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Friday, October 23, 2015


Malcolm Jamal Warner has not committed to saying anything about Cosby one way or the other. He's simply stated that he is sad about the legacy of "The Cosby Show" as are the rest of us. But Joseph C. Phillips (his character married Denise Huxtable on the show) has some personal information that has led him to believe that Bill Cosby is definitely guilty.

(The story below should also dispel the rumor that says there were only "hoes" running around in hotels late at night looking for a sugar-daddy hook up who started lying about rape when they didn't hit the payday they wanted...which conveniently forgets the rich women attacked)

Joseph C. Phillips: ‘Cosby Show’ Co-Star Says ‘Of Course Bill Cosby Is Guilty’

In the article below, Joseph C Phillips talks about his man-crush on Cosby and his ultra-slow realization that Bill  Cosby is a rapist.

I'm glad he's seen the light. But I'm not surprised it took him so long.

I used to be a huge fan of Phillips. No. Let me tell the truth. I used to have a major crush on this man. I can't tell you how happy I was to see him show up as Lisa Bonet's husband on "The Cosby Show" after the movie "Strictly Business"

Then, reality came along and ruined everything.

A few years after "The Cosby Show" went off the air, I read a few sections of an autobiographical book that Phillips wrote while waiting around inside a local bookstore.

Joseph C Phillips
Back In The Day
At the time of the reading, I might have been in denial that I am a feminist, likely identifying with the ideals without saying ever saying f-word out loud about myself.  (Pssst! There are strong and persistent forces in the black community that say feminism is white and that joining it, traitorous when we black women started it without naming it.)

So, like Toni Morrison, I didn't want to belong to anything that alienates black women, whether those black women be knowledgeable or un-knowledgeable in general. But I eventually had to back track on that.

I don't like making up my mind about faith, theories, principles, or ideals based on who else believes in them. A faith, theory, principle or ideal should live or die inside my soul based on it's own merits.

You do you. I'll do me.  These words shall be forever engraved on the inside of my skull

The thing that crushed the crush was Phillips own words. In his book, he appeared to feel sorry for himself  because he was unable to be fully happy about a new high point in his career --possibly the success of the movie "Strictly Business"--  because he did not feel able to choose a woman with which to go to an awards ceremony. Via a carefully word paragraph or two, he clearly communicated that if he had chosen one woman to go with him the revolving door to his bedroom would have stopped spinning.

Translation: There were at least two women who thought they are the only woman in my life or close to becoming the only woman in life. Their possessiveness (not my lies) ruined things for me. Deception in romantic relationships is normal.

Then, he went on to describe what ladylike behavior should be like now that he's raising his daughters. The statement that was absolutely the last straw for me was when he said something like 'Women shouldn't be so _______ (<---insert angry black woman synonym here) when they can get whatever they want by just smiling a certain way.'

Translation: Patriarchy is my best friend.

I closed his book on that statement.  I probably re-embraced the f-word that same day or the next.

So, it's no surprise to me that Phillips took so long to decide about Cosby, even though Phillips comes right and says in this interview that he knew his idol has been lying, "cheating," and scheming on his "Queen" Camille for years. Phillips even said it was "common knowledge" during the filming of "The Cosby Show" that Cosby routinely cheated on Camille.

I too live in a glass house and  know not to throw stones. I do.  And cheating is not rape. However, you can silently withdraw your worship of a cheat and a liar for the sake of cheating and lying, can't you?  More than that, how does a black man hold another black man in high esteem as an upstanding "race man," as an uplifter of the race, when that black man is dogging a black woman (whether she tacitly agrees to the lying and cheating or not.)

Oh  yeah, I forgot. Phillips felt cheated he couldn't be honest enough to take a woman to an awards show without letting some other woman know he was also with someone else (in the heyday of AIDS?)  His idol being a cheat that practically lived at the Playboy Mansion was no biggie. 

Still, how did an *idol worship,* that should have been flimsy or non-existent, stand in the way of accepting layer after layer after layer of truth as testified to by more than 4 dozen women, some of them black. 

