Local black leaders support Cosby - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

7.2.04

Local black leaders support Cosby

When Comedian Bill Cosby talks, people listen.

In May, Cosby first blasted black parents. Some African Americans accused him of airing "dirty laundry".

Thursday night, there was more commentary from the highly-respected tv father, this time to black activists in Chicago.

"Your "dirty laundry" gets out of school at 2:30 every day," Cosby said the audience. "It's cursing and calling each other nigger as they're walking up and down street. They think they're hip. They can't read! They can't write!"

Wilmington City Councilwoman Lethia Hankins says she agrees with some of what Cosby is saying.

A teacher of nearly 40 years, Hankins says Cosby is saying what some African American leaders have felt for a long time.

"He's talking about morals," she said of Cosby. "He's talking about values. He's talking about responsibility. And those are the things that our young people need."

Hankins is not alone. Reverend John Fredlaw, former head of the New Hanover County NAACP, is applauding Cosby, calling his message "a wake up call."

"I hope this pokes at the fire," Fredlaw said. "I hope this gets that fire burning. I hope this gets the fire going for a great debate. I hope this forces us to look in the mirror.

Cosby also mentions today's nonchalant use of the "n-word" by young African-Americans, saying some of the blame falls squarely on the shoulders of those who raise them.

"Everybody's guilty!" Cosby shouted. "You raise your right hand and become a parent. And we have parent power! I'm outta here."

Reported by Aaron Saykin</P

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