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Offline trinindian

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Bill Cosby Thread
« on: August 07, 2008, 07:51:23 AM »
This was reference in the guardian today,

http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/billcosbypoundcakespeech.htm


Ladies and gentlemen, I really have to ask you to seriously consider what you’ve heard, and now this is the end of the evening so to speak. I heard a prize fight manager say to his fellow who was losing badly, “David, listen to me. It’s not what’s he’s doing to you. It’s what you’re not doing."

Ladies and gentlemen, these people set -- they opened the doors, they gave us the right, and today, ladies and gentlemen, in our cities and public schools we have 50% drop out. In our own neighborhood, we have men in prison. No longer is a person embarrassed because they’re pregnant without a husband. No longer is a boy considered an embarrassment if he tries to run away from being the father of the unmarried child.

Ladies and gentlemen, the lower economic and lower middle economic people are not holding their end in this deal. In the neighborhood that most of us grew up in, parenting is not going on. In the old days, you couldn’t hooky school because every drawn shade was an eye. And before your mother got off the bus and to the house, she knew exactly where you had gone, who had gone into the house, and where you got on whatever you had one and where you got it from. Parents don’t know that today.

I’m talking about these people who cry when their son is standing there in an orange suit. Where were you when he was two? Where were you when he was twelve? Where were you when he was eighteen, and how come you don’t know he had a pistol? And where is his father, and why don’t you know where he is? And why doesn’t the father show up to talk to this boy?

The church is only open on Sunday. And you can’t keep asking Jesus to ask doing things for you. You can’t keep asking that God will find a way. God is tired of you. God was there when they won all those cases -- fifty in a row. That’s where God was because these people were doing something. And God said, “I’m going to find a way.” I wasn’t there when God said it -- I’m making this up. But it sounds like what God would do.

We cannot blame white people. White people -- White people don’t live over there. They close up the shop early. The Korean ones still don’t know us as well -- they stay open 24 hours.

I’m looking and I see a man named Kenneth Clark, he and his wife Mamie. Kenneth’s still alive. I have to apologize to him for these people because Kenneth said it straight. He said you have to strengthen yourselves, and we’ve got to have that black doll. And everybody said it. Julian Bond said it. Dick Gregory said it. All these lawyers said it. And you wouldn’t know that anybody had done a damned thing.

Fifty percent drop out rate, I’m telling you, and people in jail, and women having children by five, six different men. Under what excuse? I want somebody to love me. And as soon as you have it, you forget to parent. Grandmother, mother, and great grandmother in the same room, raising children, and the child knows nothing about love or respect of any one of the three of them. All this child knows is “gimme, gimme, gimme.” These people want to buy the friendship of a child, and the child couldn’t care less. Those of us sitting out here who have gone on to some college or whatever we’ve done, we still fear our parents. And these people are not parenting. They’re buying things for the kid -- $500 sneakers -- for what? They won’t buy or spend $250 on Hooked on Phonics.

Kenneth Clark, somewhere in his home in upstate New York -- just looking ahead. Thank God he doesn’t know what’s going on. Thank God. But these people -- the ones up here in the balcony fought so hard. Looking at the incarcerated, these are not political criminals. These are people going around stealing Coca Cola. People getting shot in the back of the head over a piece of pound cake! Then we all run out and are outraged: “The cops shouldn’t have shot him.” What the hell was he doing with the pound cake in his hand? I wanted a piece of pound cake just as bad as anybody else. And I looked at it and I had no money. And something called parenting said if you get caught with it you’re going to embarrass your mother." Not, "You’re going to get your butt kicked." No. "You’re going to embarrass your mother." "You’re going to embarrass your family." If you knock that girl up, you’re going to have to run away because it’s going to be too embarrassing for your family. In the old days, a girl getting pregnant had to go down South, and then her mother would go down to get her. But the mother had the baby. I said the mother had the baby. The girl didn’t have a baby. The mother had the baby in two weeks. We are not parenting.

Ladies and gentlemen, listen to these people. They are showing you what’s wrong. People putting their clothes on backwards. Isn’t that a sign of something going on wrong? Are you not paying attention? People with their hat on backwards, pants down around the crack. Isn’t that a sign of something or are you waiting for Jesus to pull his pants up? Isn’t it a sign of something when she’s got her dress all the way up to the crack -- and got all kinds of needles and things going through her body. What part of Africa did this come from? We are not Africans. Those people are not Africans; they don’t know a damned thing about Africa. With names like Shaniqua, Shaligua, Mohammed and all that crap and all of them are in jail. (When we give these kinds names to our children, we give them the strength and inspiration in the meaning of those names. What’s the point of giving them strong names if there is not parenting and values backing it up).

Brown versus the Board of Education is no longer the white person’s problem. We’ve got to take the neighborhood back. We’ve got to go in there. Just forget telling your child to go to the Peace Corps. It’s right around the corner. It’s standing on the corner. It can’t speak English. It doesn’t want to speak English. I can’t even talk the way these people talk: “Why you ain’t where you is go, ra.” I don’t know who these people are. And I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk. Then I heard the father talk. This is all in the house. You used to talk a certain way on the corner and you got into the house and switched to English. Everybody knows it’s important to speak English except these knuckleheads. You can’t land a plane with, “Why you ain’t…” You can’t be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth. There is no Bible that has that kind of language. Where did these people get the idea that they’re moving ahead on this. Well, they know they’re not; they’re just hanging out in the same place, five or six generations sitting in the projects when you’re just supposed to stay there long enough to get a job and move out.

Now, look, I’m telling you. It’s not what they’re doing to us. It’s what we’re not doing. 50 percent drop out. Look, we’re raising our own ingrown immigrants. These people are fighting hard to be ignorant. There’s no English being spoken, and they’re walking and they’re angry. Oh God, they’re angry and they have pistols and they shoot and they do stupid things. And after they kill somebody, they don’t have a plan. Just murder somebody. Boom. Over what? A pizza? And then run to the poor cousin’s house.

They sit there and the cousin says, “What are you doing here?”

“I just killed somebody, man.”

“What?”

“I just killed somebody; I’ve got to stay here.”

“No, you don’t.”

“Well, give me some money, I’ll go….”

 “Where are you going?”

“North Carolina.”

Everybody wanted to go to North Carolina. But the police know where you’re going because your cousin has a record.

Five or six different children -- same woman, eight, ten different husbands or whatever. Pretty soon you’re going to have to have DNA cards so you can tell who you’re making love to. You don’t who this is. It might be your grandmother. I’m telling you, they’re young enough. Hey, you have a baby when you’re twelve. Your baby turns thirteen and has a baby, how old are you? Huh? Grandmother. By the time you’re twelve, you could have sex with your grandmother, you keep those numbers coming. I’m just predicting.

I’m saying Brown versus the Board of Education. We’ve got to hit the streets, ladies and gentlemen. I’m winding up, now -- no more applause. I’m saying, look at the Black Muslims. There are Black Muslims standing on the street corners and they say so forth and so on, and we’re laughing at them because they have bean pies and all that, but you don’t read, “Black Muslim gunned down while chastising drug dealer.” You don’t read that. They don’t shoot down Black Muslims. You understand me. Muslims tell you to get out of the neighborhood. When you want to clear your neighborhood out, first thing you do is go get the Black Muslims, bean pies and all. And your neighborhood is then clear. The police can’t do it.

I’m telling you Christians, what’s wrong with you? Why can’t you hit the streets? Why can’t you clean it out yourselves? It’s our time now, ladies and gentlemen. It is our time. And I’ve got good news for you. It’s not about money. It’s about you doing something ordinarily that we do -- get in somebody else’s business. It’s time for you to not accept the language that these people are speaking, which will take them nowhere. What the hell good is Brown V. Board of Education if nobody wants it?

What is it with young girls getting after some girl who wants to still remain a virgin. Who are these sick black people and where did they come from and why haven’t they been parented to shut up? To go up to girls and try to get a club where “you are nobody....” This is a sickness, ladies and gentlemen, and we are not paying attention to these children. These are children. They don’t know anything. They don’t have anything. They’re homeless people. All they know how to do is beg. And you give it to them, trying to win their friendship. And what are they good for? And then they stand there in an orange suit and you drop to your knees: “He didn’t do anything. He didn’t do anything.” Yes, he did do it. And you need to have an orange suit on, too.

So, ladies and gentlemen, I want to thank you for the award -- and giving me an opportunity to speak because, I mean, this is the future, and all of these people who lined up and done -- they’ve got to be wondering what the hell happened. Brown V. Board of Education -- these people who marched and were hit in the face with rocks and punched in the face to get an education and we got these knuckleheads walking around who don’t want to learn English. I know that you all know it. I just want to get you as angry that you ought to be. When you walk around the neighborhood and you see this stuff, that stuff’s not funny. These people are not funny anymore. And that‘s not my brother. And that’s not my sister. They’re faking and they’re dragging me way down because the state, the city, and all these people have to pick up the tab on them because they don’t want to accept that they have to study to get an education.

We have to begin to build in the neighborhood, have restaurants, have cleaners, have pharmacies, have real estate, have medical buildings instead of trying to rob them all. And so, ladies and gentlemen, please, Dorothy Height, where ever she’s sitting, she didn’t do all that stuff so that she could hear somebody say “I can’t stand algebra, I can’t stand…" and “what you is.” It’s horrible.

Basketball players -- multimillionaires can’t write a paragraph. Football players, multimillionaires, can’t read. Yes. Multimillionaires. Well, Brown v. Board of Education, where are we today? It’s there. They paved the way. What did we do with it? The White Man, he’s laughing -- got to be laughing. 50 percent drop out -- rest of them in prison.

You got to tell me that if there was parenting -- help me -- if there was parenting, he wouldn’t have picked up the Coca Cola bottle and walked out with it to get shot in the back of the head. He wouldn’t have. Not if he loved his parents. And not if they were parenting! Not if the father would come home. Not if the boy hadn’t dropped the sperm cell inside of the girl and the girl had said, “No, you have to come back here and be the father of this child.” Not ..“I don’t have to.”

Therefore, you have the pile up of these sweet beautiful things born by nature -- raised by no one. Give them presents. You’re raising pimps. That’s what a pimp is. A pimp will act nasty to you so you have to go out and get them something. And then you bring it back and maybe he or she hugs you. And that’s why pimp is so famous. They’ve got a drink called the “Pimp-something.” You all wonder what that’s about, don’t you? Well, you’re probably going to let Jesus figure it out for you. Well, I’ve got something to tell you about Jesus. When you go to the church, look at the stained glass things of Jesus. Look at them. Is Jesus smiling? Not in one picture. So, tell your friends. Let’s try to do something. Let’s try to make Jesus smile. Let’s start parenting. Thank you, thank you.

***************************************************************************************

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4628960

Is Bill Cosby Right or Is the Black Middle Class Out of Touch?


Talk of the Nation, May 3, 2005 · A year ago, Bill Cosby set off a national debate in a speech to the NAACP where he criticized poor blacks in sometimes harsh language. Cosby emphasized personal responsibility, or the lack of it. In a new book, Michael Eric Dyson describes Cosby's remarks as a vicious attack on the most vulnerable among us.

Guest:

Michael Eric Dyson, author, Is Bill Cosby Right? Professor of Africana studies at the University of Pennsylvania

Read an Excerpt from the Book

"Do you view Bill Cosby as a race traitor?" journalist Paula Zahn bluntly asked me on her nighttime television show.

Zahn was referring to the broadside the entertainer had launched against irresponsible black parents who are poor and their delinquent children. Cosby's rebuke came in a May 2004 speech on the fiftieth anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education. Not content with a one-off tirade, Cosby since then has bitterly and visibly crusaded against the declining morality and bad behavior of poor blacks. Six months into his battle, Zahn snagged the comic legend turned cultural warrior for his first in-depth interview. Cosby clarified his comments and reinforced his position. No, he wasn't wrong to air the black community's dirty laundry. Yes, he would ratchet up the noise and pace of his racial offensive. And he surely didn't give a damn about what white folk thought about his campaign or what nefarious uses they might make of his public diatribe. One could see it on Cosby's face: This is war, the stakes are high and being polite or politically correct simply won't do.

Since I was one of the few blacks to publicly disagree with Cosby, I ended up in numerous media outlets arguing in snippets, sound bites, or ripostes to contrary points of view. In The New York Times a few days after his remarks, I offered that Cosby's comments "betray classist, elitist viewpoints rooted in generational warfare," that he was "ill-informed on the critical and complex issues that shape people's lives," and that his words only "reinforce suspicions about black humanity."

