PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY, JAN. 22, 2014) — Black people, stop blaming white people for your “oppression.” That is the post-Martin Luther King Day sentiment on THE PLANET, courtesy of Bill Cosby.

Cosby has been preaching the double-play of  parenting and education as the best ways to change the course of cultural history. Too many men of his race, he observes, want to have sex don’t want to be fathers. Too many women of his race want to have babies but don’t want to be mothers. The Cos also makes the point that young people must stop depending on public assistance, go back to school, and become solid citizens.

“What we need for people to realize [is that] ‘I want to raise my kid,'” Cosby says. Let’s put this in local terms. Take a walk down North Street almost any weekday, and you can see them: young girls, both black and white, pushing black, white, and mostly mixed-race children in strollers. These girls keep popping out children, often courtesy of many different men.

When a teen girl bears children out of wedlock, society usually foots the bill. The teen goes on welfare, and soon after, her boyfriend moves in with her. The spinoffs from this type of societal degeneration are playing out right now on the unsafe streets and byways of Pittsfield. It can be seen in the flourishing drug trade for example, and in the acts of violence that have become a daily occurrence.

Welfare — defined as “means-tested cash assistance” — currently pays more than a minimum-wage job in 35 states (including the Commonwealth). Massachusetts ranks behind only Hawaii and the District of Columbia in generosity to those on the take. The state’s average welfare benefits package, adjusted for inflation, rose from $37,345 in 1995 to $42,515 in 2013, and increase of $5,169 (pretax wage equivalents of $46,086 and $50,540, respectively). Think you could live off of $50,540 without doing a stitch of work?

Are you sitting down for this one: The pre-tax equivalent of the average Massachusetts welfare recipient in 2013 is $24.30 and hour.

These figures are contained in a report titled, “The Work Versus Welfare Tradeoff: 2013, An Analysis of the Total Level of Welfare Benefits by State,” authored by Michael Tanner and Charles Hughes and published by the Cato Institute.

In Pittsfield, a flood of federal, state, and local benefits kick in: temporary cash grants, subsidized housing, WIC, food stamps, taxpayer-funded debit cards. They can receive two or three times the amount of money than they would receive from many of the type of “recreation-and-resort-economy” jobs of the kind readily available in the city — service jobs that form the rubber backbone of the local economy.

Just in the past few days, there have been three fatalities involving vehicles and a near-fatal stabbing, all in and within the vicinity of downtown Pittsfield. These only represent a small portion of a city and society heading to the dregs.

With that preamble, we share Cosby’s take:

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“They’re standing on the corner and they can’t speak English. I can’t even talk the way these people talk: Why you ain’t, Where you is, What he drive, Where he stay, Where he work, Who you be… And I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk. And then I heard the father talk.

“Everybody knows it’s important to speak English except these knuckleheads. You can’t be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth. In fact you will never get any kind of job making a decent living. People marched and were hit in the face with rocks to get an Education, and now we’ve got these knuckleheads walking around. The lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal. These people are not parenting. They are buying things for kids. $500 sneakers for what? And they won’t spend $200 for Hooked on Phonics.

“I am talking about these people who cry when their son is standing there in an orange suit. Where were you when he was 2? Where were you when he was 12? Where were you when he was 18 and how come you didn’t know that he had a pistol? And where is the father? Or who is his father?

“People putting their clothes on backward: Isn’t that a sign of something gone wrong? People with their hats on backward, pants down around the crack, isn’t that a sign of something? Isn’t it a sign of something when she has her dress all the way up and got all type of needles [piercing] going through her body? What part of Africa did this come from??

“We are not Africans. Those people are not Africans; they don’t know a thing about Africa ….. I say this all of the time. It would be like white people saying they are European-American. That is totally stupid. I was born here, and so were my parents and grand parents and, very likely my great grandparents. I don’t have any connection to Africa, no more than white Americans have to Germany , Scotland , England , Ireland , or the Netherlands. The same applies to 99 percent of all the black Americans as regards to Africa. So stop, already!!! With names like Shaniqua, Tariq, Taliqua, Ja’quan and all of that crap. All of them are in jail.

