Adam Carolla talks to author and commentator Taleeb Starkes about the cultural issues facing the black community. They also talk about making examples of the people who are bringing everyone else down, and the lack of diversity in the next generation. The two also discuss Bill Cosby and race hustlers in the black community. Here's a portion of their interesting discussion:
ADAM CAROLLA: Taleeb Starkes, good to see you.
TALEEB STARKES: Same here. Thanks for the invite.
CAROLLA: Yeah, so tell us about the book.
STARKES: Well, the book is a result of desperate times causing desperate measures. And at this time black people must confront the subculture that exists within our community. A lot of times we place the appearance of racial solidarity over racial reality and that is to the detriment of the community at large.
CAROLLA: What is your background?
STARKES: I would with juvenile delinquents and dependents and I was born and raised in the conditions that most people use as excuses for their dysfunctional criminal behavior. So I am able to identify it and say that's bullshit. Being poor doesn't excuse poor behavior at no level.
CAROLLA: Well how -- I feel like it is such a hot button issue which is whitey doesn't want to say shit because we'll just be crucified. I mean, I say shit all the time but everybody thinks I'm an asshole already. But there is a lot of people who want to remain on the happy side of this. They're really not saying I believe what they're thinking or they're being truthful. And so white folk are staying out of it, every other color is saying out of it. It's not like the Jews or the Asians are weight in. Whitey is going to stay out of this. So it's the black community, you guys work this out and then if you're a member of the black community and you start speaking out you can get sort of, pardon the pun, blackballed and you can end up with Bill Cosby somewhere. So how do you deal with that?
STARKES: Well, the name-calling, I mean, my wife calls me worse when I don't put down the toilet seat. It doesn't bother me. But here's the problem, this is a black issue and we need to step up and police our own communities. When I was writing the book it was difficult because I knew whenever black pathologies are mentioned, the average black person says, 'Well, what about what people?' So I talk about black crime, 'What about what crime?' Talk about welfare dependency, 'What about white people?'
So, while writing I sort of had to create a white -- I had to separate whites into groups. I had to create whites, wiggers, white trash. And I had to put blacks, blacks [with] nigger tendencies, and niggers. And so I compared whites-blacks, yes they have problems, we have problems. But the underclass isn't the face of white people. And you know with black people I think it's the opposite, the black underclass is the face of the black race in America.
ALISON ROSEN: That's so interesting, why do you think that is do you think?
STARKES: Because we put like -- we're just sympathizers, naturally. And then you get the race hustlers who come in and key in on that.
CAROLLA: Right. So what you're saying is we have the sort of Honey Boo Boos, but we make fun of the Honey Boo Boos. In the white community we all make fun of their copious use of mayonnaise, which is my rap name anyway, with a Z. But that culture is hillbilly, whitetrash, having sex with your cousin, Deliverance, all that stuff, and Honey Boo Boo, and we make fun of that, but it's not the face of our culture.
CAROLLA: But you're saying the subculture in the black community is the face of the culture.
STARKES: Yes, and that's the issue. With that role reversal it's an uphill battle that I'm facing, and I know that, but with Dr. Cosby lending his support for this mission I felt like I was on the right path.
CAROLLA: Why do feel like everyone turned on Bill Cosby so strongly in the black community?
STARKES: Because white people were listening. You're not supposed to say that in front of white people. We're supposed to -- because white people don't know what's happening in our community despite being in the information age and the internet.
CAROLLA: In the black community he was beloved, right? I mean before he got into pull your pants up and speak English, right?
CAROLLA: And then everyone just turned on him. I don't know what his status is today.
STARKES: I'm going to venture to say it's the same. If you have a love/hate relationship with Bill Cosby.
ADAM CAROLLA: When you had the great Bishop Don Juan's magic wand, and you could just wave it over the black community, what would you wish for?
TALEEB STARKES, AUTHOR: I would want some diversity. There's no diversity in the black community. It's pretty much its just in our DNA to be one way, and if you're not that way, you're not (quote, unquote) "black." And I would start there, because a lot of these kids are so urbanized, if you bring anything new or different outside of sports, hip hop, those two things mainly, you may be frowned upon, and that's what I would change. What I'd like to do is get the kids out, let them see other things. Outside of the city. Again, they're so urbanized, it's foreign.
It worked for me as a kid. I got to see different things: trees, different place, it worked for me.
CAROLLA: Well, how did you get yourself out of that?
STARKES: I moved to upstate New York when I turned 18.
CAROLLA: And saw your first tree? Why is that weed so fat, mommy?
STARKES: I got to see different people. And then you realize that another part of you has to be developed. Mentally. And you're not challenged in the inner city, except staying alive, maybe.
CAROLLA: So, what does "whitey" do about all this? No one wants to talk about anything, no one wants to judge. No one wants to point any fingers. Everyone just kind of sits back. Again, you'll be crucified. And this notion, that I think is sort of racist, just conceptually, of you can't talk about a group unless you're a member of that group. I don't understand that in of itself feels racist. You're allowed to have opinions about any group that you like, including your own, but not just including your own. There's negative and positive things that people have about Asians and Hispanics and Blacks and Jews, and I don't get it, we're not entitled to express those. Why you have to just simply comment on your own. By the way, as a white person, our own is boring, we'd much rather pick apart others.
STARKES: When Eric Holder said we've become a nation of cowards, blah blah blah, we need to talk about race more. The NAACP applauded that. You guys don't want an actual conversation, you guys want a monologue.
CAROLLA: Who is 'you guys'?
STARKES: The NAACP. And everyone that applauded that statement he made. You guys don't want a conversation, because with that comes some ugly truths, some statistics, some hate crime facts, et cetera. And they don't want that. They want a monologue, they want control of the dialogue, and Eric Holder, his speech put him in the drivers seat, as far as being the official race hustler in my mind.
CAROLLA: Are we moving in the wrong direction. I think all of us, I speak for all white people, when we elected Obama, we all felt like okay good, now we can put this ugly chapter behind us, because were certainly progressive enough to elect the first black president, and now they'll be no more cries of racism, and I feel like the last six years or so, seven years, it felt like either we're moving backwards, or there's just more news.
STARKES: Listen. White people are inherently racist. Even the "hope and change" whites with the bumper stickers on the car, and "we love Obama." As seen with the Ferguson riots, whenever the black people have this spontaneous combustion, the "hope and change" whites, the other white liberals, you're targeted because you're white, and that's just what it is. And I always wondered, with the teachers in inner cities, they walk such a fine line, because they are one action away from being called racist. If you tell a kid "sit down" too harshly, you know, the parent that never came to the PTA meeting will be there like "why you tryin' to tell me son to sit down with that kind of authoritative tone?" That's kind of. "What is he a boy to you? Is he, you're a racist!" (Adam Carolla Show, August 18, 2014)