Monday, June 19, 2006

Officer who?

Spot must have missed that episode! Anyway, Katie introduces today’s protagonist thusly:
As a conservative in Hollywood, Joseph Phillips is a fish out of water. He also happens to be black.

Phillips is best known for playing Lt. Martin Kendall on "The Cosby Show." He's been seen and heard by millions -- in movies, on TV's "General Hospital," and as a commentator on National Public Radio.

A black conservative in Hollywood? What are the chances of that!?! Sort of like Lou Gehrig dying of Lou Gehrig’s disease. Hmmm, Joseph Phillips; no Katie, he doesn’t ring a bell. But he must be important if you talked to him. Here’s what Phillips was up to:
He was in Minneapolis last week to promote his new book, "He Talk Like a White Boy: Reflections on Faith, Family, Politics and Authenticity."

In a chat over coffee, Phillips sounded one of the book's central themes: "I'm part of a generation that has turned the job of raising men over to women." Men's abdication of responsibility has led to a flood of social problems, he says -- from escalating crime to "the ridiculous notion that hard work, frugality and virtue are for chumps." If America's social and cultural decline is to end, Phillips believes, men must reclaim their roles as husbands and fathers.

Ok, now you’re talkin’ Katie. Apparently, Phillips is the only black man of his generation to raise boys. Remarkable, in spite of his own upbringing where he was undoubtedly teased mercilessly for sounding like a nerdy white kid.

Here’s Katie’s Point for today:
Phillips' views aren't politically correct in an age when we often hear that family form doesn't matter because love is all that counts. But his most provocative idea may be that men need to return to their traditional role as guardians of their home and community.

Do we really often hear that Katie’s hunter-gatherer family paradigm is meaningless? No, of course not. But a lot of people think we ought to make at least some room for more unconventional families, as long as they are loving and supportive. In fact, Spot bets that there are some same sex couples or single moms raising children who do a better job that a lot of the patriarchal autocrats that Katie would support.


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