By James Strong
When “The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg and R&B singer Jill Scott defended comedian Bill Cosby with support sealed in iron against charges of systematic rape, among other criticisms they endured the scorn of being called pro-serial rapist supporters.
The tag might be a bit extravagant, but I doubt you’ll find many who disagreed with the sentiment. Because Goldberg and Scott’s defense of a man 21 or more women say drugged and raped them seems more despicable than the accusations that he drugged and raped them.
Now that U.S. District Court Judge Eduardo Robreno has released court records in which Cosby admits to giving women Quaaludes in the 1970s to have sex with them, the disgust with their previous support of him rose from the despicable to outrage, from outrage to loathing, and from loathing to an anger more hot and searing than lava from a volcano.
Cosby made the admission in a 2005 deposition as part of a civil lawsuit filed by a woman who accused him of drugging her and sexually assaulting her. Cosby’s lawyers had fought the documents’ release, arguing they would be “terribly embarrassing.”
But Robreno released the documents anyway, stating that Cosby was a “public moralist [who] mounted the proverbial electronic or print soap box to volunteer his views on, among other things, childrearing, family life, education, and crime.”
To prove his point, Robreno cites three of Cosby’s most infamous criticisms of Black Americans, including the “pound cake” speech, delivered at an NAACP event celebrating the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, in which Cosby scolded Blacks for, among other things, stealing food.
Furthermore, to turn off the engine of Cosby’s opposition to the release of the documents, that they would embarrass the comedian, Robreno implied a significant point: If Cosby was not embarrassed to drug and rape women, he should not be embarrassed that he admitted in court documents he drugged and raped women.
After release of the documents, Goldberg and Scott sang a different tune, but in significantly different ways.
Goldberg initially continued her support for Cosby, arguing “innocent until proven guilty” in a court of law. But after receiving threats, criticisms of disbelief that she would still support Cosby and calls for her dismissal as “The View” co-host, ABC News forced her to have a TV conversation with its chief legal analyst, Dan Abrams.
In that public relations move, a smiling Goldberg, with the grin of a corpse, said “I got to say all of the information that’s out there kind of points to guilt.” And “It looks bad, Bill. Either speak up or shut up.”
Goldberg seems to have forgotten that to be a brownnoser and then a hypocrite is as devastating to one’s reputation as a swarm of locusts is to a corn field. Her dishonest change of view echoes the screech of a falling, speeding elevator that normally would crash an entertainer’s career.
On the other hand, Scott immediately dropped her support for Cosby after the court documents were released. But her reasoning is strange. She said that she supported Cosby because so many Black men have been falsely accused.
No, Jill. That’s a cop-out. When it’s obvious someone is guilty of a crime, as when a video shows a man robbing a liquor store then shooting the cashier in the head, you admit the video did not lie. Thus, such a large number of women reporting that Cosby raped and drugged them should not result in a spirited defense of the accused, but sympathy for the accusers.
Scott’s reasons for supporting and now dropping her support for Cosby sound more like idolatry, like animism, like a child praying to an eggplant or an egg.
Then, there is Cosby’s wife of 51 years, Camille. Before Cosby’s admission in court documents that he drugged women to have sex with them, his supporters defended his innocence. After his admission was revealed, most of them abandoned him with a deer’s swiftness.
Camille Cosby is not one of those wise ones who changed their minds. In a court of law, a jury would use that admission to convict Bill Cosby of rape. So why does Camille still consider him innocent of the accusations? Why does she believe the women consented to being drugged and consented to being raped?
Perhaps out of love, perhaps out of a strong filial relationship. But certainly out of a blind loyalty that screams “I don’t care.”
Womanhood is a precious dove. She should not machete herself into two halves-one still a dove, the other a crow or scarecrow.
Hence, it seems unnatural for women who have not been raped to empathize with men who practice rape, for the victims of rape to receive little or no sympathy and the perpetrators of rape to gain sympathy, and for women to doubt women who have been raped. But Goldberg, Scott and Camille Cosby have shown that in some cases the unnatural is natural. And they are no longer pearls.
What a shame. Like an eclipse of the moon, they have quickly shattered their own integrity. And as a result, possibly, if they were ever raped, our response could not display empathy, but tearless pity.
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