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jazzyken
10-27-2004, 05:30 PM
I was surprised that no one remarked on this already...


Comedian's warning is deadly serious

Cosby tells Irvington parents to get kids off the streets
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
BY REGINALD ROBERTS
Star-Ledger Staff
Comedian Bill Cosby came to Irvington last night to participate in a panel discussion on gang violence with a simple message that children have been lost to the streets because they are missing good parenting, good homes and good diets.

"Kids have guns and we know nothing about it," he said during the discussion. "Yeah right. How far are you not looking? As far as I am concerned, it's in the house. It's right in that home."


Cosby, who has visited Newark twice in recent months, came to Irvington because of its problems with violence and gangs. His visit was part of the initiative "Peace in the East," which aims to stop the growth of gang violence.

Hafiz Farid, executive director of Nocane Inc., a community-based organization that developed the initiative, said Cosby was moved by film clips of a march against gang violence held in August.

Carrying makeshift coffins draped in blue and red, the colors of the Crips and Blood gangs, 1,000 people marched down Springfield Avenue to bring attention to the gang violence that has killed more than a dozen young people in Irvington.

"Bill saw that this was a community without a celebrity coming together, galvanized, unified, making a strong statement against the gangs," Farid told about 400 people in the auditorium of the Verizon building on Clinton Avenue.

Irvington, the state's most violent city, has had 21 homicides this year.

"We turned the corner in a slightly negative way," said Mayor Wayne Smith, who moderated the discussion. "Our arrests are up significantly," adding that homicides was still an issue even though none have occurred in the past several weeks.

Smith said part of Irvington's dilemma was the lack of community involvement in the schools and in the lives of young people.

"I need you to come as a call to action," he said. "My call to you is that you get involved in a meaningful way in the lives of young people."

"We are too tolerant of what we see," said Lenworth Gunther, a professor of African-American history at Essex County College. "We allow so much to go on that by the time it takes place we found ourselves incapacitated by so much."

While the community turns a blind eye, children fall victim to the streets, he said. "So much of their behavior is stylized and nuanced because they have to walk through the cultural minefields called the streets," Gunther said.

Cosby's answer to the streets was parents should get their children off them. "There should be a simple warning to children. There are snakes and animals that are poisonous. Then don't let your child go out there. You keep your child off that damn corner."

With homes without fathers, and children born out of wedlock to teenage parents, the African- American family is in crisis, Cosby said.

"We are talking about an epidemic. A 13-year-old girl has no business having a baby. And you got to stop it, whether you're a grandmother or great-grandmother at age 52. Your guilt is shutting you up because you were knocked up at 15."

Newark Deputy Mayor Ras Baraka, who is also a teacher, said the days when everyone watched over each other in the African-American neighborhood have passed. "There is no village. It's gone. The question is how did it get that way. How am I going to restore it?"

Baraka said children get lost because they have not been taught. "Every time they do something wrong, it's a teachable moment. I learned as a teacher, you have to take advantage of teachable moments."

Cosby was presented with a T- shirt by RIP (Respect Individual Potential), a group of Irvington High School students trying to change the cultural of anti-social behavior.

After he put on the T-shirt, he asked the students to pledge to invite one of their fellow students who don't breakfast at home to eat with them.

Miss Tam-Tam
10-27-2004, 06:53 PM
I was surprised that no one remarked on this already...


Here's my two cents: One of the moderators of the panel, himself, has fathered children who do not live in the home with him. If you talk the talk, then you've gotta walk that walk. I think the problem may be a bit more complicated than the issue of responsible parents at home. I think there's not one of us who hasn't known decent parents who, nonetheless, had their hands filled with the challenges of raising children. I'm glad the issues are being discussed. However, chronic deficiencies in other areas need to be recognized as well: schools, unemployment, chronic poverty -- it's all connected. If anything, funding for schools is being scaled back. Across the country after-school and sports programs have closed down. The two parents who work outside of the home situation is the standard, not the exception. By the way, I believe that teenage pregnancy rate has decreased. (Please excuse me. I'm rambling a bit). As for Cosby, he may be well intended, but I believe he comes close to generalizations about an entire group of people. Okay, I'm finished. Who's next? :)

JoefromPGH
10-28-2004, 08:20 AM
It seems that things have gotten worse over the past decade. Does anyone believe, as I, that the so-called welfare reform has contributed to less parenting?

