Bill Cosby, perhaps the most famous comedian (well one of the most famous comedians) in our lifetime has just been sentenced three to ten years in a state prison for a sexual assault conviction.
Mr. Cosby was said to have sexually assaulted Andrea Causton in the early 2000s and the original case was thrown out, but Andrea pushed and to make a long story short got her new day in court and won.
What I go back to when I think of Bill Cosby is this when I was volunteer for the Dianne Feinstein for Governor campaign, one of the people who were comprised the senior management team had
this idea of bringing in Bill Cosby to make a statement and do kind of a Cosby Show style skit.
Though the idea that lasts very long but the reason Bill Cosby the reason his name was brought up
in the meeting was because of how he was considered by America outside of black America. ‘
My personal recollection of Bill Cosby goes back to 1976 and a flight I was on, where he was in first class, we were in coach, and the flight attendants were quite really making a scene over him sitting on his lap pouring him drinks.
It’s a 70s – it was a different time.
When I think of Bill Cosby I think of a black person who believes that he has white privilege and there was no more stronger example of this than when Cosby would come out and make fun of and put down the African-American youngsters who were wearing their pants in this new fashion which is basically below the waist, with the undergarments exposed
It became a style and they struck back at Cosby through the then new social media systems of the time which are still with us like Facebook but even before then by Friendster.
The negative take on Cosby’s “be like me and don’t be anti-social” way of talking to young black trend-setters was so bad that by the time the wave of news about these sexual assault allegations from women like supermodel Beverly Johnson (who I interviewed) came forward they were jumping for joy.
Here was Bill Cosby presenting himself as this perfect guy with the message “Follow me I’m the perfect individual” and when it turned out there was a chink in the armor which upon further inspection turned out to be a lot bigger than just a chink, many blacks turned on him.
The message of what happened to Bill Cosby is simple: It’s completely wrong to cheat on your wife, and to drug a woman to date her. But lost in this Cosby news is the fact that black men don’t get to tell their story, and don’t tell their story.
I can’t tell you the number of times over my life I’ve met someone out at a bar or eatery and they automatically assume I have drugs – especially white women. I’m just being honest. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve lost dates because I didn’t have drugs and refused to go and do them.
For a set of reasons that are racist, black men are assumed to be part of a dark-underbelly of life, just by walking around. That message, that memo, is one Bill Cosby didn’t get. He acted as if the rules didn’t apply to him, when they did even more so than normal because he’s a celebrity and a black male.
All of us as black men deal with these rules in a different way: some, like Cosby, act like they don’t apply to them. Others don’t want to believe the rules exist, until circumtances in life happen to a point where it’s obvious they are there. That’s me. But everyone, every black man, has his story.
What Cosby did was wrong, but if he had just paid attention to the rules, he would have been just fine. But, for him, the reward would have been full commitment to his wife and a trouble-free life. Instead, Cosby thought he was in the same position accorded white men: the ability to do what he wanted to women, and to get what he wanted, and without consequence.
This fact is summed up in the idea that women like “bad boys”. Since black men are asumed to be “bad boys”, many women who want bad boys are drawn to us – that’s not good for black men or the women who want them. Women in society have to be conditioned to desire black men who are good guys who don’t cheat on their wives or girlfriends, not bad guys who harm women emotionally and physically.
The fact is, the cloud of negative thoughts about black men that seemed to escape him, came and rained on him. Since Cobsy thought he was “Super Negro” as they used to say, few felt sorry for him in the end.
But I do: I’m sorry and very sad that the Bill Cosby I thought was real, never existed.
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