Bill Cosby Doesn’t Deserve Your Help

“If you can fuck up in Heaven, you can fuck up in Harlem.” – D.L. Hughley

Years ago, I wrote a piece about how folks who have wonderful legacies in one arena do terrible things and if it’s possible to separate their actions. Getting older has opened my eyes to how easy it is to believe a particular narrative that generally benefits certain people, and that it’s horrifyingly common.

Also horrifyingly common? Everybody who thinks Bill Cosby got a raw deal because he has a very good lawyer and because he’s Bill Cosby. If you don’t like that a bunch of people can publicly accuse you of doing something wrong, then you don’t like the First Amendment to some degree – and this isn’t the same as yelling fire in a crowded theater. If you’re nervous that you could be Bill Cosby, then you might want to be nervous about what harms you’ve done to people that you thought you could get away with. If you don’t like that a bunch of people can publicly accuse you of doing something wrong and that you could be arrested for it, then either watch Making a Murderer and How to Get Away With Murder and do better about wiping your prints and keeping your trail clear or pray the statute of limitations runs out. If you think Bill is being extorted, you might be right – and he might deserve it if he’s been sexually assaulting women.

If you think Bill couldn’t have done it for no other reason than he has too much to lose, then ask Darryl Strawberry why he did crack while playing for the Yankees, why Tiger Woods kept sleeping with Denny’s waitresses, why Marion Berry did crack with a prostitute in a hotel room, why Bill Clinton messed around with Monica Lewinsky, why didn’t Charlie Sheen use protection, why Kobe ended up messing with that woman in Colorado, why didn’t YOU take a cab home instead of driving drunk, and all sorts of other obviously answerable questions about people having too much to lose and still making costly decisions. Just because you weren’t caught drunk driving doesn’t mean you did the right thing – it means you got away with it.

If you think Bill was going to buy NBC and turn it into Negro Broadcasting Channel, you don’t have the slightest idea how much it costs to buy NBC Universal and that Bill Cosby, unless he’s masquerading as Warren Buffett, doesn’t have the money to buy a channel. Case in point – Oprah launched her own channel, and Cosby doesn’t have Oprah money.

If you think these women made a mistake going to a married man’s room alone, you’d better be saying Bill made an even bigger mistake being alone with a single woman while he’s married, which does allow him the opportunity to do something he shouldn’t and get away with it. If you think “innocent until proven guilty,” you have your faith in a broken system – and you don’t reserve that God’s eyeview of justice for so many cases where people believe the victim’s story without video evidence like the guy who was arrested for bleeding on a cop’s shoes after reportedly being beaten by them, Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell, Akai Gurley, Sandra Bland or some other miscarriage of justice where victims are often not believed and made out to be liars who earned what was coming, why does Bill get your benefit of the doubt? If you think it’s troubling to see “America’s Dad” get put through the ringer but have zero belief that he did it, I wonder what you would’ve said if Daniel Holtzclaw’s victims waited 10 years before saying something and how much you would’ve believed them. But this is the DNA era – people need indisputable video evidence, DNA, defensive marks, a rape kit, a hospital report, and an angelic victim before they’ll believe a powerful man played a power move in one of the worst ways possible. Even then, we’ll find a reason to doubt a complainant because women lie (2-8% is the common stat on false rape reporting), people get over on folks (so they say), and rape is a real gray area in the world because of intoxication and consent (so they say).

