Thursday, July 08, 2004

Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer's Day, Barbara?

Barbara Ehrenreich is subbing for Tom Frieman on the Op-Ed page of the New York Times. Today she provides us with a well-written response to Bill Cosby's recent rants.

It was such a dog-bites-man story that I almost skipped right by: Billionaire Bashes Poor Blacks. The only thing that gave this particular story a little piquancy is that the billionaire doing the bashing is black himself. Bill Cosby has been attacking the poor of his race, and especially the youthful poor, for a range of sins, including using bad words, "stealing poundcake," "giggling" and failing to give their children normal names like "Bill." "The lower-economic people," Cosby announced, "are not holding up their end in this deal."


[I]f he's looking for tantrum fodder, what about the fact that a black baby has a 40 percent chance of being born into poverty? You can blame adults for their poverty — if you're mean-spirited enough — but you cannot blame babies, and that's, in effect, what we're talking about here.