Articles tagged with: enlightened rascism

White Responses: The Emergence of “Enlightened” Racism

on Monday, 30 May 2011. Posted in Student Notes


Everyone recognized the Huxtables in The Cosby Show were unusual black people. White viewers saw the show as a contradiction; it proved that “anyone can make it” yet the vast majority of black people were not like the Huxtables. The show demonstrates the opportunity for African Americans to be successful, though at the same time implicates that the majority of black people have failed. The Cosby Show emphasized the value of education. This provided the viewer with an explanation for the comparative failure of most other black people: if they had only tried harder in school, maybe they would have succeeded. “This is an American family- an American family- and if you want to live like they do, and youʼre willing to work, the opportunity is there.” -Bill Cosby of the Huxtables. Shows like The Cosby Show allowed a new form of insidious racism. The Huxtables gained inferiority of other black people by their achievements.