While I am not a lover of this nation's welfare program, in many ways it has allowed single mothers the opportunity to spend more time with their children. With welfare reform, these same mothers are now forced to work, come home, cook and whatever else, making parenting a nearly impossible task.

I truly believe all human beings should do the utmost in supporting themselves and their families. BUT BUT BUT....I would think the value to society would be more to let a mother stay home than to go out and work at a time when she is needed MORE at home.

MrTim1955
10-28-2004, 10:24 AM
While I am not a lover of this nation's welfare program, in many ways it has allowed single mothers the opportunity to spend more time with their children. With welfare reform, these same mothers are now forced to work, come home, cook and whatever else, making parenting a nearly impossible task.


I don't see much difference between your scenario and the middle class scenario where both parents work. I work and go to school yet still find time to spend with my son.

Children learn what we show them. If we show them it is okay to kick back and take free money then that is how they will see life when they grow up. This perpetuates intergenerational welfare families whose members have absolutely no work ethic whatsoever.

I believe that there should be no free handouts unless you are totally disabled and absolutely cannot work. I don't mind helping someone out but I don't want to support them unless I can deduct them on my taxes.

myhomenewark
10-28-2004, 10:58 AM
Cosby can say many of the things he says because he puts his money where his mouth is. I take exception with the sneering way that he talks about the issue, however. And true, black teenage pregnancy rates have fallen. Some music shouldn't be exposed to kids, (blah, blah, blah) but, after all, lyrics are just words, and such words follow issues not precede them. (We shouldn't live our lives like a Hollywood movie or Xbox game either.)

True that in a single-parent family making a mother work, or workfare, can leave less time to supervise a child. I think that's a tradeoff. It is more important for the child to realize that he needs to work to make it than to have the extra time with mom. The problem is providing the support to keep that child from running wild when mom is away. That means fathers must step up (if they aren't in jail, dead or otherwise incapacitated). (And if this capitalistic/racist/sexist system were truly about inclusion, it should be mostly about making sure the mom gets a better education than to work for some penny-ante, "haves - haves-not widening gap" job (or maybe joining the killing in Iraq in hopes of a future). These are overarching problems that are beyond just "personal responsiblity."

I think the biggest story of what's going on the black community now is the outsourcing of jobs to recent immigrants who come prepared to work. This is a touchy subject. Recently, I was eating at Tops Diner in East Newark and noticed that their whole staff seemed to include no black people at all (immigrant or otherwise, for that matter). This country ignores the unique plight of native born Americans of African descent. I think that the native-born black population (especially males) in this country are probably a lot worse off than the numbers indicate (any numbers that would rate the total black community as a whole). The progeny of American slavery are in a worse situation than the immigrants who come here and see our opportunities.

Cosby is an "Amen Corner" for blacks who are embarrassed about the behavior of many of those who look like us. It's another form of ranting and raving that may feel good, but yields little (in my humble opinion). The work will still remain to be done. The programs still must be put in place (that's how the white folks got what they needed, often by pushing aside the "undesirable" black when their times were hard (cf, Irish Famine and Affirmative Action)). I'm rambling a little too. Peace.

jazzyken
10-28-2004, 11:40 AM
Children learn what we show them. If we show them it is okay to kick back and take free money then that is how they will see life when they grow up. This perpetuates intergenerational welfare families whose members have absolutely no work ethic whatsoever.

I would have to agree. My children knows that mommy and daddy work very hard to make sure our family is taken care of. They understand money does not come easy and eventhough we are not rich, we do nothing illegal to earn our keep and we do not sell ourselves to get it. They also understand that families should consist of a mother and father. My husband and I both had one child before we got married, we explained to our children that we tried hard to make it work with their other parents but now we are together and WE are a family.

Showing your children that having children last longer than most marriages and if you do not see yourself with a person for the rest of your life then you do not want to have children with them; in turn DON'T HAVE SEX!!!

Making mistakes growing up in the age of teenage pregnancies (I was a teenage mom) and teens selling drugs (not my style), I can sit and relate with my children and realistically let them know RIGHT from WRONG. I talk with my kids and when the time comes when peer pressure hits them I hope they will come to either me or my husband and we can put them on the right path. Too many kids these days do not feel that they can talk with their parents. That is why they go to the streets for either love or attention or affection.

