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Bill Cosby is John Kasich's hero for comments in New Orleans

Reported by Chrish - April 3, 2006

John Kasich hosted The O'Reilly Factor today 4/3/06 and had as his first guest Lauren Lake, "legal analyst." (and criminal defense attorney) to discuss comments made by Bill Cosby to a crowd in New Orleans.

Cosby received high praise from Kasich for his comments:

"Ladies and gentlemen, you had the highest murder rate - unto each other. You were dealing drugs - unto each other. You were impregnating our thirteen, twelve, eleven - year old children - - unto each other. What kind of village was it?"

This so-called discussion was really a loud obnoxious argument, with Lake's voice staying very loud in efforts to not allow Kasich to interrupt her, which he did several times.

They were in agreement that Cosby's "straight talk" was right (real) and that the African-American community must stop hurting itself and one another, but Lake wanted to take it a step further saying that the poverty that many black people can't escape has to be addressed as must the problems of disenfranchisement, continued oppression, and ongoing institutional racism.

Kasich pointed to Cosby's further comments, that "some young people unfairly blame whites for problems such as teen pregnancy and high dropout rates. Everybody is not a victim. " He repeated Cosby's comments from above and said he was saying "no more excuses. Step up, look in the mirror, and figure out what we're doing to one another."

Lake came back saying that just because Kasich agreed with Cosby's message, it's not an excuse to excuse American culture at large. Kasich interrupted her, and when she said "yes?" he said, no, go ahead, then he kept on going with his take: that her take is excuses. He read a statistic (from the NYTimes...when they're not smearing it they're referencing it!) that said 30% of African-American males who drop out end up serving some prison time by their thirties. Yes! shouted Lake, but Kasich kept on, hands to heart: he doesn't think it's HIS fault, a white person didn't make them do it, Cosby's saying stop making excuses.

Lake is trying to respond, saying you didn't hear me saying it was a white person's fault; it is an American cultural problem. She reiterates that there is institutional racism and Kasich may not see it but that's because he's not victim of it. He cuts her off again, saying Cosby was abandoned by his father, raised by a single mom and helped with his siblings, made a success of himself, and doesn't want to hear excuses. Lake seems furious by now, and says that this is not about making excuses; our government at large has a problem with making excuses so don't try to blame poor back people about making excuses.

She insists that there are socio-economic factors, that black people are in the worst schools in the worst communities; you can't blame this all on black people who don't pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. She says she is a black person with (makes quotes with hands) "cred-i-bil-it-ty" in your own words, and she still has to face racism, racism that you (Kasich) will never undertand because it's a coat you don't have to wear. Kasich overtalks the last two phrases, saying he's not going to disagree with that, and she says you can't.

They go 'round a bit more and Kasich finally says that he can't pretend to understand, as a white man, but Cosby has got his attention because he is saying let's stop making excuses and look in the mirror and take some personal responsibility. Lake refers him back to her first sentence, where she agrees with Cosby (and Kasich) but says that the bigger picture includes the societal problems that also have to be addressed.

Comment: Well, that was exhausting. So much shouting and overtalking. In the end Kasich basically conceded that as a white man he can't ever fully understand the big picture but he is glad to welcome Cosby when he takes a stand that reflects his attitude. Kasich didn't embrace Lake's point that there are still widespread instuitutional and cultural factors working against black people while admitting that he had no idea personally what it was like. To my point of view, he was making the excuse that since he couldn't possibly know what it's like first-hand then it is not his problem to address. See no evil, fix no evil.

Because Cosby's message was one of assigning personal responsibility and not one of addressing disenfranchisement, generational poverty, lousy schools, rampant self-medicating drug abuse, and other situations that perpetuate the hopelessness that feeds the downward spiral, FOX chose to highlight it. When other black leaders say things that point a finger at the Bush administration's policies or corporate America they are ridiculed, harangued, and dismissed.

On FOX personal responsibility and accountability are needed for poor blacks but not necessary in the highest levels of government.

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