Lately, I’ve been hit with a deluge of Facebook posts about Bill Cosby. Cosby apologists – an almost exclusively African American crowd – seem ready to latch on to any conspiracy theory or slut-shaming explanation to defend the man nicknamed “America’s Dad.” The fact that he’s now, finally, being put on trial for rape (a former DA in suburban Philadelphia’s Montgomery County simply declined to prosecute him years ago) has stirred up these supporters once again. It’s time for America – especially black America – to just accept what’s right in front of our faces: Bill Cosby is a creep.
Here are seven reasons we need to just get over it already:
1. Bill Cosby already admitted to being a creep.
He admitted to buying pills for women he wanted to have sex with. The implication here is that this was activity was consensual. That’s still creepy. Actually, it’s sick. As a normal human being, I’m deeply disturbed that he would have a fetish for sleeping with unconscious women (whether they “wanted it” or not). It’s an impersonal abuse of sex. As a Christian, I am also disturbed that Cosby routinely sought such sexual encounters outside the bounds of marriage. Guilty or not, Cosby is clearly a sick man.
2. Bill Cosby joked about drugging and raping women.
3. Cosby accusers did not suddenly emerge all at once.
Fresh attention to the accusations came quickly, but Cosby has been combating his image as a womanizer for a long time. Women aren’t jumping on the proverbial band wagon of Cosby hate. Society is just now taking seriously what we’ve been alerted to repeatedly for years.
4. What happened to taking rape victims more seriously?
We’ve swept these accusations under the rug for years. Now that they are thrust in our faces, we belittle, mock, and demonize the alleged victims. This is the very attitude that contributes to rape culture in this country. We assume that women falsely cry rape because they want money or revenge for unrequited affection. We claim that some women – who we perceive as promiscuous – are incapable of being raped. We believe that women – regardless of how scared and intimidated they may be – who wait to report that they’ve been raped are lying. We pull out all these twisted arguments when one of our heroes is the accused. The truth is, these mindsets repress victims and provide cover to predators.
5. Rapes often go unpunished.
Don’t assume that if Cosby isn’t found guilty of this one instance of rape he is somehow innocent of all accusations. Rape is hard to prove. Perpetrators are privileged, victims are disprivileged. We often talk about racism or sexism or abortion, but the largely unchecked culture of rape, sexual violence, and aggression is one of the greatest stains on our society.
6. The conspiracy theories are flaky.
What is more plausible, that 50 women of different stations in life from different parts of the country all conspired to bring down one of the most beloved men in entertainment, or a wealthy, famous, powerful man sexually abused several women? No one needed to destroy Cosby’s reputation to keep him from buying NBC. General Electric (back in the day) and Comcast (now) could just say, “No, it’s not for sale,” and that would be the end of the matter. Racist aren’t trying to bring him down. They love Cosby. He makes all their arguments for them. Women aren’t looking for a quick way to get rich. Accusing a beloved, well funded, lawyered-up man of rape is both difficult and time consuming. People have made an idol of Cosby, and just can’t accept his imperfections.To read more about the flaws in Cosby conspiracy theories, check out this awesome article by @btouch that partly inspired me to make this list.
— IG: _iam.will_ (@_justanothawill) December 30, 2015
7. Bill Cosby’s moral failings do not nullify his good works.
The Cosby Show is still a groundbreaking phenomenon in American entertainment history. His revolutionary portrayal of black life did change how society views people of color. Cosby is and always will be a great philanthropist, just like Bill Clinton will always be the president who balanced the budget and Martin Luther King will always be the great leader of the Civil Rights Movement. We can hold them accountable for their moral shortcomings and at the same time celebrate them for their enduring contributions to society.
So, let’s just admit: Bill Cosby is funny, revolutionary, and a creep.
Here’s a great clip from D. L. Hughley on directly confronting Cosby and calling him on his moralizing hypocrisy (warning: there’s some harsh language):