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.

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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.