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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Choosing Black Women over Bill Cosby's Career

"But as I vomited in the backseat of the taxi that Cosby ushered me into after he assaulted me one night in the late 1980s, that Dr. Huxtable image no longer made sense. I felt both physically violated and emotionally bamboozled.

Still, I didn’t want the image of Dr. Huxtable reduced to that of a criminal. For so many of the African-American men I knew, William H. Cosby, Ed.D. provided a much-needed wholesome image of success, and the character he made famous was their model for self-worth and manhood. I knew that, in my reluctance to add my assault to the allegations facing Cosby, I was allowing race to trump rape...”

As I debated whether to come forward, I struggled with where my allegiances should lie – with the women who were sexually victimized or with black America, which had been systemically victimized. I called several friends for advice. While some encouraged me to speak out, others were cautious – even angry.

One friend, an African American man, insisted I should stay quiet: “You will be eaten alive, and for what? The black community is not going to support you.” It wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but I think it was his way of protecting me.

When I finally told my story in the New York Daily News in November, it was hard for me to look other African American people in the eye. On some level, I felt that I had betrayed black America. And some of my African American friends seemed too hurt by the damage to Cosby’s image to offer me any support. The friend who had dismissed the stories of Cosby’s white accusers, for instance, didn’t offer me any words of comfort."