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Thursday, December 31, 2015

BILL COSBY CHARGED IN PENNSYLVANIA AND A REPOST: I'M STILL HERE AFTER THEY CAME FOR ME

When I first heard Bill Cosby was charged in Pennsylvania I was somewhere between angrily satisfied and relieved. Finally!" and "Good!" was all I had to say. Then a couple of hours later, when I driving alone in the dark, I found myself exhausted and sad about what was happening to Cliff Huxtable, America's First Black Fictional Father.

Usually, I'm all about facing reality. But this time, I find myself wishing two things:


1) That Cliff Huxtable was based on the real man Bill Cosby, that 14 then 60 women hadn't come forward to accuse him

OR

2) That Bill Cosby had gone to France or Switzerland, or where it was Roman Polanski went, to sit down and shut up forever more once "The Cosby Show" went off.  I keep thinking if he had just shut up about black boys with low hanging pants and black single mothers and stayed out of the news, Hannibal Burress would have forgot about him and so would the rest of us. We wouldn't have to know that jail is exactly where Bill Cosby belongs. 

And if Camille knew what he was doing? Helped him get the drugs etc? That's where she belongs too. As a feminist, I refuse to put women in the "innocent child" category. If she's an accessory, she is. That should be investigated too.

The both of them make me sick. The both of them make my heart hurt.


 REPOST BELOW THE LINE

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

Link to Part 1 - I'll be here when they come for me

Can I step into my wide ranging feelings about black female unprotectedness for a minute?



But before I do that. Let me say that I hope Ebony Magazine has some content to go with this cover.
 
More than that, I hope some of that content compares Anita Hill's treatment to Beverly Johnson's and allows that to show just how little black women are valued by a sizable portion black community. 

"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," Obama said Wednesday at a White House press conference.

I'm so grateful our black president and a handful of black men on my social media pages stood up to be counted as against drugging-and-raping on behalf of their daughters AND especially on behalf of their sons.


The hope I have for us to be united as a people was dimming until the very, VERY few, proud, and brave black people stood up for the women Cosby admitted to drugging...so as to have sex with them, taking away consent -a.k.a "rape."


I was beginning to think fake unity was going to overtake and engulf any true unity we might attain.



After watching so many black people

stand firmly behind Ray Rice's bullsh**,
while actually using the very same words
to defend the Rice knock out video
that white folks used
to defend the Eric Garner choke out video,
I had to realize that self-serving hypocrisy
is as colorless and gender-less as self-hatred.
  


ON A SIDE NOTE:
JAMES BROWN ON RAY RICE AND HEALTHY, RESPECTFUL MANHOOD
 


How does a black person with any sense of dignity at all ever utter the words, "Cosby wasn't found guilty in a court of law, therefore he's not guilty," AFTER - 

Trayvon Martin 
Rekia Boyd 
Eric Garner 
Mike Brown
 How does that leave the self-respecting black person's mouth, much less a black woman's? How?


Cosby drugging women so as to have sex with them, a.k.a rape, is a bitter pill to swallow. I know it is because I swallowed it myself.  And I knew I had to swallow that bitterness even as I knew I wasn't going to have much company.

In the black community, black women and what happens to them matters much, much less than the material success of a black man. I'd estimate that a very small fraction of black men and less than half of black women stood up for...

Anita Hill
Rhianna
Janay Palmer

or 
Beverly Johnson

 
...after they were attacked.


So few black people said "boo" after Rekia Boyd's murderer was set free that some black folk don't recognize Boyd's name to this day -- much less her murderer's name. And the few that did say "boo" about Rekia on my social media pages? They were nearly all black women.

To add insult to injury, immediately following the damn-near-no-protest for Rekia Boyd there was a protest you could see from outer space for Freddie Gray.  This is one of the many reasons why #SayHerName became so necessary a supplement to the black female created #BlackLivesMatter. 

Sandra Bland might have been the most public beneficiary of #SayHerName attention.  So there has been some good news on the black woman front this year. But the overwhelming trend in the black news shows that black women and what happens to them matters much less than the material success of a black man. So much less.

Even black children are worth practically nothing compared to keeping an example of shining black,  male, success up on a pedestal. I couldn't believe it when I heard ESPN commentators defending a black football player who was on video talking casually about DAMAGING his bandaged son (who is also in the video) after having a previous child abuse charge laid on him.

 

All of this is why "Bill Cosby was set up" claims should have been expected.   However, I am still trying to figure out how Cosby was "only" cheating on his "Queen," is okay for some folk.

