The Sad Saga of Mr. Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby

It is hard to watch Bill Cosby, America’s Dad, stand trail for his sexual misdeeds.

We know his claim to fame to be Dr. Cliff Huxtable, the patriarch of the family that made TV history showcasing the world of the Black middle-class family. He did it with such grace, beauty and humor.

The shows always had a point and you were looking at your very own family or someone you knew. The show became a portrait of the American family, sort of like “Father Knows Best.”

But this was a Black family with a doctor and lawyer in the main roles. It was funny, it was bright and it was a new brand of comedy about the Black family, which takes much criticism. “The Cosby Show” did as much in raising the bar for Black America as Obama’s presidency.

And then it was a comedian, a relatively, unknown one, Hannibal Buress, who was on stage talking about Cosby and his address to some of Black America. Hannibal’s routine went viral on YouTube and it was beyond comedy.

Cosby had scolded Black folk on child rearing habits, suggesting that something was wrong. His comments became controversial. Who did he think he was? But he continued the Black family scold tour as he was issuing a clarion call to Black America to straighten up and look in the mirror and correct itself. He was quite serious, there were no jokes.

But Hannibal Buress called Cosby out. Hannibal said as you call others out, your very own mirror reveals you as a rapist. It was clear as he said it, but it was also confusing. Was Hannibal calling Cosby a rapist for real, or was this a joke?

The Pattern Of Rape

Bill Cosby
Accuser, Andréa Constand and Bill Cosby

But then the women came. The women demonstrated a pattern of drugged rape. The women varied, but the story of drugged rape was the same. He had the women in private, and then he gave them a pill(s) to relax along with a glass of wine, and then he had his way, his way of rape, that is, sex without consent.

This is where it gets sticky. He took advantage of the women as he enabled them. The sexual assaults were the same. And in Cosby’s deposition, he admitted to the pattern.

The women waited years to tell their stories of assault. They were afraid of the powerful, Mr. Bill Cosby. Who would believe them? This is what many women go through when they have been sexually abused or taken advantage of. Who would believe them?

In the case of Cosby, the stories were uniformly the same. The women identified with each other, as they were Cosby’s victims.

Because of the time lapse, for most, it was too late for criminal prosecution. And then one accuser, Andréa Constand, came forth just in the nick of time to take Cosby to court before the statue of limitation expired for her situation.

She met him when she was attending Temple University, Cosby’s alma mater and where he served on the board. He paid her tuition at school. He expressed interest in her career.

No matter whether the courts declare him innocent or guilty, Cosby’s image has been destroyed.

She told her story to a jury of 12, 10 whites and two Blacks, and after 52 hours they could not reach a verdict and the judge declared the hung verdict a mistrial.

And now Ms. Constand has the right to retry the case within four months or she can drop the case. Constand says she was raped in 2004, that’s 13 years ago. The time span is against her.

Time is also very much against Cosby, as he still might be faced with a jail sentence for the rest of his life. He is 79 and is legally blind. Will Mr. Bill Cosby, the rich man, who is legally blind, walking on a cane and with double arm assistance, really go to jail?

I don’t think so. And here’s why. There is the money factor. Over the next four months a hefty out of court settlement is likely to take place for everyone to go home.

Ms. Constand has made a valuable point to women everywhere. And that is, the talk of prosecution is painful but important to do if you have been wronged. She garners support in the women’s court.

But you must ask, why did it take so long. You must also ask, as was brought out in the trial, why did you call Cosby 73 times and speak at length after he had assaulted you. What on earth is there to talk about? Why would you ask for free tickets to his show for you and your family?

Is this a case of rape or is this a case of a romance that went bad? Strange things happen when rich men get together with younger women, particularly if he is married and wealthy and famous.

What Took So Long?

I just wonder with all of the Cosby accusers, what took you long to come forward? Why not scream to the hilltops immediately afterwards? Why wait so long to say he raped you? Did these women go to the hotel room or to the house naively?

Too often, when a man invites a woman to his room, it is an invitation to have sex. These women were sophisticated and Cosby was in a position to help elevate careers of actresses, writers and the like. That is the curious factor here. Were these women working on their careers as they were encountering Cosby?

Also, in the pubic profile of Mr. Cosby, there is Camille and a wonderful family, a family that has been generous in telling the Black story and providing generously to Black institutions. Where was Mrs. Cosby when all of this was going on?

No matter whether the courts declare him innocent or guilty, Cosby’s image has been destroyed. We have watched someone that America has admired, who brought a new brand of humor to the stage and screen, absolutely get destroyed.

Did he destroy himself or did he cross the white line in some way? It seems that Cosby destroyed himself and the real victim in the scene is his lovely wife, of 53 years, Camille.

To watch your aging, popular, historic husband go through this must be real pain, and you wonder why. Cosby had it all. Mr. Cosby’s wife released this biting statement, which was also posted on Mr. Cosby’s Twitter account:

“How do I describe the District Attorney? Heinously and exploitively ambitious. How do I describe the judge? Overtly and arrogantly collaborating with the District Attorney. How do I describe the counsels for the accusers? Totally unethical.

“How do I describe many, but not all, general media? Blatantly vicious entities that continually disseminated intentional omissions of truths for the primary purpose of greedily selling sensationalism at the expense of a human life.

“Historically, people have challenged injustices. I am grateful to any of the jurors who tenaciously fought to review the evidence; which is the rightful way to make a sound decision…ultimately, that is a manifestation of justice, based on facts, not lies. As a very special friend once stated, ‘truth can be subdued, but not destroyed.’

“Moreover, I express humongous gratitude to counselors Brian McMonagle and Angela Agrusa for their hard work. Mr. McMonagle for his passionate and powerful articulations of truths; Ms. Agrusa for her thorough research to bolster Counsel McMonagle; to Mr. Andrew Wyatt for his unequivocal skills in public relations; to our team, who worked diligently and intelligently; to our staffs for their continuous commitment to our family and me…to our children, grandchildren, and other family who loves us…and to our dear friends and supporters, who never gave up on us, despite it all.”

Hermene Hartman

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