About 10 years ago on New Year’s day, a friend was seen in the back of a police car. He was like a brother to us. A black man, well known at my college. We was a tall “pretty boy”. Went to Crenshaw High and graduated to attend one of the best colleges in the nation to join me and my friends. He never had to really chase girls. He really didn’t have to work for their attention. Many women fell in love with him. And, most importantly to repeat for emphasis: he was a Black man. In the back of a police car. Obviously, some injustice was going on.
My friends investigated further. He had been charged with sexually assaulting a pregnant woman at a McDonald’s. Clearly, there was a misunderstanding. And at one of the court hearings when that woman described how violently he attacked her, I knew it was a lie. I never saw him get angry, much less get in any kind of fight with anyone. And suddenly, 4 more cases were added on to this. Clearly the D.A. was trying to sweep unsolved cases into this one. This was the classic nightmare of the wild Black man in Birth of a Nation. The archetype of the crazed Negro with his over-sized penis trying to sexually conquer any and everything. This was the image being portrayed, as it had been done in many other cases where the men where not guilty. Instances in which it turned out that a woman or two had conspired against the man out of spite and claimed rape as revenge. For about 3 years it was an ongoing nightmare wondering if this would be over. After all, there was no clear evidence apparently to connect to all of these women’s stories.
Then one day, there was his confession letter. He did it. ALL of it. Everything those women accused him of actually happened. It took years for it to finally come out, but there it was.
It was that day that I understood that as much as there have conspiracies against Black people, as much as Black people are victims of lies and prejudice, it could in fact be that some of them are guilty of what they are accused of. At the very least the one I thought couldn’t be guilty, the man who “had no reason” to sexually assault a woman, the guy who could easily get women, did what he was accused of.
As I see these constant debates about Bill Cosby, I’m really taken aback by how much people refuse to accept the complexity of human beings as possibly being rich, powerful, humanitarian, AND devious. That a person can be an actor portraying a saint, and be nothing like that character. That Black people will hold on so hard to the injustices done to us that we figure that a Black man shouldn’t be so harshly judged for rape in comparison to other white men, as if there needs to be a comparison.
Let’s make it simple.
Let’s say Cosby didn’t rape any of the 50 or so women accusing him.
What we do know is that Cosby rode very hard for Black people to be of respectable image to other Black people and mainstream America. To be professional, upstanding family men and women. He knew his stature in the community and would reach out to other up and coming Black comedians to tell them not to curse in their acts, as though his path of expression needed to be theirs for their artistic freedom. He talked often about his wife and children as the center of his comedic material, and had various programs produced to maintain his clean image….
At the very least, we know he cheated on his wife at least 50 times. He took drugs often. He made promises to people that he didn’t keep. He used his money and influence as ways to get what he wanted and to protect himself. At the very least we know: Bill Cosby is not who he portrayed himself to be.
At the very least we know he’s a hypocrite.
And somehow, we say of this hypocrite, this person who somehow hid his infidelity well enough so that his wife wouldn’t care, a man who admitted giving Quaaludes to women in court without his wife knowing…we say we must give him the benefit of the doubt because he’s a rich black man, so if anything that makes him a much larger target for sinister plots. Being a hypocrite is one thing, but a rapist? No way. Not possible. Right?
If a man is in the middle of sex with a woman, and a woman changes her mind, once the man pressures her against saying no or taking away her option to say no in that moment for whatever reason, it’s a violation. It is rape.
Nevermind that she may have said yes and is now saying no. The fact of the matter is that she doesn’t want to anymore.
And as soon as she feels forced or in a situation where it’s unsafe, it isn’t fair to say, “She knew what she was getting into.”
At the very least, Bill did something, often enough to where he now has the wrath of 50 women coming after him. Why are some of them just now saying it after 40years? Who knows. But if it were just about money, I would think many of them would have done it a longer time ago. But if any of you actually Googled/read what some of the accusers have said, many of them felt a moral dilemma in reporting the man who they thought was the same guy many of US thought he was. I don’t doubt some of them had plots of their own to have sex with a married man. But are we going to compare that as just as equal to a guy putting a drug in someone’s drink without them knowing to have sex with them?
Plenty of women have the power to accuse every man they come across as being a rapist. And I’m quite sure that many women don’t exercise that power because they know doing so would mean destroying that man’s life. That’s not a power you just throw around. I don’t doubt some women have done it. But if a woman actually has been raped, the amount of automatic distrust I see displayed by men and women in just this situation explains exactly why some of them waited so long to see if they had any back up to help them.
Rape has absolutely nothing to do with access to sex.
It’s one thing if it was a few women. But 50?!
Even if he didn’t rape them, he did something. And whatever it was is coming to bite his hypocritical ass and destroying the mask he wore for the world.
It’s a free country. Everyone can read this situation how they like. But if your hero raped you, what would you do?