Still, I don't consider Cosby a traitor, and I said so to Zahn. In fact, I defended his right to speak his mind in full public view. After all, I'd been similarly stung by claims of racial disloyalty when I wrote my controversial book on Martin Luther King, Jr. I also said that while Cosby is right to emphasize personal behavior (a lesson, by the way, that many wealthy people should bone up on), we must never lose sight of the big social forces that make it difficult for poor parents to do their best jobs and for poor children to prosper. Before going on Zahn's show, I'd already decided to write a book in response to Cosby's relentless assault. But my appearances in the media, and the frustrating fragmentation of voice that one risks in such venues, pushed me to gain a bigger say in the issues Cosby has desperately if clumsily grabbed hold of. This book is my attempt to unpack those issues with the clarity and complexity they demand.

Of course, the ink and applause Cosby has won rest largely on a faulty assumption: that he is the first black figure to stare down the "pathology" that plagues poor blacks. But to believe that ignores how figures from black intellectual W.E.B. Du Bois to civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, in varying contexts, with differing results, have spoken controversially about the black poor. Equally intriguing is the leap of faith one must make in granting Cosby revered status as a racial spokesman and critic. He has famously demurred in his duties as a racial representative. He has flatly refused over the years to deal with blackness and color in his comedy. Cosby was defensive, even defiant, in his views, as prickly a racial avoider as one might imagine for a man who traded so brilliantly on dimensions of black culture in his comedy. While Cosby took full advantage of the civil rights struggle, he resolutely denied it a seat at his artistic table. Thus it's hard to swallow Cosby's flailing away at youth for neglecting their history, and overlooking the gains paid for by the blood of their ancestors, when he reneged on its service when it beckoned at his door. It is ironic that Cosby has finally answered the call to racial leadership forty years after it might have made a constructive difference. But it is downright tragic that he should use his perch to lob rhetorical bombs at the poor.

For those who overlook the uneven history of black engagement with the race's social dislocations and moral struggles—and who conveniently ignore Cosby's Johnny-come-lately standing as a racial critic—Cosby is an ethical pioneer, a racial hero. In this view, Cosby is brave to admit that "lower economic people" are "not parenting" and are failing the civil rights movement by "not holding up their end in this deal." Single mothers are no longer "embarrassed because they're pregnant without a husband." A single father is no longer "considered an embarrassment if he tries to run away from being the father" of his child. And what do we make of their criminal children? Cosby's "courage" does not fail. "In our own neighborhood, we have men in prison.... I'm talking about these people who cry when their son is standing there in an orange suit. Where were you when he was two? Where were you when he was twelve? Where were you when he was eighteen, and how come you don't know he had a pistol?" Before he is finished, Cosby beats up on the black poor for their horrible education, their style of dress, the names they give their children, their backward speech and their consumptive habits. As a cruel coda, Cosby even suggests to the black poor that "God is tired of you."

It is not remarkable that such sentiments exist. Similar comments can be heard in countless black spaces: barbershops and beauty shops; pulpits and pavement platforms; street corners and suite hallways; and civil rights conventions and political conferences. These cultural settings give such ideas an interpretive context that they often lack when they bleed beyond ghetto walls and comfortable black meeting places and homes into the wider world. Cosby bypassed, or, more accurately, short-circuited, the policing mechanism the black elite—the Afristocracy—habitually use to keep such thoughts from public view (This is done not so much to spare the poor but to save the black elite from further embarrassment. And no matter how you judge Cosby's comments, you can't help but believe that a great deal of his consternation with the poor stems from his desire to remove the shame he feels in their presence and about their activity in the world.)

Usually the sort of bile that Cosby spilled is more expertly contained, or at least poured on its targets in ways that escape white notice. Cosby's remarks betray seething class warfare in black America that has finally boiled over to the general public. It is that general public, especially white social critics and other prophets of black ethical erosion, that has been eager for Cosby's dispatches from the tortured front of black class war. Cosby's comments let many of these whites off the hook. If what Cosby says is true, then critics who have said the same, but who courted charges of racism, are vindicated. There's nothing like a formerly poor black multimillionaire bashing poor blacks to lend credence to the ancient assaults they've endured from the dominant culture.

Cosby's overemphasis on personal responsibility, not structural features, wrongly locates the source of poor black suffering—and by implication its remedy—in the lives of the poor. When you think the problems are personal, you think the solutions are the same. If only the poor were willing to work harder, act better, get educated, stay out of jail and parent more effectively, their problems would go away. It's hard to argue against any of these things in the abstract; in principle such suggestions sound just fine. But one could do all of these things and still be in bad shape at home, work or school. For instance, Cosby completely ignores shifts in the economy that give value to some work while other work, in the words of William Julius Wilson, "disappears." In our high-tech, high-skilled economy where low-skilled work is being scaled back, phased out, exported, or severely under-compensated, all the right behavior in the world won't create better jobs with more pay. And without such support, all the goals that Cosby expresses for the black poor are not likely to become reality. If the rigidly segregated educational system continues to miserably fail poor blacks by failing to prepare their children for the world of work, then admonitions to "stay in school" may ring hollow.

In this light, the imprisonment of black people takes on political consequence. Cosby may be right that most black folk in jail are not "political prisoners," but it doesn't mean that their imprisonment has not been politicized. Given the vicious way blacks have been targeted for incarceration, Cosby's comments about poor blacks who end up in jail are dangerously naïve and empirically wrong. Cosby's critique of criminal behavior among poor blacks neglects the massive body of work that catalogs the unjust imprisonment of young blacks. This is not to suggest an apologia for black thugs; instead, it suggests that a disproportionate number of black (men) are incarcerated for nonviolent drug offenses. Moreover, Cosby seems to offer justification for the police killing a young black for a trivial offense (the theft of a Coca-Cola or pound cake), neglecting the heinous injustices of the police against blacks across the land. Further, Cosby neglects to mention that crime occurs in all classes and races, though it is not equally judged and prosecuted.

Cosby also slights the economic, social, political and other structural barriers that poor black parents are up against: welfare reform, dwindling resources, export of jobs and ongoing racial stigma. And then there are the problems of the working poor: folk who rise up early every day and often work more than forty hours a week, and yet barely, if ever, make it above the poverty level. We must acknowledge the plight of both poor black (single) mothers and poor black fathers, and the lack of social support they confront. Hence, it is incredibly difficult to spend as much time with children as poor black parents might like, especially since they will be demonized if they fail to provide for their children's basic needs. But doing so deflects critical attention and time from child-rearing duties—duties that are difficult enough for two-parent, two-income, intact middle-class families. The characteristics Cosby cites are typical of all families that confront poverty the world over. They are not indigenous to the black poor; they are symptomatic of the predicament of poor people in general. And Cosby's mean-spirited characterizations of the black poor as licentious, sexually promiscuous, materialistic and wantonly irresponsible can be made of all classes in the nation. (Paris Hilton, after all, is a huge star for just these reasons.) Moreover, Cosby's own problems—particularly the affair he had that led to the very public charge that he may have fathered a child—suggest that not only poor people do desperate things. In fact, as we reflect on his family troubles over the years, we get a glimpse of the unavoidable pain and contradictions that plague all families, rich and poor.

Cosby's views on education have in some respects changed for the worse. His earlier take on the prospects of schooling for the poor was more humane and balanced. In his 1976 dissertation, Cosby argued against "institutional racism" and maintained that school systems failed the poorest and most vulnerable black students. It is necessary as well to acknowledge the resegregation of American education (when in truth it was hardly desegregated to begin with). The failure of Brown v. Board to instigate sufficient change in the nation's schools suggests that the greatest burden—and responsibility—should be on crumbling educational infrastructures. In suburban neighborhoods, there are $60-million schools with state-of-the-art technology, while inner city schools fight desperately for funding for their students. And anti-intellectualism, despite Cosby's claims, is hardly a black phenomenon; it is endemic to the culture. Cosby also spies the critical deficiency of the black poor in their linguistic habits, displaying his ignorance about "black English" and "Ebonics." But the intent of Ebonics, according to its advocates, is to help poor black youth speak "standard" English while retaining an appreciation for their dialects and "native tongues." All of this suggests that structural barriers, much more than personal desire, shape the educational experiences of poor blacks. In fact, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, Cosby's lauded '70s television cartoon series, won greater acceptance for a new cast of black identities and vernacular language styles. Cosby has made money and gained further influence from using forms of Black English he now violently detests.

Cosby's comments betray the ugly generational divide in black America. His disregard for the hip-hop generation is not unique, but it is still disheartening. Cosby's poisonous view of young folk who speak a language he can barely parse simmers with hostility and resentment. And yet, some of the engaged critique he seeks to make of black folk—of their materialism, their consumptive desires, their personal choices, their moral aspirations, their social conscience—is broadcast with much more imagination and insight in certain quarters of hip-hop culture. (Think of Kanye West's track, "All Falls Down," which displays a self-critical approach to the link between consumption and the effort to ward off racial degradation.) Cosby detests youth for their hip-hop dress, body piercing and the pseudo-African-sounding names they have. Yet, body piercing and baggy clothes express identity among black youth, and not just beginning with hip-hop culture. Moreover, young black entrepreneurs like Sean "P. Diddy" Combs and Russell Simmons have made millions from their clothing lines. There are generational tensions over self-definition; arguments over clothes and body markings reflect class, age and intracultural conflicts as well. I think that, contrary to Cosby's argument, it does have something to do with the African roots of black identity, and perhaps with Cosby's ignorance of and discomfort with those roots. And Cosby's ornery, ill-informed diatribe against black naming is a snapshot of his assault on poor black identity. Names like Shaniqua and Taliqua are meaningful cultural expressions of self-determination and allow relatively powerless blacks to fashion their identities outside the glare of white society. And it didn't just start in this generation. Cosby's inability to discern the difference between Taliqua and Muhammad, an ancient Muslim name, is as remarkable as it is depressing—and bigoted in its rebuff to venerable forms of black identity and culture.

Cosby's comments don't exist in a cultural or political vacuum. His views have traction in conservative (and some liberal) circles because they bolster the belief that less money, political action and societal intervention—and more hard work and personal responsibility—are the key to black success. While Cosby can surely afford to ignore what white folk think, the majority of black folk can't reasonably dismiss whites in influential places. Cosby has said that he's not worried about how the white right wing might use his speech, but it certainly fits nicely with their twisted views of the black poor. The poor folk Cosby has hit the hardest are most vulnerable to the decisions of the powerful groups of which he has demanded the least: public policy makers, the business and social elite, and political activists. Poor black folk cannot gain asylum from the potentially negative effects of Cosby's words on public policy makers and politicians who decide to put into play measures that support Cosby's narrow beliefs.

Cosby also contends that black folk can't blame white folk for our plight. His discounting of structural forces and his exclusive focus on personal responsibility, and black self-help, ignore the persistence of the institutional racism Cosby lamented in his dissertation. To be sure, even when black folk argued for social justice, we never neglected the simultaneous pursuit of personal responsibility and self-help, since that's often the only help we had. In the end, Cosby's views may make white and black liberal fence-sitters unfairly critical of the black poor. Cosby may even convince them that personal behavior will help the poor more than social programs, thus letting white and black elites off the hook. There is a strong counterpoint to Cosby's evasive, and dismissive, racial politics in his own home. I think it is important to recall the famous letter Cosby's wife, Camille, penned in 1998 in USA Today—written in the aftermath of the tragic murder of their son by a Russian immigrant, excoriating America for teaching her son's murderer the bigotry that fueled his lethal act. Unlike Cosby's comments, Camille's essay drew the ire and rebuke of pundits and the political establishment. Camille Cosby was told that America provided the opportunity for her husband to become a rich artist. By contrast, Bill Cosby's remarks were embraced by the same establishment, as Cosby was praised for his self-help strategy of pulling himself up from poverty to plenty. Thus, these critics want it both ways. I think when it comes to the issues at hand, contrasting Camille's letter and Cosby's remarks proves that she is the Cosby with genuine insight into race relations.

