Obama Arrives Late for Race Debate

Cosby launched conversation in 2004, journalist argues
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2008 7:21 PM CDT
Comedian Bill Cosby hugs inmate Robert Redente after Redente spoke at a graduation ceremony for inmates at the Williard-Cybulski Correctional Institution.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The black community has already started the conversation Barack Obama wants, prominent conservative Myron Magnet writes in City Journal. Liberal icons Bill Cosby and Juan Williams have declared that it’s time for African Americans to take responsibility for their own destiny. They’re telling truths that have left black conservatives “unthinkingly ostracized as race traitors for breaking with orthodoxy” for decades.

Magnet relies almost entirely on Cosby and Williams’ words. Cosby and co-author Alvin Poussaint "believe that too many black adults 'are giving up their main responsibility to look after their children.'" Meanwhile, "the official message from civil rights leaders remains the same," Williams argues. "Black people are victims of the system." Magnet concludes by laying out the debate "raging within the soul of America’s first black presidential nominee."