I’m Chevonne Harris and I administer black passes. Martin Luther King, Jr., Michael Vick, Whoopi Goldberg and that whole Ted Danson thing, I, like many in our community, have a tendency to dismiss the screw-ups of black people on the basis of bad behavior justified by the psychological impacts of the historical ill-treatment of blacks in America. For a good portion of my life I had a pretty solid argument until in walked Bill Cosby and his multitude of accusers. Dang it.
As news of Cosby’s recent arraignment hit social media, my timeline sort of threw up with conspiracy theories and posts in defense of the fallen comedian. From a ploy concocted by the media to distract us from Tamir Rice, to blaming the spirit of Bull Connor, not Cosby’s realization of oh s**t this is really happening, for his stumble as he was walking into court, black people tried it. We tried every which way we knew how to explain, defend or ignore the startling fact that our beloved Bill Cosby may indeed be a predator of women.
It’s a tough pill to swallow (no pun intended, kinda) 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.
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. 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. Surely more than 50 women didn’t conspire across decades to disgrace the reputation of one of our most cherished black men, and if they did, job well done ladies. Oh, and if we’re playing the “innocent until proven guilty” game we all lost on the Sandra Bland, Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, etc. round.
Whether it was 1965 or 2008, one rape, one pill, one grope, one assault, one allegation is one too many and merits the law’s attention. The murder of 12-year-old Tamir Rice was terrible. The fact that his family spent a second Christmas without him while his killers remain free is terrible. What’s equally terrible is the fact that 50+ women have made sexual assault allegations against one man only to be publicly shamed and called liars. No hierarchy of importance exists between the two and shame on you if you thought there did. And if we’re being really honest, take the sexual allegations away, there’s a strong likelihood Mr. Cosby would have flipped the Tamir Rice shooting into a rant about the dangers of allowing black boys to play with guns. Don’t believe me, Google “Bill Cosby pound cake” speech.” Let’s be honest, the man was never the biggest advocate for all things black.
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 soon will be a court of law is long overdue.
The statute of limitation on the emotional scars of rape and sexual assault does 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 accused of a crime and now he must stand trail to determine his time. Your black card won’t be revoked if you admit this. You won’t experience dramatic melanin loss by acknowledging the man may have some serious issues. The MLK monument will remain intact and the world will continue to spin. Don’t worry; you can still be down (Please Note: Substantial contributions made to the “Free Bill” GoFundMe may be grounds for termination of your black card).
This article originally appeared on The Huffington Post.