It is clear that Cosby has touched a raw nerve of class and generation in black America. What he said—and our response to it—goes far beyond a single speech before a group of blacks who were celebrating the achievements of the past. This story is so powerful and controversial, and continues to resonate in our society, because it goes to the heart of the struggle for the identity of a culture. It also embodies the different visions put forth by older and younger members of the race. In a sense, Cosby is Moses, Elijah and King Lear rolled into one. Like Moses, he has laid down the law, but he is realizing, as we all must at some point, that he may not get the chance to see the Promised Land in his own day. The sweet reward of hard work slips through the hands as easily as water in a rushing stream. But finally, as it says in the book of Hebrews, "these all died in faith not having received the promises." We must all face the reality at some point that the fulfillment of our hopes and dreams is ever in the distance, flung to a horizon that recedes as we march forward, and can only be brought closer in the collective push ahead, and often not through one's own energy but through the efforts of some Joshua—the younger helper of Moses, the one God appointed to lead the people after Moses' great journey came to a close. It's hard to hand over the reins and embrace the transition, but it must be done. This doesn't mean that old prophets and sages are of no use; it means they must learn to coexist with an upcoming phalanx of rebels with new spirits and vision. Even if they wear dreads and baggy pants or speak in ways foreign to the elders.

Like Elijah, Cosby has thrown in the towel and embraced his frustration; like Elijah, he has said, "It is enough!" Elijah felt that he was the only one left to do God's work and that everyone else had sold out to godless hedonism and corrupt morality. But God told Elijah to rest up, since he was exhausted—Cosby, too, has said, "I'm a tired man"—and, after replenishing himself, to recognize God not in the thunder but in the still small voice, in the serenity of inner circumstances that nourish hope. And then God pointed out to Elijah that there were literally thousands more who had a righteous cause and who were not in Elijah's camp. Cosby must accept that others have the truth, too, and that they are working in their own way to make things better—for the race, the culture, the community and our struggle.

And finally, like King Lear, Cosby is at war with his children, feeling their fatal betrayal of his fatherly leadership, saying, as did Lear, that "I am more sinned against than sinning." That, to be sure, is the claim of every generation, of every visionary who feels that the people he has loved and brought along have somehow fatally departed from the path of wisdom and morality when they go their own way. There are undoubtedly lethal circumstances afoot in black America, and we do indeed need the voices of the elders to ring out and the wisdom of the fathers and mothers to resonate loudly. But transition and transformation bring inevitable struggles between generations, or at least between their leading lights, and sometimes the wrestling is bloody and unraveling. We must resist the temptation to take refuge in hurt feelings and raging resentment as we grapple with how our children live, or choose to leave us, or even how we handle our recognition of their betrayals and disaffections. Loyalty to particular figures may not be as important, in the end, as loyalty to the cause of enlarging the hopes of the individual and racial family.

The conversation that Cosby has started endures because the people who must engage him, and the issues he has raised, are likewise enduring. Thus, what Cosby said reflects on the griefs and hopes and losses and pains of an entire generation of noble men and women who nonetheless, like the rest of us, are human and at times frail and misled. We must learn from each other, listen to each other, correct each other and struggle with each other if the destiny of our people is to be secure. And we must fight for the best that is within our reach, even if that means disagreeing with icons and resisting the myopia of mighty men. What Cosby started is left to us to finish.

From the book, Is Bill Cosby Right?, by Michael Eric Dyson; © 2005. Reprinted by arrangement with Basic Civitas, a member of the Perseus Books Group. All rights reserved.

« Last Edit: August 07, 2008, 07:56:35 AM by trinindian »
 

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here's some more cosby - this article highlights a divide between conservative and liberal factions:

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The audacity of Bill Cosby’s black conservatism

by Ta-Nehisi Coates

‘This Is How We Lost to the White Man’



Last summer, in Detroit’s St. Paul Church of God in Christ, I watched Bill Cosby summon his inner Malcolm X. It was a hot July evening. Cosby was speaking to an audience of black men dressed in everything from Enyce T-shirts or polos to blazers and ties. Some were there with their sons. Some were there in wheelchairs. The audience was packed tight, rows of folding chairs extended beyond the wooden pews to capture the overflow. But the chairs were not enough, and late arrivals stood against the long shotgun walls, or out in the small lobby, where they hoped to catch a snatch of Cosby’s oratory. Clutching a cordless mic, Cosby paced the front of the church, shifting between prepared remarks and comic ad-libs. A row of old black men, community elders, sat behind him, nodding and grunting throaty affirmations. The rest of the church was in full call-and-response mode, punctuating Cosby’s punch lines with laughter, applause, or cries of “Teach, black man! Teach!”

He began with the story of a black girl who’d risen to become valedictorian of his old high school, despite having been abandoned by her father. “She spoke to the graduating class and her speech started like this,” Cosby said. “‘I was 5 years old. It was Saturday and I stood looking out the window, waiting for him.’ She never said what helped turn her around. She never mentioned her mother, grandmother, or great-grandmother.”

“Understand me,” Cosby said, his face contorted and clenched like a fist. “Men? Men? Men! Where are you, men?”

Audience: “Right here!”

Cosby had come to Detroit aiming to grab the city’s black men by their collars and shake them out of the torpor that has left so many of them—like so many of their peers across the country—undereducated, over-incarcerated, and underrepresented in the ranks of active fathers. No women were in the audience. No reporters were allowed, for fear that their presence might frighten off fathers behind on their child-support payments. But I was there, trading on race, gender, and a promise not to interview any of the allegedly skittish participants.

“Men, if you want to win, we can win,” Cosby said. “We are not a pitiful race of people. We are a bright race, who can move with the best. But we are in a new time, where people are behaving in abnormal ways and calling it normal … When they used to come into our neighborhoods, we put the kids in the basement, grabbed a rifle, and said, ‘By any means necessary.’

“I don’t want to talk about hatred of these people,” he continued. “I’m talking about a time when we protected our women and protected our children. Now I got people in wheelchairs, paralyzed. A little girl in Camden, jumping rope, shot through the mouth. Grandmother saw it out the window. And people are waiting around for Jesus to come, when Jesus is already within you.”

Cosby was wearing his standard uniform—dark sunglasses, loafers, a sweat suit emblazoned with the seal of an institution of higher learning. That night it was the University of Massachusetts, where he’d gotten his doctorate in education 30 years ago. He was preaching from the book of black self-reliance, a gospel that he has spent the past four years carrying across the country in a series of events that he bills as “call-outs.” “My problem,” Cosby told the audience, “is I’m tired of losing to white people. When I say I don’t care about white people, I mean let them say what they want to say. What can they say to me that’s worse than what their grandfather said?”

From Birmingham to Cleveland and Baltimore, at churches and colleges, Cosby has been telling thousands of black Americans that racism in America is omnipresent but that it can’t be an excuse to stop striving. As Cosby sees it, the antidote to racism is not rallies, protests, or pleas, but strong families and communities. Instead of focusing on some abstract notion of equality, he argues, blacks need to cleanse their culture, embrace personal responsibility, and reclaim the traditions that fortified them in the past. Driving Cosby’s tough talk about values and responsibility is a vision starkly different from Martin Luther King’s gauzy, all-inclusive dream: it’s an America of competing powers, and a black America that is no longer content to be the weakest of the lot.

It’s heady stuff, especially coming from the man white America remembers as a sitcom star and affable pitchman for E. F. Hutton, Kodak, and Jell-O Pudding Pops. And Cosby’s race-based crusade is particularly jarring now. Across the country, as black politics has become more professionalized, the rhetoric of race is giving way to the rhetoric of standards and results. Newark’s young Ivy League–educated mayor, Cory Booker, ran for office promising competence and crime reduction, as did Washington’s mayor, Adrian Fenty. Indeed, we are now enjoying a moment of national self-congratulation over racial progress, with a black man running for president as the very realization of King’s dream. Barack Obama defied efforts by the Clinton campaign to pigeonhole him as a “black” candidate, casting himself instead as the symbol of a society that has moved beyond lazy categories of race.

Black America does not entirely share the euphoria, though. The civil-rights generation is exiting the American stage—not in a haze of nostalgia but in a cloud of gloom, troubled by the persistence of racism, the apparent weaknesses of the generation following in its wake, and the seeming indifference of much of the country to black America’s fate. In that climate, Cosby’s gospel of discipline, moral reform, and self-reliance offers a way out—a promise that one need not cure America of its original sin in order to succeed. Racism may not be extinguished, but it can be beaten.

Has Dr. Huxtable, the head of one of America’s most beloved television households, seen the truth: that the dream of integration should never supplant the pursuit of self-respect; that blacks should worry more about judging themselves and less about whether whites are judging them on the content of their character? Or has he lost his mind?

From the moment he registered in the American popular consciousness, as the Oxford-educated Alexander Scott in the NBC adventure series I Spy, Cosby proffered the idea of an America that transcended race. The series, which started in 1965, was the first weekly show to feature an African American in a lead role, but it rarely factored race into dialogue or plots. Race was also mostly inconspicuous in Cosby’s performances as a hugely popular stand-up comedian. “I don’t spend my hours worrying how to slip a social message into my act,” Cosby told Playboy in 1969. He also said that he didn’t “have time to sit around and worry whether all the black people of the world make it because of me. I have my own gig to worry about.” His crowning artistic and commercial achievement—The Cosby Show, which ran from 1984 to 1992—was seemingly a monument to that understated sensibility.

In fact, blackness was never absent from the show or from Bill Cosby. Plots involved black artists like Stevie Wonder or Dizzy Gillespie. The Huxtables’ home was decorated with the works of black artists like Annie Lee, and the show featured black theater veterans such as Roscoe Lee Brown and Moses Gunn. Behind the scenes, Cosby hired the Harvard psychiatrist Alvin Poussaint to make sure that the show never trafficked in stereotypes and that it depicted blacks in a dignified light. Picking up Cosby’s fixation on education, Poussaint had writers insert references to black schools. “If the script mentioned Oberlin, Texas Tech, or Yale, we’d circle it and tell them to mention a black college,” Poussaint told me in a phone interview last year. “I remember going to work the next day and white people saying, ‘What’s the school called Morehouse?’” In 1985, Cosby riled NBC by placing an anti-apartheid sign in his Huxtable son’s bedroom. The network wanted no part of the debate. “There may be two sides to apartheid in Archie Bunker’s house,” the Toronto Star quoted Cosby as saying. “But it’s impossible that the Huxtables would be on any side but one. That sign will stay on that door. And I’ve told NBC that if they still want it down, or if they try to edit it out, there will be no show.” The sign stayed.

Offstage, Cosby’s philanthropy won him support among the civil-rights crowd. He made his biggest splash in 1988, when he and his wife gave $20 million to Spelman College, the largest individual donation ever given to a black college. “Two million would have been fantastic; 20 million, to use the language of the hip-hop generation, was off the chain,” says Johnnetta Cole, who was then president of Spelman. Race again came to the fore in 1997, when Cosby’s son was randomly shot and killed while fixing a flat on a Los Angeles freeway. His wife wrote an op-ed in USA Today arguing that white racism lay behind her son’s death. “All African-Americans, regardless of their educational and economic accomplishments, have been and are at risk in America simply because of their skin colors,” she wrote. “Most people know that facing the truth brings about healing and growth. When is America going to face its historical and current racial realities so it can be what it says it is?”

The column caused a minor row, but most of white America took little notice. To them, Cosby was still America’s Dad. But those close to Cosby were not surprised. Cosby was an avowed race man, who, like much of his generation, had come to feel that black America had lost its way. The crisis of absentee fathers, the rise of black-on-black crime, and the spread of hip-hop all led Cosby to believe that, after the achievements of the 1960s, the black community was committing cultural suicide.

His anger and frustration erupted into public view during an NAACP awards ceremony in Washington in 2004 commemorating the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education. At that moment, the shades of mortality and irrelevance seemed to be drawing over the civil-rights generation. Its matriarchs, Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King, would be dead within two years. The NAACP’s membership rolls had been shrinking; within months, its president, Kweisi Mfume, would resign (it was later revealed that he was under investigation by the NAACP for sexual harassment and nepotism—allegations that he denied). Other movement leaders were drifting into self-parody: Al Sharpton would soon be hosting a reality show and, a year later, would be doing ads for a predatory loan company; Sharpton and Jesse Jackson had recently asked MGM to issue an apology for the hit movie Barbershop.

That night, Cosby was one of the last honorees to take the podium. He began by noting that although civil-rights activists had opened the door for black America, young people today, instead of stepping through, were stepping backward. “No longer is a person embarrassed because they’re pregnant without a husband,” he told the crowd. “No longer is a boy considered an embarrassment if he tries to run away from being the father of the unmarried child.”

There was cheering as Cosby went on. Perhaps sensing that he had the crowd, he grew looser. “The lower-economic and lower-middle-economic people are not holding their end in this deal,” he told the audience.

