WASHINGTON (FinalCall.com) – Entertainer Bill Cosby encouraged “older” Blacks to more effectively empower themselves in order to show the larger Black community how to solve the problems of violence, crime and education, through redemption. It was Dr. Cosby’s 19th public “Call Out” with two separate panels of local leaders, parents, victims and caregivers. It was held May 16 in the packed auditorium of the University of the District of Columbia.
“They’ve got our children, saying things on TV like: ‘I don’t listen to old people, because they don’t know what they’re talking about,’” Dr. Cosby told the audience. “But old people can see more in you, like they have an x-ray vision. Old people, you look at a kid, and you see more in that kid than the kid sees in him or herself.”
“That’s right,” a panelist said as Dr. Cosby spoke. “I recognize that myself,” said another.
During that past 18 months, Dr. Cosby has held similar meetings in Atlanta, New York, Detroit, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Newark, Houston, Dallas, St. Louis, Cincinnati and Baltimore.
His message has been the same throughout: social responsibility and careful attention to the behavior of young people by responsible adults. The Call Out paid particular attention to the plight of grandparents and foster parents bringing up children. Its intent was to offer solutions to problems by encouraging collaboration and by putting people in touch with resources and pathways to find answers.
“Old people told you about yourself,” Dr. Cosby continued. “And it’s very important for us to understand this, ladies and gentlemen. Don’t be set back by these voices that are saying you’re too old to speak up.”
One panel included D.C. Police Chief Charles Ramsey, who warned of rising juvenile crime. D.C.’s chief coroner also spoke, presenting a number of disturbing statistics. Since 1982, for example, nearly 1,000 homicide victims were ages 16 to 19; 92 percent of them Black.
“Many believe that dying is easy, simple. That’s what we see in the video games,” Dr. Marie Pierre-Louis, D.C.’s Chief Medical Examiner, told the audience. “Not so. Bullets rip through your flesh; tear apart your heart; shred your liver; shred your brain. It is not easy for us to see those bodies on operating tables; to have to crack open your chest, sew up your skull, see your brain come out like slush.
“It hurts,” she continued. “Sometimes, your head is just like a bag of stones, and it takes a lot of effort to reconstruct those faces so your parents can recognize you, so we can give your body back to them.”
The coroner then issued a warning to teenagers who don’t stay in school to get a diploma: “There’s one waiting for you at the office of the medical examiner–it’s a death certificate.”
Dr. Cosby interjected that he had encouraged Dr. Pierre-Louis to deliver the grim statistics so the audience “would understand that it has to be stopped.” To those who do not heed the signs among their children, Dr. Cosby continued: “I’m calling you out, and I’m holding you accountable. If you’re having a problem, visit the Jesus in your heart.”