In a unsealed deposition from 2005, it has appeared that America’s dad had admitted to what the court of public opinion has already found him guilty of. RAPE. Although he has admitted to using Quaaludes on “consenting” women, he never fully admitted to using the popular date-rape drug on non-consenting women. Nevertheless, the fact that he admitted to drugging women period is guilty enough for some people, except for Whoopi Goldberg.
This a sad way for anyone’s legacy to end. Up until these recent allegations, Bill Cosby was America’s most popular and celebrated entertainer. Bill Cosby and is brand has reached a net worth of more than a half billion dollars. With his trailblazing career spanning more than 50 years, Cosby was the first Black actor to co-star in any prime time drama (I Spy). He has sold out arenas for decades. He has developed a wide variety of movies, comedy specials/albums and TV shows such as Uptown Saturday Night, Lets Do It Again, Kids Say the Darnest Things and the Fat Albert series which earned him numerous Grammy and Emmy awards. Already a household name, by the mid-80’s, it was his groundbreaking role as Heathcliff Huxtable in the Cosby show that made him a global icon and one of the most powerful men in Hollywood. He became a popular spokesman for America’s leading industries, most notably the Jell-O pudding franchise.
If his brand wasn’t already big enough, he was seen by many as America’s biggest role-model and Hollywood’s moral beacon. Not to mention for decades, he has been Black and White America’s biggest philanthropist. He’s given back millions of dollars to various Black institutions, including some major endowments to Spelman College. He has also been the recipient of many honorary degrees from various universities. Before these allegations, Cosby’s brand was nearly untouchable.
His image did take a slight hit after he made some controversial comments regarding the Black community in front of a mixed panel that pissed off many prominent Afro-Americans such as Michael Eric Dyson. Many books were written in response to Cosby’s controversial comments, which states that the Black community is responsible for “dropping the ball” on Civil Rights and Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream. Throughout that famous “Pound Cake” speech made in 2004 at a NAACP awards ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1954 ruling of Brown vs. the Board of Education, Cosby preached “self-responsibility” and blamed the failures of poor Black Americans on themselves. Naturally, he has received a lot of negative feedback from the Black community for his controversial comments.
Nevertheless, all good things must come to an end, as his brand has taken a huge blow in the past few years with literally dozens of rape allegations that span more than 40 years. Because of this, Cosby’s reputation has gone down the shitter faster than diarrhea wrapped in a can of prune juice. To make matters worse, his victims not only includes a bunch of no-name women, but among them are a few high-profiled supermodeling legends such as Beverly Johnson and Janice Dickerson.
Therefore, in light of the unsealed court documents on top of 40 female accusers, should the Black community condemn Cosby or should we stick by him? Do we simply look past his multiple rape allegations because of his overwhelming contributions to Black society? Or do we dismiss all that he has done and completely cut all ties with Cosby like many universities have done? Should we forgive him like we did with Marion Berry or condemn him like Hannibal Buress?
I say that we judge Cosby by his own standards. Cosby, like many outspoken celebrities such as Charles Barkley and Don Lemon, have been very critical of the Black community’s lack of self-responsibility. Despite what I might think of him today, I actually agreed with much of what Cosby said in 2004. Afro-Americans should start taking more responsibility for their own problems and SO SHOULD COSBY!!!
Therefore, instead of taking sides, lets hold Cosby to his own standards. Let’s hold him accountable for the damage he has cause to many women, his colleagues, his family name and the Black community. In a speech to the students of Morehouse College Cosby goes on to say,
“You don’t see any politician running on the pillar of law and order. Why? Because [Afro-Americans] are killing [themselves]. Why? Because we are making fools of ourselves. Why? Because we call up radio stations and say that Cosby’s putting out our dirty laundry. What the hell are you talking about? You better clean it up! There are Black people who are afraid to walk around this dirty laundry. There are Black people who are afraid to talk about it…”
Like I said before, I agree with Cosby. Therefore, lets take his advice and speak out against Cosby for letting his dirty laundry be aired to the world and jeopardizing the already fragile Black American image. An image that Cosby himself help to define. Now for people, like Whoopi Goldberg, who needs more proof, lets instead condemn Cosby on a moral basis.