Cosby disparaged activists who charge the criminal-justice system with racism. “These are people going around stealing Coca-Cola. People getting shot in the back of the head over a piece of pound cake,” Cosby said. “Then we all run out and are outraged: ‘The cops shouldn’t have shot him.’ What the hell was he doing with the pound cake in his hand? I wanted a piece of pound cake just as bad as anybody else. And I looked at it and I had no money. And something called parenting said, ‘If you get caught with it, you’re going to embarrass your mother.’”

Then he attacked African American naming traditions, and the style of dress among young blacks: “Ladies and gentlemen, listen to these people. They are showing you what’s wrong … What part of Africa did this come from? We are not Africans. Those people are not Africans. They don’t know a damned thing about Africa— with names like Shaniqua, Shaligua, Mohammed, and all that crap, and all of them are in jail.” About then, people began to walk out of the auditorium and cluster in the lobby. There was still cheering, but some guests milled around and wondered what had happened. Some thought old age had gotten the best of Cosby. The mood was one of shock.

After what has come to be known as “the Pound Cake speech”—it has its own Wikipedia entry—Cosby came under attack from various quarters of the black establishment. The playwright August Wilson commented, “A billionaire attacking poor people for being poor. Bill Cosby is a clown. What do you expect?” One of the gala’s hosts, Ted Shaw, the director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, called his comments “a harsh attack on poor black people in particular.” Dubbing Cosby an “Afristocrat in Winter,” the Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson came out with a book, Is Bill Cosby Right? Or Has the Black Middle Class Lost Its Mind?, that took issue with Cosby’s bleak assessment of black progress and belittled his transformation from vanilla humorist to social critic and moral arbiter. “While Cosby took full advantage of the civil rights struggle,” argued Dyson, “he resolutely denied it a seat at his artistic table.”

But Cosby’s rhetoric played well in black barbershops, churches, and backyard barbecues, where a unique brand of conservatism still runs strong. Outsiders may have heard haranguing in Cosby’s language and tone. But much of black America heard instead the possibility of changing their communities without having to wait on the consciences and attention spans of policy makers who might not have their interests at heart. Shortly after Cosby took his Pound Cake message on the road, I wrote an article denouncing him as an elitist. When my father, a former Black Panther, read it, he upbraided me for attacking what he saw as a message of black empowerment. Cosby’s argument has resonated with the black mainstream for just that reason.

The split between Cosby and critics such as Dyson mirrors not only America’s broader conservative/liberal split but black America’s own historic intellectual divide. Cosby’s most obvious antecedent is Booker T. Washington. At the turn of the 20th century, Washington married a defense of the white South with a call for black self-reliance and became the most prominent black leader of his day. He argued that southern whites should be given time to adjust to emancipation; in the meantime, blacks should advance themselves not by voting and running for office but by working, and ultimately owning, the land.

W. E. B. Du Bois, the integrationist model for the Dysons of our day, saw Washington as an apologist for white racism and thought that his willingness to sacrifice the black vote was heretical. History ultimately rendered half of Washington’s argument moot. His famous Atlanta Compromise—in which he endorsed segregation as a temporary means of making peace with southerners—was answered by lynchings, land theft, and general racial terrorism. But Washington’s appeal to black self-sufficiency endured.

After Washington’s death, in 1915, the black conservative tradition he had fathered found a permanent and natural home in the emerging ideology of Black Nationalism. Marcus Garvey, its patron saint, turned the Atlanta Compromise on its head, implicitly endorsing segregation not as an olive branch to whites but as a statement of black supremacy. Black Nationalists scorned the Du Boisian integrationists as stooges or traitors, content to beg for help from people who hated them.

Garvey argued that blacks had rendered themselves unworthy of the white man’s respect. “The greatest stumbling block in the way of progress in the race has invariably come from within the race itself,” wrote Garvey. “The monkey wrench of destruction as thrown into the cog of Negro Progress, is not thrown so much by the outsider as by the very fellow who is in our fold, and who should be the first to grease the wheel of progress rather than seeking to impede.” Decades later, Malcolm X echoed that sentiment, faulting blacks for failing to take charge of their destinies. “The white man is too intelligent to let someone else come and gain control of the economy of his community,” Malcolm said. “But you will let anybody come in and take control of the economy of your community, control the housing, control the education, control the jobs, control the businesses, under the pretext that you want to integrate. No, you’re out of your mind.”

Black conservatives like Malcolm X and Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam, have at times allied themselves with black liberals. But in general, they have upheld a core of beliefs laid out by Garvey almost a century ago: a skepticism of (white) government as a mediating force in the “Negro problem,” a strong belief in the singular will of black people, and a fixation on a supposedly glorious black past.

Those beliefs also animate Come On People, the manifesto that Cosby and Poussaint published last fall. Although it does not totally dismiss government programs, the book mostly advocates solutions from within as a cure for black America’s dismal vital statistics. “Once we find our bearings,” they write, “we can move forward, as we have always done, on the path from victims to victors.” Come On People is heavy on black pride (“no group of people has had the impact on the culture of the whole world that African Americans have had, and much of that impact has been for the good”), and heavier on the idea of the Great Fall—the theory, in this case, that post–Jim Crow blacks have lost touch with the cultural traditions that enabled them to persevere through centuries of oppression.

“For all the woes of segregation, there were some good things to come out of it,” Cosby and Poussaint write. “One was that it forced us to take care of ourselves. When restaurants, laundries, hotels, theaters, groceries, and clothing stores were segregated, black people opened and ran their own. Black life insurance companies and banks thrived, as well as black funeral homes … Such successes provided jobs and strength to black economic well-being. They also gave black people that gratifying sense of an interdependent community.” Although the authors take pains to put some distance between themselves and the Nation of Islam, they approvingly quote one of its ministers who spoke at a call-out in Compton, California: “I went to Koreatown today and I met with the Korean merchants,” the minister told the crowd. “I love them. You know why? They got a place called what? Koreatown. When I left them, I went to Chinatown. They got a place called what? Chinatown. Where is your town?”

The notion of the Great Fall, and the attendant theory that segregation gave rise to some “good things,” are the stock-in-trade of what Christopher Alan Bracey, a law professor at Washington University, calls (in his book, Saviors or Sellouts) the “organic” black conservative tradition: conservatives who favor hard work and moral reform over protests and government intervention, but whose black-nationalist leanings make them anathema to the Heritage Foundation and Rush Limbaugh. When political strategists argue that the Republican Party is missing a huge chance to court the black community, they are thinking of this mostly male bloc—the old guy in the barbershop, the grizzled Pop Warner coach, the retired Vietnam vet, the drunk uncle at the family reunion. He votes Democratic, not out of any love for abortion rights or progressive taxation, but because he feels—in fact, he knows—that the modern-day GOP draws on the support of people who hate him. This is the audience that flocks to Cosby: culturally conservative black Americans who are convinced that integration, and to some extent the entire liberal dream, robbed them of their natural defenses.

“There are things that we did not see coming,” Cosby told me over lunch in Manhattan last year. “Like, you could see the Klan, but because these things were not on a horse, because there was no white sheet, and the people doing the deed were not white, we saw things in the light of family and forgiveness … We didn’t pay attention to the dropout rate. We didn’t pay attention to the fathers, to the self-esteem of our boys.”

Given the state of black America, it is hard to quarrel with that analysis. Blacks are 13 percent of the population, yet black men account for 49 percent of America’s murder victims and 41 percent of the prison population. The teen birth rate for blacks is 63 per 1,000, more than double the rate for whites. In 2005, black families had the lowest median income of any ethnic group measured by the Census, making only 61 percent of the median income of white families.

Most troubling is a recent study released by the Pew Charitable Trusts, which concluded that the rate at which blacks born into the middle class in the 1960s backslid into poverty or near-poverty (45 percent) was three times that of whites—suggesting that the advances of even some of the most successful cohorts of black America remain tenuous at best. Another Pew survey, released last November, found that blacks were “less upbeat about the state of black progress now than at any time since 1983.”

The rise of the organic black conservative tradition is also a response to America’s retreat from its second attempt at Reconstruction. Blacks have watched as the courts have weakened affirmative action, arguably the country’s greatest symbol of state-sponsored inclusion. They’ve seen a fraudulent war on drugs that, judging by the casualties, looks like a war on black people. They’ve seen themselves bandied about as playthings in the presidential campaigns of Ronald Reagan (with his 1980 invocation of states’ rights” in Mississippi), George Bush (Willie Horton), Bill Clinton (Sister Souljah), and George W. Bush (McCain’s fabled black love-child). They’ve seen the utter failures of school busing and housing desegregation, as well as the horrors of Katrina. The result is a broad distrust of government as the primary tool for black progress.

In May 2004, just one day before Cosby’s Pound Cake speech, TheNew York Times visited Louisville, Kentucky, once ground zero in the fight to integrate schools. But TheTimes found that sides had switched, and that black parents were more interested in educational progress than in racial parity. “Integration? What was it good for?” one parent asked. “They were just setting up our babies to fail.”

In response to these perceived failures, many black activists have turned their efforts inward. Geoffrey Canada’s ambitious Harlem Children’s Zone project pushes black students to change their study habits and improve their home life. In cities like Baltimore and New York, community groups are focusing on turning black men into active fathers. In Philadelphia last October, thousands of black men packed the Liacouras Center, pledging to patrol their neighborhoods and help combat the rising murder rate. When Cosby came to St. Paul Church in Detroit, one local judge got up and urged Cosby and other black celebrities to donate more money to advance the cause. “I didn’t fly out here to write a check,” Cosby retorted. “I’m not writing a check in Houston, Detroit, or Philadelphia. Leave these athletes alone. All you know is Oprah Winfrey and Michael Jackson. Forget about a check … This is how we lost to the white man. ‘Judge said Bill Cosby is gonna write a check, but until then … ’”

Instead of waiting for handouts or outside help, Cosby argues, disadvantaged blacks should start by purging their own culture of noxious elements like gangsta rap, a favorite target. “What do record producers think when they churn out that gangsta rap with antisocial, women-hating messages?,” Cosby and Poussaint ask in their book. “Do they think that black male youth won’t act out what they have repeated since they were old enough to listen?” Cosby’s rhetoric on culture echoes—and amplifies—a swelling strain of black opinion: last November’s Pew study reported that 71 percent of blacks feel that rap is a bad influence.

The strain of black conservatism that Cosby evokes has also surfaced in the presidential campaign of Barack Obama. Early on, some commentators speculated that Obama’s Cosby-esque appeals to personal responsibility would cost him black votes. But if his admonishments for black kids to turn off the PlayStation and for black fathers to do their jobs did him any damage, it was not reflected at the polls. In fact, this sort of rhetoric amounts to something of a racial double play, allowing Obama and Cosby to cater both to culturally conservative blacks and to whites who are convinced that black America is a bastion of decadence. (Curiously, Cosby is noncommittal verging on prickly when it comes to Obama. When Larry King asked him whether he supported Obama, he bristled: “Do you ask white people this question? … I want to know why this fellow especially is brought up in such a special way. How many Americans in the media really take him seriously, or do they look at him like some prize brown baby?” The exchange ended with Cosby professing admiration for Dennis Kucinich. Months later, he rebuffed my requests for his views on Obama’s candidacy.)

The shift in focus from white racism to black culture is not as new as some social commentators make it out to be. Standing in St. Paul Church on that July evening listening to Cosby, I remembered the last time The Street felt like this: in the summer of 1994, after Louis Farrakhan announced the Million Man March. Farrakhan barnstormed the country holding “men only” meetings (but much larger). I saw him in my native Baltimore, while home from Howard University on vacation. The march itself was cathartic. I walked with four or five other black men, and all along the way black women stood on porches or out on the street, shouting, clapping, cheering. For us, Farrakhan’s opinions on the Jews mostly seemed beside the point; what stuck was the chance to assert our humanity and our manhood by marching on the Mall, and not acting like we were all fresh out of San Quentin. We lived in the shadow of the ’80s crack era. So many of us had been jailed or were on our way. So many of us were fathers in biology only. We believed ourselves disgraced and clung to the march as a public statement: the time had come to grow up.

Black conservatives have been dipping into this well of lost black honor since the turn of the 20th century. On the one hand, vintage black nationalists have harked back to a golden age of black Africa, where mighty empires sprawled and everyone was a king. Meanwhile, populist black conservatives like Cosby point to pre-1968 black America as an era when blacks were united in the struggle: men were men, and a girl who got pregnant without getting married would find herself bundled off to Grandpa’s farm.

