Picture 21.jpg'Twould seem that that Dr. Huxtable is at it again, purportedly talking about the sad state of the Negro youth in this great nation of inequity, thievery and lies. To strippers who had the nerve to graduate from college, no less(a).

While this is offensive enough in of itself, the chorus of younger critics in the mainstream is singing the song with the refrain about how out-of-touch with the times the voice of Fat Albert is. Mind you, every time I see a syndicated ep of The Cosby Show, I can't help but notice how Barney-awful it is and wonder what kinds of marbles were loose in my head to have declared such claptrap Must-See TV. I mean, seriously, it's no Fraiser.

Or Everybody Loves Raymond. I really like that show.

Still, right is right. And Cos is right. Whether he realizes it or not, he's questioning gender politics—within the Black community, of course. But even the most dimwitted of feministas can't delve into gender without getting to the constructs of class and race(b).

And I know how much you all love to deal with the race issue.

Luckily for you squirmy toads, this one's not about that.

Every major article on Cosby's speech thus far has perversely noted that the man who brought us silver screen classics such as Leonard Part 6 was speaking at Spellman, that venerable institution of Negro education, when he said: "Who's running the show? It appears that the male is, but I have news for you. It's your turn. We want you to lead in business. We want you to lead in medicine. We want you to lead in everything."

Some people would like to look at this through the prism of race—a Black woman problem. But then some people also think Girlfriends is funny(c).

Like I told you children not too long ago, when "they" say it's about race, it's not. This one's about gender—big booty hoes, Oprah, Paris shucking hamburgers, madonnas and whores, Condi, Martha Stewart and my porn addiction(d).

But, it's a man's world. And you're being led by cowards who don't want to rock the status quo(e), lest they lose their small piece of this GMO-infested pie. So the chances of a large scale discussion of any deeper meaning behind Cos' statements are about as good as Lil' Kim's odds at being president. If the conversation did take place, we'd have to acknowledge that the guys that brought us chattel slavery, AIDS and McDonald's are the same ones who gave us our concepts of a blue-eyed God, marriage and gender roles(f). And no one wants to go that far down the rabbit hole.

As is, race issues remain either too uncomfortable to confront, too dense to see the forest for the trees or too intertwined in this nation's fabric to unravel. Class doesn't exist because, well, there's free enterprise, Jay-Z and bootstraps(g). And a gender discussion is all but out of the question because most of us don't realize that there's a difference between gender and sex(h).

But race is always a good thing to talk about—when it's really not about race, that is. No need to inventory ourselves or follow strangefruit to their root. Not when obfuscating the issue is so readily available an option.

Ignorance and avoidance are the easy parts.

And now (drumroll, please), our question of the day:

What's really more detrimental to the Negro family: the anti-life messages platformed in so much of contemporary hip-hop or the lasting effects of whatever legalized drugs were in them damned Jell-O Pudding Pops Cos used to push back in the day?

P.S. — Mike, how 'bout no more Jack Iron references in front of company, okay?

(a) Who's going to find the next Mike Jones?

(b) Not that those Birkenstock-wearing bra-burners haven't tried, mind you.

(c) They're wrong.

(d) I think I may have a problem.

(e) Whyte men are owners, Black men are workers, Black women are sex objects and whyte women are children. Take it for checking.

(f) Almost exclusively whyte men.

(g) Pull up, mothacuffa!

(h) Look it up.