This is the other excuse: The sex was consensual with all of them -- not a few of them, not most of them, all of them. Therefore he's not a rapist. Cosby is just somebody who repeatedly cheated on his "Queen" at Hef's place and any other place he might be able to drop a Quaalude into a drink unobserved. 


Those unaware of black female history think defense of white womanhood would have stopped Cosby from getting away with raping so many white women (as they pretend light-skinned women also accusing Cosby don't exist).
 Well I got news for you. Ida B Wells found out that white womanhood isn't worth THAT much.

Be in awe. Mark this year down in history.
 Large numbers of black men are pretending to
NOT SEE light-skinned women.
They only see white female accusers of Bill Cosby.
Must be a new strain of colorblindness.
At the turn of the 19th century, defense of white womanhood was trotted out as a beard for white greed so that foreign investors wouldn't be put off by the animalistic behavior of the white south. That is, when 300, 400 or 500 hundred black people, mostly black men, were being lynched per year at the turn of the 19th century, only 1/3 of the black men lynched were ever even accused of rape according to Ida B Wells (Author of the First Anti-Lynching campaign)  Also, according to Ida B Wells, half of that 1/3 accused of rape were likely in interracial relationships.


The other 2/3rds that were lynched were killed because they had some property or business a white man wanted. Other times the lynchings took place for the pure, white, male pleasure of extracting a feeling of power over something as trivial as a black man "mouthing off."



In other words, white women weren't valued highly enough in 1800s and 1900s to justify very much lynching on their behalf. They were only valued enough to cover up lynching. 
And white women sure weren't valued enough in the 1960s, 70s, 80s etc. to fuel a rape conspiracy against a black actor (not a black president) that stretches over an entire country, over several decades, over more than one ethnicity -- most of the women no darker than his extra, extra pale wife, Camille. 

Pssst! Am I the only to notice that Tiger and Bill have the same taste in women? 



More important than anything else is the fact that white women weren't valued enough for the white men making millions off  "I-Spy," Bill Cosby Stand-up, "Fat Albert," and "The Cosby Show" to turn his dollar-sign green @$$ over the police. 


Sexism plays a huge role in white men covering for black Bill too.   


Slut-shaming was 100% successful inside and out of the Playboy Mansion heyday of the 1960s and 1970s. Hef and Cosby hung out there regularly.  There existed in the cultural consciousness of the mid-20th century "the girls that do" (have sex outside of marriage) and "the girls that don't" (have sex out of marriage). That were actually multiple sayings based on "the girls that do" versus "the girls that don't."  Virginity was like a prize that a "good girl" was supposed to hold onto for her husband. As for the ~girls that did~ in 1960s and 70s? They were seen as getting what they deserve if they were out late, having the audacity to have a drink--even rape. 
(Watch a 1970s Jaime Lee Curtis slasher movie if you really want to see how expendable "the girls that do" were)


 
In the 1980s, men were still arguing about whether date-rape was even a real thing.  In many men's eyes, if a woman agreed to go on a date with a man and then let herself be alone with him, she was assumed to want sex -- even if he ripped her clothes and knocked her around a bit as rough foreplay while she screamed "No!"

 Slut-Shaming-On-Steroids having been allowed to pass as "normal" American culture is also one of the reasons why Cosby, and any other man with access to a microphone, could tell rape jokes with impunity not so long ago.

Back in good ole days of "Spanish Fly" a man could get away with rape, call it "let the drinker beware," then laugh it off with his buddies  later.

 


Some black folk have tried to say, "Times were different back then. It wasn't considered 'rape' back then. People just didn't know any better."  


Well guess what?


White people try to say the very same garbage about slavery.


And I say, "Immorality being popular doesn't make that immorality not exist. People who were born two decades, five decades, or twenty decades before you are not simple-minded children to be excused no matter what heinous act they commited because they didn't know any better. Anybody over the age of 5 knows when they are hurting someone else. Those that don't are called 'sociopaths' whether born in 1650, 1750, 1850, or 1950. So I'm not letting white people get away with calling their grown, slave beating ancestors 'children who didn't know any better back in the old days.' And I'm not letting people get away with calling their women-raping-men 'children who didn't know any better back in the old days' either, not even if those men are black."   

Like anybody else though, I truly hope we can separate Cliff Huxtable from Bill Cosby and enjoy the Cosbys again.  I loved the Cosbys like they were real.  I might remember the personalities of the characters better than some co-workers I've left behind at jobs that I had in my teens.  The Cosby Show managed to become a part of Americana. And I think they deserve to stay a part of our cultural history despite the despicable things that have come to light about the lead actor.

I hope, one day, we can all forget Bill Cosby and remember Cliff Huxtable.
 I think I'd feel that way even if The Cosby Show wasn't the First Black Family of television. Maybe not. But I think would. I suppose I'll never be sure of that.


