Polling on education shows what is going on. A 2001 study done by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies reported that 60 percent of African Americans support education vouchers. This seems to support Jesse Jackson's contention that the message about personal responsibility started making its way into the black community long before Bill Cosby's pronouncements. However, the same study also reported that 69 percent of black elected officials oppose vouchers.
It may not be news that blacks echo Bill Cosby's sentiments and do want to take control of their lives. However, it certainly is news that black leadership widely opposes this.
Any black conservative could have written the script on how the black establishment is dealing with Bill Cosby. They have been marginalizing us for years. A small community of black conservatives has been arguing for years about the need to restore personal dignity and responsibility in our communities. Black conservatives have been arguing for years that government programs and the politics of victimization have been destroying our people. The reception we have gotten from mainstream black leaders has been character assassination and dismissal of our arguments without consideration.
It has got to be galling to black establishment leaders that Bill Cosby is sounding like a conservative. However, they can't do the usual routine they do with us to him. It is hard to dismiss Bill Cosby as not really being black or being a sellout. It is hard to do to Bill Cosby what they did to Clarence Thomas.
Bill Cosby should receive nothing but respect for his integrity and honesty. However, let's hope this is only the beginning. There is larger story that needs to be told. I believe there was justification for the indignity felt by many poor black parents who felt that Cosby was attacking them personally. He unfortunately did not point out that seven out of 10 of the homes that he says are irresponsible are also broken homes run by a single parent. This was not the case 40 years ago before Jesse Jackson and company started their campaign to sell political power and government programs as the answer for African Americans.
Maybe this is why the existing black political power structure is uneasy. They might be concerned who we will see if we do turn the mirror around as Cosby suggests. Cosby has got to be under a lot of pressure to back off. Let's hope he doesn't.