An unforgiven man
William Henry Cosby, Jr. is a most extraordinary black man. He is an American professional comedian and so much more. Born in 1937 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania he discovered he has an intense sense of comedy which he used to make the world laugh so uncontrollably that we wet ourselves, and he did that without once using a swear word.
Once I was driving while listening to the radio and an album of his was playing. I had to pull the car over to the side of the road because I could not drive and weep with laughter at the same time.
This was at a time when America’s civil rights struggles were in full swing as blacks were struggling for respect. Bill Cosby contributed to that struggle by going back to school and working for his doctorate in education thus earning the title, Dr. Bill Cosby, Jr. Now, not only was he an accomplished comedian he held a title no other comedian had.
He continued to build his brand by constructing entertainment vehicles that raised the recognition of blacks in a country that often were so blinkered as to not recognize that blacks were people too. He got to the point where The Bill Cosby Show was the top rated show in America for five continuous years; a show about a black family in America. He made a lot of money.
Meanwhile, behind the scenes he was quietly a major financial contributor to institutions of learning, especially black schools. He was convinced that education was the key to lifting up our racial group, and he put his money where his mouth was. On the face of things Bill Cosby was the perfect man for the times in which we lived. I stood a little straighter and pushed my chest out a little farther because Bill was running offense for our people.
When we look at his achievements and his Honorary Degrees it was apparent that everybody was just so proud to be associated with this great man. He received a record number of 57 Honorary Degrees for things like Doctor of Laws, Fine Arts, Humane Letters, Music, etc.
His was the biggest and most powerful name in show business and education. He was the most respected man in America and around the world. He could do no wrong.
First came a single accusation, like a tear drop, and then a little trickle, and then a flood of accusations alleging rape, drug facilitated sexual assault, sexual battery, and child sexual abuse.
The world stood still and forgot to breathe. Approximately sixty women had come forward to say these things had happened but they said nothing at the time because he was who he was and they were sure they would not be believed.
I could not process the information and nor could I believe it. It just wouldn’t sink in. This simply could not be. My shield was the question: “Why now?” Bill has had a day in court which resulted in a hung jury, so at this point he has not been found guilty of anything other than having been a most generous contributor to good things, and of making me laugh so hard I pulled over into the emergency breakdown lane. He will return to court this Spring.
For a very long time I was so angry with Bill Cosby that I would not even think his name. I’m thinking about him today because he was just the tip of the rich, famous and entitled men who so thoroughly have humiliated me as a male through their alleged actions.
None of the long list of accused has been found guilty by a court as yet except Dr Larry Nassar who has been sentenced to 235 years in prison, but the hostility is so great no-one has the patience to wait for court outcomes. Many of those accused, like Bill have been tremendous benefactors making life so much better for many people, but in a mere blink of an eye they have fallen from grace like the leaf of a tree branch in Autumn. There they lie to be trod upon and forgotten.
What an unforgiving world we live in. We must conduct ourselves accordingly.
Copyright (c) 2018