Who Needs A Court? Bill Cosby: Tried, Convicted, Lynched By White Media
Part 3 of “Is Smug the New Uppity”
Numbers are one of the things that people –especially White people– use and misuse when they want to prove that they are “objective.”
Numbers are what they use and misuse when they want to remove all doubt regarding reality, even false reality. It is indeed the White press’ misuse of numbers that has so many people willing to erase all that they know about Bill Cosby and replace it with a new projected image of him as a serial rapist.
One article says 13 women. The next says 18. The next says 22 and it has gotten to a point that people are not even reading the articles and examining the accusations. People are simply saying, “Oh no, another one; it must be true.”
Yet Bill Cosby, exhibiting the class that many have come to expect from him, has asked for only two things from the Black Press in their dealing with these accusations. He has asked for objectivity and high journalistic standards.
So for my starting numbers in this analysis I will not use the numbers 13 or 18 or 22; I will use the number 3,446 the number provided by Tuskegee Institute as the number of Blacks lynched in the U.S. between 1882 and 1968.
Objectivity? I don’t even know what that is. Is it the 11 times that Eric Garner said “I can’t breathe”? Is it the 50 shots fired at Sean Bell or the 41 fired at Amadou Diallo? Is it video tape of Garner being strangled by Daniel Pantaleo? Is it the 49 years that have passed since the first incident the press has cited as an “attempted rape” by Cosby?
Or is it the fact that every 6 minutes in the U.S. a woman is raped, 75% of the time by someone she knows? What is objectivity when you are talking about lynching or rape?
As a Black man with a daughter and granddaughters I am 100 percent against rape and I am 100 percent against lynching. I wrote the book “State Rape” in defense of Tawana Brawley who was, in my opinion, both raped and lynched. The State Attorney General and the White press eventually said this rape was a hoax — and that Tawana’s allegations were based on her concoctions.
If “objectivity” is difficult in the case of lynching or rape, then in the case of interracial lynching and interracial rape it is impossible. For in the U.S. in general, as in the case of Tawana Brawley, these two interracial crimes have been intimately connected. Rape has often been the excuse used when Whites for various reasons as trivial as to take Black land or to withhold Black wages have wanted to lynch Blacks.
Would Whites lynch a Black man trying to purchase a major network? In the case of Bill Cosby’s media lynching where every blogger from here to Kalamazoo is releasing one article per day purporting to have a new accuser, there is no objectivity. The stories just don’t connect to the real Bill Cosby that Black people have come to know and respect.
Bill Cosby’s narration in the movie “Black History Lost Stolen or Strayed” makes as strong a statement to uplifting the Black race as any statement made by any Hollywood icon since Paul Robeson, with the possible exception of Wesley Snipes in his narration of, “A Great and Mighty Walk” the film about the life of Dr. John Henrik Clarke.
Bill Cosby’s support of Tawana Brawley and his family’s contribution of $20 million to the women’s HBCU, Spelman College of Atlanta University make even more powerful statements about respect for Black women. (The program endowed has been suspended for now).
These statements stand in stark and direct contrast to the new projected image of Dr. Bill Cosby as a serial rapist. The White press, however, usually assert that the important point of contrast to their new projected image of Cosby, is Dr. Huxtable, Cosby’s mythical TV sitcom persona.
The implication is that shifting Bill Cosby’s real image to that of serial rapist should be as seamless as a shifting an actor’s portrayal of one fictional role for another. No! The shifting of Cosby’s image is and should be resisted by any who objectively oppose lynching because this media lynching is not simply shifting a media image it is character assassination of a real person.
It is the reckless attribution of unproven allegations to a real person that are out of keeping with that person’s long established and real character. The ever increasing numbers of accusers are presented in a way that seems designed to remove and even prevent any questioning of whether Cosby is anything but guilty of crimes based on “he said she said” evidence as old as 49 years. Remember 49 that is an objective number.
Is there anyone in the Black Press ignorant enough to attempt “objectivity” while watching the media lynching of yet another Black man? Ida Wells Barnett pointed out in her classic work, “The Red Record,” that when Whites lynch a Black man for the allegation of rape of a White woman, historically they “have killed their victim with a full knowledge that the relationship of the alleged assailant with the woman who accused him, was voluntary and clandestine.”
On the other hand in those cases where White men have been accused of raping Black women or Black men for that matter, the media and the state and the society at large have searched for any flimsy excuse to exonerate the Whites.