You should be nervous if you think a former date you got drunk with and slept with might come back and say you raped her, and it’s an IGNANT thing to do to claim someone has raped you when you genuinely know it was a consensual affair. It’s just as IGNANT to deny someone’s rape claim, however, just because time passed. If that’s the case, Blacks should shut the fuck up about anything that happened over 20 years ago because of a statute of limitations, and there is NO SUCH THING AS A MORAL STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS. Just because one woman was lying about Cosby being in LA when he was apparently in New York doesn’t mean ALL OF THEM are lying until it’s proven they are (and that the crime didn’t happen), which comes from investigating the crime. I had a former cop friend once tell me, “I worked rape cases for 13 years. You’d be surprised what some of these women think is rape.” To be fair, he also said he thought each claim should be checked out, which is doing the due diligence rather than treating victims like criminals. I ain’t worked a rape case, and I know there can be ample amounts of he said/she said and could possibly imagine a scenario when one might think the sex was consensual but it really wasn’t (and even then, it’s basically impossible to imagine a scenario where this has happened without him having some indication that something isn’t right here). But let me put this out there – every young man I know has grabbed a woman’s ass in a club and because she didn’t say something or fight back violently some thought that she was OK with it and that it’s alright to do as a general practice. Some of these women might be OK with it, but for many they make a business decision to avoid conflict because if she tells him “Take your hand off my ass!” he might bust her in the head with a damn beer bottle or otherwise physically harm or intimidate her there and/or later; he might call her all sorts of names and try to make her a social outcast; or he might stalk her trying to grab on her when she’s dancing with someone else or some other insane event that’s happened to women in social situations. Look at how they’re talked to on Tinder, in DMs, and all sorts of other social media and comment sections (oh, and in real life) – are you really shocked that someone might just do something they shouldn’t to a woman and think it’s OK? If so, color yourself IGNANT and do better.

IGNANT Friday, Vol. 4, 1st Edition

IGNANT Friday has returned! This is the weekly roundup of the most ignant things I’ve seen or heard of, and since this is the first Friday of the first full week of the new year, I thought it might be good to round up some end of the year ignance and spotlight some beginning of the year ignance starting with…

Donald J. Trump is running for president and it’s not a hoax. When asked how he’s going to “make America great again,” he says he’ll hire good people to get the job done. When asked how he’s going to tackle the “immigration problem,” he says we’ll build a wall that borders Mexico (not Canada, though) even though Hispanics love him and that we’ll ban all Muslims from coming into a country that has freedom of religion. His supporters often chime that he’s outspoken and that this country needs more outspoken leadership (while insinuating that President Obama’s comments about guns, race, or anything else are out of place or distractions). Meanwhile, we’re headed towards Trump being on the Republican ticket. Because he will hire good people to do his job (sound business strategy) and forgot that people have to confirm nearly any choices he makes about the good people (politics as usual), a Trump presidency will leave this country up shit creek without a canoe, a paddle, or life jackets. President Trump = wading in shit creek.

I’m not done with the IGNANT shit on the Republican ticket though – the good Dr. Ben Carson, Black people’s favorite retired neurosurgeon, is losing support after being recognized as the voice of Eor from Winnie the Pooh. Seriously, he’s losing support because he’s not credible as a Presidential candidate. He never was a serious candidate, seeing as he has zero political experience or leadership, zero business experience or leadership, and his biggest claim to fame after being a retired Black neurosurgeon is that he’s a right wing Black man who confirms what white people would like to think about Blacks. To this point, many times I’ve criticized Ben for his lackluster and offensive politics, I’ve had a guy pop up and say that I don’t like Uncle Ben because he’s Black and that I’m a sellout because I don’t like his political rhetoric. Put my face next to the definition of a sellout if that’s the case, because I don’t like his political position and think he’s largely misguided. I was told I didn’t like Ben Carson because I don’t respect his rags-to-riches story and that he’s the American Dream. I can’t take away from his credentials or life experience and don’t intend to – I also don’t think he’s fit to be President of the United States because being rags-to-riches and being a former neurosurgeon doesn’t qualify him to run the country, nor do his views or his politics. He’s anti-affirmative action, which brings me to the next IGNANT piece of business…

Antonin Scalia’s par for the course commentary on Black students’ abilities to achieve were dreadfully inaccurate and served as grist for the mill for the same man who said, “If we want to stop discriminating on the basis of race then we have to stop discriminating on the basis of race,” though if I’ve paraphrased him someone please correct him so that he doesn’t keep saying these things. This is a problem with having lifetime positions like Supreme Court membership – nobody can be held accountable or removed unless he sexually assaults a child (and we have DNA, indisputable video evidence and a sworn confession) or some other heinous act, but he’s allowed to spout falsities without research that end up damning a constituency of this country as unable to learn quickly, like the backhanded slap that accompanied Brown v. Board leaving Black schools with a scarlet letter. I had a conversation once with a kid that summed up the bullshit behind the scenes of a “meritocracy” when he was mad that his Black friend got a scholarship to a great private college and he had to go to the local state school.

