Comedian Bill Cosby told several hundred people at a conference of community associations Thursday to stand up and confront the ills facing black Americans and ignore those he called “intellectual panhandlers.”
Characterizing his own words as “blunt, but not harsh,” Cosby criticized a culture in which “babies are wearing $40 sneakers while their mothers are feeding them Oodles of Noodles” and in which pimps and murderers are seen as heroes.
During a speech that lasted nearly an hour, he began by comparing current attitudes to a patient who ignores a toothache until it requires major surgery.
Several times he exhorted the audience to “stand up and stop looking for somebody to blame,” a mantra that has angered some black leaders who have accused him of downplaying the effects of long-term discrimination.
Cosby is a frequent visitor to Brick City and has stirred a bit of controversy from time to time over his sharp remarks to Newarkers.