We've Been Over Bill Cosby: He Lost His Credibility With the Black Community Long Ago
A happy Bill Cosby walked out of the courtroom on Saturday after his criminal rape case was declared a mistrial, setting the hearts of the Cosby apologists at ease. I’m not one of them, and I honestly don’t care about him or his freedom, as I explained to my friend Doc during the proceedings.
“If they can do it to Cosby,” Doc said. “They can do it to us all!”
“Yeah, I don’t care,” I replied. “I mean, did they do it to Cosby or did he do it to himself?”
“They did it! It was them!”
I love when people refer to the big-time troublemakers as “they,” especially when they can’t tell me who “they” is.
Doc’s not a doctor; we just call him that because he loves to drop knowledge. Doc was an all-American semi-patriotic black guy until he got a job at a call center and realized how racist anonymous white Americans can really be. Even some of the people he thought he gave great service to would slam down the phone at end of conversations after yelling, “Thanks, n****r!” Now he’s super pro-black. He only eats and shops at black-owned spots, he wears beaded necklaces and dashikis on the regular, and all of his T-shirts boast slogans like “Educated Black Man” and “Stay Woke!”
“Look deeper into it, D.,” Doc explained. “They only want Cosby because of the money! He was about to buy NBC, bro!”
I stood up, took a deep breath, wiped the beads of sweat off my brow, sipped my juice, took another deep breath, looked at Doc and said, “So what? I still don’t care.”
“Aw man! You as nutty as squirrel shit!” Doc yelled, slamming the door on his way out of the room.
Cosby made attempts way back in the ’90s to buy NBC that fell through; I’ve seen no recent reports, however, about his trying to make the purchase. And even if he bought NBC, ABC and CBS, I still would not care about the Cosby case, because Cosby doesn’t care about black people. Well, he does care about some black people, just not the ones who come from neighborhoods like the place that raised me.
“The Cosby Show” always seemed kind of corny to me. That type of black family structure was much needed on TV then, as it is today; I was too young, however, to get the message. Now, “A Different World” is a different story. “A Different World” is one of the best television shows ever. I fell in love with the complexities of blackness depicted in its storytelling, and it gave me an idea of what college could be like. That show drowned the corniness of “The Cosby Show” and made Bill a hero in my book, until I heard what came to be know as the “pound cake” speech.
Cosby delivered the now-notorious address at an NAACP awards ceremony in 2004 celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision. Instead of celebrating the contributions of African-Americans in science and innovation, or acknowledging that black people have lived in America since 1619 and most received no schooling until after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and therefore a 244-year head start had been given to whites that included exposure to reasoning and philosophical thought, the power of reading and access to the skills needed to shape their dreams into reality, Cosby decided to use the platform to drag black people.
“Fifty percent dropout rate, I’m telling you., and people in jail, and women having children by five, six different men,” Cosby said. “Under what excuse. I want somebody to love me, and as soon as you have it, you forget to parent. Grandmother, mother and great-grandmother in the same room, raising children, and the child knows nothing about love or respect of any one of the three of them,” Cosby told a crowd of clapping elites who seemed to agree with him that “all this child knows is ‘gimme, gimme, gimme.’
Added Cosby: “These people want to buy the friendship of a child . . . and the child couldn’t care less. Those of us sitting out here who have gone on to some college or whatever we’ve done, we still fear our parents. And these people are not parenting. They’re buying things for the kid, $500 sneakers, for what? They won’t buy or spend $250 on Hooked on Phonics.”
I lived most of my life in poverty. I fought my way through college to earn four degrees while in poverty and never met a mother who could freely spend $500 on sneakers. There weren’t even $500 sneakers in urban stores when he made this trash argument full of harsh generalizations and pure ignorance. The more he spoke, the more addled and evil he sounded:
“Are you not paying attention, people with their hat on backwards, pants down around the crack,” Cosby continued. “Isn’t that a sign of something, or are you waiting for Jesus to pull his pants up? Isn’t it a sign of something when she’s got her dress all the way up to the crack . . . and got all kinds of needles and things going through her body. What part of Africa did this come from? We are not Africans. Those people are not Africans; they don’t know a damned thing about Africa. With names like Shaniqua, Shaligua, Mohammed and all that crap and all of them are in jail,” he said.
You can only make these types of claims when you don’t know any of the people you’re condemning. Trash rants like this make me ignore rich-elite critiques on the black experience even from other black people because they always get it wrong. If you don’t know us, you shouldn’t be parting your lips to talk about us. Cosby’s money never saved a failing school or rec center in my neighborhood, so he can place his opinions in a drink with one of his magic pills, swallow it and go back to wherever he came from.
I don’t care about his so-called victory in court. Cosby made a show about a positive black family that had no impact on my life and then demonized a whole group of people for not being lucky enough to experience the same type of success he has and I’m supposed to support him with an open heart? He completely skipped condemning the racist institutions that cause poor schools, poor housing, unfair policies and the disproportionate number of African-Americans in prison while selling that disgusting diabetes-causing Jell-O pudding to us, and I’m supposed to care about his freedom? He made fun of people’s names in an effort to coddle our oppressors, which makes him an oppressor, too.
So no, I will not receive Cosby with a warm and open heart. I don’t have compassion for oppressors. For him my heart is 1,000 degrees below zero cold; it is locked up and closed for business. Is he a rapist? That’s for the victims and the courts to decide if they continue to pursue the case after this mistrial. But the streets, full of the people he has demonized, have taught me one important thing: the most judgmental people are often hiding something.