Sunday, November 23, 2014

Bill Cosby's Silence Helps Him, Especially If He Is Guilty by A.S. Washington

I want to first say that I do not support perpetrators of sexual assault or rape. Those people are disgusting in my opinion. However I am unwilling to say whether Bill Cosby is guilty or not, because I simply do not know. Only the women who have come forward and Bill Cosby truly know what happened those many years ago. However, at least two of the incidents coupled with how long ago these incidents took place make me somewhat skeptical in some ways. Yet and still, Bill Cosby may be very much guilty and the iconic funny man who many of us loved as Dr. Huxtable, could have been a sexual deviant who took advantage of young women.

Silence Is Golden

Bill Cosby is 77 years old. Let's face it, physically his best days are most certainly behind him. He has had a notable career, but the last movie he appeared in, Fat Albert, was released in 2004. The Cosby Show, which he is most known for stopped running in 1992. He is estimated to be worth $400 million dollars and according to the many articles that I've read, the statute of limitations for all of the alleged assaults have run their course. Less than 20 states have no limitation on first degree sexual assault/rape (forced), but the accusations described may not constitute assault/rape (forced) in the first degree. Speaking out and/or saying the allegations are true would be noble on Cosby's part, but the man isn't going to jail. The only thing he does by making a statement is open the risk of saying the wrong thing, or assisting in destroying his character further if he is in fact innocent.

Reasons to remain silent
  • He's almost certainly not going to jail due to statute of limitations, even if he confessed (most likely)
  • He makes most of his money now by doing speaking engagements.
  • His entertainment career is largely over - he is not a rising star. Thus it's hard to kill his career.
  • Only one victim reported the assault at the time the incidents occurred. No charges filed.
  • Media circuses run their course once a new scandal breaks i.e. Mike Tyson, Chris Brown, Kobe Bryant -- new deals happen that help their careers.
  • He doesn't need money and by the time he croaks he'll still probably be worth hundreds of millions.
  • These allegations wont make it to civil trials either i.e. money for the victims.
  • Allegations don't make you guilty, no matter how many people believe them.
Shaky Accusers Create Skepticism - Maybe?

In the video above two of the alleged victims recount what they say happened to them at the hands of Bill Cosby. 

The first is Theresa Serignese who says "In his hand he had two big large white pills, and he said "take these." This happened when she was 19 in 1976 and she goes on to say that, "my next memory is feeling drugged and him having sex with me."

Two things jump out at me right away. One, you're an adult and knowingly took "two big large white pills," without asking what they were. Second, you decided to take them without being forced or having a drink spiked. Does that justify what Cosby did if that's what happened? Absolutely not. However, could the truth be that Theresa Serignese went there to do drugs with Cosby and have sex. Why wait 38 years to come forward?

The second is Renita Chaney Hill in 1982, who at the time was 15 years of age. Not only would it be rape, but the statutory rape of a minor. She says "I ALWAYS thought it was odd that after I had THIS drink, I would end up in my bed the next day and I wouldn't remember anything."

Ms. Hill was fairly young and could be taken advantage of being a teenager more easily than other accusers. However, I work with teenagers on a daily basis and like to think that 15 year old teenagers are fairly intelligent. The words "always" and "this" immediately jumped out at me and said that this young lady kept going back. She was given alcohol while underage, but continued to see Cosby who she eventually realized was assaulting her. Also somewhat troubling is that in this article by it says that these assaults took place over the course of 4 years. Meaning, this woman knowingly continued to see Cosby into her adulthood, but never pressed charges. Does that give him a right to drug her? Hell no! Yet, could she have been partying and having sex with Cosby as payment for him paying her tuition? Makes me wonder.

Was Andrea Constand and Janice Dickinson Not Enough For The Media?

Janice Dickinson, the self proclaimed first supermodel tried to write about her alleged sexual assault at the hands of Bill Cosby in her 2002 autobiography No Lifeguard On Duty. This was a year before America's Next Top Model would debut, and bring her back into the limelight. According to accounts, Cosby and his lawyers pressured her to remove the details. Like Renita Chaney Hill, the assaults happened on multiple occasions and in the year 1982. Janice Dickinson was also sexually assaulted by her father growing up. Why not call Cosby out? Why didn't the media jump all over this? Is it because Dickinson had a history of drug and alcohol abuse. Could it be that she too was with Cosby having fun with drugs, alcohol, and sex? Only they know.

In Andrea Constand's allegations in 2006, she too was drugged and sexually assaulted. Constand contacted police, but no charges were filed. A civil action was filed and settled outside of court. If you go on to read the link above, there is information saying that Constand's mother tried to shake down Cosby for monetary favors before the police were notified. Can that be true? Was Constand having sex with Cosby willingly and then flipped it on him to get paid? Is this why the media didn't run with it? Is it because Cosby used his Hollywood connections to his benefit to kill Andrea's allegations? They can tell me better than I could ever know.

Proof Before Vilification

The great thing about our modern technological age is that information travels fast. We can consume it through reading and the viewing of videos at an alarming rate However, information travels so fast that sometimes we never stop or even slow down to look at all the information and consider all the angles. When the first story broke most people were willing to dismiss it and say no Cosby didn't do it. However, as more women came forward, people immediately called for Bill Cosby's admission of guilt. There are petitions out against him and company's and TV networks has distanced themselves from him. And even though he continues to deny the allegations, his silence is seen as guilt by many folks.

Quickly we forget that many of these accusations are 20, 30, 40, and even 50 years old and never gained any traction when they took place. It is surprising that 15 women could be raped by the same high profile individual who they could have skinned for millions and did not say a word. Not even to the police. Only one of these alleged assault are on record. In the past 12 years there were two individuals by the names of Andrea Constand and Janice Dickinson who brought these old allegations back to light. The media didn't take hold. They didn't run with them. No one tried to kill Cosby's career then when he was a younger man than he is now. Only when a comedian who most people don't know by the name of Hannibal Buress, who has some interesting comedic sketches about these old allegations does it gain traction. Yet, now he's under fire for some of his own comedic material that is similar to the allegations Cosby is facing again.

My stance is not to vilify or praise Cosby. In our society we move from making one person a villain to the next at light speed. Largely it is men who get it the worse. No one dragged Solange Knowels through a media circus when she attacked Jay-Z. People assumed she must have been justified in her attack, but oh man if he hit her. 

The NFL was told by Ray Rice that he hit is fiance in the elevator and she reported the incident as "mutual combat." A few months later she married him and stood by him when he booted from the NFL. He was slapped on the wrist by the justice system and the NFL until the public saw the tape.

ISIS and Mike Brown too just recently dominated the media airwaves. Not as much these days. So will you forget about Cosby once the next person is in the spotlight? Why should he defend himself when he is already guilty in your mind. If he's guilty he's already smeared and filthy anyway. If he's not then should you be ashamed for passing judgement? You make the choice. I'd probably stay quiet too, because he's already denied the allegations.

Well that's my 2 cents on the issue. Let me go look in the mirror and in my own closet. God damn me before I pass any judgment. 

Until next write...

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