I remember my mom working until the day she died. She bust her behind to make sure our lights were never off and we always had food on the table. As the youngest I am a little spoiled but thats what keeps me striving for more and making sure my children stay on the right path (and that is why I picked my hubbie :) ).

Cosby is right about one thing... some parents will see their doing things that are wrong and will ignore for whatever reason (mostly selfish reasons). They should be held responsible. My brothers did stupid things but they made sure it did not affect our family and our home. My mom did not "see" it. And when she heard of the things they did, she did her best to stop it. Somethings she could and some she could not but the point is she tried.

I believe all welfare moms and pops should work or go to school. Teach the real world. Nothing comes free. I know welfare moms that wait until the first just to buy their kids "G unit" sneakers and leather coats. That is not what welfare is for. It is a stepping stone to help when you are in need of assistance. Generations of families sit on welfare and that should not happen. Then when they get older they get SSI.

Welfare should teach the basics of how to handle money, paying bills, credit, homeownership, taxes, and just plain wanting something more. Not to go to a school for three months and get assistance for another year without getting a job. When I had my daughter I received welfare for 4 months before I started working. I worked for $8/hour at the airport. And I have never stopped. I prosper to have more. I am truly thankful for what I have and everything that I have received but I know there is more out there and I will get it.
AGAIN still rambling...

VOTE OR DIE 2004

MrTim1955
10-28-2004, 01:32 PM
They also understand that families should consist of a mother and father.



The only families that require a mother and father are religious families.

I grew up for most of my life in a single parent family. I learned the majority of the values I hold today from my mother. The rest I have formed through the experiences I have lived.

There are many same-sex couples who are raising families, either biological or through adoption. These familes are every bit as loving, caring and nurturing as the old-fashioned mom and pop types. The children learn the same values as you teach your children. They also learn some values that are sorely needed in this country today - tolerance and love for those who are different than they are.

jazzyken
10-28-2004, 02:57 PM
I disagree, religious families are NOT the only ones who require a mom and pop!!!!

It takes a man and a woman to create a child. Regardless, if there is circumstances such as adoption or same sex situations, it takes one from each sex to create a child. I am discussing the values that should be instilled into our children. We should not glorify single family homes. They happen everyday and for various reasons but they do not need to be glorified. We should glorify building relationships before a committment like parenting. So many people have children before learning about the other person. Not knowing his or her faults before they even lay down. Sex is tooo overrated in that retrospect. Sex is so casual now that people relate sex with love. Sex with dedication. Sex with committment. Sex is Sex ;) .

I grew up for most of my life in a single parent family. I learned the majority of the values I hold today from my mother. The rest I have formed through the experiences I have lived.

I disagree that you did not learn from your absentee father. I believe in any single family situation, you learn something from the absentee i.e. not to do the same things to your children.
Understanding that relationships change before a baby is brought into the world. Understanding that signs of a failed relationship are always there and having children will not make things better. Understanding that parenting last a lifetime. It does not stop when the child support begins/ends nor when the child goes from one parent to the other. Parenting is a 24/7/365 job that never ends.

I am a very positive thinker :rolleyes: (most of the time) and I grew up in a single family home as well but that does not mean because I saw my mother struggle that it is okay.
I would want my children to have opportunities that I did not have with my father or the relationship that I missed because he was not there. Nothing can replace the bond between father and child or mother and child. Yes, there are alternatives like family members but that does not replace you parent. As a parent, I would want my children to understand the consequences of having babies with someone you are not sure about. The "baby mama" and "baby daddy" drama in this world can be avoided if we teach our children better values.
In regards to the same sex situations... I choose not to speak on it because I am not able to judge. I leave that to a higher power. ;)

MrTim1955
10-28-2004, 03:12 PM
... single parent families are wrong and that the single parent should go out and find a mate. I've met single parents who are much better off without their original spouse and who are totally turned off by the idea of marriage that they will remain single. This does not make them a lesser parent. The ones I know go out of their way for their children the same as I do for mine.

... families are only made from a mother and a father. This discriminates against all non-traditional families. If you promote discrimination in one area how can you condemn it in anohter?

