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Cosby's racist comments about museum bothered me
Cosby's racist comments about museum bothered me

Date published: 10/10/2004

I read with interest about Bill Cosby attending the invitation-only gala at the University of Mary Washington to view slavery artifacts and discuss the U.S. National Slavery museum ["Quest to fund slavery museum under way," Sept. 25].

Slavery was a sad fact of life in our nation's history. It still goes on in many countries. This was not exclusively a black happening, nor was it perpetrated only by whites.

Prior to and during the Civil War, many whites were indentured slaves, and some Southerners were extremely poor, with abominable living conditions. In some instances, slaves had better food and shelter than nonslaves.

Mayor Thomas Tomzak remarked that he felt "revulsion" when he read that Mary Washington owned slaves who were willed to nephews after her death. Would he have felt better if they had just been dumped on the street like homeless kittens and left with no home or shelter at all?

The mayor also spoke of still seeing young mothers with no chance of upward mobility and their babies being born with little hope for a better life.

I fail to see how the slavery museum will change this, as he seems to think. Birth control, abstinence, and jobs would help the upward mobility.

The most reprehensible comments came from Mr. Cosby, who spoke about a slave ship replica, busing people in, being Jesuslike, and giving them a fish and a loaf of bread. But his blatantly racist "quip" about putting "white people in the bottom" of the boat this time warrants a public apology.

While the money he'll donate for the museum will certainly not take away bitterness and hatred, it would, however, feed and clothe many people of all colors.

That's being Jesuslike.

Marlene Almstead