I Speak the Truth

Cosby and Superior Court Judge Marvin Arrington spoke at a forum in April ’08 for at-risk youths from the Atlanta area. Both men are black. “Our children are trying to tell us something,” Cosby said to the predominantly black audience at Benjamin Mays High School as he talked about the importance of education and family. Cosby amused the invitation-only crowd of about 600, which included teenagers identified as “at-risk” by juvenile authorities, with a lament about nonchalant reactions to common problems. “Well, the mother’s on crack cocaine. Pass the salt.” “That girl’s baby has no father. Pass the salt.” “Oh, he shot him in the head? Pass the salt.” Cosby, dressed casually in sneakers and a Morehouse College T-shirt, said there are examples of success, and there are examples of failure. “We look at failure and we’re like, pass the salt.” Cosby dismissed critics of his approach who have said that he is airing dirty laundry in the black community. “That’s crazy,” Cosby said. “There are black people who have to walk around this dirty laundry.” “culture of drugs and permissive sex.”

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