“I’ve got better grades than him, I’ve got better test scores than him.”

College admission processes do include more than tests and GPAs, maybe his recommendations spoke glowingly about him and he brings more to the table as a student than you do.

“I just think it should all be on merit.”

Then the other 5,000 white freshmen beat you a lot more than the 500 Black freshmen if it’s all on merit, and you didn’t have that spot taken from you – it wasn’t yours to begin with. Ultimately, the confusion had here is that Black people are supposed to go to HBCUs and if they try to attend a PWI, they’re taking a spot away from a white person who was already prequalified for the spot like the credit card offers we get in the mail. Just like the credit card might be prequalified, you still have to apply and someone might actually have a better application than you, even if you’re prequalified! More to the point, this plays on the problems many Blacks face on their PWI campuses such as….

The blacklash against #ConcernedStudent1950 and the Mizzou football team protest exemplifies the IGNANT shit Black people have to deal with on a regular basis when shouting down and confronting racism, both in its visceral and institutional forms. Protest won’t be perfect, neither will policies – but the goal of protesting is to ultimately be in a position to improve policies (legal or social) for people here and generations to come. There were plenty of Blacks who hated angering white people or disrupting the social order for fear of white vengeance once anti-Jim Crow and anti-discrimination actions were made, but they smile now happy that they don’t live in Sundown towns and that they can actually purchase property. Those same folks who are pissed will be happy when they can actually call out injustice without fear of backlash as opposed to training themselves to be mute for self-preservation. That said, plenty of Black students go to school fearful because they have to deal with people actually grading their work as though they’re slow, being talked to and treated negatively because they’re Black, and being dismissed when they see these things happen as though they’re crazy and making things up. Black students at PWIs forge the weapons needed to combat racism because they’re right there in the thick of the fight. Black students at HBCUs have psychological armor developed to deal with the status quo of racism and inequality. Both are needed. It’s IGNANT to suggest that Black students shouldn’t go to white schools because they’re not wanted because those same Black students might not feel comfortable in the normally conservative environments of HBCUs. You go where you feel comfortable being able to be educated, other things being equal. You don’t deserve to be mistreated either way….

Which reminds me that part of the backlash against Black student groups uniting with tangible demands to improve their campuses and eliminate some of the alienation and racist targeting that occurs was to see white students banding together to make white student unions that also produced a list of demands for their campus, largely calling on the demands Black students make (to lessen racism on campus and make campus more tolerable for everyone) to be ignored and to double down on the status quo because Black Lives Matter makes them nervous. They should be nervous – they’re the motherfuckers being referenced by everyone who says Black Lives Matter, and that population is being put on notice. Still, some of these demands read like a child’s hostage note that he gives to his parents so that they’ll do something to keep Bob from tearing the head off of his G.I. Joe action figure. These are educated people – so just remember, education isn’t the possession of knowledge, it’s the possession of some degree that purportedly means you learned some shit – so college/university is basically a racket with rising costs just so you can have a piece of paper that lets you spout off whatever you’d like to say without doing research (our lovely First Amendment).

