Dyson Pimps Cosby’s Name

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On the home page of Dyson’s website, www.michaelericdyson.com, I counted Cosby’s name mentioned 9 times. That’s the same number of times I saw Dyson’s name. I wonder if Bill Cosby gets any royalties for the use of his name? Bill Cosby doesn’t need Michael Eric Dyson. In fact, he didn’t need to reach out and try to slap Black folk into shape with his comments. He’s beyond rich and beyond famous. There was nothing for him to gain. He also didn’t have to donate great parts of his fortune towards the higher education of scores of young Black men and women—By contrast, I wonder how much of his book proceeds Dyson has donated?

While the rest of us were debating the merits of Bill Cosby’s scathing criticisms of poor Black folks, Michael Eric Dyson saw it as an opportunity. By taking advantage of Cosby’s comments, Dyson has created a bit of notoriety for himself. His criticism of Bill Cosby’s comments helped him increase his fame to a point where most Black folk know his name.

The first time I heard Dyson speak was during a radio broadcast that I believe took place at a church. His oratory skills were on a par with those of the best Baptist ministers. He skillfully dissected Cosby’s words and raged against them, defending the defenseless poor Black folk that Cosby attacked in his series of town hall-like meetings.

Since then, I’ve seen and heard Dyson on countless shows, from NBC’s Today, to NPR. On every show, he overwhelms the interviewer, making it more of a lecture than an exchange. Dyson is everywhere.

What I haven’t seen or heard is Bill Cosby talking about Michael Eric Dyson. Surely he knows who Dyson is. Dyson’s website features a “Dyson VS. Cosby� link. When you click on it, you see selected statements from Bill Cosby. Under that, are responses from Dyson. Much to his chagrin, Cosby will not engage in public debate with Dyson. That must just tick Michael Eric Dyson off. How long can he continue to profit from statements Cosby made in 2004? He needs fuel for another book and more speaking engagements. According to his site, he doesn’t currently have any.

On the home page of Dyson’s website,
www.michaelericdyson.com, I counted Cosby’s name mentioned 9 times. That’s the same number of times I saw Dyson’s name. I wonder if Bill Cosby gets any royalties for the use of his name? Bill Cosby doesn’t need Michael Eric Dyson. In fact, he didn’t need to reach out and try to slap Black folk into shape with his comments. He’s beyond rich and beyond famous. There was nothing for him to gain. He also didn’t have to donate great parts of his fortune towards the higher education of scores of young Black men and women—By contrast, I wonder how much of his book proceeds Dyson has donated?

I don’t agree with everything Bill Cosby said, but I do agree with much of it. I also respect the fact that he was concerned enough about the direction in which Black folks seem to be headed, that he risked his reputation by giving opinions in a way that he had to know would be unpopular.

I am well aware of the history that U.S. History books omit regarding the wickedness whites have displayed towards Blacks throughout our history. However, since I already know what they’ve done, I’m not in favor of going to them for solutions to the issues that plague Black America. Bill Cosby was not speaking to white America. He did not care about what white folks thought of his comments. His message was meant to address the 22.7% poverty rate among Blacks, the 28% of Black folks over 25 with no high school diploma and the 43% of Black folks over 18 that don’t vote. He didn’t go on a media tour to talk about his opinions, as did Dyson. He didn’t profit from his opinions, as did Dyson. He wanted to impact the people he cares about and invested in the most—his people.

I’m about to kick-off my, “Was Michael Eric Dyson Right About Bill Cosby Being Wrong?� tour this summer. I plan to follow the Michael Eric Dyson strategy for fame and fortune. I want to finish my basement and need a few extra dollars.

The writer, Stephens, can be contacted via andre.w.stephens@hotmail.com

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