People, Why Defend Bill Cosby?

Welp, it finally happened. Famed comedian and suspected serial rapist Bill Cosby has been arraigned and charged with sexual assault in Pennsylvania in a 2004 case against Andrea Constand. The news broke out on the 30th of December at the time of the arraignment, and it became hot and viral ever since.

Many people expressed their support of the court’s decision. Others, not so much. Some folks, needless to say, are livid that their idol may be going to prison. Some compared Bill Cosby to Bill Clinton and Tamir Rice stating that the former’s still celebrated and admired even though he has sexually assaulted several women while the latter’s tragic death by two trigger-happy white cops is being purposely overshadowed through coverage of the Cosby scandal being used as some kind of “distraction”.

While I agree that the media is racist in many ways, why can’t we focus on two cases at the same time? We’re not so simple-minded as to not think about more than one issue. But I digress.

There comes a time where you have to briefly divert your frustrations to get your point across. Sometimes you need to have a heart-to-heart with your people to wake them up. Yes, you will likely be called names. You will likely be considered a House Negro by your own peers. But you have to tell it like it is to get others to see the whole picture.

That being said, I have to ask, people (particularly you, brothas and sistahs who are Cosby supporters) why the hell are you defending Bill Cosby?

Is it because he helped usher in a new era of black entertainment during a period where positive African Americans were hardly seen on television through his crown jewels “The Cosby Show, A Different World” and “Fat Albert”? Is it because he was an activist of sorts telling black people to get it together and straighten up, because racism is no longer an issue, and there is no longer an excuse for our condition? Is it because you believe that he’s somehow targeted because of his activism and accomplishments and that America desires to bring another great black man down as it has done O.J. Simpson, Michael Jackson and Mike Tyson while white celebrities like Woody Allen, Roland Polanski and Charlie Sheen continue to gain fame and fortune? Seriously, what is it?

I know that I’ve set myself up for an assload of insults and condescension. I know I probably will get ousted as a House Negro for “attacking” a once-beloved American icon. But before you cast me into the pits of online hell, slow down and stay with me for a few more paragraphs.

I’ll tell you why I don’t support Bill Cosby and along the way, I’ll tell you why you shouldn’t either.

Bill Cosby made it clear about his stance when it comes to poor black people. In the infamous 2004 Pound Cake Speech he delivered to the NAACP, Cosby went in on poor black folks, essentially blaming them for their own problems. He blamed black women for having too many children out of wedlock and blamed black men for sagging their pants and going to prison. If you get gunned down by the police, it’s your own damn fault:

“Looking at the incarcerated, these are not political criminals. These are people going around stealing Coca-Cola. People getting shot in the back of the head over a piece of pound cake! Then we all runout and are outraged: ‘The cops shouldn’t have shot him.’ What the hell was he doing with the pound cake in his hand?”

Bill Cosby Mugshot at Cheltenham Township Police Department in Philadelphia, PA Pictured: Bill Cosby Ref: SPL1200850  301215   Picture by: London Entertainment /Splash Splash News and Pictures Los Angeles:310-821-2666 New York:	212-619-2666 London:	870-934-2666
Bill Cosby Mugshot at Cheltenham Township Police Department in Philadelphia, PA

It was clear that Cosby’s conservatism and respectability politics were unleashed that day. It’s apparent that he doesn’t consider racism or classism factors for why poor black folks are at the bottom struggling, seeing as how it’s never mentioned or implied anywhere in his speech. Then again, he may not think they’re struggling at all. So, why would anyone, especially a poor black person like myself, defend a man for his crimes when it’s clear that he would not defend them if they were heading for prison?

Another reason is quite obvious. Cosby admitted in a civil case several years ago in a deposition that he bought some pills so he can use them to sleep with women. He admitted to having sex with the women who accused him of assault. The man basically told on himself. Yet, some people still choose to defend him. One of the usual arguments is that Cosby’s never been charged. So he didn’t do it. Yet, some of those same people claim how fucked up the system is when you have police getting away with the murders of black folks. Think about it.

I get how hurt many of you are right now over this whole saga. I’m hurt as well. To see an icon that has contributed so many positive black images on mainstream TV go down like this is hard as hell to watch. But we have to accept the reality that Bill Cosby is no hero. He’s a hypocritical sexual deviant whose time has come to face the music he started playing. Sometimes you have to put race aside in a subject that is more about sexism. I believe this is one of those times.

Yes, I know racism exists. Yes, I know the justice system is out on the hunt against black men. Yes, I’m aware that it’s hard being a black man, especially now. But like The Boondock’s character Huey Freeman said during the episode about R. Kelly’s trial, “Every famous nigga that gets arrested is not Nelson Mandela.”

We also have to accept that there are black men who happen to be rapists. (I didn’t say that black men are rapists. I said there are black men who happen to be rapists. There’s a difference.) We can’t continue to protect them or support them, especially if they’re famous. Why should we, especially when some of the victims are black women just like a few of Cosby’s victims?

One of the ways we can combat this problem is to raise our young boys to love and respect women. We must teach them about rape, sexual abuse and how they both are about power over women. We must start now and help end this saga of abuse against women, or else we’ll give birth to more rapists.