Cosby Teams Up With The Judge

Posted: April 26, 2008 in Headlines, Our children

Cosby, Tucker join Fulton judge in message to black youths


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


When Fulton Superior Court Judge Marvin Arrington got mad, an icon listened.

On Thursday, Bill Cosby headlined a “fireside chat” with Arrington and Atlanta-born comic Chris Tucker at Benjamin E. Mays High School. The packed auditorium held mostly at-risk high school students and their parents — the people Cosby is trying to reach with his message of tough love for the African-American community.

“I’m blunt, and I’m going to stay blunt,” he said, drawing cheers from the crowd. Cosby’s approach has its critics, but he’s unbowed.

Barack Obama says “Yes, we can.” Cosby’s message: “Yes we should.”

“The man from Nigeria comes here, he’s here two months, and what does he do?” he asked. “He goes to community college. He’s learning a second language while he drives the cab. What are our children doing? Practicing a first language that only they can understand.”

Arrington has become a recent convert to Cosby’s unflinching gospel of personal responsibility. The judge’s tipping point came earlier this month after he surveyed yet another round of mostly African-American perpetrators awaiting sentencing.

“I was tired of being sick and tired,” he said.

He responded by asking the white people in attendance to leave so he could speak frankly to the 50 or so young, black defendants. Arrington said he was following his grandmother’s admonition not to air the community’s dirty laundry in front of whites, but apologized soon after for a “bad judgment call.”

He’s since reconsidered, as reaction has been overwhelmingly positive, Arrington said. Cosby was among those cheering.

“This man cleared the courthouse because he was embarrassed,” the television trailblazer said. “The problem we have is apathy.”

He contacted Arrington, telling the judge he wanted to come to Atlanta “to help you in your fight to turn these young people around.” (more…)

  1. DarkStar says:

    I had a problem with the judge until I heard him interviewed on the Tom Joyner Morning Show. On that show he stated the work he was doing with people on a personal level. He’s doing more than mouthing off, saying “stop it”.

  2. Saudia says:

    Many moons ago I worked in Judge Arrington’s court room and it is funny to see him at the center of this controversy. He was always poised yet firmed on the bench. I am glad that someone is finally stepping up and telling these young men and women the truth.

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