What both visions share is a sense that black culture in its present form is bastardized and pathological. What they also share is a foundation in myth. Black people are not the descendants of kings. We are—and I say this with big pride—the progeny of slaves. If there’s any majesty in our struggle, it lies not in fairy tales but in those humble origins and the great distance we’ve traveled since. Ditto for the dreams of a separate but noble past. Cosby’s, and much of black America’s, conservative analysis flattens history and smooths over the wrinkles that have characterized black America since its inception.

Indeed, a century ago, the black brain trust was pushing the same rhetoric that Cosby is pushing today. It was concerned that slavery had essentially destroyed the black family and was obsessed with seemingly the same issues—crime, wanton sexuality, and general moral turpitude—that Cosby claims are recent developments. “The early effort of middle-class blacks to respond to segregation was, aside from a political agenda, focused on a social-reform agenda,” says Khalil G. Muhammad, a professor of American history at Indiana University. “The National Association of Colored Women, Du Bois in The Philadelphia Negro, all shared a sense of anxiety that African Americans were not presenting their best selves to the world. There was the sense that they were committing crimes and needed to keep their sexuality in check.” Adds William Jelani Cobb, a professor of American history at Spelman College: “The same kind of people who were advocating for social reform were denigrating people because they didn’t play piano. They often saw themselves as reluctant caretakers of the less enlightened.”

In particular, Cosby’s argument—that much of what haunts young black men originates in post-segregation black culture—doesn’t square with history. As early as the 1930s, sociologists were concerned that black men were falling behind black women. In his classic study, The Negro Family in the United States, published in 1939, E. Franklin Frazier argued that urbanization was undermining the ability of men to provide for their families. In 1965—at the height of the civil-rights movement—Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s milestone report, “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action,” picked up the same theme.

At times, Cosby seems willfully blind to the parallels between his arguments and those made in the presumably glorious past. Consider his problems with rap. How could an avowed jazz fanatic be oblivious to the similar plaints once sparked by the music of his youth? “The tired longshoreman, the porter, the housemaid and the poor elevator boy in search of recreation, seeking in jazz the tonic for weary nerves and muscles,” wrote the lay historian J. A. Rogers, “are only too apt to find the bootlegger, the gambler and the demi-monde who have come there for victims and to escape the eyes of the police.”

Beyond the apocryphal notion that black culture was once a fount of virtue, there’s still the charge that culture is indeed the problem. But to reach that conclusion, you’d have to stand on some rickety legs. The hip-hop argument, again, is particularly creaky. Ronald Ferguson, a Harvard social scientist, has highlighted that an increase in hip-hop’s popularity during the early 1990s corresponded with a declining amount of time spent reading among black kids. But gangsta rap can be correlated with other phenomena, too—many of them positive. During the 1990s, as gangsta rap exploded, teen pregnancy and the murder rate among black men declined. Should we give the blue ribbon in citizenship to Dr. Dre?

“I don’t know how to measure culture. I don’t know how to test its effects, and I’m not sure anyone else does,” says the Georgetown economist Harry Holzer. “There’s a liberal story that limited opportunities, and barriers, lead to employment problems and criminal records, but then there’s another story that has to do with norms, behaviors, and oppositional culture. You can’t prove the latter statistically, but it still might be true.” Holzer thinks that both arguments contain truth and that one doesn’t preclude the other. Fair enough. Suffice it to say, though, that the evidence supporting structural inequality is compelling. In 2001, a researcher sent out black and white job applicants in Milwaukee, randomly assigning them a criminal record. The researcher concluded that a white man with a criminal record had about the same chance of getting a job as a black man without one. Three years later, researchers produced the same results in New York under more-rigorous conditions.

The accepted wisdom is that such studies are a comfort to black people, allowing them to wallow in their misery. In fact, the opposite is true—the liberal notion that blacks are still, after a century of struggle, victims of pervasive discrimination is the ultimate collective buzz-kill. It effectively means that African Americans must, on some level, accept that their children will be “less than” until some point in the future when white racism miraculously abates. That’s not the sort of future that any black person eagerly awaits, nor does it make for particularly motivating talking points.

Last summer, I watched Cosby give a moving commencement speech to a group of Connecticut inmates who’d just received their GEDs. Before the speech, at eight in the morning, Cosby quizzed correctional officials on the conditions and characteristics of their inmate population. I wished, then, that my 7-year-old son could have seen Cosby there, to take in the same basic message that I endeavor to serve him every day—that manhood means more than virility and strut, that it calls for discipline and dutiful stewardship. That the ultimate fate of black people lies in their own hands, not in the hands of their antagonists. That as an African American, he has a duty to his family, his community, and his ancestors.

If Cosby’s call-outs simply ended at that—a personal and communal creed—there’d be little to oppose. But Cosby often pits the rhetoric of personal responsibility against the legitimate claims of American citizens for their rights. He chides activists for pushing to reform the criminal-justice system, despite solid evidence that the criminal-justice system needs reform. His historical amnesia—his assertion that many of the problems that pervade black America are of a recent vintage—is simply wrong, as is his contention that today’s young African Americans are somehow weaker, that they’ve dropped the ball. And for all its positive energy, his language of uplift has its limitations. After the Million Man March, black men embraced a sense of hope and promise. We were supposed to return to our communities and families inspired by a new feeling of responsibility. Yet here we are again, almost 15 years later, with seemingly little tangible change. I’d take my son to see Bill Cosby, to hear his message, to revel in its promise and optimism. But afterward, he and I would have a very long talk.

On the day last summer when Cosby met me for lunch in the West Village, it was raining, as it had been all week, and New York was experiencing a record-cold August. Cosby had just come from Max Roach’s funeral and was dressed in a natty three-piece suit. Despite the weather, the occasion, and the oddly empty dining room, Cosby was energized. He had spent the previous day in Philadelphia, where he spoke to a group in a housing project, met with state health officials, and participated in a community march against crime. Grassroots black activists in his hometown were embracing his call. He planned, over the coming year, to continue his call-outs and release a hip-hop album. (He has also noted, however, that there won’t be any profanity on it.)

Cosby was feeling warm and nostalgic. He asked why I had not brought my son, and I instantly regretted dropping him off at my partner’s workplace for a couple of hours. He talked about breaking his shoulder playing school football, after his grandfather had tried to get him to quit. “Granddad Cosby got on the trolley and came over to the apartment,” he recalled. “I was so embarrassed. I was laid out on the sofa. He was talking to my parents, and I was waiting for the moment when he would say, ‘See, I told you, Junior.’ He came back and reached in his pocket and gave me a quarter. He said, ‘Go to the corner and get some ice cream. It has calcium in it.’”

Much pop psychology has been devoted to Cosby’s transformation into such a high-octane, high-profile activist. His nemesis Dyson says that Cosby, in his later years, is following in the dishonorable tradition of upper-class African Americans who denounce their less fortunate brethren. Others have suggested more-sinister motivations—that Cosby is covering for his own alleged transgressions. (In 2006, Cosby settled a civil lawsuit filed by a woman who claimed that he had sexually assaulted her; other women have come forward with similar allegations that have not gone to court.) But the depth of his commitment would seem to belie such suspicions, and in any case, they do not seem to have affected his hold on his audience: in the November Pew survey, 85 percent of all African American respondents considered him a “good influence” on the black community, above Obama (76 percent) and second only to Oprah Winfrey (87 percent).

Part of what drives Cosby’s activism, and reinforces his message, is the rage that lives in all African Americans, a collective feeling of disgrace that borders on self-hatred. As the comedian Chris Rock put it in one of his infamous routines, “Everything white people don’t like about black people, black people really don’t like about black people … It’s like a civil war going on with black people, and it’s two sides—there’s black people and there’s niggas, and niggas have got to go … Boy, I wish they’d let me join the Ku Klux Klan. Shit, I’d do a drive-by from here to Brooklyn.” (Rock stopped performing the routine when he noticed that his white fans were laughing a little too hard.) Liberalism, with its pat logic and focus on structural inequities, offers no balm for this sort of raw pain. Like the people he preaches to, Cosby has grown tired of hanging his head.

This disquiet spans generations, but it is most acute among those of the civil-rights era. “I don’t know a better term than angst,” says Johnnetta Cole. “I refuse to categorize every young African American with the same language, but there are some ‘young’uns’—and some of us who are not ‘young’uns’—who must turn around and look at where we are, because where we’re headed isn’t pretty.” Like many of the stars of the civil-rights movement, Cole has gifts that go beyond social activism. She rose out of the segregated South and went to college at age 15, eventually earning a bachelor’s from Oberlin and a doctorate in anthropology from Northwestern. That same sort of dynamism exists today among many younger blacks, but what troubles the older generation is that their energy seems directed at other pursuits besides social uplift.

Cosby is fond of saying that sacrifices of the ’60s weren’t made so that rappers and young people could repeatedly use the word nigger. But that’s exactly why they were made. After all, chief among all individual rights awarded Americans is the right to be mediocre, crass, and juvenile—in other words, the right to be human. But Cosby is aiming for something superhuman—twice as good, as the elders used to say—and his homily to a hazy black past seems like an effort to redeem something more than the present.

When people hear Bill Cosby’s message, many assume that he is the product of the sort of family he’s promoting—two caring parents, a stable home life, a working father. In fact, like many of the men he admonishes, Cosby was born into a troubled home. He was raised by his mother because his father, who joined the Navy, abandoned the family when Cosby was a child. Speaking to me of his youth, Cosby said, “People told me I was bright, but nobody stayed on me. My mother was too busy trying to feed and clothe us.” He was smart enough to be admitted to Central High School, a magnet school in Philadelphia, but transferred and then dropped out in 10th grade and followed his father into the service.

But the twists and turns of that reality seem secondary to the tidier, more appealing world that Cosby is trying to create. Toward the end of our lunch, in a long, rambling monologue, Cosby told me, “If you looked at me and said, ‘Why is he doing this? Why right now?,’ you could probably say, ‘He’s having a resurgence of his childhood.’ What do I need if I am a child today? I need people to guide me. I need the possibility of change. I need people to stop saying I can’t pull myself up by my own bootstraps. They say that’s a myth. But these other people have their mythical stories—why can’t we have our own?”

Offline trinindian

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The audio here is very inciteful

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4628960

EDIT: warning preachy at times (Very)
« Last Edit: August 07, 2008, 09:05:29 AM by trinindian »
 

Offline ribbit

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mho, dyson misses the mark with his criticism of cosby in at least 3 ways.

1) he completely avoids the point about unmarried black mothers raised by cosby; PRECISELY because this IS an issue of PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.
2) dyson's references to parenting do not address the single parent phenomena which is overwhelmingly prevalent in black families - a primary consequence of the first point.
3) shaliqua and shaniqua: dyson claims to understand the roots of african self-identification in the black poor classes but spends time trying to psychologize cosby (i.e. his "discomfort with his african roots") instead of appreciating his point. it's a simple point about the current generations' misunderstanding of the institution of parenting and family. what is the use of a "strong" name for a weakly parented child?

it's more than ironic that while cosby castigates the black community for "waiting for Jesus" to save them, dyson resorts to ad hominem attacks; perhaps dyson is also waiting for a saintly figure (one impervious to his assault) for deliverance? it's no surprise that no progress is being made.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2008, 10:03:32 AM by ribbit »

Offline kaliman2006

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I tend to agree with you ribbit, although Dyson does raise some thought-provoking points, but as you say, he either fails to or deliberately sidesteps the disturbing prevalence of single-parent familie in black neighborhoods.

Contrary to what Dyson may think, black communities can do well in the U.S. The only problem is that there is often no solidarity or collective group effort to build black enterprise and too often the success of a person of colour does not produce a domino effect, i.e. the successful person leaves his or her community for the suburbs (usually predominantly Caucasian) and leaves the old neighbourhood behind. Thus, we have this phenomenon of a series of black "firsts", i.e. "first black engineer""first African-American astronaut" without any ripple effect in succeeding generations.

Knowing that there are many well-informed and knowledgeable posters on board, I'm sure that many here are familiar with or may have heard of Ronald McNair. He was one of America's top astronauts and the first African-American to fly a NASA mission. He was also a very good saxophone player and accomplished in the martial arts.

How many African-Americans have followed his example since his life was tragically cut short at the age of 35 on board the ill-fated Challenger mission in 1986? I'm sure I can them on one hand if I'm lucky. I'm sure that they're many reasons why this phenomenon exists and some of the arguments advanced by Dyson in his article may be relevant, but it does not address the central issue of what it is that the black community in the United States is doing to continue the exemplary example set by McNair.

