's a good feeling."

Cosby made headlines in May when he upbraided some blacks for their grammar and accused them of squandering opportunities the civil rights movement gave them. He shot back Thursday, saying his detractors were trying in vain to hide the black community's "dirty laundry."

Before Cosby stepped forward to pay their college bill, Wilder had planned to attend Westfield State, while Hester was headed to American International in Springfield.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Answers and Replies

  • #2
member 5645
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.
 
  • #3
Gokul43201
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,083
18
Cosby rocks !

Remember the flak he took from the Jesse Jackson types, for telling it like it is ? What a spectacular rebuttal !
 
  • #4
amp
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
russ_watters
Mentor
20,874
7,391
phatmonky said:
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.
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.
 
  • #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.
 
  • #8
147
0
Dissident Dan said:
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.

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...
 
  • #9
467
1
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...

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?

(some republican is prolly already looking for the two stories where a poor kid actually succeeded and will forget about the million others...

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?
 
  • #10
It isn't easy said:
And this is the dangerous part of belief in free will. It is also a dangerous aspect of judging people.

Growing up in a bad environment can have devastating effects on a person's psychology. Sometimes, exceptional people are born with dispositions towards determination, intelligence, or other positive character attributes, and sometimes individuals have very significant positive events in their lives that allow them to climb out of bad environments. But this is not usually the case. We have to understand that environment does exert a great deal of control on people.

Saying that "It's possible to overcome; look at this person here" does not fix things. In such an assessment, we may be forgetting that that person may have exceptional cognitive skills that others in his/her situation do not possess. Regardless of a few examples here and there, many people will continue to live in bad conditions because of bad conditions. We should not judge them and forget them, saying that it's their own fault.

I have no idea of whom I would be today if I had not grown up in a supportive environment? Would I be very similar? Maybe. Would I be very differetn? Maybe. Would I be 99% the same? Definitey not.
 
  • #11
Evo
Mentor
23,508
3,050
balkan said:
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...
JohnDubYa said:
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?
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.
 
  • #12
467
1
Growing up in a bad environment can have devastating effects on a person's psychology. Sometimes, exceptional people are born with dispositions towards determination, intelligence, or other positive character attributes, and sometimes individuals have very significant positive events in their lives that allow them to climb out of bad environments. But this is not usually the case. We have to understand that environment does exert a great deal of control on people.

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."

Saying that "It's possible to overcome; look at this person here" does not fix things. In such an assessment, we may be forgetting that that person may have exceptional cognitive skills that others in his/her situation do not possess. Regardless of a few examples here and there, many people will continue to live in bad conditions because of bad conditions. We should not judge them and forget them, saying that it's their own fault.

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?

I have no idea of whom I would be today if I had not grown up in a supportive environment? Would I be very similar? Maybe. Would I be very differetn? Maybe. Would I be 99% the same? Definitey not.

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.
 
  • #13
Evo
Mentor
23,508
3,050
JohnDubYa said:
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?
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.
 
  • #14
467
1
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.

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.

Yes, there is always hope, but unfortunately for some it is so far away, with so many obstacles, it is pretty near unobtainable.

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.
 
  • #15
Kerrie
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
839
15
Evo said:
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.

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...
 
  • #16
5
0
JohnDubYa said:
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.

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.
 
  • #17
JohnDubYa said:
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.

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 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.

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.

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."

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

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.
 
  • #18
member 5645
Dissident Dan said:
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.


hrrmmmm.....
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.
 
  • #19
member 5645
I'd also, once again, like to reiterate who disgustingly skewed our idea of poor is in the USA.
 
  • #20
Gza
444
0
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.
 
  • #21
147
0
JohnDubYa said:
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?

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?
 
  • #22
467
1
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.


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.

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

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

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 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?

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.

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.
 
  • #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.
 
  • #24
russ_watters
Mentor
20,874
7,391
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.
 
  • #25
467
1
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.
 

Related Threads on Cosby puts his money where his mouth is

Replies
6
Views
1K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
32
Views
7K
Replies
61
Views
26K
Replies
13
Views
4K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
26
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
15
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
11
Views
6K
  • Last Post
Replies
7
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
1K
Top