Video: Bill Cosby on the Oprah Winfrey Show

The statistics are grim: Homicide is the leading cause of death for black men age 15 to 29. About 28% of all black men will end up in prison at some point in their lives. And so forth and so on until you just get numb with disbelief. In the worst days of segregation, things weren’t this bad for black families. What happened?

Along comes comedian Bill Cosby, who was on the Oprah show yesterday. It’s not hard to find some fault with some of the things that he says here and there, but at heart his diagnosis and the hard medicine that he prescribes to cure the ills that plague black America are deeply and profoundly socially conservative: Family, fathers, faith and fighting for your children. I’m not trying to claim Cosby is a Reagan conservative or a closet Republican or anything like that, but his message is at heart the same message that the family values folks get tarred for proclaiming all the time. It’s the same message that earned Dan Quayle years of ridicule. But it happens to be the truth.


If I had to guess, this is not the kind of thing Cosby has in mind.