It looks like we’re either in the eye of the storm that is the rape scandal of once-beloved father figure Bill Cosby, or that the storm is weakening. I prefer to think we’re in the eye. Something else is sure to come up.
As stated in my previous entry observing Cosby’s downfall, the news and tabloid media stuck with the story for all its juiciness. Left-wing oriented media condemned Cosby almost instantly keeping track of the unraveling story and express progressiveness to speaking out against rape culture while, to no surprise, right-wing media supported him. After all, he did tell black people to get it together and to stop blaming the white man.
But one thing I noticed is that most black people were still supporting him during this trying time where a role model’s image is being destroyed due to accusations of over a dozen women, mostly white, who said that they were drugged and raped by the comedian. We’ve seen and done this before with other blacks, including those who hold little to no regard towards the black community.
Remember the O.J. trial? I’ve never seen people so heavily divided on one issue as I did with that instance in my young life. Every black person I knew said without flinching that O.J. was innocent. At the same time, every white person I knew said the opposite. O.J., a once admired football star-turned-actor was charged with the murder of his wife Nichole Brown and friend Ronald Goldman, both white. It was white America’s greatest fear played out on an international scale in what was considered by some as the trial of the century.
O.J. was found not guilty by the courts, but he was still guilty in the eyes of many. Yet, a lot of brothas and sistas, to this day, still believe O.J. was innocent, even though he practically hung up his blackness.
Why is it that we support those who disregard or look down on blackness like it’s a bad thing and them being black themselves? I would venture to guess that it’s the same reason why white folks stick with people like Darren Wilson, the cop who shot and killed Michael Brown, or George Zimmerman, the vigilante white Hispanic who shot and killed Trayvon Martin. Living in a nation that prides in despising differences can create a sense of paranoia that the dominant group is out to get your group members, and that paranoia came from events that the dominant group doesn’t want to talk about.
As with the Cosby case, it reminds black Americans of the dark days of the past where black men were thought to have a lust for white women so strong and savage that they would rape them every chance they get, especially if they were free. White males back then, and today, believe that black men want to rape white women, and even white woman believe it to the point where they would lie about it dooming innocent black males to lynch mobs.
It was so bad that even flirting with a white woman would get you killed. Don’t believe me? Ask Emmett Till, or rather, ask his next of kin.
When a black man is accused of rape by a white woman, it brings back history’s not-so pleasant moments. Sure, not all of us were alive when this all went down. And it’s not as fatal as it used to be. But the fear is real and widespread. As you know, we live in a culture of collective judgment. So, one black male accused of rape, not only proves stereotypes held by racist white men but also, concludes that most or all black men are culpable of the same viciousness.
But it’s the same in reverse. As mentioned earlier, Zimmerman and Wilson had a lot of white supporters backing them. Why? My guess would be related to a recent study that said that whites believe there is more racism against them than blacks. In other words, they think black people are rising to the top of the food chain, and that scares the crap out of them, especially with one black man in particular, the one living on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
It also goes along with many whites lacking empathy for young black males, believing that Martin and Brown were indeed, dangerous thugs up to no good. And they were rightfully taken out by men who feared for their lives, even though they both had guns and their victims didn’t.
Cosby’s image has been broken, almost beyond repair. Even so, people are still sticking with him. Like stated in a previous article, it’s hard to imagine a black man, even a famous one, of getting away with raping several white women. Cosby would not have likely made it as a co-star on “I Spy” let alone would’ve had a future producing “Fat Albert” and “The Cosby Show”. Yes, rape is a serious matter that must be confronted and tackled. However, false rapes must also be accounted for as well, especially when history has proven they can get you killed.
So yes, expect black folks to have Cosby’s back. Expect us to still think O.J. is innocent of the double murder from years back. Even though they practically dissed us, we still support them, because in the end, whether they like it or not, they are still black in America and no status or money can protect them no matter what, guilty or not.
UPDATE: Former Supermodel Beverly Johnson comes out and says she too was drugged by Bill Cosby. You can read about it here.