One such case that occurred in 1994 was completely blocked from appearing in the White mass market media despite the fact that a Black woman named Carol Taylor led 40 weekly demonstrations protesting the failure of the Queens County, New York, District Attorney’s office to arrest the accused rapist, officer Reggie Rivera. That case was the case of the Rockaway 5 + 1 where initially 5 separate Black male Livery drivers accused the same White traffic cop of taking them to a remote place and sodomizing them.
When the lawyers handling their case investigated the police brutality records of the accused cop they found other men who had complained about this same cop; there were a total of seven accusers. When they questioned the man he confessed that he had been too ashamed to admit what had really happened to him so had only complained that the cop had beaten him.
(William Bratton –yes the same one of today– was then in his earlier stint as New York Police Commissioner and said, “In no uncertain terms, backed up by a very lengthy report, the District Attorney of Queens County has made it clear that there are not seven rape victims in this case, there are only two: New York City Police Officer Reggie Rivera, and the citizens of New York City who were raped by this rat pack.”)
The Daily News fired columnist Earl Caldwell for writing and trying to publish a story about this case.
Sister Betty Dopson Co-Chair of The Committee to Eliminate Media Offensive To African People and myself led 7 weekly demonstrations outside of the Daily News over their suppression of this story and the firing of Earl Caldwell. The average White person doesn’t even know any of this happened because of the nearly complete press whiteout of everything surrounding this rape and lynching.
Queens NY District Attorney Richard Brown and his deputy a man named Jack Ryan who, not so coincidentally, was also the chief investigator in the Tawana Brawley case in upstate New York did not even indict the cop. Their findings were that the seven cab drivers angered over receiving tickets from this one cop conspired to get him in trouble by accusing him of sodomizing them. District Attorney Brown was willing to believe that seven Black men would go to such an extent to conspire with the cost of a few traffic tickets as their only incentive.
Yet, with potentially millions at stake, the White press has all but convicted Cosby on the internet for decades-old allegations without ever alluding to the possibility of conspiracy even though a number of the women that the press is identifying as current accusers were originally lined up to be witnesses in the single case of another accuser, Andrea Costand, which was settled in 2006.
Rather than report these women collectively as one piece of old business coming from the same group, the White press’s daily releases each story as if it were new, with no back-history, with headlines such as “New Cosby Accuser Comes Forward,” or “2 New Cosby Accusers Come Forward.”
Costand’s suit claimed that Cosby had invited her to his mansion and given her 3 blue pills. She says that he told her they were an herbal remedy but that they made her woozy. She goes on to say that while she was in this woozy state Cosby then rubbed her breasts and genital area and digitally penetrated her. Ms. Costand is one of the few accusers who was not an aspiring actress, aspiring model, or Playboy playmate.
Cosby’s attorneys settled with her for an undisclosed amount. For the Black Community One settled case was not enough to destroy the image of the real Bill Cosby.
The Black community remembers that the real Bill Cosby came to the aid of Tawana Brawley at a time when the highest law official in the state of New York, Attorney General Robert Abrams, was providing her alleged attackers with a defense unique to any child rape case in the annals of American Jurisprudence.
Abrams asserted that in the case of the 15 year old Brawley that if any sex had occurred it was “consensual.”
Yet with that precedent the White press ignores this issue of consent as they relentlessly pad the numbers against Cosby. One woman who as with most of the women on the list never accused Cosby of rape at all, told police that while she was at a dinner date at Cosby’s apartment he laid her down on a couch and tried to guide her had toward his sweatpants. One article says that during this incident he also exposed himself and grabbed her breasts. The police told the woman that until she pulled her hand away everything that had occurred between them was consensual. Why is her name on the list?
Another woman playing pool with Cosby alone in his home after his wife had gone to bed and her date had gone home says Cosby roughly grabbed her and kissed her right in the mouth. That’s it, he kissed her. Then after having a conversation with her about the similarities and differences in Black and White kissing she says he tried to pull her towards him again before she, decided she had had enough and went home. This incident from 47 years ago is called a sexual assault in the White press and tacked on to the mounting numbers.
What’s going on with Cosby in the White press; rape, lynching, or both?
In America race changes how you see everything. This holiday season millions of Americans will watch their favorite Christmas movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life” and never even notice the sexual assault in a scene where George Bailey, (Jimmy Stewart) slaps the Black maid Annie (Lillian Randolph) on her behind.
Later in the movie the victim of the assault Annie donates her savings to her assailant with the line, “I been savin’ this money for a divorce, if ever I got a husband.”
If you just said I remember that line but I don’t remember the sexual assault,” then imagine if 41 or 47 or 49 years had passed since you’d seen that movie.