On this point, I'm inclined to have the same attitude that Cosby has. It is time that African-Americans stop blamng others for their problems and start taking responsibility. Pointing the finger at others reflects an attitude of failure. I've heard it said that no one is a failure until he or she starts blaming other people for his or her shortcomings.

I think that there is a lot of truth in that statement.


Offline Trini _2022

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Bill Cosby Thread
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2015, 04:47:21 PM »
How Bill Cosby betrayed black community

http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/08/opinions/jones-bill-cosby/

(CNN)Bill Cosby once famously told a well-heeled crowd at a 2004 NAACP awards ceremony that the biggest problem in the black community was: "The lower economic and lower middle economic people are not holding their end in this deal."

That is why our communities are failing, the comedian said over much applause. He went on to blast uneducated, promiscuous black women, lazy single mothers and irresponsible black fathers. "These people are not funny anymore. And that's not brother. And that's not my sister. They're faking and they're dragging me way down," Cosby said.

Turns out that it was Cosby, the millionaire, self-appointed moralist for black America, who wasn't holding up his end of this deal. He has dragged us all down. While preaching from his pedestal about the ills among the black lower and middle class, he was using his money and power, his accusers say, to sexually exploit women who were less powerful and had less money.

The saddest part is that Cosby may be the biggest faker of all. And he is definitely not funny anymore.

In 2005 court documents that were made public Monday after The Associated Press went to court to compel their release, Cosby admitted to getting prescription quaaludes to give to women with whom he wanted to have sex.

The testimony was given during a civil suit filed by Andrea Constand, a former Temple University women's basketball coach. Constand is one of the dozens of women who accused Cosby of sexual assault. The lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed amount before the 13 other "Jane Does" were called to testify on Constand's behalf.


More than 25 women have publicly accused Cosby of raping or assaulting them over the past 40 years. The comedian has never been criminally charged and has vehemently denied wrongdoing.

Predators -- and all those people who turn a blind eye or rush to defend heinous behavior -- are doing the real damage in our communities. And our silence and failure to call out abusers is literally killing black women.

The statistics are shocking. According to a 2000 U.S. Department of Justice report, black women have a 35% higher rate of violent abuse by intimate partners than white women.

A Tufts University study found that 40% of black women reported forced sexual contact by the age of 18.

But most alarming for black women is that the No. 1 killer of black women ages 15 to 34 is homicide by a current or former intimate partner.

And while these numbers clearly point to a crisis in the black community, the problem is rarely discussed publicly. We rally around police brutality and call for much needed law enforcement reforms, and decry the high imprisonment rates for black men. We tell the world "Black Lives Matter."

Yet we remain silent about the No. 1 killer of young black women. It's obscene. A paltry 17% of black women who survive sexual assault end up filing a police report. Most of us remain invisible. And our abusers are too often left unchecked and free to abuse other women.

Whether the alleged abuser is a celebrity such as Cosby, or a friend or family member, we have to break the code of silence and endless victim shaming that has become the knee-jerk reaction in too many corners of black culture.

For me, Cosby is the most dangerous type of misogynist, lurking with his G-rated, Jell-O smile, preaching personal responsibility all the while allegedly using his fame and power to abuse and degrade women. All too often we black women are expected to be silent about the rampant sexual abuse in our community.

And when a situation like that of Bill Cosby or even Ray Rice, the football star caught on video decking his then-fianceé, plays out in the media, our first reaction is to fault the victim or suspect a media conspiracy.

Cosby, a consummate pro, played the black community like a fiddle -- protesting his innocence, alluding to a mainstream media conspiracy and then pleading with black media for fairness, telling a New York Post reporter last year: "... I only expect the black media to uphold the standards of excellence in journalism and when you do that you have to go in with a neutral mind."

He even got big name celebs to vouch for his honor. Whoopi Goldberg, Phylicia Rashad, Ben Vereen and Jill Scott all publicly supported Cosby and suggested the victims were suspect.

Since the release of the court documents, Scott has admitted she was wrong about Cosby, whom she has called a mentor.

Almost unconsciously, black women betray our womanhood to "defend the race" because we know painful the history of racism and injustice in this country. And we understand that our fight for equality is not finished.

But sometime we seem to shield our sons while sacrificing ourselves and our daughters. Our silence teaches women and girls that they matter less than boys and are not worthy of respect from men. We may be unintentionally setting them up to be victims.

No woman, regardless of race or economic status, should have to choose whether she is entitled to respect and dignity less than she deserves racial equality. I demand both.

« Last Edit: July 17, 2015, 02:47:23 PM by Flex »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/sh8SeGmzai4" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/sh8SeGmzai4</a>

Offline Flex

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Re: Bill Cosby Thread
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2015, 02:52:09 PM »
I have my doubts Bill Cosby’s a rapist
By Andrea Peyser (NY Post).


Bill Cosby is a lousy husband and a possible sex addict. But is he a rapist?

I have my doubts.

Is Cosby, 78, so diabolically creepy that he secretly slipped Quaaludes into the mouths of his alleged victims, as even President Obama suggests? Perhaps.

But I’m starting to think that Cosby’s “crimes’’ were not rapes, but high-pressure seductions.
This may be female heresy.

Still, I wonder if some, if not most (or maybe all?), of the dozens of women who claim Cosby attempted or completed sexual assaults against them, dating back as far as the 1960s, swallowed drugs willingly before the encounters.

It may not matter. Most of Cosby’s illicit activities would be considered sex crimes, according to today’s feminist-written definition of rape. Off with his head, and other body parts!

But not long ago, society looked at rape differently. If a woman, and this was mainly about women, knowingly took drugs or drank alcohol before engaging in sex, and then for whatever reason — shame, guilt or seeing Prince Charming turn into a frog by the light of day — that lady regretted her tacit agreement to engage in sexual activity, she would just have to live with her stupid decision.

That has changed. Following California’s lead, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo earlier this year signed the so-called Enough Is Enough law to combat sexual assault on public and private college and university campuses. Among other things, the measure states that anyone on a New York state campus, of any gender, who engages in sex while drunk, drugged — even unconscious or asleep — is incapable of giving consent. This means that someone who has sex with a zonked person, even if that partner deliberately got high or drunk to get in the mood, runs the risk of being accused of a sex crime.

The president weighed in on Cosbygate Wednesday during a press conference mainly on the Iranian nuclear deal.

“If you give a woman, or a man, for that matter, without his or her knowledge, a drug, and then have sex with that person without consent, that’s rape,’’ he said, after being asked if Cosby’s Presidential Medal of Freedom, awarded in 2002, should be stripped from him. Obama said there’s “no precedent’’ for revoking the medal. But he said, “And I think this country, any civilized country, should have no tolerance for rape.’’
But was it rape?

Obama implied that Cosby gave drugs to women without the recipients’ knowledge, which has not been proven. Cosby has never been charged with a crime and denies any wrongdoing.

Cosby’s wife of 51 years and business manager, Camille, 71, has doubled down on her defense of her man, according to a report in The Post by journalist Stacy Brown. This happened after a judge released a transcript of a 2005 deposition in a now-settled civil sexual-assault case. In it, the comedian admitted that he obtained prescriptions for the now-banned sedative Quaalude, intending to give the drug to women with whom he wanted to have sex. He copped to giving Quaaludes to one 19-year-old woman he bedded, but insisted that she knew what she was taking. He said the sex was consensual.

Asked in the deposition if he ever drugged women without their knowledge, Cosby’s lawyer objected to the question. He never answered.

“Camille still doesn’t believe that Bill provided drugs and had sex with women without their consent,’’ a Cosby family employee told Brown. “She’s well aware of the cheating, but she doesn’t believe that her husband’s a rapist.’’ Camille Cosby attended a crisis meeting last week with her husband’s advisers, and demanded that his lawyers and public-relations specialists “get back out in front of this,’’ Brown reported.

“Everyone took Quaaludes in the ’70s. He didn’t shove pills down anyone’s throat,’’ Sandy Kane, a former stripper and comedienne who earns tips from tourists who take her picture in Times Square as the Naked Cowgirl, told me. Kane said she had a consensual quickie with Cos in Los Angeles in the 1970s or early ’80s when she was on a Quaalude, and eagerly swallowed another half-pill he gave her.

“He was a handsome man and a star. He was just a doll,’’ said Kane, who plays guitar wearing a bikini bottom, cowboy hat and boots, plus red-white-and-blue pasties in the shape of marijuana leaves on her nipples. “As far as I’m concerned, he’s the victim here.’’

Is Bill Cosby a beast or a garden-variety lecher?

That could depend on how one defines sexual assault.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline Flex

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Re: Bill Cosby Thread
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2015, 04:11:21 AM »
Deposition: Cosby paid women to keep affairs secret
AP


NEW YORK (AP) — Bill Cosby, in sworn testimony a decade ago, said he had paid women after sex to keep the affairs from his wife, suggested he was skilled at understanding nonverbal cues for sexual consent and called one of his accusers a liar.

The New York Times (http://nyti.ms/1CPjldP) reported the revelations Saturday after obtaining a copy of a transcript from a deposition Cosby gave in a lawsuit filed by a former Temple University employee who alleges he drugged and molested her.

According to excerpts from the deposition released a month ago, and first obtained by The Associated Press, Cosby admitted he procured Quaaludes with the intent of giving them to young women he wanted to have sex with.

The Times, citing the transcript, reports that Cosby told lawyers for Andrea Constand, who worked at Temple in Philadelphia and brought the suit, that he was a "pretty decent reader of people and their emotions in these romantic sexual things."

He said he offered to pay for Constand's education and paid another woman whom he had met in 1976. He said he funneled money to one of the women he had sex with through his agent so his wife wouldn't find out.

Cosby's publicist, David Brokaw, did not immediately return a message seeking comment late Saturday.

Although Constand never sought any money from Cosby, the comedian said he figured his wife would have known he was helping her with furthering her education but said, "My wife would not know it was because Andrea and I had had sex," according to the newspaper.

Constand's case was settled on confidential terms.

Cosby has denied accusations made by dozens of women who claim he sexually assaulted them. He has never been charged with a crime, but the accusations have shattered Cosby's good-guy, fatherly image.

At points during the deposition, Cosby also described his sexual encounters with the women in detail.

The deposition also paints Cosby as emotionally charming, but he also spoke about disregarding relationships to pursue other women.

He suggested he was skilled at understanding women and nonverbal cues signaling sexual consent.

Cosby, who has been married since 1964, said he sparked a relationship with Constand in the early 2000s and invited her to his house and had conversations about her family and plans for future education.

The relationship between the two continued for several years until, Constand says, Cosby drugged and molested her in his Pennsylvania home.

Cosby said during the deposition that Constand was "a liar."

Although Cosby pained himself as sensitive to Constand, he told her attorney, "I think Andrea is a liar and I know she's a liar because I was there," when he was asked how he felt about Constand crying during her deposition in the case.

Bruce Castor, the suburban Pennsylvania prosecutor who declined to bring charges in the Constand case a decade ago, told the AP earlier this month that if he is elected again he would review the unsealed court documents to see if Cosby committed perjury.

The Associated Press generally does not name people who say they have been sexually assaulted unless they agree to have their names published, as Constand has done.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline Flex

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Re: Bill Cosby Thread
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2015, 04:15:16 AM »
Cosby offered pills, payments and mentorship to women: NYT
AFP


New York (AFP) - US comedian Bill Cosby said he offered pills and payments to women he had sexual encounters with, and tried to hide it from his wife, according to court documents cited in the New York Times Saturday.

The newspaper obtained a transcript from a deposition Cosby gave 10 years ago as part of a lawsuit from former Temple University employee Andrea Constand, who accused him of drugging and molesting her.

Cosby said he acted as a mentor to Constand, and wooed her by "inviting her to my house, talking to her about personal situations dealing with her life, growth, education," according to the deposition quoted in the Times.

The pair remained in contact for several years in the early 2000s, and one night at his house in Pennsylvania he said he gave her one and a half tablets of the over-the-counter antihistamine drug Benadryl to relieve stress.

They reportedly kissed and had sexual contact afterward, according to the newspaper.

But Constand's lawyer said she believed he gave her a much stronger drug.

Constand maintains she was not seeking money from Cosby, but the actor said his wife, whom he married in 1964, would have likely thought support he provided her was for her education.

"My wife would not know it was because Andrea and I had had sex and that Andrea was now very, very upset and that she decided that she would like to go to school," he is quoted as saying in the deposition.

