Mr. Cosby's Critique
Saturday, July 17, 2004; Page A18
I am moved by Bill Cosby's critique of African American young people who are disrespectful, illiterate and lost [front page, July 3]. As a Christian, father, pediatrician and African American, I am discomfited and challenged to consider the potential merits of his assertions and separate the wheat from the chaff.
Mr. Cosby may not consider himself a leader. I do. He leads me to think and act differently about a complex and disturbing social dilemma, even as I bristle at his unfair generalizations and myopic perspective.
I am troubled, however, that leaders in other ethnic communities have not emerged to acknowledge and define the problem as it exists in their groups. Teenage pregnancy, drug use, violence, slothful and disrespectful behavior and abuse of the king's English are not peculiar to African American youth.
Unless we begin to appreciate Mr. Cosby's concerns as national concerns, we will never appreciate the speed and magnitude of the decline of our American culture. Until we learn to love every child as our own, we will not be able to rescue our children from disease, despair, dysfunction and premature death.
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