Dearly beloved, we have gathered here today to get through this thing called Bill Cosby.
This past week the Hollywood legend was convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia mansion 14 years ago. He now faces up to 30 years in prison.
To say my social media timeline was torn in their response to Cosby’s conviction would be an understatement. On one hand you have the justice leaguers rightfully celebrating the fact that a sexual predator was finally being brought to justice. On the other, you have the ride or dies, the “black over everything” folks who have shed many social tears at the thought of 80-year-old, did it for the culture, Dr. Huxtable marinating in a jail cell for the rest of his days. To these people, I ask one simple question, why?
Yes, The Cosby Show was groundbreaking and will be always be groundbreaking, but the man, the visionary, the legend behind that show is a sexual predator, presumably of great proportions. Call me crazy but I think upstanding moral character, particularly when rape is on the table, outweighs supporting an old man who made good movies and TV shows.
I know, it’s a tough pill to swallow (no pun intended, kind of) considering Cosby’s esteem within the black community. The man gave Spelman University one of the largest donations ever given to an HBCU, contributed $1 million to the U.S. National Slavery Museum and loaned his personal collection of African American art to the Smithsonian. Not to mention for decades he was heralded as America’s Dad and is the brains behind one of the most influential and successful sitcoms of all time. But Bill Cosby ain’t my daddy, he didn’t send me to college and he dang sure ain’t no black leader of mine so all bets are off. Google “Bill Cosby pound cake speech” and get back to me. Let’s be honest, the man was never the biggest advocate for all things black.
I get it. We ride for our black men. We go hard for our black men. Black men are White America’s Public Enemy No. 1 and we must protect their character by any tweet necessary — but the Angie Stone lyrics don’t apply here brown brothas. I mean, is this man paying yawls mortgage or something?
Whether it’s OJ, R. Kelly or Cosby, take white folks out of it and these men are still disturbingly flawed individuals. As much as I love watching the Huxtables while enjoying a cup of Jell-O, the smoke is now a full-fledged blaze that can no longer be ignored.
Sorry guys but this has nothing to do with Ted Turner or any other white person’s attempt to bring a brotha down. Not one. Cosby’s crucifixion in the court of public opinion and what is now a court of law is long overdue.
The statute of limitation on the emotional scars of rape and sexual assault do not expire and it’s time this man faces his judgment, if only on the account of one woman. Most of Cosby’s accusers aren’t millionaires or pitching reality shows, they’re women whose stories, if true, deserve to be heard, honored and validated. It’s a sad day in America when more than 50 women can stand together in their truth only to be mocked, belittled and have their stories made into memes and thoughtless Facebook banter. How many family members, young girls and broken women have remained silent about their own abuse for these very reasons?
Black lives matter and so does sexual assault. Bill Cosby was found guilty of some terrible, terrible things and he must now pay the consequences — and it’s okay to say this. Your black card won’t be revoked. You won’t experience dramatic melanin loss. The MLK monument will remain intact and the world will continue to spin. Don’t worry, you can still be down.