Cosby also channeled $5,000 to Therese Serignese, who accuses Cosby of drugging and taking advantage of her, through her agent so his wife would not find out, according to the newspaper.

Cosby, now 78, maintains any sexual relations he had with Constand were consensual, and accuses her of lying.

"I think Andrea is a liar and I know she's a liar because I was there. I was there."

He said he had a knack for reading women's signals and body language and said Constand did not "walk out with an attitude of a huff," referring to one of their sexual encounters.

"I think I'm a pretty decent reader of people and their emotions in these romantic sexual things, whatever you want to call them," he said.

Constand's lawsuit was settled with Cosby in 2006 on undisclosed terms.

- Sympathy for sex? -

The 1,000-page deposition offers more details from court documents unsealed earlier this month, in which Cosby admitted to having obtained seven prescriptions for Quaaludes and giving them to other people.

But in the deposition, he avoided questions about who he gave drugs to and when, and whether he gave women drugs without their knowledge.

Elsewhere in the document, Cosby insisted he did not have non-consensual sex with anyone.

"I am a man, the only way you will hear about who I had sex with is from the person I had it with," he said, according to the Times.

In the deposition, Cosby describes sexual encounters with at least five women, and a "romantic" interest in two more, according to the Times.

He said he spoke with one woman, model Beth Ferrier, about her career and her father who had died of cancer.

The lawyer questions Cosby's motives: "Did you ask her those questions because you wanted to have sexual contact with her?"

In response, Cosby said "yes," according to the deposition.

Cosby has never been charged with a crime, though the embattled actor has been accused by dozens of women of attacks going back decades.

Los Angeles police said this month they are pursuing a sex assault probe into the comic.

Cosby, a pioneering African-American comedian who played a beloved family doctor on the hit 1980s sitcom "The Cosby Show," has lost public supporters in the wake of the sex scandal.

The cultural megastar has canceled several comedy engagements and a Cosby television special that was planned for late last year.

The entertainer was also forced to resign from the board of Temple University, his alma mater, last December.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline Brownsugar

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Re: Bill Cosby Thread
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2015, 05:51:35 AM »
 :'( :'( :'(
"...If yuh clothes tear up
Or yuh shoes burst off,
You could still jump up when music play.
Old lady, young baby, everybody could dingolay...
Dingolay, ay, ay, ay ay,
Dingolay ay, ay, ay..."

RIP Shadow....The legend will live on in music...

Offline Flex

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Re: Bill Cosby Thread
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2015, 03:25:24 PM »
Bill Cosby ordered to give deposition in sexual abuse lawsuit
By Steve Gorman (Reuters).


LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Bill Cosby has been ordered to give a sworn deposition in a lawsuit brought by a woman accusing the comedian of plying her with alcohol and sexually abusing her at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles when she was 15 years old.

It marks the first time Cosby, 78, has been directed to testify under oath in response to a complaint of sexual misconduct against him since a deposition he gave in a separate Pennsylvania case he settled out of court nine years ago.

The latest order, made public on Wednesday, a day after a Los Angeles Superior Court judge entered it, requires Cosby to submit under oath to questions from the lawyer of his Los Angeles accuser, Judy Huth, on Oct. 9. Now in her 50s, Huth must likewise answer questions from his attorneys on Oct. 15.

Huth gained somewhat of a tactical advantage from the judge's decision compelling Cosby to go first.

The precise times and places were not revealed, but Huth's lawyer, Gloria Allred, has said she expects to depose Cosby in Massachusetts, where he resides.

The way for the depositions, a key part of the discovery process in civil litigation, was cleared when the California Supreme Court last month denied Cosby's petition to review the case, dealing a final blow to his efforts to fend off Huth's lawsuit.

Her complaint, brought in December 2014, charged that Cosby sexually abused her by putting his hand down her pants and then "taking her hand in his hand and performing a sex act on himself without her consent."

Huth alleged the encounter occurred days after she and a female friend met Cosby at a park where he was filming a movie. According to her account, Cosby invited the girls the following weekend to his tennis club, where they all had drinks together before he led them on to the Playboy Mansion.

Cosby's attorney Martin Singer has called Huth's allegations false and "defamatory".

Huth is one of more than 40 women who have come forward in the past year to say that they were raped or molested by Cosby after he gave them alcohol or drugs in incidents dating back decades.

In 2006 Cosby reached a confidential settlement for an undisclosed sum with a former Temple University employee, Andrea Constand, who accused him of sexual assault. Parts of the deposition he gave in that case were made public last month.

Huth's complaint is one of at least four pending civil suits against Cosby stemming from such accusations.

However, Allred has said Huth's is the only one seeking damages for the alleged misconduct itself, citing repressed psychological injuries that she claims were only discovered in the last three years, and therefore are allowed under the statute of limitations.

The other plaintiffs are suing for defamation instead.

Cosby has never been criminally charged. He and his lawyers acknowledge marital infidelity on his part but have consistently denied allegations of criminal wrongdoing.


(Editing by Sandra Maler, Eric Walsh and Ken Wills)

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline Flex

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Re: Bill Cosby Thread
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2015, 07:09:26 PM »
Bill Cosby Accuser Recalls Alleged Ordeal: Comedian ‘Made This Horrible Mess All Over Me’
By Tim Kenneally (Yahoo News)


A number of Bill Cosby‘s accusers appeared on “Dr. Phil” on Thursday’s episode of the syndicated talk show, with one accuser providing a graphic account of her alleged encounter with Cosby.

The accuser, identified as Linda, told host Phil McGraw that she met Cosby on a movie set.

“It was a job interview,” Linda told McGraw.

She then launched into a detailed description of the alleged assault.

“His hand came around to the back of my head and, you know, as I looked up, he was exposing his genitals. He was right in my face,” Linda recalled.

“He had my hair; I don’t want to get graphic, but you know when you’re shocked you go, ‘Oh,’ you open your mouth a little bit, and that was my mistake,” Linda said. “And then he just made this horrible mess all over me.”

Afterward, Linda said, Cosby told the aspiring actress that he had “blessed” her.

“The hardest part was, he gloated over my humiliation. And he reached into his pocket, he had a big wad of Kleenex, and he started cleaning me up; he was dabbing at me,” Linda recalled. “By this time I’ve closed my eyes, because I really think I’m going to faint. And he said, ‘I’ve blessed you now, you know; you’ve been blessed.’

“And I remember thinking, ‘He must be crazy.'”

The accusers on the “Dr. Phil” stage also included former model Beverly Johnson, who recounted her tale of allegedly being drugged by Cosby with a spiked cappuccino.

Since late last year, dozens of women have come forward to accuse Cosby of violating them, often claiming that he drugged them beforehand.

Cosby’s attorneys have denied the allegations against the comedian. Nonetheless, the accusations have led to a series of setbacks for Cosby, including legal action and the shelving of a comedy that NBC was developing for him.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline Flex

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Re: Bill Cosby Thread
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2015, 06:51:00 AM »
9 Noteworthy Moments From 'Cosby: The Women Speak'
By Elizabeth Durand Streisand
Yahoo Celebrity


By now you've heard the story (a few times): 50-plus women have accused Bill Cosby of various combinations of drugging and sexual assault that allegedly took place over the course of five decades. Banding together in a sort of makeshift sisterhood, the accusers have grown in both numbers and conviction, participating in numerous interviews, feature articles, and now a TV special.

While A+E's Cosby: The Women Speak wasn't exactly packed with new information, it still managed to pique our interest just the same. Here's nine noteworthy moments from the hour-long special that shed a bit more light onto the case against the comedy icon.

1. According to the accusers, Cosby gave some of them monetary gifts ranging from $10 to $1,500 after assaulting them.

Not every woman who shared her story mentioned receiving money, and those who did received varying amounts. Joan Tarshis, who was an aspiring comedy writer at the time of her alleged assault, recalled that after Cosby finished with her, he gave her $10 and a cab to take her home. In contrast, another accuser who met Cosby in a Las Vegas hotel room, said when she woke up after the assault she found $1,500 on the dresser.

2. Cosby allegedly invited one aspiring actress on Christmas Eve to his family's house.

It wasn't just in hotel rooms that Cosby allegedly assaulted women. According to accuser Sarita Butterfield, he assaulted her in his family home… where his family was gathered… to celebrate Christmas. Butterfield recalled Cosby inviting her to join his family at their house in Massachusetts for Christmas Eve, and said that after dinner when she retired to the guesthouse, he snuck in and assaulted her.

3. Cosby occasionally spoke with alleged victims' parents to ease any concerns.

According to Heidi Thomas, who had been an aspiring actress, Cosby sensed that she and her parents might have concerns about Heidi traveling to Reno to meet the megastar for acting coaching — so he got on the phone with her parents to assure them everything would be fine.

4. At least two of the women claim they confronted Cosby after the fact.

Though she never spoke with her parents about what happened once she arrived in Nevada, Thomas did claim to have confronted Cosby about what had happened between them — but said she got nowhere. Additionally, a fashion model named Beth — who said she passed out after Cosby gave her a cappuccino laced with some type of drug and was assaulted while she was unconscious — confronted the star. "I laid down next to him for a little bit and he refused to talk about it," she recalled before adding, "So I just left."

5. One woman claimed to have had a two-year consensual affair with him prior to being raped.

That same fashion model admitted during her TV interview that she had engaged in a two-year consensual affair with Cosby before he assaulted her. (This may be why she was comfortable enough to confront him about the assault later.)

6. Joseph Phillips, who had a guest-star role on The Cosby Show, thought something was up — and claimed others did too.

Joseph Phillips, who had a long-running guest-star role as Denise Huxtable's husband on The Cosby Show, admitted he had his suspicions. "There was always a sense of something," he recalled. "There were people whispering about this parade that would come through of beautiful women. Something is going on. Everybody is not auditioning."

7. Beverly Johnson knew she had been drugged and, before he assaulted her, looked at him and said, "You're a mother f---er, aren't you?"

According to Beverly Johnson, as soon as she took a sip of the cappuccino Cosby gave her, she knew she had been drugged. "Immediately, I felt woozy," she recalled. "Everything was spinning and I was dizzy and I knew I had been drugged—no doubt in my mind." Still, the model, who was already a star in her own right, wasn't going to back down and instead looked up at the comedian and said, 'You're a mother f---er, aren't you?

8. The female victims are upset that it took a male comedian making a joke about it to get their allegations to be taken seriously.

Though they are clearly committed to their cause, some of Cosby's accusers are annoyed at what it took to get the public to pay attention to their claims — a man. The allegations most certainly did move into the spotlight when comedian Hannibal Buress blasted Cosby during a stand-up set. "There were many women that had come forward before this," one of the women lamented. "So I think that's bulls---."

9. When the AP asked Cosby about the allegations in February, not only did he not answer the question, he actually requested that they even delete the question being asked.

During an interview with the Associated Press earlier this year, Cosby not only refused to answer any questions about Burress's comments — he requested that the recording of the question being asked be deleted completely. "No, no, we don't answer that," he said as his wife sat beside him in silence. "Now can I get something from you?" he asked the reporter. "That none of that will be shown? And I'd appreciate it if that was scuttled."

Well, Mr. Cosby, it turns out it wasn't.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline ribbit

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Re: Bill Cosby Thread
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2015, 09:56:29 AM »
what a fall.

seriously though one fella that seem to evade all this discussion about rape culture, cosby, dunham, rolling stone, etc. .....

bill clinton

ent he have a track record for this? and silence from the media because hillary running for president. double standard.

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Re: Bill Cosby Thread
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2015, 08:54:41 AM »
Reports indicate that a few institutions have rescinded the honorary degrees bestowed on Cosby. Could present a possible dilemma for the decision-makers at HU, especially should other institutions follow suit ... as is likely.

Offline Flex

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Re: Bill Cosby Thread
« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2017, 03:51:06 PM »
Ex-Illuminati Member Confirms They FRAMED Bill Cosby With Fake Rape Allegations To Stop Him From Buying NBC.
tmznewsonline.net


Ex-Illuminati member says Bill Cosby is under massive attack by the feared Illuminati. The vilest conceivable claims are being made against him. Who would want to operate under such a burden, especially a person in the public eye? The accusers are women who have worked with the Illuminati in the past and were paid to wildly state they are all victims of rape.

The spewers of this hate are all fabricators. Moreover, without exception they are suppose “victims” of Bill Cosby. Moreover, what extreme hate they are spewing, all under the guise of righteous indignation, all under the protection of the Illuminati who already control a large portion of the global media from the music industry to television.

