By Brenda Alexander
By now, we know that Bill Cosby received a 3-10 year prison sentence after being found guilty of sexual assault. Social media has been lighting up with mixed opinions on his verdict. Half are happy there was some justice and the other half are charging that the only reason his verdict was such is because he’s a black man of a certain stature and that unlike other abusers who have been accused during the #MeToo movement, he is the only one to be given any real punishment.
Before I delve into why the later is nothing more than another example of our commitment to “not kick our black men down” culture, let me say this: I attended an HBCU my freshman year of college because of my love of A Different World, a product of Bill Cosby. I transferred and graduated from Temple University with honors with Bill Cosby as an inspiration as he too is a TU alum. I beamed with joy at my college graduation while Bill Cosby gave our commencement address, sitting amongst my fellow graduates proud that this successful black man who instilled in his fans the importance of education was proud of a young black girl for doing things the “right way.” All the while, that said black man was a vicious and menacing predator to women who were similar to me.
Bill Cosby is the same as the other accused predators within the #MeToo movement, with the exception of his skin color and the public persona that he perfected as moral, educated, cultured and charitable. America’s favorite dad transformed into an elitist who disapproved of his own people. Adding to an already hurtful disposition, he thought that he was above the law and superior to women, that he deserved whatever it is he wanted and if refused, he took it – claiming the souls and voices of his victims along the way. That my friends has nothing to do with race and everything to do with ego.
While the public version of Bill Cosby expressed disgust with the millennial black community, deeming us promiscuous, stupid, women beaters, lazy, bad parents and whatever else he felt appropriate – he was cheating on his wife. While the public version of Bill Cosby scolded young black men for using profanity and having multiple baby mamas, he was slipping women the date rape drug. While the public version of Bill Cosby ministered about the importance of college degrees for the black community to have an equal playing field and advance within society, he was using his position to lure women with the promise of career and academic advancement.
So, while Bill Cosby has spent his entire career as a philanthropist who caters to the black bourgeois while also vocalizing his disdain for the black ghetto, I’m supposed to keep my equal amount of disdain for him as a sexual predator suppressed because he’s a black man?!
In the words that a holier than thou version of Bill Cosby would find disparaging: You niggas kill me!
You want me to be understanding and sympathetic towards him because of his age and consider the biases within the judicial system because I’m a black woman…meanwhile, many of Bill Cosby’s victims were black women. And not just victims in terms of intimacy. This is the same black man who threatened to end the career of a black woman, Wendy Williams, after she did her due diligence as a journalist and reported on the allegations years ago.
I don’t know Bill Cosby personally, but I have interacted with enough men who posses similar traits. I’ve crossed paths with men who achieve success and career access who look down upon those who lack etiquette in certain social settings and instead of mentoring them, they dismiss them. As a black woman, I deal with entitled and disrespectful men on a daily as I walk down the street and am cat-called by men who undress me with their eyes unable to control their tongue or desires – nor care to. I’ve been harassed at places of employment by men in power who thought that I was naive enough to give into their advances and when I refused, tried to intimidate me in other shady ways. And though I thankfully have never been physically assaulted, what I’ve experienced is damaging enough.
So no, I’m not the girl who views this case as black and white as many of my peers do. This is not a racial inequity debate.
He’s admitted to these acts in interviews, standups and even in court depositions. Bill Cosby the man is a no for me. All that preaching the past decade plus about black men and women presenting ourselves as uneducated beings who are jail prone; yet, he failed to take his sentence like a man and posed for his mugshot with his eyes averted away from the camera while looking down and somber. My how the tables have turned.
I owe Bill Cosby NOTHING!
Do you support or reject the Bill Cosby sentencing?