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Camille Cosby on son's death

'Racism in U.S. is responsible'

Camille O. Cosby wrote a letter called "America taught my son's killer to hate Blacks" that appeared in USA Today on July 8, 1998, right after Mikail Markhasev was convicted for the murder of her son. We reprint excerpts below.

I believe America taught our son's killer to hate African Americans. After Mikail Markhasev killed Ennis William Cosby on Jan. 16, 1997, he said to his friends, "I shot a n--r. It's all over the news.''

This was not the first time Markhasev had attacked a Black person. In 1995, he served time in a juvenile center for stabbing a Black man who was standing at a gas station.

Presumably, Markhasev did not learn to hate Black people in his native country, the Ukraine, where the Black population was near zero. Nor was he likely to see America's intolerable, stereotypical movies and television programs about Blacks, which were not shown in the Soviet Union before the killer and his family moved to America in the late 1980s.

James Baldwin wrote in his book "The Price of the Ticket," "The will of the people, or the State, is revealed by the State's institutions. There was not, then, nor is there, now, a single American institution which is not a racist institution.''

Yes, racism and prejudice are omnipresent and eternalized in America's institutions, media and myriad entities.

The Voting Rights Act signed by Presi dent Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965 will expire in 2007. Congress once again will decide whether African Americans will be allowed to vote. No other Americans are subjected to this oppressive nonsense.

African Americans, as well as all Americans, are brainwashed every day to respect and revere slave-owners and people who clearly waffled about race. In truth, the enslavement of millions of Africans immeasurably enriched the treasuries of America's government and individuals. Interestingly, several slave-owners' images are on America's paper currencies: George Washington ($1), Thomas Jefferson ($2), Alexander Hamilton ($10), Andrew Jackson ($20), Ulysses Grant ($50) and Benjamin Franklin ($100).

Even Abraham Lincoln ($5) said,"I do not stand pledged for the prohibition of the slave trade between the states. I, as much as any man, am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the White race."

America's educational institutions' dictionaries define "black" as "harmful; hostile; disgrace; unpleasant aspects of life." "White" is described as "decent; honorable; auspicious; without malice."

A medical school at the University of Texas in Galveston conducted a controversial study primarily on Black babies from 1956 to 1962. The researchers withheld an essential fatty acid from the babies' formulas that humans need for the growth of the whole body and nervous system. Those Black babies were used as laboratory animals, and several of the infants died during the course of the study. Previously, this research had been done on dogs.

D.W. Griffith's "The Birth of a Nation," an undisguised racist film, was recently rated by the American Film Institute as No. 44 of America's top 100 films. This movie depicted Black people as subhuman creatures.

Ennis William Cosby was shot and killed in a middle- to upper-middle-income, predominately white community. The misperception immortalized daily by the media and other entities is that crimes are committed in poor neighborhoods inhabited by dark people.

All African Americans, regardless of their educational and economic accomplishments, have been and are at risk in America simply because of their skin colors. Sadly, my family and I experienced that to be one of America's racial truths.

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