It should be noted that Whoopi Goldberg has defended Mr. Cosby, asking for hard evidence of the claims. Few if any others have done so, upholding the false witnesses or at least showing sympathy, tolerating their claims. All these so called “victims are paid large amounts of money to make this wild and outrageous claims about Bill Cosby” say Ex-Illuminati member. Bu why? And why make this allegations now? Ex-Illuminati member tells says Bill Cosby, NBC’s biggest star of the 80’s, was trying to buy the television network from its current owner, the General Electric Company.

Norman Brokaw, the chief executive of the William Morris Agency and Mr. Cosby’s personal agent for 30 years, confirmed yesterday that he had discussed Mr. Cosby’s intention to make an offer for NBC with Robert C. Wright, the network’s president. Illuminati leader who control NBC would lose power of the television company if Bill Cosby purchased it the only way to stop the putchase was to ruin Bill Cosby and they started with fake rape allegations.

With no hard evidence the Illuminati had succeeded and destroyed Bill Cosby’s image. Only one woman has came forward a Wilhelmina Model and she admitted being paid to destroy Bill’s reputation.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline ribbit

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Re: Bill Cosby Thread
« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2017, 09:24:49 PM »
Honestly, I assess guilt/innocence in these cases by looking at the wife's reaction.

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Re: Bill Cosby Thread
« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2017, 12:59:57 AM »
Honestly, I assess guilt/innocence in these cases by looking at the wife's reaction.

Did you see her reaction on NBC?  :D

Offline Flex

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Re: Bill Cosby Thread
« Reply #18 on: July 02, 2021, 04:49:20 PM »
Bill Cosby released from prison after conviction vacated
LINSEY DAVIS, AARON KATERSKY and BILL HUTCHINSON


Bill Cosby was released from prison Wednesday after his conviction on sexual assault charges was overturned by Pennsylvania's highest court.

The 83-year-old Cosby walked out of the State Correctional Institution Phoenix in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, Wednesday afternoon, officials told ABC News.

Cosby's publicist, Andrew Wyatt, told ABC News earlier Wednesday that he was going to pick Cosby up at the prison.

Aerial footage from Philadelphia ABC station WPVI showed Cosby getting out of a car at his Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, mansion wearing a maroon T-shirt and baggy trousers. He flashed a peace sign as people helped him walk into his home.

Cosby later emerged from his home and walked to the end of his driveway where he stood with Wyatt and his lawyers as they addressed the media. Cosby smiled as reporters asked him to respond to no longer being incarcerated, but he declined to speak.

"What we saw today was justice, justice for all Americans," Wyatt said.

The actor released a statement on Twitter, writing, "I have never changed my stance nor my story. I have always maintained my innocence. Thank you to all my fans, supporters and friends who stood by me through this ordeal. Special thanks to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for upholding the rule of law."

One of Cosby's appellate attorneys, Jennifer Bonjean, said she and the rest of Cosby's legal team were "thrilled" to have him home.

"He served three years of an unjust sentence. He did it with dignity, principle and he was a mentor to other inmates," Bonjean said. "He was really, as I say, doing the time. The time was not doing him."

She also thanked the state Supreme Court for demonstrating "they were impervious to the court of public opinion, which frankly the lower courts were not."

Cosby was sentenced in September 2018 to three to 10 years in state prison for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting former Temple University employee Andrea Constand in 2004. Cosby served about three years of his sentence.

"Today’s majority decision regarding Bill Cosby is not only disappointing but of concern in that it may discourage those who seek justice for sexual assault in the criminal justice system from reporting or participating in the prosecution of the assailant or may force a victim to choose between filing either a criminal or civil action," Constand and her lawyers said in a statement.

Last year, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed to hear two points in Cosby's appeal to overturn his 2018 sexual assault conviction.

In a ruling released Wednesday, the state Supreme Court concluded that Cosby's prosecution should never have occurred due to a deal the comedian cut with former Montgomery County prosecutor Bruce Castor, who agreed not to criminally prosecute Cosby if he gave a deposition in a civil case brought against him by Constand.

During that deposition, Cosby made incriminating statements that Castor's successor, Kevin R. Steele, used to charge Cosby in 2015.

Constand said in her statement that the decision to overturn the conviction resulted from "a procedural technicality."

Castor is the same lawyer who went on to represent former President Donald Trump during the ex-president's second impeachment trial earlier this year.

"The discretion vested in our Commonwealth's prosecutors, however vast, does not mean that its exercise is free of the constraints of due process," the Pennsylvania Supreme Court justices wrote in their 79-page decision.

"When an unconditional charging decision is made publicly and with the intent to induce action and reliance by the defendant, and when the defendant does so to his detriment (and in some instances upon the advice of counsel), denying the defendant the benefit of that decision is an affront to fundamental fairness, particularly when it results in a criminal prosecution that was foregone for more than a decade," the justices wrote.

The decision went on to say Cosby was the victim of an unconstitutional "coercive bait-and-switch."

Believing he had immunity from criminal prosecution, Cosby testified during four days of depositions by Constand's attorneys, and the civil lawsuit was settled for more than $3 million in 2006.

"As a practical matter, the moment that Cosby was charged criminally, he was harmed: all that he had forfeited earlier, and the consequences of that forfeiture in the civil case, were for naught," the justices wrote.

Cosby cannot be retried on the criminal charges.

"He was found guilty by a jury and now goes free on a procedural issue that is irrelevant to the facts of the crime," Steele said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.

Steele commended Constand "for her bravery in coming forward and remaining steadfast throughout this long ordeal, as well as all of the other women who have shared similar experiences."

"My hope is that this decision will not dampen the reporting of sexual assaults by victims," Steele said. "Prosecutors in my office will continue to follow the evidence wherever and to whomever it leads. We still believe that no one is above the law -- including those who are rich, famous and powerful."

In an interview with KYW Newsradio in Philadelphia, Castor said he was "not surprised" by the state Supreme Court's decision.

"I can only ever recall it happening once before in a case that the prosecutor's behavior was so egregious that the Supreme Court threw the case out and didn’t remand for a new trial," Castor told the radio station. "So it is rare, but what happened to Mr. Cosby was really egregious and what they did to him should never happen to any American citizen at any social strata."

Attorney Gloria Allred represented several women who testified at Cosby's trial to bolster the prosecution's evidence of "prior bad acts" against the entertainer and to prove a pattern of practice.

"Despite the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's decision, this was an important fight for justice," Allred told ABC News Live. "And even though the court overturned the conviction on technical grounds, it did not vindicate Bill Cosby's conduct and should not be interpreted as a statement or a finding that he did not engage in the acts of which he has been accused."

Janice Baker Kinney, one of the women who testified at Cosby's criminal trial alleging that he sexually assaulted her in 1982 when she was a 24-year-old bartender in Reno, Nevada, told ABC News Live on Wednesday she was "stunned" by the news.

"I'm shocked, and my stomach's kind of in a knot over this," Kinney said. "Just one little legalese can overturn this when so many people came forward, so many women have told their truths."

Another accuser, Victoria Valentino, a former Playboy model who didn't testify at the trial but claimed Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her when she was a young woman, told ABC News that "my stomach is lurching" upon hearing Cosby would be released.

"I am deeply distressed about the injustice of the whole thing," Valentino said. "You know, he's a sociopath, he's a serial rapist."

She said Cosby's release came just days after she and the other Cosby accusers received a letter from Pennsylvania officials advising them that Cosby's request for parole was denied.

Cosby, who has maintained his innocence, had his petition for early parole denied in May after corrections officials cited his refusal to participate in prison sex offender programs.

In an appeal of the conviction, Cosby's lawyers argued that the trial judge erred in allowing Cosby's prior deposition about using quaaludes during consensual sexual encounters with women in the 1970s.

Two lower courts, including a three-judge panel of Pennsylvania Superior Court jurists, had previously refused to overturn the comedian's conviction.

Despite the deluge of accusations against him, Cosby has maintained he never engaged in nonconsensual sex.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline Flex

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Re: Bill Cosby Thread
« Reply #19 on: July 08, 2021, 04:07:24 AM »
Out of prison, Bill Cosby is already planning a comeback sure to court controversy
Christie D'Zurilla (LA Times)


Bill Cosby is, in a word, "exuberant." And he wants to get back to performing — and more.

"In his physical appearance, he's exuberant. In his mental state, he's exuberant. In his feelings and humor, he's exuberant," publicist Andrew Wyatt told The Times on Wednesday. The comedian is "colorful and powerful — more powerful than we've ever seen."

Cosby, 83, is with his family at the moment, Wyatt said, a week after his conviction on three counts of aggravated indecent assault against Andrea Constand was overturned. But plans are in the works to get "The Cosby Show" star back onstage in the U.S., Canada and London, Wyatt said.

Wyatt said Cosby's next act will weave the disgraced comic's "vintage storytelling" in with observations from his life today and will be "inclusive of human rights and civil rights" as Cosby works for criminal justice reform and prison reform based on his own experiences.

Cosby "gives you a formula without the preservatives," his rep said.

The performer was convicted in April 2018 of drugging and sexually assaulting Constand. He was sentenced to three to 10 years in prison, a term he was serving at a maximum security state facility in Pennsylvania. They were the only criminal charges brought against Cosby, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by dozens of women.

Cosby's team — including the legal staff — still has to work out the details about how audiences, promoters and "media insurrectionists ... who fuel the hate" will be screened, Wyatt said, but he's not very concerned about hecklers and the like. Plus, he said, "It's not happening tomorrow." They have time.

Also in the works, according to Wyatt: A book, written by Frederick Williams, will feature Cosby and Wyatt talking about the performer's experiences through both of his trials (the civil and the criminal) and while he was in prison. They also will discuss the strategies Cosby and his team used to get him through it all.

Additionally, production is almost done on a five-part docuseries about the nine-time Grammy winner, from "Venus and Serena" director Michelle Major, which will include the comic's recent experiences in the legal system. Cosby still has to sit for his interview.

In the meantime, his release from prison sent shockwaves across social media last week and landed Phylicia Rashad, his longtime friend and former "Cosby Show" costar, in hot water after she tweeted her support. (She later apologized.)

As for Cosby's conviction being overturned on a technicality by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which found that his right to due process had been violated, Wyatt said that the U.S. Constitution "[wasn't] given to us as a suggestion. It was a mandate."

Cosby was not found innocent by the state's high court. Rather, it found that he had a 2005 agreement with a prior prosecutor that shielded him from criminal prosecution in exchange for giving a deposition in Constand's civil trial. Cosby settled with the former Temple University employee for $3.4 million in that civil complaint.

The attorney who prosecuted Cosby criminally did so despite that agreement — which was never put into writing — violating Cosby's 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination.

“When a prosecutor makes an unconditional promise of non-prosecution, and when the defendant relies upon that guarantee to the detriment of his constitutional right not to testify, the principle of fundamental fairness that undergirds due process of law in our criminal justice system demands that the promise be enforced,” Justice David N. Wecht wrote in the court’s majority opinion.

Sixty women have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct dating as far back as the early 1970s, when he was in his 30s.

"I have never changed my stance nor my story. I have always maintained my innocence," Cosby said in a statement tweeted June 30, the day of his release. "Thank you to all my fans, supporters and friends who stood by me through this ordeal. Special thanks to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for upholding the rule of law."

In a statement last week, Montgomery County (Pa.) Dist. Atty. Kevin Steele said Cosby went free “on a procedural issue that is irrelevant to the facts of the crime.”

“My hope is that this decision will not dampen the reporting of sexual assaults by victims. We still believe that no one is above the law — including those who are rich, famous and powerful,” he said.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline Deeks

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Re: Bill Cosby Thread
« Reply #20 on: July 08, 2021, 01:14:11 PM »
In the meantime, his release from prison sent shockwaves across social media last week and landed Phylicia Rashad, his longtime friend and former "Cosby Show" costar, in hot water after she tweeted her support. (She later apologized.)

Howard U. chose her to head their Fine Arts Dept. recently. I assume Wayne Fredericks is watching this situation closely.

Offline asylumseeker

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Re: Bill Cosby Thread
« Reply #21 on: July 08, 2021, 02:12:30 PM »
In the meantime, his release from prison sent shockwaves across social media last week and landed Phylicia Rashad, his longtime friend and former "Cosby Show" costar, in hot water after she tweeted her support. (She later apologized.)

Howard U. chose her to head their Fine Arts Dept. recently. I assume Wayne Fredericks is watching this situation closely.

I wasn't aware of her comments, but your post prompted me to check.

His response. Handled responsibly.