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Bill Cosby Cautionary Tale, Not Symbol of Unjust System

by Todd A. Smith

 

 

Do Not Feel Sorry for Bill Cosby


Men cannot rape women for decades and think that it will not come back to bite them in the behind.


Being Black does not make it O.K. to become a serial rapist.


Being an icon and famous does not make it O.K. to become a serial rapist.


Being a philanthropist does not make it O.K. to become a serial rapist.


Not being the only person ever accused of rape or sexual misconduct does not make it O.K. to become a serial rapist.


The sentencing of Bill Cosby has nothing to do with President Donald Trump, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Harvey Weinstein or the numerous Catholic priests accused of molesting young boys and girls.


The sentencing was the sealing of Cosby’s fate and his fate alone.


Children learn at a young age that it is not O.K. to do something just because others are doing it and getting away it.


Those other accused rapists, sexual harassers and sexual molesters have not gotten away with anything (if guilty); they just have not been caught yet.


Their time is coming.


However, Tuesday was Cosby’s time and it was a long time coming.


The infamous actor and comedian deserved the sentence he received.


And again, being Black does not make it O.K. to rape women.


The statement that being Black does not make it O.K. to rape women is the lesson of the day because too many Black Americans are making Bill Cosby the poster child for the discrimination that exists in the judicial system.


Cosby is the 21st century version of O.J. Simpson, a person many Black Americans held up as the poster child for institutional racism.


Actually, Cosby became so powerful, rich and famous, that he transcended race and probably did not have to deal with the hell that normal Black Americans deal with on a regular basis.


And Black folks, no the three to 10 year sentence that Cosby received Tuesday is not retribution for him unsuccessfully trying to purchase NBC back in 1992.


In 1992, Cosby was the darling of NBC and helped save sitcoms a decade earlier, so why would the network try to ruin him just for trying to make a business move?


It simply just had to sell to someone else, like it did by accepting a bid from GE, if it did not want him to own the network.


And why would someone wait almost 30 years to destroy someone for what they did not do or did not accomplish?


That makes no sense and it is just the epitome of playing the race card.


Cosby’s sentence is not a referendum on race relations.


The sentence only symbolized chickens coming home to roost for a man who abused his power and fame to prey on women and ruin the careers of anyone who did not play his treacherous game.


Fans of “The Cosby Show,” myself included, never knew Cosby.


Viewers only knew Heathcliff Huxtable, a character developed by Cosby and screenwriters, which was purely fiction.


Nevertheless, Black Americans who feel disgusted that so many White men have faced similar accusations but have so far avoided prison have every reason to feel that way.


In 2017, reports from various publications confirmed that Black men, on average, receive prison sentences 20 percent longer than their White male counterparts.


The report took into account various factors like age, criminal history, citizenship, weapons possession and education.


Anyone with a modicum of intelligence knows that Black men receive harsher criminal sentences than their White counterparts, even when everything like the crime and criminal record or the same.


Since 2005, the disparity between the prison sentences of Black men and White men have widened thanks to the court case United States v. Booker, which gave federal judges more discretion on the harshness or leniency of prison sentences.


Evidence shows that the disparities in prison sentences for Black and White defendants happen because of judicial discretion.


In other words, individual judges get to impose prison sentences on individuals, which can be influenced by prejudice, discrimination, favoritism and outright racism.


Simply put, there is a reason why Black men get shafted throughout the judicial sentences with longer prison sentences or imprisonment in the first place.


It is outright systemic racism and discrimination and many Black men fall victim to an unjust system.


The problem is that Cosby is a bad example of that.


When Black Americans use people like Cosby or Simpson to highlight the injustices in the criminal court system, it makes it impossible for people to understand our plight because those two brothers were not victims of the system.


They ran the system and used their position to victimize others.


Just think about.


If Simpson had been a nobody from the hood named Dalvin, DeVante or Wanya, he would have never been able to beat his White wife and get away with it in the first place.


The first time he put his hands on her would have been the first time some dude in jail named Bubba Joe would have been putting his hands on him, in more ways than one.


Being an “acceptable Negro” to White America allowed Simpson to get away with assault and battery for years.


And being a Negro with a lot of money helped him get away with murder because he was able to hire geniuses as lawyers.


Cosby falls into the same category.


Any other brother from the hood would have gone to jail as soon as they tried to buy the sedatives that Cosby used to drug his women.


A regular brother would have never had the opportunity to sexually assault a woman in the way Cosby did.


Many Black Americans do not have the money to hire the best lawyers like Cosby and Simpson.


So Cosby, like Simpson, is a cautionary tale for all of us.


Our heroes are just human beings with many flaws, and sometimes more flaws than the rest of us.


And no matter what influence he had on the positive images of Black Americans via entertainment, his good deeds do not give him power over a woman’s body.

This article was published on Friday 28 September, 2018.
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