I agree that we should instruct our children about having children before they are old enough to know how to take care of them. We must instruct them in the areas of pregnancy prevention. Teenagers are going to have sex. Try and stop them. You couldn't in my day and you can't today. The big difference is it isn't an embarrassment to walk into a drugstore to buy condomes.

However, instructing our children on how not to become parents until the time is right has no bearing on how families are made up.

jazzyken
10-28-2004, 03:28 PM
How did you get that from my last post :confused: ????
I never said families "only" consist of mother and father and I never said single families are wrong. For one, that is saying that my mother lived wrong and my entire childhood was a mistake. After re-reading my post I do not get that. I said to MAKE a child you need a MAN and a WOMAN. If you have proof that disputes this fact please reply ASAP!

Also, what I said and I will repeat it again... WE SHOULD NOT GLORIFY SINGLE FAMILY HOMES! not that they are wrong but to GLORIFY the relationships between men and women BEFORE they make babies.
I also said PEOPLE (anyone from 8-80) SHOULD NOT HAVE CHILDREN UNLESS THEY PLAN ON A COMMITTMENT TO THE OTHER PERSON! This can not be erased. If you have a child with someone you are tied to that person for ETERNITY. Parenthood NEVER stops!!!

To have a FAMILY there must be a committment on both ends. Irregardless as to marriage, same-sex, adoption or whatever. I believe that no one should bring a child into this world if they do not factor in the other person concieving the child.
Example, I would not have a child by a man that I met in the bar last week. I do not know him. I know nothing about him. I do not know how he would cope with being a father.
Women in particular need to know who and what they are laying down with. They should not have children with men they do not know. They should not have children for comfort, affection or a possibility of committment.
Please re-read my post and reply.
Thanks

MrTim1955
10-28-2004, 04:33 PM
I responded to what I read. I will respond to your points:

I said to MAKE a child you need a MAN and a WOMAN.

Actually you only need an egg and a sperm and a place to grow it. There are families created from donor eggs and donor sperm where the child will never know the people who created the two components.

WE SHOULD NOT GLORIFY SINGLE FAMILY HOMES!

We should only glorify those homes that we KNOW to be absolute good. This is impossible because no one comes from a perfect home. I think my family is the best on the planet but I also know we are not perfect. We should not criticize any other family and say that it's makeup isn't right. If you do that you might give your daughter (hypothetical) the impression that she has to stay in an abusive relationship just for the sake of the child. That would be wrong of her.

I also said PEOPLE (anyone from 8-80) SHOULD NOT HAVE CHILDREN UNLESS THEY PLAN ON A COMMITTMENT TO THE OTHER PERSON!
To have a FAMILY there must be a committment on both ends. Irregardless as to marriage, same-sex, adoption or whatever. I believe that no one should bring a child into this world if they do not factor in the other person concieving the child.


I think this is impossible. Of course I failed crystal ball reading in college so that might bias me. I have made a commitment to my partner and we have a child. However, there may be something down the road that creates irreconcilable differences between us. I won't stay in that type of relationship. It would be bad for me, my partner and our child. I have seen marriages that stick together for the child that really screw up the kid's head. That isn't right in my opinion.

The thing I have gotten from all your posts is that you believe in one kind of family - one with a mother and father. Everything else is glorifying something not quite right. My point is that nothing is black and whitel. You have to teach your children that families are made up in different ways. What you teach you children about making babies should not be combined with how a family is made up.

Maybe your child will grow up to want to be a mother (or father) but not get married. This is totally possible and if you have taught your child good parenting skills, then it doesn't matter if they have a spouse or not, they will bring up a good child of their own.

black4rob2
10-28-2004, 05:09 PM
I agree with what you all are saying but to a degree.

I too was bought up in a single family home, but that was due to the death of my father at a very young age (Cancer took him away), but I would like to think that I grew up to be a responsible, strong, and independent man...All characteristics that I learned from my mother. There are many family situations that occur as to why a kid may be raised in a single family home besides the typical baby-mama and baby daddy drama stuff.

Jazzy...I hear exactly whay you are saying, but I don't think that it is necessary to have a traditionally "mom and pop", but it is ideal and it makes things easier on all parties involved (i.e. mother, father, and kid). I think in the absense of a traditionally mother and father in the home, it is the duty of that parent to expose that child to another person that he or she can look up to, go to with questions, or just hang out.

