The Fall: Bill Cosby’s Behavior Resembled Trump's and Roy Moore's

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"The Cosby Show." Bill Cosby had it all, professionally. Great educator and entertainer; the private side was horrific.

[Speaking Truth To Empower]

Last Thursday, legendary comedian Bill Cosby was convicted, in a second trial, on three counts of aggravated indecent assault for allegedly drugging and assaulting Andrea Constand, in 2004. Cosby, 80, faces 30 years in prison, as his lawyers appeal the guilty verdict.

How could the man dubbed “America’s Dad,” fall so far so fast? Some in Black America will be inclined to excuse Bill Cosby’s behavior; but how can we do this and maintaining any sense of moral decency and integrity?

Of course, we must chastise White Americans who hail Cosby’s conviction—while voting for alleged serial sexual assaulters like: Judge Roy Moore and President Donald Trump. Moral outrage and consistency isn’t a strong point of these folk. Still, the evidence here—including, by Cosby’s very own lips—is too overwhelming to argue for innocence.

We must denounce him just as we would Judge Moore or President Trump. Given Cosby’s moralizing stance, he may be even worse. In a sworn deposition, from a 2005 civil lawsuit, brought by Ms. Constand, Cosby was asked by lawyer Dolores Troiani "When you got the Quaaludes, was it in your mind that you were going to use these Quaaludes for young women that you wanted to have sex with?" Cosby's reply was “yes.”

This shocking admission connects with and gives even more weight to the allegations of these women, who, repeatedly, say Cosby drugged them before the assaults. Thursday’s verdict is being hailed as a victory for female victims of sexual assault. In this time of the Me-Too Movement, which has erupted into national and international consciousness, women are strongly speaking out like never before against sexual harassment and assault.

We must all heed the blowing historic winds of change happening now.

Mr. Cosby did much good for Black America through his philanthropy. Unfortunately, this goodwill has been squandered. His legacy has now been effectively destroyed by his own past behavior. Black America once love and respected him. But he betrayed us by his behavior. We’re not talking about adolescence misbehaviors of youth here.

In the interest of full disclosure, readers should be aware that: Bill Cosby provided the seed money to launch this news outlet, The Black Star News—when others like Michael Jordan, and Oprah Winfrey, didn’t show interest in supporting this Black newspaper. Cosby believed the motto of the publication--Speaking Truth To Power.

This is why we are so saddened by Mr. Cosby’s inexcusable conduct. He has put us into a position where we must condemn, in the strongest possible terms, his apparent penchant for sexual assault. For years, Mr. Cosby put himself on a pedestal as a model of virtuous morality. In the end, wasn’t he even more morally compromised than the Black boys and girls he once criticized?

Back in 2004, Cosby ignited a firestorm of controversy, in Black America, for comments he made at the NAACP’S 50 anniversary of the historic Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court Decision. In the so-called “Pound Cake” speech, Cosby railed at what he saw as the moral failings in Black America. At one point, he chastised Black women who have "five or six different children" by "eight, 10 different husbands or whatever." A few years ago, comedian Hannibal Burgess made big news when he criticized Cosby’s hypocrisy saying of Cosby "He gets on TV: 'Pull your pants up, Black people... I can talk down to you because I had a successful sitcom. ‘Yeah, but you rape women, Bill Cosby."

How could Cosby chastise Black boys by telling them to pull their pants up while he was drugging women to pull their pants down? Now, some African-Americans may, rightly, conclude America’s justice system is supremely hypocritical in praising the Cosby verdict while saying nothing about killer-cops who take Black lives with, continuing, impunity. Yes, absolutely nothing resembling justice is being done to stop those who wear police badges while brutalizing Blacks. But does that racist reality mitigate the evidence that tells us Cosby drugged women—including, African-Americans like model Beverly Johnson, Angela Leslie, Jennifer Thompson and Lili Bernard—to have sex with them?

Obviously not.

Because White America is hypocritically oblivious to its racist double-standards does not mean Cosby’s conduct can be condoned. Indeed, White Americans now praising the supposed impartiality of American jurisprudence must be reminded of all the crimes of manslaughter and murder perpetrated by police against African-Americans. Those who like to lecture about the “rule of law,” must be repudiated for their silence on racist police violence.

The rise of the Me-Too Movement has put White American male patriarchy on notice. Unfortunately, for Black men, like Bill Cosby, who have been corrupted by that patriarchy, the legal system will have no problem tearing them to shreds—unlike White men, such as Donald Trump. It is true many men of privilege and power have been brought down low by revelations of sexual harassment and assault. All segments of America have been hit by these revelations. But we have yet to see White male offenders crucified by this crooked justice system.

The list of men accused of sexual harassment is long and includes men like: John Conyers, Al Franken, Charlie Rose, Mark Halperin, and Matt Lauer. Sexual harassment is wrong. Sexual assault is much worse. Those accused of the latter are men like: Harvey Weinstein, Judge Roy Moore and Donald Trump.

Fifty-three percent of White women voted for Trump even after the “Access Hollywood” tape and all the allegations of multiple women. Do White women, who voted Trump, know that their vote was a vote for racism, and sexism? Judge Moore apparently used his power—first as a prosecutor, then as a judge—to prey on underage girls. Yet, if it were left up to White Alabamans, Moore would be sitting in the U.S. Senate now. Sadly, in the end, Cosby conduct is more comparable to that of Judge Roy Moore and Donald Trump.

In America’s insane celebrity culture, rich and powerful men have a variety of means by which to obtain sex. Hollywood is a place where an assortment of star-struck groupies will do anything of a sexual nature to please those they adore. Moreover, in White patriarchal America, where men of power and prestige can obtain sex from women across a large spectrum, why would a celebrity like Cosby resort to drugging women, to obtain sexual favors? Is something more than sex at play here? Was it the power he felt over women when he drugged them?

Singer-songwriter R. Kelly downfall should be remembered here as well. Women, of all types would have gladly engaged in sexual activity with Kelly. But Kelly’s proclivity for underage girls eventually led to his demise. Those of us who believe in real freedom, and who live by the “live and let live” adage, can agree there should be tolerance of a wide range of sexual behaviors and orientations. But they must be between consenting adults. Drugging and raping people cannot be acceptable—at any time.

Former “Good Times” star Jimmy Walker had some interesting things to say about Bill Cosby’s known womanizing and philandering, within Hollywood. "The thing that shocks me the most is the drugging because the times that I've worked with Cosby ... [I witnessed] nothing with the drug thing," Walker said. "But the women, I knew about that."

If this was only about womanizing and infidelity, that would be one thing. As humans, we all have flaws and weaknesses. But abusive conduct and coercion can’t be excused. Even before Thursday’s verdict, Walker summed up what many in Black America will now feel regarding the demise of Bill Cosby. "The thing that upsets me the most is that we're never going to see his work again because he's gone forever and ever, and it’s unfortunate," Walker said.

What’s more unfortunate are all the women who were assaulted by Bill Cosby.

 

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