Wake up black people: Bill Cosby's not Cliff Huxtable

This is an old blog post from 2016. Last week Cosby was found guilty on three counts of sexual assault. The old link is broken, so I decided to share it here. Enjoy.

 

In case you don’t know, Cliff Huxtable is not a real person.

 Ebony Magazine, Nov. 2015

Ebony Magazine, Nov. 2015

He’s a fictional character on a popular 1980s television show. He is a figment of our imagination; a humble, righteous persona created by a comedian with far more issues internally than the character he played on the small screen. What Cliff Huxtable represents - a self-made black man in America - is a real goal to aspire to be, but as for the personage, he does not exist.

Bill Cosby may have portrayed the role for eight seasons and 202 episodes, but in reality, he is anything but. He is a black man existing in the far right. He preaches about respectability politics to the black community – his infamous Pound Cake speech being the most glaring example of his conservative viewpoints on black America – and maybe he taught you the value of an education along the way, but he’s done far more to rip apart the black community than he has to bring it together.

Oh, and he’s also a rapist.

It’s uplifting to see black people rise against the power to defend their own, but in the immortal words of Huey Freeman, “every famous nigga that gets arrested is not Nelson Mandela.” It's true the government conspires to put many an innocent black men in jail, but Bill Cosby is not one of them.

“But where’s the proof?” Thanks for asking, rape apologist! A 2005 deposition unearthed by the New York Times this summer is proof enough that Cosby was a monster.

During the questioning in a civil lawsuit against Cosby filed by Andrea Constand, an ex-basketball manager at Temple University and one of the many who have publicly accused him of sexual assault, Cosby admitted to acquiring seven Quaaludes intent on giving them to women he wanted to have sex with. These “disco biscuits” – as Cosby liked to call them – are supposed to encourage sexual arousal.

When Cosby was asked if he ever gave a quaalude to a young woman without their knowledge, his attorney objected and the question was never answered.

I know what you may be thinking; “those women wanted to have sex with him. He’s Bill Cosby! He’s rich! He could have sex with any woman if he wanted to!”

Yeah, and a sick person doesn’t stop being a sick person with the more zeroes on the end on his bank account…

Cosby will not admit to raping Constand, or the more than 25 women who have accused him of assaulting them over the past four decades. Apologists will claim a handful of them are lying, but that only feeds into the culture of rape that has made women ashamed to step forward with their cases of assault.

And who can blame them? The public has made it clear no one will believe them. Just ask Sasha Menu Courey, the University of Missouri swimmer who went into severe depression after several Mizzou football players raped her in 2010.

Oh that’s right. We can’t. She took her life.

As much as this is about Bill Cosby, and the women who’ve accused him, it’s about the women who have been afflicted by rape, and the ones who will in the future. It’s about our mothers and daughters, sisters and cousins. Our wives, our girlfriends. Nearly one in five women have experienced sexual assault or an attempted rape at one point. One in four of them were assaulted by someone they knew.

Will you stand up for them when they confide in you, or will you tell them it was their fault?

So Bill Cosby, pull your damn pants up. You’re making black people look bad.

And black people, don’t confuse the man Bill Cosby with the myth Cliff Huxtable.