Mr.Tim...I hear what you are saying as well and i definitely agree with you about staying in a relationship that is abusive as it can and often times detrimental to that kids state of being...And even though it is growing in popularity; a kid growing up in a same-sex relationship is going to have a hard time regardless of the amount of love they receive from their parents...Think back when you were a kid and some of the cruel things you would say about your classmates parents..."Your mother has a mustache...your father is poor...
Imagine a kid (especially around these parts coming to school for a parent teacher meeting where the other kids will see that he has two mommies and no daddy or vice versa. That kids is going to be confused as to what is going on because at that age he or she is very impressionable by their peers, and have to fit in.

Personally, I would hope that once I DECIDE to have kids with my partner that we develop a relationship that will be a lifelong commitment. But in the event that things don't go according to plan, as sh!t happens, I will still be overly active in my kids life.

To add on to what Jazzy is saying, i think that too many people have kids and then marry because they are having a kid...and that's a huge problem. They must think before hand what they are doing, because raising a kid is not like raising a pet or a plant. I think that it is mandatory that you find the right person to have a kid with, even if it doesn't work out between the two of you, at least your partner will still be mature and competant enough to share in the parental obligations.

Miss Tam-Tam
10-28-2004, 08:57 PM
It seems that things have gotten worse over the past decade. Does anyone believe, as I, that the so-called welfare reform has contributed to less parenting?

Years ago, before welfare was "reformed," Bill Moyers filmed a controversial documentary which profiled African Americans in the Newark area. It's focus was the "Crisis in the Black Family." Anyone remember it? At that time a woman could not be eligible for full welfare benefits and have the father living in the home at the same time.

jazzyken
10-29-2004, 01:17 PM
You know after reading my post over and over again I do not get where MrTim1955 gets his logic :confused: A family can be anyone... man/woman, man/man, woman/woman. I said a FAMILY takes COMMITTMENT. As to the make up of that family is not for anyone to judge.

MrTim1955Actually you only need an egg and a sperm and a place to grow it. There are families created from donor eggs and donor sperm where the child will never know the people who created the two components.

Whether it came from a donor or not, when it comes down to it... the biological PARENT has rights. They can ask to be a part of the child life or they can relinquish the right. Point being they still have rights to the child that is created with their sperm or egg.

MrTim1955We should only glorify those homes that we KNOW to be absolute good. This is impossible because no one comes from a perfect home. I think my family is the best on the planet but I also know we are not perfect. We should not criticize any other family and say that it's makeup isn't right. If you do that you might give your daughter (hypothetical) the impression that she has to stay in an abusive relationship just for the sake of the child. That would be wrong of her.
Do you think I said to stay in any relationship that is abusive? Where do you get that from my post??? I would hope that my daughter finds out about his abusive behavior BEFORE they got married or had any children. I would never tell anyone to STAY in any relationship that can harm them whether physically or mentally.

Single Family Homes should not be Glorified Period :mad:
I grew up in a single family home due to the fact my father was a dead beat. And irregardless of where he was and what he did, my mother got to know him after the fact of my birth. I am glad that I am here and I appreciate all the things that she went through to make sure I was educated and well taken care of. But the fact remains that years ago and today, women and men do not get to know each other first. They jump right in the fire without checking how hot the flames. If you find fault in that then you are in need of assistance that this board cannot offer!

At that time a woman could not be eligible for full welfare benefits and have the father living in the home at the same time.
I think this is still true. That is why people lie about their composition of the family.

MrTim1955
10-29-2004, 02:56 PM
I'm not going to debate this with you because it appeers that it is upsetting you. I will teach my children what I think is right and you will do the same. I am sure that my children will look upon single parent families for just what they are - single parent families - without prejudging them in any way.

Sperm and egg donors have very few rights when it comes to the products of their donation. They are donating their sperm or eggs to help other people have a family, not to create their own. The laws were written to protect the recipients of the donated sperm or eggs.

J. Sharpe James, J.D.
11-12-2004, 07:56 PM
WHO WOULD WANT TO HAVE KIDS WITH YOU????.....

Then again I'm sure you can find someone blind and TOOTHLESS!! :D