“Brown or black versus the Board of Education is no longer the white person’s problem. We have got to take the neighborhood back. People used to be ashamed. Today a woman has eight children with eight different ‘husbands’ — or men or whatever you call them now. We have millionaire football players who cannot read. We have million-dollar basketball players who can’t write two paragraphs. We, as black folks have to do a better job. Someone working at Wal-Mart with seven kids, you are hurting us. We have to start holding each other to a higher standard.. We cannot blame the white people any longer.Dr.. William Henry ‘Bill’ Cosby, Jr., Ed..D.

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Cosby shares wisdom that applies to young people of all races. The dumbass white pimp-rollers need to hike their pants up above their cracks and pay just as much mind. “Hip-hop” culture does not discriminate. It has not only ruined a generation of black youth but has done the same with its white brothers as well, a generation characterized but appalling underachievement on a personal, societal, and cultural level.

Adults have the responsibility to show kids that the gospel of out-of-control bling, disrespecting women, materialism, baggy clothes, ugly body piercings, ignorant use of English, the glorification of crime and thuggery, and other such destructive “virtues” leads nowhere but to destruction.

All of the candle vigils held when lives go tragically wrong won’t touch, let alone address, let alone cure, the evil strain that has infected too many of a generation too dumb to realize what’s happening. No city, no society will long endure.

Think on these things, dear readers, as you watch what’s happening throughout the schools, neighborhoods, streets, parks, playgrounds, and public gathering places of this once-fair city. Think on these things as you watch the feckless mayor and other politicians ignore reality and pretend “all is well.” They do it not because they are stupid but blinded by swelled egos and the need to look good in their helming the city’s “ship of state.”

Think on these things, and begin DEMANDING more from them.


“I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow. / I feel my fate in what I cannot fear. / I learn by going where I have to go.”Theodore Roethke, “The Waking,” (1953).





  1. scott
    January 22, 2014 at 12:03 pm #

    All change and progress begins by looking inward. Its very easy to blame others or society for your problems.

  2. Jonathan Melle
    January 22, 2014 at 12:08 pm #

    Growing up in Pittsfield, I came to believe that Pittsfield incentivized poor people to live in Pittsfield. The reason I say this is because no rational middle class family would voluntarily move to Pittsfield. If they did, there children would go to public schools with a majority of poor children, they would be bullied for being middle class, and there are no economic opportunities — or living wage jobs — in Pittsfield when their young adult children graduate from college. I have been through it all in Pittsfield. I graduated cum laude from college and went on to obtain a Master’s Degree, and still no one would offer me employment in Pittsfield when I was a young adult. I ended up collecting welfare for a short period of time in my adult life. I collected cash assistance, food stamps, and medicaid, to survive so I would not become a Homeless Veteran who served our nation Honorably in the U.S. Army. I actually used my welfare benefits to pay my rent, buy food, and receive healthcare services. I no longer receive any welfare benefits. I feel that if I grew up anywhere but Pittsfield I would have done better as a young adult. Pittsfield is a tough town to grow up in. I wouldn’t raise a family in Pittsfield.

    • joetaxpayer
      January 22, 2014 at 5:02 pm #

      Growing up in the mean streets of Pittsfield Ma. Wow that’s funny.Pittsfield may not be the best place in the world to live, but not even close to one of the worst.I can think of a dozen hell holes just in MA. The biggest problem with USA is nobody takes accountability for anything. Its always someone else’s fault. I do drugs because my mom never loved me. I never went to College because my parents had no money. I’m failing in school because my teachers suck. I would have done better with my life if I didn’t grow up in a shitty town. Its always someone else’s fault.Time to look in the mirror and put on your big boy pants.

      • Scott
        January 22, 2014 at 6:47 pm #

        Joe, right on I agree with you finally.

