From America’s Dad to America’s Predator: Bill Cosby’s Sentencing, Fall From Grace and Impact on Legacy
Written by Tamara M. on 25 September 2018
From “America’s dad” to the monumentally less flattering label of “sexual predator,” Bill Cosby’s fall from grace almost seems like a TV movie that the once beloved star could’ve starred in, except this time it’s not TV land, but reality and Mr. Cosby has a slew of real-world issues to answer for. With decades of accusations whispered about Cosby’s unsavory predilections that he was able to sweep under the rug with his wholesome persona and funny faces and noises, those secrets were eventually swept up into a whirlwind of dirt that ultimately enveloped the comic legend until those shameful secrets eventually dirtied his reputation, got him arrested, tried and finally facing sentencing. As he faces sentencing today, Cosby’s fate is all but sealed as the 81-year-old is surely facing time behind bars. While the judge is saying it’s most likely less than 3 years, even that could prove to be a death sentence for a man his age and in his reportedly poor health. Though prosecutors and victims were asking for much more, as usual, it seems that Cosby’s star power is still enough to get him favorable treatment.
If this was a no-name black man accused of raping a white woman, Cosby would be under the jail–justice would’ve been swift and hard. Though race played and continues to play a huge part in this case like any other, more than anything, Cosby’s name and star power have carried him through and given him special privileges that others not fortunate enough to be in his tax bracket don’t have the luxury to experience. Despite his conviction and looming sentencing, there are still hordes of people calling Cosby the real victim and treating him as the real innocent. “These women are lying.” “Why are they just saying something now?” “They want to ruin his legacy.” “They want to bring down another black man.”
The truth of the matter is that women have been lodging accusations and telling their truths about Cosby for decades, just so happens that nobody wanted to listen. Cosby was so beloved and had brainwashed the public so much so that the dots weren’t connected to lead to his outing as a predator for decades. In some of the reports, young women told their own mothers who still believed Cosby over their child. Some of the victims were everyday citizens, some were famous, some felt voiceless, some felt compelled to speak out. No matter the woman, they were ignored too long and they’re finally getting their chance to see their tormentor facing the music.
Despite the fact that Cosby did blaze a trail for black comedians, we would be amiss if we glossed over his complex dynamic with the black community. From his lecturing, talking down and outright disdain for black culture that made him “different than” rather than the “same as” the rest of black folk to his ignorance of the real problems of the black community, he seemed to alienate himself from his own every chance he got. Yet, now, he wants to talk to black folk like he’s one of us again and gain our sympathy. The truth of the matte is he’s experiencing the real black experience in America where white America has turned its back on him, despite the fact they once exalted him as one of the “good ones.” Now, the vast majority of his support comes from the very black people he dissed any chance he could.
Since Mr. Cosby seems destined to spend time answering for his crimes, maybe now he’ll take the chance to reflect on his poor choices, his legacy and how he will be remembered. Maybe, just maybe he’ll show remorse and give a heartfelt apology to his victims. Or maybe, just maybe, he’ll continue to play this depraved game where he’s the victim and he deserves the pity.