Speaking of constitutional freedoms, there are grown men who took over a federal facility while armed (with a guy manning a watchtower) and have camped out because family and friends have been imprisoned for using federal lands they didn’t own. The governer of Oregon has said they should leave, but the largely (if not all) white “milita” hasn’t been approached by law enforcement and their media coverage has been vastly different and much less prejudicial compared to WEAPONLESS peaceful protesting. Apparently because they haven’t harmed anyone or anything, it’s better to “de-escalate” the situation. Tell that to the folks in Ferguson and Tamir Rice’s play gun. “Oh wait, but the QuikTrip-” means that de-escalation was probably the best way to go about it before the QT got torched rather than military escalation. Black folks without weapons recently were shuttled out of a city building in Minnesota when they were protesting the death of another young Black person. I’d say know your history but again, education is a racket, so the vast majority of people are woefully ignorant about how Black people have been treated by law enforcement and government – case in point, let me tell you a story. A friend’s mom works in rural middle America and was working one day in the office, relating to a co-worker how things might be tight for a moment financially. Her white co-worker asked her, “Well, don’t you get a check?” My friend’s mom looked puzzled, saying that she receives a paycheck from the same employer they both work for. Her co-worker looked puzzled back at her, asking her, “The government check that Black people get, what happened to that?” My friend’s mom quickly explained that, no, Black people don’t get a government check. She may have been confusing welfare with reparations but no Black people have received reparations for harms committed by the country and welfare doesn’t constitute reparations since the vast majority of recipients are white and it’s designed to help people who don’t have enough resources even though they’re working hard. But the story gets better! The co-worker called in another co-worker to inform her of the change in information – Black people don’t get a check! If you honestly thought Black people received reparations of some sort, you might be curious as to how Blacks haven’t bridged any wealth or income gap. But since that’s NOT TRUE, go ahead and entertain other reasons for why the gaps haven’t been closed. Also, constitutional rights aren’t absolute, particularly the First and Second Amendments – if you can’t yell fire in a crowded theater without there being a fire and you can’t own a bazooka, then what’s wrong with background checking your kid before selling a gun to him? All of these people who are claiming their rights are being trampled on and can’t answer how (including white student unions mentioned above) are beyond IGNANT.

Speaking of educated people and purportedly learning some shit, the governor of Maine recently said that the heroin dealers with names like, “D-Money and Shifty,” they come up to Maine and deliver their heroin and half of them apparently impregnate young white girls, leaving a mess on everyone’s hands once D-Money and Co. have left town. Maine is 95% white, so he’s not terribly inaccurate about who’s being impregnated by heroin dealers. He’s since backtracked to make sure that it’s clear he meant “Maine women,” not white women, and that he doesn’t know if these are Black names or otherwise. I do know this – even the suggestion that Black drug dealers are impregnating white women is enough to rile people up and it plays on the same racist rhetoric and fear mongering that has been quite effective since Nixon’s Southern Strategy. What’s even more IGNANT than the damn governor coming out and naming some fake drug dealer names when discussing a heroin epidemic in his state (and apparently a mixed baby crisis)?

Daniel Holtzclaw. God won’t have mercy on your soul.

New Year’s Resolution for 2016: Have White People Slap Each Other

2016 has arrived and with it the promise of new opportunities to change and improve ourselves individually and collectively. Something that we could all work on is combating racism in all its nefarious forms. There are way too many examples of how racism functions currently and how it changes depending on who is on the receiving end of the racism (for example, I don’t have any concerns about being sexually assaulted by an overzealous, power mad and racially biased cop like Daniel Holtzclaw – but Black women do have that concern), but since this is our annual rebirth of the new year, why not imagine what life could be like if white people in America acted like a Romanian man did when a friend of mine visited Romania for the first time. She’s a Black woman in pharmacy school, but she was extremely surprised when there was heightened attention seemingly across the country because a Black person was there. They hadn’t seen many if any Blacks, and she was even interviewed on the news (presumably to help the city she was in see what a real life Black person looks and sounds like). While enjoying this newfound position as Black ambassador to Romania and having a couple of drinks with some locals, a semi-drunk guy ambled over to her and made a joke in poor taste (at best), saying that my friend is a descendant of Kunta Kinte and laughing drunkenly.

