I saw this headline this morning & it inspired me to write about this topic. When the comedian who seems to have put this topic back in the limelight (yes, apparently these are not new allegations) made his joke, I thought what a shame that he would say something so ugly. When this story first broke, I posted on my facebook page asking what people thought of it. The responses I got were team Cosby saying this comedian was trying to make his career on the back of Mr. Cosby. When I posted it, I’d done just as Mr. Burris had suggested and I’d already Googled Bill Cosby rape and sure as shit, there the information was hiding in plain sight.
Here was the thought I had as I read the headline asking if his career was over. The first allegation of wrong doing happened in 2004 but women who had dealt with Cosby in the 70’s and 80’s had stories to tell. What I couldn’t find was if their stories had been shared with the police back then. But lets just say for the sake of argument that the 2004 allegation was the 1st one, its taken 10 years for this to really come to the forefront? Why? Primarily because a writer just so happened to be in the audience of Mr. Burress’s show and decided to write about it?
I have so many mixed feelings on this topic, as a woman, as a fan of Cosby, as a kid that looked up to him as a positive role model as a person who could care less about the fame. As a woman, I feel that these allegations were swept under the table because even when you’re not dealing with a famous person, rape victims are always the ones on trial. Even with this situation, people have said that because the case was settled, this woman just wanted money. No details of the settlement have been disclosed. Who is to say that she didn’t just want him to admit it to her that he did her wrong so she wouldn’t think she was crazy, all along many of the women who came forward said it wasn’t about the money. Who is to say that she wasn’t threatened and felt it better to take the money. Come now, lets not be naive and think that a man that wealthy doesn’t have enough pull to make threats. However, if this was just about the money, we know that Mr. Cosby is not above paying women to keep their mouths shut. I don’t give a damn how many sweaters he owns, check the price tags on them, none of them are cheap and he’s not stupid.
He also admitted that he paid Jackson’s mother over the years to keep their extramarital affair a secret, giving her about $40,000 a year until he set up a trust fund for her. http://www.cnn.com/US/9712/12/autumn.jackson.sentence/
As a fan of Cosby, this is extremely disappointing to hear. I think if you had one or two women who had filed suits with big price tags attached I might consider that they were chasing the money but you have 13 allegations and from successful women who have a lot to lose by coming forward. These were not women looking to be famous by making false charges, many of them didn’t even come forward because of who he is and I think more importantly because of who they are. They didn’t want their careers to suffer by accusing such a well loved icon in the industry. Sadly as women, we know that as soon as you accuse a man of rape, you become the target of ridicule. What you wore, how your makeup was done and anything else they can do to make the blame yours happens.
Why don’t we tell? Because our skin burns with shame. I thought my body would never get clean, not only from him but from my own stupidity and weakness. The minute after it ended I felt like I was being torn into pieces, like I was on fire, and I just wanted to shower.
Read more at http://www.phillymag.com/news/2014/11/18/open-letter-whoopi-goldberg/#8BAoSyF5aWIzFOaW.99
As a kid, The Huxtables were finally a depiction on TV of what it seemed mainstream media had been ignoring. A whole family where the spouses were devoted to one another, their kids and the education of their family. They were not the working class, they were a doctor and a lawyer. Cultured, poised and together….and chocolate! I think on this front is where my disappointment is at its highest. Now Bill Cosby, the figure that finally showed black families in a positive light is I’m sure in the eyes of the ignorant, just another black man prone to breaking the law, a rapist. No regard for women including his spouse if these allegations are true, we already know he was a cheat, this was a big scandal back in the day too. This hurts.
In response to the question I started with, I will approach my train of thought in the same manner I approached the conviction of Byron De La Beckwith, I find it without satisfaction. I’ve always been told that whatever is done in the dark will come to the light. In other words, what you think you are hiding will always be found out. In the case of Byron De La Beckwith he shot Medgar Evers in 1963, he wasn’t convicted until 1994 he was 74 years old. He’d lived his life the way he wanted to for over 30 years, served 7 before dying. I don’t think that’s justice. If these allegations are true, Bill Cosby has been raping women since the 70’s and like the situation with Tiger Woods, there is no way in hell you can convince me that people around him had no idea what was going on and kept quiet making them guilty as well. (Sorry for the random Tiger reference but its what came to mind). Like De La Beckwith, Cosby is well into his 70’s and has lived his life the way he wanted to while the women who potentially suffered at his hands have received no justice.
Is his career over? He’s in his 70’s I’m going to go out on a limb & say if he’d decided a decade ago to never do stand up again, he would have been fine so all this is to me is a lackluster retirement party where all the guests feel awkward. Sad that this will be a part of the legend that he will surely become when he passes on.