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System Did Not Bring Bill Cosby Down; He Did

by Todd A. Smith

 

 

Bill Cosby Had a Lot of Rope, Hanged Himself


The old saying goes, gives someone enough rope and they will hang themselves.


Because of his enormous success over a five-decade career in entertainment, Bill Cosby had a lot of rope, probably made of gold and platinum.


Even though gold rope is sturdier than the regular rope that us regular folks can afford, one can still hang themself if they have enough of it.


“The man” did not hang Cosby.


“The system” did not lynch Cosby.


Cosby did it too himself, all by himself.


And no, the guilty verdict was not punishment for him unsuccessfully trying to buy NBC 26 years ago.


The guilty verdict came because Cosby has a long and nefarious reputation of breaking the law and assaulting women.


And although I grew up as a fan of “The Cosby Show,” being Black does not give one the right to drug and rape women even if the person is rich, powerful and beloved by millions.


In “The Cosby Show,” the character Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable epitomized the strong, successful and loving Black father.


For decades, Hollywood often portrayed the Black family as poor, uneducated and divided.


When Esther Rolle signed on to star in “Good Times,” she insisted that the Evans family include a strong Black father inside the home.


The sitcom “Julia” did not portray a whole family with a father.


And the few shows in between that featured a Black family often did not show a Black father in the household either.


And although “Good Times” broke ground with the character James Evans, John Amos’ character still fit many of the stereotypes Hollywood had of Black men.


James Evans did not finish high school.


He did not have a well-paying job.


And his family struggled to get out of the housing projects of inner city Chicago.


On the other hand, Huxtable definitely was the head of his household like Evans, but he had a medical degree.


His wife Clair Huxtable (Phylicia Rashad) had a law degree.


The family lived in a nice brownstone in Brooklyn, N.Y.


The Huxtables had the perfect marriage.


They had good kids.


They enjoyed the finer things in life.


And the Huxtables represented a large segment of Black society.


Many Black Americans’ lives mirrored the Huxtables, including my family and I, more so than it did the Evans family on “Good Times.”


“The Cosby Show” let people know that all Black families did not have the same exact life.


Black families are middle class.


Black families are upper class.


And Black families are lower class.


Because of Cosby, Hollywood finally got the memo.


But the keyword in the previous sentence is Hollywood.


The show was entertainment and fictional.


Fans of “The Cosby Show” never got to know Cosby.


Those fans got to know Dr. Huxtable, a fictional character that was only words on a piece of paper.


Cosby did his job as an actor, portraying the character the writers developed.


“The Cosby Show” was just a sitcom. It was not a reality show or a Cosby biopic.


So, why were people so surprised when they finally got to know what Cosby was about in real life?


Just because Cosby is Black and a hero to many does not make him a good person.


Finding Cosby guilty of rape does not signify the bringing down of a successful Black man.


Finding Cosby guilty of rape is just bringing him to justice.


His sentence is not about Black men or Black America.


His sentence is about men thinking they own the bodies of women.


It is about men not valuing women.


It is about how success and wealth can lead to arrogance and entitlement.


It is about doing what is right, and right is right and wrong is wrong regardless of race, color or creed.


When we support people just because of the color of their skin, regardless of their crimes, we lose credibility.


A criminal that got away with his crimes for decades does not deserve the support of our community.


And when we defend Cosby, what does that say to the many African-American women he is accused of sexually assaulting?


Furthermore, many are comparing Cosby to President Donald Trump, Matt Lauer, Harvey Weinstein and others accused of sexual harassment and sexual assault.


That is not a logical comparison because rape and sexual assault are state crimes.


Cosby was brought to trial in Pennsylvania for a sexual assault that happened within the state of Pennsylvania.


The state courts of Pennsylvania cannot charge President Trump, Weinstein, Lauer and others for alleged crimes that took place in California, New York and elsewhere.


It is up to those states to press charges against the other accused culprits if they feel they have enough evidence to prosecute them.


Juror number one, Harrison Snyder, said it was Cosby’s own admission that he drugged women that helped them decide his fate of guilt.


In Cosby’s 2005 deposition, he admitted to acquiring the sedative Quaaludes, which is now banned, to give to the women he wanted to have sex with.


Snyder said that the Me Too movement played no role in the guilty verdict, neither did the testimony of five other Cosby accusers.


That does not sound like a witch-hunt with racist motives to me.


Like it or not, Cosby was the approachable and “acceptable Black man” much like O.J. Simpson.


Simpson, and to a lesser degree, Cosby had a ingratiated themselves into White culture so much that they probably did not face the racism and scrutiny regular Black folks face on a daily basis.


In Cosby’s defense, he never forgot his roots and continued to give money to Black causes and organizations like Historically Black Colleges and Universities.


But Simpson totally distanced himself from Black culture.


However, when Simpson was accused of murdering Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, many thought it was another example of White cops setting up an innocent Black man.


That accusation made no sense because Simpson was a great friend and supporter of the local police department and someone who did things that pleased White society.


There was no reason for the cops to set him up or bring him down as if Simpson posed a similar threat to the police officers as the Black Panther Party did in the 1960s.


Those two powerful Black men, allegedly, just let their power go to their head and they forgot that they were just human beings like the rest of us that are accountable for their actions.


Their actions were just criminal.


And there is a place for criminals.


And all criminals eventually get what they deserve.


This article was published on Friday 04 May, 2018.
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