Bill Cosby Asks Parents to Be Hands-On

Bill Cosby Asks Parents to Be Hands-On
Bill Cosby
Douglas M. Bovitt/AP Photo

09/09/2004 AT 09:00 AM EDT

Defending his controversial criticisms of contemporary African-America life among low-income households, Bill Cosby furthered his campaign in Washington, D.C., Wednesday by bemoaning an increasing tendency of parents to "manage their kids' lives by cell phone."

As such, reports the Associated Press, the 67-year-old entertainer – telling a crowd to "Come at me all you want" – pleaded with fathers, mothers, teachers and other authority figures to work harder to improve the lives of black children.

"With all the systemic racism that pounds at us every day, there is nothing that will defeat parenting," the education activist told an audience of about 500 people during a panel discussion at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's annual legislative conference.

Cosby cited a lack of psychologists and psychiatrists in schools for allowing "a great deal of anger," stemming from such problems at home as child abuse, to go unnoticed by educators. That anger, he said, manifests itself in the profanity-laced language that some kids use today.

"It's very important to call ourselves on it and look in the mirror, but we need all of our players involved and we need to be galvanized," said Cosby, who has been remarking on these issue since May – and drawing a chorus or supporters (such as Spike Lee) and critics in the process.

To those critics, Cosby said Wednesday: "Write all the articles you want, because you are not making any sense." The statement drew applause from the crowd.

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