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8.13.2008

No one should be judging and assuming that because I'm black, I have to speak in that hip-hop way. That's something I prefer not to do.
This newsflash comes to us from Evin Cosby. (Because everyone gets to choose how they speak.) The Cosby scion, who's trying really hard to make news about her new boutique which I will not publicize here, goes on to share the following gem:
I always went to private schools - Bank Street elementary, Columbia Prep - so I was surrounded by people like me. Not so much African-American, but privileged. I don't really have a connection to other people who didn't have my lifestyle.
It looks like she learned well at her father's knee. And this is the thing about privilege that bugs. It's one thing to acknowledge your privilege. It's quite another to wade in it, to splash in it, to swim in it. I'm privileged. I'm guessing everyone who reads this blog is. You have access to the Internet, don't you? But that privilege isn't something to be proud of. It doesn't make you better. It makes you luckier. Privilege is the best reason to connect with people who don't have the same opportunities. It's called giving back. And while giving back and selling $500 polyester dresses aren't mutually exclusive, I suspect they are in Ms. Cosby's world. Sigh. I could go on, but this is making me tired.

7 new thought(s):

Adei von K said...

that reminds me of hampton.

X Factor said...

Oh Shani... I'm going to have to disagree with you on this one. Why isn't privilege something to be proud of? It may not make you a better person, but it most certainly puts you into a better position to BECOME a better person!Somewhere someone worked DUMB hard to get you (and by you, I mean her, in this case) to the point where you're even relevant enough to make this kind of statement and get press. I've spent time with Evin and she's surprisingly down to earth and very very sweet, but what she says holds true: if it's not your experience, how can you possibly relate to it? She honestly doesn't have a connection to people who were raised differently than she- how could she? Your exposure is what it is... to say that she's privileged is a massive understatement, definitely. But I can say that I applaud her desire to not rely on her name because up until PB&Caviar opened, we never even heard anything about her. Ah well... if only I could run a deigner boutique and raise my two babies and spend all of my time with people like me :)

the joy said...

Its not so much what she says, more the way she says it. She sounds a bit snobbish to me. As if she doesn't "fraternize with the unsavory likes" of those who aren't privledged. I mean the first statement drips of her father's tone (which gets a bit didactic for my tastes), and it also goes without saying.

Video Vix[o]n said...

Well, it's clear she does follow in her papa's footsteps (i'm assuming Bill probably nicknamed his daughter "pudding" *make Cosby face*).

But anyway, I agree with X and then I agree with Joy too. The way she came off was very snobby and an "i'm-above-that" attitide, but the fact of the matter is, she has been exposed to people who are priviledged like her. Do I think that should be a reason for a disconnect with others who are not in the same class as her? Hell no, but classism draws more lines than racism. Being upper class is obviously her definition of "privilege," but that doesn't make her a pompous scumbag. She is an entrepreneur nonetheless (outside of the financial backing) and she does have kids to feed. Some people connect differently with the black community, and Evin doens't necessarily through "speaking that hip-hop way."

For me to even get into "that hip-hop way" is an completely different topic.

shani-o said...

Adei- reminds me of Howard, too.

X- I really appreciate your perspective (I feel like we disagree a LOT, but it's all love!). I'm sure she's a sweet girl, I didn't say she wasn't. It's fine to be proud of your parents and what they've worked for but I still hold that privilege isn't something to brag about. Obviously I didn't grow up as wealthy as she did, but I was pretty comfortable. Yet I've never once excused my ignorance of people who had less than I by saying I just can't relate because I wasn't raised that way. That's just not good enough in my book (not that my book is the measure of everyone's lives, but this is my blog, lol).

Joy- you're right.

Vixon - hey! I never called her a pompous scumbag! People can be decent while still being elitist, or homophobic, or even racist. She's doing her, and that's fine. But I'm so tired of people using their personal experience as a reason to look down on others.

And I say this because it's something that I've done, and have worked on NOT doing. I just don't think it's ok to let statements like hers go, without saying anything.

Michael said...

The fact that she said "in that hip-hop way" suggests lack of depth.

Secondly, there is nothing wrong with being proud of your background but there is something wrong (to many) with being condescending in an effort to place distance between your self and "those Negroes."

Funny she can talk about her father's charity work, but she can't say anything about herself outside of private school and a boutique -- both of which she probably only got because of her father.

She's a snob, she's not that deep, and she's a hypocrite because some of that seed money she got no doubt came from the days where her pappy was writing bullshit like, "Yabba, yabba, yabba."

Being privileged doesn't prevent a person from being able to connect with people different from them. Ignorance does.

Sorry if I sound uncouth, but fuck her.

The Breaking Point said...

Having a whale of a time trying to understand why no one ever calls people out for yelling and screaming about the 'hood, but as soon as the Jack & Jill set speaks up there's a problem.

I was ecstatic that she said what she did, how she did. And, yes, privilege is something to be proud of. Tim Russert was beatified for being from South Buffalo.