Angel 's Reviews > Is Bill Cosby Right?: Or Has the Black Middle Class Lost Its Mind

Is Bill Cosby Right? by Michael Eric Dyson
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May 06, 08

bookshelves: commentary-and-opinion
Read in May, 2008

Once it became clear that the author was going to spend most of the book trashing on Cosby, I lost interest. Yes, Cosby is not perfect. He has his flaws; we get it already, move on with the argument. And the thing is, Dyson does make some important points about how social issues do have to be taken into account in regards to the poor. However, and I think he may not be totally clear or misses this, those social issues are not an excuse to not be personally responsible. The example he uses of the kid shot by the police for stealing. Sure, you can say poverty drove him to it, but he still had the choice to actually commit the crime. There is always another choice, and one can choose to do the right thing. So, may not sound PC, but if said kid got shot in said robbery, it is fair to ask what was he doing stealing in the first place when we all know it is illegal to do so? To excuse it is simply a way to abdicate responsibility. Are there other issues, yes? But as usual, the truth is somewhere in the middle. Cosby seems to represent one extreme, but Dyson then represents the other extreme.

A pity in my case since I liked Dyson's later book on Katrina. I guess once a while a writer comes up with a book that is not so good.
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