By admitting to these allegations, Cosby has also admitted to CHEATING ON HIS WIFE Camille. Secondly, he’s admitted to be a sexual deviant. Its one thing to be a freak, but using quaaludes is just plain bizarre even if women consented to it. I understand that its Hollywood and celebrities deal with a lot of temptation on a regular basis. Nevertheless, Cosby is (or was) a participating in a huge way all while being married. Yet, he had the nerve to get on black America for their sins.
I’m not sitting here as a moral beacon for the Black community like Cosby. Like everyone else, I have my flaws too. Nevertheless, I hate when people contradict themselves. Don’t take the moral high-ground, when you know you are doing wrong yourself. Like Berry White said, “practice what you preach“. I understand the message he was trying to convey to Black America. And I don’t disagree with him at all. Still and all, if he knew that he was doing dirty shit behind closed doors, maybe keep should have kept his mouth shut and let someone with less dirt speak on his behalf. I would never tell a person to practice something that I couldn’t practice myself, especially if its highly probable that I may get caught. Cosby was just asking for trouble.
Bill Cosby’s brand
is was big, but no one is bigger than the all-mighty media. With the growing power of social media, American media is bigger and more powerful than it has ever been. Whoever thought that the media could take down Bill Cosby? BILL COSBY PEOPLE!! I thought he was untouchable. The media had a harder time ruining Michael Jackson’s image than Bill Cosby. It used to take cost millions of dollars, actual proof by the court of law and years of smear campaigns to sway public opinion. Now it just takes a few memes repeatedly posted on social media, a few soundbites replayed over and over again and…VIOLA!…career is done. What has taken 50 years for Cosby to build, social media has destroyed in less than two years.
As old as Cosby is, he barely knows how to use today’s technology to fight back and is virtually incapacitated, which is probably why he has remained as quite. Unlike the wealthy titans of the past such as John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie and J.P. Morgan, today’s 1 percent can be rocked to their core. It was Youtube that gave Hannibal Buress the power to knock Bill Cosby off his pedestal. Really? Hannibal Buress? He was a nobody a year ago.
Considering his flaws, if anything, Cosby should have been more careful with his brand, instead acting all high and mighty. His brand is too important for many of his former co-stars who receives royalty checks for reruns, his Alma Mater and various Black universities who has endowments under is name as well as to Black American families who have held the fictional Cosby’s as their standard. Hell, the Cosby’s were the standard for many White, Asian and Latino families.
Regardless of how I feel, I believe that his brand is just too powerful and needed in the Black community to simply allow the mainstream media to destroy it. When Donald Sterling, a member of the Jewish persuasion, was caught with his hand in the cookie jar, his Jewish buddies didn’t allow his empire to be destroyed. It simply transferred over to the next Jewish Billionaire and made Sterling even richer. Therefore, Black America shouldn’t allow his empire to be destroyed and snatched away by mainstream media.
It’s important that we take Cosby’s advice and make him responsible for his own actions, but lets not allow his nearly billion-dollar empire to rot away. If used correctly, the Black media can be just as powerful as any other media outlet. If we can’t use it to restore the man’s image, we can at least help to restore his brand. Therefore, Bounce and Centric TV network, both Black-owned, should stop being pressured by mainstream media and keep playing Cosby reruns. In a few years, people will forget about this mess and will continue to watch the Cosby Show and A Different World. There’s just too much money in it.
I’m not saying that we should give Cosby a pass, but we have to take our emotions out of it and start looking at the bigger picture. We can separate the man from the myth, but we can’t get all of that money back. With that said, now its time for Black America to clean up Bill Cosby’s dirty laundry.