A few quick points and my thoughts on this case:
- I love how Bill Cosby always got a Black woman publicly coming to his defense. His wife (not terribly shocking), Phylicia Rashaad, Jill Scott, and now his attorney (she’s doing her job as an attorney, I get that). But it’s been Black women who have been the ones to willingly put their heads on the chopping block for him, putting their professional & personal reputations on the line to outright defend him. Nobody else. Let’s just all reflect on that for a minute. And, correct me if I’m wrong, but the man hasn’t so much as issued a statement of gratitude to any of these women for standing by him (though, Jill Scott later backed away).
- Why are people trying to compare his arrest to Black death at the hands of police brutality? Sex crimes and police brutality are two different issues. For one, the man is alive. While this case is triggering and upsetting for a variety of reasons, let’s not forget that Cosby has not been convicted on mere accusations. He has been charged. NOT convicted. And Cosby has not been shot down in the street like Tamir Rice (for those trying to compare this to the murder of a 12-yr old child, which frankly, is gross). There is going to be a trial. There will be a process- involving well-paid attorneys defending Cosby. He is NOT Tamir Rice. Or Trayvon. Or Sandra Bland. Or Freddie Gray…
- On “where’s the evidence?” Sexual assault and other “intimate” types of abuse (i.e. Child abuse) are often committed in private. Secrecy is the perpetrator’s most powerful weapon. We should keep that in mind when we’re quick to say there isn’t “enough evidence”. I’m not sure people even know what evidence they would find satisfactory. Absent a rape kit, evidence of an act that is almost always done in private is not always easy to obtain. Ultimately, my point is this. It’s one thing to think Cosby is being setup and framed and that this is all one big conspiracy to take him down. But it is quite another thing to make generalized statements about the motives and credibility of sexual assault victims at every corner just because you’re not comfortable with seeing Cosby as a rapist or the women didn’t come out sooner. That attitude is one of the reasons why it’s more likely for victims NOT to come forward about sexual assault than it is for them to report it. There are a ton of reasons people don’t report their assault as soon as it happens, if they report at all. The late timing of the report in and of itself does not mean an assault did not occur.
- There is a racist and painful and cruel history of White women falsely, accusing Black men of rape. Nevertheless, some of his accusers are Black women and nobody seems to want to deal with that inconvenient fact.
- A lot of the support for Cosby has more to do with Black male solidarity rather than race solidarity. And I know that because when a Black woman- Beverly Johnson accused Cosby of drugging her- by and large the Black community ignored her. Didn’t even say “Ok, hold up. That’s a sister/ A “Beautiful Black Queen”/ an Ebony Goddess/ The Mother of Civilization/ Let’s chill for a minute and reevaluate some things”. Nope. Nobody cared. And a manager was quick to claim she was lying. His proof? She didn’t tell him. Um, who shares sexual assault experiences with coworkers? That is not break-room story time type of conversation. Especially when it involves a beloved and celebrity with hella clout. And yet, people were quick to side with the manager instead of Beverly. No objectivity there.
- Is race a factor in this case? Hell yes. Why wouldn’t it be. Racism is the country’s favorite addiction. The timing of the reporting of Cosby always came at “interesting” moments. News of his arrest came after we learned that Tamir Rice’s murderer would go free. And the first time we heard anything about Cosby was in the height of #Blacklivesmatter. It doesn’t take a genius to see the fuckery the news is trying to pull in hopes we’ll forget about police brutality. And my goodness, they replay news coverage of this case over and over and over and over. But that is a separate issue from his guilt or innocence.
- And on the topic of media fuckery, can we talk about how CNN has indulged in so much bullshit lazy dumb half-assed racist and overtly biased reporting that they don’t even know how to hold a simple interview anymore. Peep it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHocuXDOc_U Now, why in the hell would you ask an attorney why their client has not asserted their innocence? Why? What kind of dumb ass question is that? Pressley said what any and every competent attorney would say: Because he is being represented by counsel who does the talking for him. This is Criminal procedure 101. I mean, damn, it’s in our Miranda “You have the right to remain silent…” Once you’re arrested, you don’t have to say Boo to nobody. Duh. If CNN hadn’t been so busy practicing stupid shady “journalism” for so long they might have been able to formulate a more thoughtful question to pose to his attorney (or a legal expert) like, “In your professional opinion, why-prior to representation-didn’t Cosby assert his innocence?” Simple. It’s a valid question, I think it’s on a lot of peoples’ minds because nobody can sue you for saying “These charges are crap. I’m innocent!”. It’s not an antagonizing or combative question and it allows for a more meaningful exchange. But see, it’s stupid mess like that that makes it obvious that there is an anti-Cosby bias that just shamelessly radiates through the media.
- This case has made me skeptical of the claim that being accused of rape/sex crimes is really that bad for men. Honestly. Because the amount of outright support that Cosby and R. Kelly have received clearly tells me that being accused of a sex crime really isn’t “all that bad”. It’s not like there’s been careful and thoughtful approaches to the topic of sexual assault/rape. Nope. The belief for many is that Cosby MUST be the victim of a conspiracy and R. Kelly has been happily reinstated as the “King of R&B”. Oh, and we can’t forget the Holtzclaw supporters that came out of the woodworks once he was charged. It’s one thing when family supports the accused but when the community at large be going HARD in the paint for folks like Cosby and Kelly, it’s strange. People be supporting accused rapist like they’re rooting for their team to make the playoffs. That’s unnerving.