I've felt heartbroken over having to give up the Cosbys. I haven't even tried to watch an episode since this story broke.  But I think I might have IF Cosby's face hadn't become symbolic of misogynoir in my head.

Bill Cosby, the actor, is upsetting me a lot less than the protectors of Bill Cosby at this point. Bill Cosby is what he is.  It's unlikely he's going to trial or to jail. I've come to accept that after all this time. But I have to have more hope going forward for the black community than that.  I can't just the black community is what it is, full of way too much misogynoir, and keep it moving.
 

The defenders of Bill Cosby being so numerous, mean my sisters and I aren't safe, not even from other sisters, because the black male predators among us are now being held as sacred in the black community -- in ways they were not a century ago.

And think about this for a minute or ten:  Cosby is being protected for very much the same reasons that Ben Affleck protected his slave owning ancestor, isn't he? White folk don't want to disrupt the hero worship with the truth and we don't either  

Cosby is an actor.


I keep telling myself that's all Cosby is. He's just an actor. As I recall his pontificating about the inferiority of black teenagers who embarrass the entire race for having low hanging pants, I also recall that he failed 10th grade then joined the Navy, getting an equivalency degree or some such thing, later. He went on to get a solid education, but as Ben Carson has repeatedly proved, even brain surgeons can be idiots about the humanity of other human beings.


And what is a person that rapes women but someone who does not count the humanity of a woman as worth as much as his own?

Cosby had already told us that there are whole classes of black folk he doesn't count as equal to him.  And while I do understand that every respectability politician doesn't have to be a rapist, a respectability politician has already told you that this humanity over here is worth more than that humanity over there. In my mind, it's just a shorter leap from respectability politics to rapist.



I hope that Ebony covers all the rape accusations but pays special attention to how Beverly Johnson and other women of color have been stomped and/or ignored in favor of a man that has been known FOR AGES --by those calling their women "Queens,"  claiming   to be "all about strengthening the black family"-- to be cheating on his wife Camille multiple times a day, who has admitted to drugging women with a drug that can remove consent, which can be used to "rape."



Some people are worried about dragging black business in the street. To this I say, "HAH!!!!"  AND...


"I wish I would give a damn about people who don't give good gawd damn about  about protecting mothers, sisters, or daughters should that mother, sister, daughter or 'Queen'  have the misfortune to trust the wrong fatherly type of 'brotha' early in the morning, at noon, or late at night when that fatherly brotha offers them something to drink.

 I'm not going to be silent anytime, anywhere for those say "Queen" then routinely go about throwing me and mine under the bus.  I have tire tracks up and down my back and across my forehead. I'm done. 




Dear Rapists Who Don't Consider Themselves Such,



Your days are numbered.


Your raping days are numbered


Your covering for your rapist pals are numbered


The black men that actually deserve to be called  black MEN are slowly standing up to be counted, leaving some of you out in the little boy wanna-be-rapist cold.


The black men that actually deserve to be called black MEN are going to claim "Silence Is Violence" as their mantra too. 
 

* * * * * 

Those who would say "Well Nobody's Perfect!!!" please save that nonsense for the next time a black man is beaten bloody by a white man.



Those who would say, "What about Stephen [white guy actor] who's a pedophile?" I say, "What about him?" Bleach your skin and move into whiteness if you wanna worry about how he is or is not being dragged and how much danger you're in. I'm not thinking about the white pedophile accusations because I already know those living comfortably inside white supremacy are out to get me. 

What I'm worried about now are the black people who will drive a knife into my back, through my body, and out of my chest if I dare to step off the Queen pedestal by having a drink late at night with someone black and male and not related to me then dare to accuse that black man of rape just because that black man raped me.  (It is beyond me how anybody can ask why 2/3rds(?) of these women didn't come forward sooner. They are being cut to pieces at time when Cosby isn't on top anymore.)

On Forgiveness:  I believe anybody can be forgiven anything ...even if I can't do it all the time myself. (Pedophiles and rapists are two examples.) Sometimes I can only pray for the willingness to be forgiving.  So I can say in all seriousness that I hope Bill Cosby finds peace AFTER he comes clean about what he's done (a.k.a. repentance), but not one second before then --same as I feel about certain white folks and white-supremacy-guzzling-wanna-be-s.

* * * * *



One day, black people are going to stand up for black women just like they do for black men. From what I'm reading, we've been a lot closer to this being the case immediately after slavery than now. But I hope the editors at "Ebony" magazine have just taken one little baby step back in the right direction.

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An interview with Ebony Editor on the Controversial Cover