The Black Community Should Be Ashamed For Abandoning Bill Cosby
*You used to watch him on television religiously.
He was more than the patriarch of the fictional Huxtable Family, he was the archetype for all black fathers to mimic. He eventually became America’s favorite dad, but Bill Cosby started as your childhood fantasy.
He was a 30-minute escape from the fatherless home from which many of you came. He was your teacher, your motivator, your source of love and encouragement, your support system, your disciplinarian, your friend and confidant, and most importantly, he was the father you always wanted, but never had.
For more than a year, the embattled comedian has been embroiled in an ongoing, tabloid-fueled melodrama filled with a ton of he-said-she-said rhetoric and propaganda. His alleged victims have emerged from different decades of his past to participate in what seems to be a huge money grab. There’s no conclusive evidence to corroborate the multiple accusations of sexual misconduct against Cosby—many of which seem far-fetched to say the least—but it hasn’t stopped the media from obliterating Cosby’s legacy and character, while portraying him (prematurely) as both a liar and habitual predator. As a result, his award-winning show has virtually disappeared from cable television, his many honorary college degrees have been revoked, murals and statues depicting his image have been demolished, his playful Jello commercials have been flushed down the toilet, and there’s even speculation that his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame will eventually be removed.
In only 12 months, Cosby has regressed from being America’s favorite dad to America’s favorite punching bag, and what’s worse, it appears that his former fanbase is turning a blind eye to what’s going on (or making insensitive jokes about it). Meanwhile, protests, demonstrations and digital campaigns are being launched ad nauseam to support the likes of Michael Brown and Freddy Grey, two boneheads that paid the ultimate price for disobeying police and violating the laws of their respective hometowns. If Black Lives Matter, then it should include the life of a man who has dedicated more than 50 years to ensure the prosperity and longevity of African American people. As Facebook and Twitter continue to be flooded with hashtags against police brutality, a 78-year-old cultural icon is being brutalized mercilessly by the media and his detractors, many of whom, surprisingly, are black. After the Michael Brown shooting in 2014, numerous support groups and civil-rights organizations joined forces and demanded justice for the slain teenager. This happened despite the released footage of Brown robbing a convenience store and strong-arming the clerk on duty. It happened despite reports of him blatantly disobeying officer Darren Wilson’s orders, and then engaging him in physical combat. And when the charges against Officer Wilson were dropped—due to an undeniable amount of conclusive evidence in his favor—it triggered national outage and resulted in the riotous destruction of Ferguson, Missouri, where the incident transpired. Similar incidents, generally involving lawbreakers and juvenile delinquents, have sparked countless protests across the country.
Contrarily, the man we all grew up admiring is taking a pounding from the media and the best African Americans have done to defend Bill Cosby, thus far, is post halfhearted one-liners on Facebook and silly memes on Twitter. Isn’t he worth more than a brief mention on social media? Black people, you raise hell every time CNN riles you up (for ratings) with sensationalized reports of police misconduct against minorities. However, if someone were to listen for black voices in defense of Cosby, he would likely hear the disenchanting sound of critics chirping. Why aren’t we protesting the slander and character assassination of a man who has donated millions to preserve and create black institutions of learning? Why aren’t we demanding a court-ordered investigation into the personal history of each alleged Cosby assault victim (90 percent of whom are white). Why aren’t we doing everything in our power to help Cosby overcome the odds stacked against him? Oh that’s right, I forgot - many of you have been holding a grudge against this man for years because he encouraged your foolish children to pull up their trousers in public. He challenged you to be better parents (a request that’s clearly fallen on deaf ears). He challenged the black community to raise its level of productivity and sophistication (another request that hasn’t materialized). In your eyes, Cosby is a self-righteous Uncle Tom and therefore unworthy of your allegiance. He continues to dwell in exile, while the doors of black support swing open perpetually to those who can barely spell Cosby, let alone match his accomplishments. One day soon, the media will announce Bill Cosby’s death. His demise, however, won’t come from natural causes, it will be the result of a broken heart.