Comedian Bill Cosby told a forum on family and education Tuesday night that African Americans should be proactive and fix their own communities.
“I have a problem with people sitting there and saying God and Jesus will find a way,” Cosby said.
He also said he had a problem “with churches who allow drug dealers to set up two blocks away.” The audience cheered several times during Cosby’s remarks.
The star of the hit situation comedy “The Cosby Show” was at the University of the District of Columbia as part of his nationwide tour, “A Call Out with Cosby,” which is designed to spark debate about family and educational issues among black communities.
Cosby joined a panel of local agency officials and other experts and took questions from the audience during two sessions, one to help foster parents and grandparents who are rearing children and the other geared toward the general public.
Cosby wasn’t as biting as he was in Washington in May 2004, when he made headlines telling the NAACP Legal Defense Fund that blacks spoke poor English and spent money frivolously. But he touched on similar themes during Tuesday’s panel and maintained that African Americans shouldn’t blame their problems on others.
Washington Mayor Anthony Williams presented the comedian with a ceremonial proclamation naming May 16 as “Bill Cosby Day” in recognition of the work Cosby has done to support African-American communities.