Bill Cosby came to Penn’s Palestra and gave a speech/act/rant for Homecoming on Saturday night discussing his favorite vague topics, like the importance of family and education. The Daily Pennsylvanian reports that his speech was indistinguishable from everything I’ve heard from him in the past, but as a Temple grad, I’d take like to take this opportunity to speak to Penn students directly:
Your privilege does not stop at the carte blanche offered by the ownership of an Ivy League degree and the trail of good fortune that brought you there.
You have also never known what it is like to attend a school where you are constantly told that a kind-of-funny comedian in his 70s is the most notable alumnus your university has ever produced.
Imagine, for a moment, that you are reminded of this whenever alumni rosters are discussed or when people outside the region struggle to recognize your school, then, with straining memory, say "Didn't Bill Cosby go there?"
They don't mention just-succeeded Princeton president Shirley Tilghman or political mastermind State Sen.Vince Fumo or former Georgian Prime Minister Nika Gilauri or sociologist Robert Merton, who conceived of cornterstone concepts like "role model" (the academic version, not the bullshit Bill Cosby version) and "unintended consequences".
No, all this you have to find out on your own, and if you don't, you're left with the impression that Bill Cosby is your own personal glass ceiling. [Daily Pennsylvanian]
Follow @asthompson on Twitter.