Joseph C Phillips says that the spell that was his idol worship of Cosby wasn't completely broken until a woman that he knows, who also knows Cosby, told him of her own rape by Bill Cosby. Phillips said that the woman ended her story with "Do you believe me?"

I felt devastated by this woman's story, told third hand because I had to wonder if I would have believed her IF it had been JUST her, alone, making the accusation, back in the 1990s?

I'm not sure I would have. All indications are I might not have since 
I think I had more than one chance to believe Cosby was a rapist and didn't.

I'd heard about more than one rape accusation prior to Hannibal Burress's stand up routine going viral.  I can't trust a ten-plus year old memory, but I swore that I read an accusation that involved Camille Cosby walking in and walking out when Bill Cosby was seducing --I thought at the time-- a short-haired, black woman some years back. I think the woman made claims about spiked tea. It was only in the main stream news for a minute, so I can't quite remember because I didn't believe her.

I didn't want to believe her. I pushed her accusations out of my head and now I can't get them back.

And I must have decided not to pay attention to the Andrea Constand case as well. Because I do remember the case, even her name. I just didn't follow it. I didn't want to know.So many of us are guilty of some of the same heinous things, I guess. We want to hold onto our heroes.

But the thing that's different about stars like Joseph Phillips (and Phylicia Rashad?) is that they knew Bill Cosby was not Cliff Huxtable. According to Phillips, all the adults knew that Cosby was dogging at least one black woman, Camille. And they knew he'd been doing it for multiple decades.

Months before we heard Cosby's own words in a deposition, Phylicia Rashad gave one of the most reluctant defenses of a co-worker and friend that I have ever heard. Ever. If I hadn't been sure Cosby was guilty before Rashad's defense of him, I certainly would have been afterward.

In some ways, I feel sorry for those who owe Cosby so much.  But I still cannot reconcile how those that weren't children during the filming of "The Cosby Show" stood by Bill Cosby for so long when they knew about the gap between his public persona and his real identity.  

As for the rest of us?  I understand how some of us came to be stuck on stupid.

I understand our being dedicated to Cliff Huxtable, our favorite reincarnation of the Jello Pudding man, the actor and television show creator that broke the cycle of  black families being shown as one thing, over and over and over again on television and in the movies, always being shown as in-the-hood, suffering, and struggling.

I understand. I get that. I felt that. I felt the loss of the fictional Cliff Huxtable too.

But at the end of last year, after 24 women came forward, the fictional Cliff Huxtable was still more important than our real sisters.  After 40 women came forward by mid 2015, some people still believed in Cliff Huxtable over real women, some of them black women. Some people didn't believe the raped women even after they read Bill Cosby's own words.

What does that say about what women are worth in this society?

I know that I've been taught to ignore women and especially black women my entire life if a black man's reputation is at stake. If they get as bold as R. Kelly, I don't have a problem breaking away from my training.  But with people like Cosby, apparently, I'm still a little slow.  But not as slow as Phillips. And I don't think Phylicia Rashad was slow at all. I think in the back of her mind she knew

She didn't completely abandon women, black women in particular, but in the end she covered her own hiney. Yet, I must admit that I do not envy her. I don't. I hope I'd have done better. But I'm not sure I would have. It has to be hard as h*ll to bite the hand the fed you no matter what kind of monster that hand turned out to be attached to in the end.

Situations like this are the reason I try to continue to study and learn from other womanists and feminists.

This has to be a low point in black history. In the black community, Bill Cosby was allowed to rape women because things like the legacy of the Cosby show was deemed more important than women, including black women. 

Similarly, in the white community Jerry Sandusky was allowed to rape children because white people, mostly white men thought football was more important than the children. was just college football too.

We have to get better at ejecting the wolves from our midsts.  The womanists, feminists, and their allies are likely going to have to take the lead. I don't see the protectors of the Chris Browns, Ray Rices, and die hardests of the Bill Cosby defenders stepping up to the plate any time soon.

Do you?

Joseph C Phillips, of "The Cosby Show" talks about running into an old female friend that was mentored by Bill Cosby.