Fasten your seatbelts readers! In the midst of the crosswinds of global warming, COVID-19, a brutal heatwave in the Northwest and misplaced outrage over “critical race theory,” we just got a shot of what the doctor ordered; that “doctor” being none other than “Dr. Cliff Huxtable,” aka Bill Cosby, “America’s dad,” …. and convicted rapist!
Let us begin with this bombshell declaration from “Dr. Huxtable’s” spokesman Andrew Wyatt who called Huxtable’s release after serving nearly three years in prison for rape, Lord help us, “a good day of justice for Black America.” Wow, let that sink in.
Lo and behold, after Huxtable’s release, Black America (all 42 million of them) could not be reached for comment. Thus, you are stuck with the biased opinions of one Black American, ahem, yours truly.
Now c’mon Mr. Wyatt, “a good day” for the 60 women he’s accused of sexually abusing? A good day for the thousands of other women who were raped but remain quiet in fear of not being believed for speaking up? We’ll get back to Wyatt shortly.
Okay, as you probably expected, the responses to Huxtable’s release – elation and anger among them – were swift and powerful. The first came from Phylicia Rashad, Huxtable’s on-air spouse during the years on the Cosby Show.
“FINALLY!!!! A terrible wrong is being righted” Rashard wrote. But the newly appointed dean of Howard University’s College of Fine Arts got an earful from Twitter followers and Howard alumni and students. Later the university issued a statement that Rashad’s tweet “lacked sensitivity toward survivors of sexual assault.”
Now speaking of Rashad, aka “Mrs. Huxtable,” (and leaving myself wide open for criticism), I must say that for the life of me I never could understand why Huxtable apologists –women in particular – are so quick to turn a blind eye to his years of predatory behavior toward women. But I’ll kick the can down the road on that one for another time or for someone else to tackle. Back to the responses.
“The facts don’t change. The conclusion is that the jury reached the conclusion that he is a sexually violent predator,” commented a broadcaster who allege that Cosby raped her back in the 80’s. “The thing is that over and over people are silenced about these violent acts by sexual predators.”
Now before we proceed, do not think for a second that all Black folks were fist pumping the air shouting amen, amen, amen at the image of the freed Huxtable being helped out a car and led to his Philadelphia mansion.
But his trial and recent release uncorked a chorus of the usual excuses by diehard Huxtable apologists, among them, “This was but another attempt to bring a Black man down,” ……” Those women shouldn’t have gone to his hotel room in the first place” …. “The women he was accused of raping were just gold diggers,” etc., in addition to the diversionary “what-about-them-ism” (Harvey Weinstein, Jeffrey Epstein, Donald Trump and others).
To all that I say utter hogwash…with a capital H.
Remember, he admitted to plying women with drugs to have sex with them. So what’s so difficult about that that’s so hard to understand? Seriously, help me, I’m desperate to know.
So, count me among famous Black writers (me way less famous) who refuse to climb aboard the “bro Bill the victim” bandwagon. Here are two:
Said Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Eugene Robinson, “Bill Cosby may have been released from prison, but in no way has he been exonerated. He knows what he did. His many accusers know what was done to them. And I think the rest of us know, too. So don’t confuse Cosby’s release with any kind of vindication.”
Wrote fellow Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Leonard Pitts a few years ago, “Some Black folks need to get past the idea that each of us is obligated to defend any one of us against all accusations regardless of evidence. That is not racial solidarity, no, it’s abdication of our responsibility to exercise judgment.”
Back to the well-compensated Andrew Wyatt since what he said continues to gnaw at me. To add insult to injury, his absurd “justice for Black America” declaration was in my opinion a cynical attempt to blame Huxtable’s prosecution on racism and contempt for Black success.
And, by all accounts, it’s worked, said Katheryn Russell-Brown, a professor at the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law.
“Black protectionism is this kind of shield, this communal blanket, that many African Americans make available to celebrities who find themselves in some kind of legal trouble,” said Russell-Brown. “Cosby’s attorneys are using this to obscure or avert our eyes away from the crime charged and to the system. It’s become a shield that has worked quite well.”
In the end, we should thank Dr. Huxtable for his charitable financial contributions over the years. And I guess that we should also thank him for recently diverting our attention away from more serious matters.
But please Dr. Huxtable, you accomplished the latter so do us all a favor; don’t rejoin the speaker circuit, do TV interviews, or write a book on your “ordeal.” Just lock your behind up inside your million-dollar mansion, disappear from the public eye and leave us the hell alone.
Back now to a lot more important matters.Terry Howard is an award-winning writer and storyteller, a contributing writer with the Chattanooga News Chronicle, The Douglas County Sentinel, The BlackMarket.com, co-founder of the “26 Tiny Paint Brushes” writers’ guild, and recipient of the Dr. Martin Luther King Leadership Award