Bill Cosby is one of America’s funniest comedians and most beloved black TV dads, if not the only memorable black TV dad, and all-around well-respected TV personality. At least he used to be in my eyes.
Another comedian Hannibal Burress called Cosby a rapist during his comedy routine. It wasn’t childish name calling. It was fact. Personally, I think the mainstream media was more hyped that shots were fired from one celeb to another as opposed to the real scoop. And nothing drives public interests than black folks at odds with each other.
There are reports going that the former Jell-O pudding spokesperson has been manipulating and raping over a dozen women he took under his wing decades ago, decades long behind closed doors. Cosby apparently had enough strings to pull, money to give and overall admiration for being a “good and honorable” black guy that he was never charged. And his career proceeded uninterrupted.
Assuming that the rape allegations are true, and given there are 13 women who said so, my beef with old man Cosby is not just the fact that he could very well be a rapist and that him being a black male makes it all more disappointing to those who look to him as one of the few black role models that haven’t been de-sainted by the tabloids. In fact, Cosby made me lose a lot of respect years before Burress reminded America that their good Negro is a bad Negro.
On the 50th anniversary of the Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education Supreme Court Decision during an NAACP Awards ceremony in Washington D.C. Cosby sought fit to chastise poor blacks for not doing what they were supposed to do like marry each other, not have so many kids, stop selling drugs, going to school and wearing pants around the waist. Old man Cosby saw working class black folks as failures who seemingly enjoy being failures and be blamed it on poor parenting. In fact he didn’t think those little things like discrimination and segregation are factors. In other words, he took on the role of the black conservative who blames black people for their own problems. It would be known as the Pound Cake speech.
Some people thought Cosby was spot on. They thought he said what needed to be said and agreed with every word. But then, there are those like Professor Michael Eric Dyson who rebutted what is consider black elitism, black people with money and power who look down on poor blacks. But condemning the black poor is a never ending trend in this country, especially if you want to try to avoid the realities of racism.
The respectability politics black folks like Cosby and the high-minded black intelligentsia always misses the vital, yet obvious mark, it calls for the oppressed to be more respectable to the oppressor who never respects them to begin with. And the oppressor is never pushed by those blacks to be respectable, especially towards the black community. Instead, they are let off the hook. But here we have a man who scolds poor black folks and he, himself, failed to practice what he preached so hard that he became the stereotype of the black male rapist. Way to go, Bill!
Hannibal Burress called out Cosby on his hypocrisy. Here’s a once-respected man who made many people laugh and presented the kind of black household that was rarely seen on television then and now who practically give a segment of his audience the middle finger for struggling. Here he is being accused of raping 13 women during his career and has yet to say anything about it. Yet, he had the nerve to tell lower-class black folks that they are the problem. Whatever!
If you’ve been accused of rape even once, and if it actually happened, you have no right to tell other people what’s wrong with them. Cosby has yet to say anything about this development. And it’s likely he won’t anytime soon. His career doesn’t seem to be totally derailed, unlike actor Stephen Collins who confessed to molest three underage girls years ago. (So much for personal responsibility.) He has, however, lost guest appearances on a couple of talk shows. But in the end, he needs to learn not to tell other people to pull up their pants when he couldn’t even keep his on around women.