At this moment, she’s only got a handful of options – laugh it off awkwardly to avoid an international incident; tell the drunk man how he’s being offensive with his poor joke (especially if he wasn’t trying to be offensive); or set it off in the tavern and hope to slide out safely amidst the chaos. Turns out there was another option that she couldn’t choose but was chosen for her: a friend of the drunk man SLAPPED the drunk man and told him it was rude to say that to my friend. Flat out slapped him like Charlie Murphy and Rick James. The drunk man got slapped and corrected and then APOLOGIZED to my friend for his error. Had she slapped him, it could’ve set off a dangerous course of events for all involved. Because it was one of his own that challenged him to do better, his response was temperate and appropriate, though it’s still doubtful that he learned not to say that joke in general, just not in front of Black people.

Imagine a world where white people slap the shit out of each other when they see or hear one of their own making anti-Black racist statements or espousing false, damaging, racist beliefs about Black people and Black culture. Wouldn’t that be a grand place where socially damaging behaviors are corrected within the society as opposed to legal means? We can see it now….

At the family picnic:

Bob: Those fucking nigg…

(SLAP)

Joe: Bob! Do better!

Bob (holding his face): You’re right, Joe. Sorry about that.

At the dinner table:

Sue: Daddy, a Black person was our substitute teacher.

Bob: Those fucking nigg…

(SLAP)

Jill: Damnit Bob, can’t we go through one dinner without this?!

Bob (holding his face): Sorry, Jill. Didn’t mean it?

Sue: Daddy, you have work to do.

At the office:

Dale: Bob, have you seen Johnson? I thought he went on break over an hour ago but I can’t find him and have a project I need his help with.

Bob: You don’t need the help of a fucking nigg…

(SLAP)

Johnson: Who the fuck you calling a nigger?

Dale: Wasn’t me, but I slapped him for his rudeness.

Bob (holding his face): Alright, I said it. I SAID IT! You happy now?

Johnson: I’d be happier if you didn’t need to keep getting slapped, the rest of the office has been slapfree for months now.

Dale: Gonna have to report you – you know the rules, if I had to slap you the boss finds out.

Bob: Dale, you don’t have to…seriously. You know the boss will fire me! I’ve learned my lesson! After 6 slaps over the past 2 months, I can’t take another hit to my record!

Johnson: You mean you can’t take another hit to your face. You know if the boss keeps you, you get vengeance slaps right?

Bob (still holding his face):……….

Dale: I’m going to ask the boss not to fire you but let him know I slapped you for your racism.

Bob: Dale, just have him fire me. The vengeance slaps that Justin got give me nightmares.

Johnson: Nah, nah patna! You’re not getting away that easily. Tell the boss that Johnson, the guy Bob got slapped over, has no problems with him staying on provided he’s qualified for vengeance slaps.

2 weeks later at the office:

Johnson: Bob, how’s it going?

Bob:………

Johnson: No response? You don’t feel like talking much today?

Bob:………………..

Johnson: Those vengeance slaps were a motherfucker, weren’t they?

Bob:……………………………..

Johnson: Ah, the sweet sound of silent racism.

(Bob gets up and walks out the room).

I know this isn’t the reality of 2016, 2017, 2040, or 2100 (but wouldn’t this be an incredible Black Mirror episode?). But the idea of self-correction is what many people of color are calling for when they tell people to go do their research. Go self-correct rather than living obtusely thinking that because it’s not illegal to be racist you haven’t done something wrong or that Black people are whining when they claim racism manifests in a host of different ways. If Black people had to slap white people every time they overstepped the racist line (and white folks have been habitual linesteppers) our collective arms would have fallen off by now. To be sure, Blacks and many white people have been offering verbal slaps (and some physical ones) for a long time now in the face of this problem, but Black folks’ arms are tired (and like Killer Mike recently said, white folks seem to be rather hard-headed regarding these issues) so now it’s time to make the call for all white allies and supporters of ending anti-Black racism to do something brave that’ll help everyone out:

Slap your buddies, family members and colleagues when they cross that line. If you don’t know what it takes to cross that line, stop and make sure you’re not the habitual linestepper referenced earlier. If you do, then get that equality pimp hand strong and put it to good use. The world can’t wait on you not to slap someone.

Happy New Year, folks.