By now everyone on seven continents has caught wind of the Bill Cosby scandal: In which Mr. Cosby, famed entertainer, civil rights advocate, and philanthropist has been accused of raping three women 30-45 years ago. I say three (instead of the number 15 I keep hearing about) because I have only seen and read the accounts of three.
Now let’s take a closer look at the allegations. One of the things that’s bothered me from the beginning about this media frenzy surrounding Mr. Cosby, is that he appears to have been tried and convicted by mainstream media just because he’s been accused. I have been attacked simply for saying as much. Simply for asking (as Whoopi Goldberg did) why not wait until all the evidence is in before we rush to judgement? I have also been attacked for posting articles which point to inconsistencies (and flat out lies) in the alleged victims story.
We live in a nation where you are innocent until proven guilty, right? Maybe not.
I am with permission reposting this brilliant essay by Iamnatturner Kenya Cagle, which I believe will shred a great deal of light on this scandal. It certainly answered lot of my questions:
I normally don’t get involved in controversies like this one against Bill Cosby but I know some things that might shed light on this new old attack on Mr. Cosby. First off I don’t know if Mr. Cosby is innocent or guilty of any of these accusations. I hope he’s innocent. But let’s look at a few things. The first thing is the timing. Mr. Cosby was one of the world’s only black superstars back then. His star was rising quickly. Now do you know what was happening to black people during those times? Not only was Mr. Cosby a superstar but he was very active in the civil rights movement.
Black men and boys were being lynched for looking at white women. There was a law called reckless eyeballing that was responsible for hangings, picnics aka pick a nigger to burn alive, stabbings and other acts of brutality against us. To be accused of raping a white woman was an automatic death sentence. No black man was safe when it came to those accusations with or without proof. Families, friends, neighbors and even entire towns have suffered because of the words of these ‘decent’ white women. We lost our lives and families. Men like Cosby would march in the streets risking their lives and the lives of their families. They also risked their reputations and means of income. Dr. Cosby knew what would happen to a black man even if a rumor was whispered against him about white women. He like many of our leaders were too smart for that trap.
Cosby made the ultimate mistake of raising enough money to buy the network that his show previously rescued. NBC was in financial straits. Cosby led a group of black entrepreneurs that raised the highest bid to buy NBC. This bid was turned down for a lot of silly ‘reasons’. Once Cosby and his team attempted to question being rejected the old allegations started to resurface. Others joined in the allegations. This onslaught derailed what would have been a great historic accomplishment and would have given blacks equal power and access in main stream media.
Fast forward to today. Mr. Cosby has teamed up with the world’s richest and most powerful black men and women to create the ultimate equalizer in the entertainment industry. He and many leaders were creating a black owned worldwide film and media distribution company that would rival the top six studios in the world. This would mean more black movies. It would mean challenges to negative images of blacks. It would mean more black executives. Real money making positions and opportunities where we could legitimately compete in a fair and open market. This company was going to change the game.
But of course coincidentally or not, a black clown destroyed the life of another black man. My take – the charges are old. Black men have never in history even got away with looking at white women. You think I believe this crap about a black man getting away with all these allegations by white women. Doing tea at his hotel late night in their pajamas? Some who continued to see him after their alleged first encounter ?
You can believe what ever you want but the Scottsboro boys, Emitt Till, the Central Park 5 and all the countless list of unknown black men and women keeps me leary. The books are closed. These charges are over and done. Why bring it up now. These charges have yet again raped us of great historic gains.
My thoughts and prayers are with the Cosby Family, as they have been since the beginning.
Bill Cosby was born in Germantown, Penn., in July of 1937 to U.S. Navy cook (father) and maid (mother). * Grew up in Philadelphia. * Dropped out of high school to enroll in the Navy, where he earned his GED and served years before attending Temple Univ. * Quit college to focus on stand-up comedy. * First appeared on The Tonight Show at age 26. * Broke barriers in 1965 when he became the first African American to star in a weekly dramatic television series on I Spy. * In the 70’s, he made regular appearances on the educational children’s series The Electric Company and Sesame Street. * Returned to college to earn a BA from Temple (1970), and MA (72) and EdD (76) degrees from the Univ. of Mass. * Has donated millions of dollars to support educational opportunities for African Americans. * His role as a social critic was publicly debated in 2004 after he spoke at an NAACP event commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision (known as the “Pound Cake Speech”, he challenged the black community to become more accountable and responsible for the welfare of its children, evoking both praise and criticism from black activists for his honesty). * An avid collector of African American art, part of his collection is currently on loan to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art. Learn more about the life of Bill Cosby on his profile on BlackPast.org (link: ) and please Share this post if you do!