What's a hypocrite? When I was little and my mom used to have me read a chapter from the Bible at night before I went to bed, that was one of my favorite words. Number one, it hat a 'Y', and number two, it sounded funny. Hypocrite. Take away the meanings and the sound alone is still amusing. What's not so funny is the way that the word is wielded as a weapon against people who try to speak out against something that's not right. In the advertisement above, parents who have smoked weed are encouraged to talk to their kids about refraining even though the parents smoked weed in their day. While the sprit of the ad is good and its heart is definitely in the right place, it's a little misleading. I'm not a hypocrite if I, having smoked weed, tell my daughter that she shouldn't. I'd be a hypocrite if I told her not to smoke while I secretly had a stash in my top drawer. Telling her not to even though I did only means that I know better from experience. There's a difference. As I've mentioned a few times before, I used to be a wrestling coach. Suppose I went to practice talking about, "I got pinned one time when I was in high school, so it would be hypocritical of me to tell you not to get pinned." That's as ridiculous as JJ's union suit pajamas with the lightning bolt on the front. I would have been lax in my duties as a coach and as somebody who generally knew better if I hadn't constantly drilled them on how to keep from being pinned. If you can't feel the wrestling example, pick your favorite sport or activity. As you mature in that process, you learn what to do and just as importantly, what not to do. Anybody you come into contact with as you mature will more than likely be the recipient of whatever wisdom you have gained along the way. That's how it's supposed to go. Nobody called me a hypocrite for telling the kids not to get pinned, so they shouldn't call me a hypocrite for telling kids not to smoke weed or engage in premaritial sex or whatever. The postmodernist in me recognizes that the "hypocritical" argument might not be so much about the act as it is about my having had the opportunity to engage in the act and then seeking to deny someone else that same opportunity. But again, what am I, as someone who has been where they are and probably know better, supposed to do? Experience is the best teacher, but sometimes a good tutor can help smooth the learning curve. I can't in good conscience let somebody make the same mistake I made even though I'm "restricting" his choices. The fact that I know better doesn't mean that I'm being self-righteous, it means that having lived through the experience, I can say with certainty that the value of the knowledge is not worth the cost of the experience. All this is rather straightforward and simple until we inject another ingredient. Once ideology or faith is added to the mix (let alone both of them), people start to lose all their sense. All of a sudden it becomes a matter of me trying to impose my morality or trying to impose my religious beliefs, provided I haven't done the thing I'm advising against. If I have done it, I'm gonna be called a hypocrite. My thing is, okay, but Holmes: at what point, or by what logic is it proper or justifiable for somebody who knows something to not point it out? It's never right for me as a teacher to let some child go around thinking that 6*7=35. And even if certain moral choices are not as cut-and-dried as a mathematics problem (some would argue that they are, but just for entertainment purposes, say that it's not)the likely consequences are not exactly unknown. Can't say D will definitely happen as a result of A, but A usually factors in there somewhere. Knowing that, I am remiss in not advising against A, particularly when factors C and D are present, which make outcome D much more likely. Moreover, if I believe that G is a consequence which will be dealt with later, then I'm more wrong than I would've been at any point in the first instance. But to take it out of the nebulous hypothetical terms, and to even de-criminalize and de-religify the conversation, let's go back to Bill Cosby. People have called him a hypocrite because he made Fat Albert, in which all the characters don't speak standard English, yet he critiqued young folks today who don't speak standard English. Well I'll put it like this: I am willing to concede that there may be a generational disconnect there. Can't say it for sure, but there may be, so I'll allow for it. Even at that, I think - I can't remember for sure one way or the other- that Fat Albert and the gang had enough of a grasp of the language that they could have style shifted when it was necessary. Fat Albert at 20 would not have trouble expressing himself in standard English, I don't think. I could be wrong, but I doubt it. See, I'm not sure, but I don't know that Cosby was suggesting that Black Standard Vernacular be abandoned altogether. I think he was being critical of people who don't seem to recognize that there are instances in which that linguistic construction is unsuitable, but nothing beyond that. What I think is more hypocritical than Cosby's supposed hypocricy is the fact that Black intellectuals were so quick to run out and castigate Cosby, as if he said something wrong; like we didn't alreay know what he was talking about. I haven't heard all of them speak with my own ears, but I would be willing to bet that none of them uses BSV all the time, or has never not-used BSV in certain situations. I can understand wanting to defend the poor and the defenseless, but sometimes they need to step their game up, too. If my stated objective is to help someone advance and I know that some element of their behavior will be an impediment to that advancement, then what I am doing and what I am saying are not in agreement, which would make me a hypocrite. The fact that I did the same thing at an earlier point does not make me hyprocritical. If anything, it should give me additional validity.