        • Jonathan Melle
          January 22, 2014 at 8:13 pm #

          The problem with Pittsfield politics isn’t partisanship. We have a former mayor [Jimmy Ruberto] whose brother was DA [the late-Anthony Ruberto]. We have a DA [David Capeless] whose father was Mayor. How many votes did Jerry Doyle Sr. buy [Mayor] Jerry Doyle Jr. with driveway aprons and apartments in public housing? [William] Smitty Pignatelli’s father was County Commissioner. [Chris] Speranzo’s grandfather was a Democrat mover and shaker and union thug. Ben Downing’s father [Gerard Downing] was DA and his father enough of a political hack to have an industrial park named after him. [Andrea] Nuciforo’s [II] father [Andrea Nuciforo I] was a [State] Senator [and then a Judge], Uncle [Tom Wojtkowski] was a State Rep and Aunt a Mayor [Anne E. Wojtkowski]. [Kevin] Sherman’s mother is a Del Gallo. The problem around here isn’t partisanship so much as nepotism and incest.

      • danvalenti
        January 22, 2014 at 8:21 pm #

        JOE THE T
        Lack of accountability is the point of the column.
        As for “mean streets,” to find someplace that’s worse than Pittsfield is as irrelevant as finding the many places that are better.

      • jaden falcone
        January 26, 2014 at 7:17 pm #

        Right on Joe. When did Americans become so soft and worthless? I’m ashamed.

  3. shakes his head
    January 22, 2014 at 12:28 pm #

    While I agree with taking personal responsibility for ones actions, Today’s commentary offers little independent thought while promoting preconceived stereotypes that, IMHO, would be easily proved false.

    • danvalenti
      January 22, 2014 at 8:24 pm #

      Appreciate your two cents. Curious, though: No one wanted to comment on what The Cos had to say. As for “proving” the sterotypes false, be our guest.

  4. amandaWell
    January 22, 2014 at 3:43 pm #

    @Jonathan…did you see the at one of the Olympic lavatory facilities, it had size by side toilets, what do you think about that?

  5. Dave
    January 22, 2014 at 5:46 pm #

    to quote the Sick Puppies …. ‘Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight–you lose” Talk is cheap “Here’s a little story how the west was won the white man came and took out everyone they used dirty blankets and they used machine guns and they didn’t think twice about what they done……. Here’s a little story bout Kevin Bacon, he had a bunch of money but he got taken he got a bunch of lawyers and he tried to sue, but Bernie looked at him and said hey #$%^& %^& … here’s a little story bout the congressman they bailed out all their billionaire friends. you can blame Bush or you can try to blame Obama but you shoulda fuckin learned from your daddy or your mamma…. Some fights just ain’t fair, Some fights just ain’t fair don’t bring a knife to a gunfight–you lose. Here’s a little story about Tienanmen Square
    the people rose up and said life ain’t fair now they sweatin in the shop making iphones and you stand in front of tanks—the tanks are gonna win!!

    Youtube-Sick Puppies gunfight-the words are great but doesn’t do the song justice

  6. Edconnect
    January 22, 2014 at 6:07 pm #

    Who’s a better person? Ernest Duck or Adam Lee Hall.

    Answer: Ernest Duck

    Therefore black people are better than white people.

    • Scott
      January 22, 2014 at 6:49 pm #

      The only difference between the two is skin color and different degrees of insanity/ignorance.

  7. amandaWell
    January 22, 2014 at 7:13 pm #

    …we are all, CHILDREN of GOD.

    • danvalenti
      January 22, 2014 at 8:17 pm #

      We are, indeed.

  8. jaden falcone
    January 26, 2014 at 7:33 pm #

    Cosby has interesting points. But why is he addressing this situation now? These bad behaviors have been going on for decades (maybe not in Pittsfield.) I just shrug my shoulders at the poor state of black culture in America. It’s the (sub)culture not the race in my opinion.

  9. Mad Trapper
    January 28, 2014 at 9:43 am #

    Late to the bat on this one.

    Mr Cosby is right on, solid, and true.

    Thank you for putting out his un-racist , and sorely needed advice.