On Bill Cosby And Living Through The Gray » VSB

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On Bill Cosby And Living Through The Gray

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My favorite episode of The Cosby Show begins innocently enough. Claire Huxtable walks in the house from a long day’s work, kicks off her shoes and falls into the arms of her doting husband, hoping to slumber. Rudy refuses to let her parents rest, though. She traipses down the stairs with a story to tell, a fairy tale she’s penned.

It’s a clumsy, but simple story. That’s why it resonated with me so much when it first aired. I was 8. My life was simple. There was good and bad. Right and wrong. Black and white. No gray area.

In the episode, there were good and evil people, including a henchman portrayed by Heathcliff Huxtable. The evil people show up in the good people’s town and take over. After some rancor in the good people’s land, Rudy’s character, The Flower Girl, tells the evil people to “stop.” This was her story.

The episode cuts to the Huxtables asking their daughter what happens next. Surely there had to be turmoil, they thought. Rudy says “they all stopped.” She explains that The Flower Girl told them to stop, so they stopped.

***

There are currently 17 women who have accused Bill Cosby of sexually assaulting them. That number is damning.

For argument’s sake, and to pacify people who believe Cosby is innocent of each of these crimes, let’s say that the likelihood of a woman lying about rape is 50 percent. This would also mean there’s a 50-percent chance that each woman is telling the truth. A coin flip.

Flip a coin 17 times and it will land all heads (all lies) roughly .0000076 percent of the time. That’s almost never. The probability it will land on tails at least once (at minimum, one truth) is 99.99999237 percent. DNA results are not this conclusive, and, remember, this projection is based on a coin flip. Not a collection of almost 20 women telling the exact same story.

In American terms: it’s like asking a baseball team down 7-4 in the bottom of the eighth inning to come back and win given the same situation…17 times in a row. It never happens.

It’s damning.

Yet, a crowd exists that refuses to believe these women are telling the truth. Their narrative, and Cosby’s, paints him as a victim of his celebrity, the women attempting to extort him for his hard-earned fortune. Their queries are common to rape culture:

Why not come forward when it happened?

Why not use a method to prevent your sexual assault?

Surely they just want his money.

Why has no court convicted him of any wrongdoing?

It’s a concoctive mix of irrational fear, branding and bullshit attempting to cloak Cosby in a Teflon coat because no one wants to believe that Bill Cosby, a deified figure in modern American culture, is a serial rapist.

When the allegations first came to light in 2005, I didn’t want to believe it. I refused to let the reported rumors linger in my thoughts. Not because I didn’t believe it, but because I didn’t want to believe it.

Thirteen women were willing to say in a courtroom that one man had raped them. But once Cosby settled out of court with the litigant, the story dissipated. Assuaged, most everyone seemed to look away. Cosby’s brand, America’s best father figure and a mythical pillar of our society, trumped all.

It trumped all until comedian Hannibal Buress told Cosby that he needed to stop in mid-October. More pointedly, Buress said that a rapist had no right to moralize to poor black people through the failing guise of respectability politics, including not cursing.

“But yeah, you’re a rapist so we’d take you saying lots of motherfuckers on Bill Cosby Himself if you weren’t a rapist” said Buress in a blunt punchline from a Philadelphia stage. It drew laughs, some of them clearly uncomfortable. But it was also a truth: No one wants an alleged serial rapist moralizing to anyone about anything. A concertgoer taped Buress’ bit and uploaded it to the Internet. It went viral. There had been other pieces and stories about the allegation’s facing Cosby — years worth of them, actually — but Buress’ act served as a bit of a tipping point.

Since then, some of the 13 accusers, who remained anonymous, have come forward with their stories.

Those of us who have long seen Cosby as an idyllic, transcendent figure and comedic savant, are forced to reconcile what we thought we knew with what is obvious:

Bill Cosby is not Heathcliff Huxtable. He never was. Huxtable’s only true transgression from 1984 to 1992 appeared to be his love of foods that might send him to an early grave.

Bill Cosby — a complex, talented and flawed man — happened to play the role of America’s most affable television father, so well that we thought Cosby was playing himself. He apparently is a much better actor than we’ve given him credit for.

***

Rudy Huxtable, the author, grows even more ambitious in those seconds after reading her story.

She tells her parents that she plans to be “president of the world,” continuing on a missive about achieving world peace. Rudy wants everyone to throw their bombs and guns in the ocean. Her plan is simple: She gonna tell them all to “stop.”

It worked in her story. Why not now?

A sated Rudy leaves her parents, who turn on the television to news of terrorist actions somewhere in the world. The message couldn’t have been clearer to me at 8 years old. There was no grey area. Just black and white.

For a long time, that’s how we saw Cosby — as a white knight, a pillar of good, the doting husband and father on the couch in that Brooklyn brownstone, his arms around his loving wife. Now we see him on the opposite end of a confounding spectrum of gray space.

How do you reconcile the idea of a person held in such esteem, a brand really, with…unfailing allegations of sexual assault? How do you watch his brilliant stand-up comedy without this in mind? Hell, how do you watch reruns of The Cosby Show or A Different World? Should you?

For me, these are complicated issues. I realize that Cosby made great contributions to our culture, but he also likely committed horrific crimes against women. I, personally, can still appreciate the art — evident in my favorite episode — for what it is. I can separate Cosby from it. But I can also understand anyone whose moral compass won’t allow them to do so.

It’s an individual’s choice, one nowhere near approximating the one Cosby, considering his alleged methods and actions through the years, took from so many women.

Damon Smith

Damon Smith is a freelance writer based out of Kansas City

  • JOhn Crawford

    It’s getting crazy and more likely that he’s molested, raped and/ or chexually assaulted MOST of those women….. It’s like 2014 has been a Bad Year for Black Folks, particularly Men that many are just tired of the Ls, But, a Spade is a Spade and we all have to be able to Admit to it when it’s clear as day and any other time or any other person- famous or not- We (Black Community) would be all for condemning and putting pressure for Accountability

    • LadyIbaka

      Nice to see you On here JC!

      • JOhn Crawford

        I work 11-12hr days, and military drills are killing me so if I’m not logged in under my FB name I’m here under my email. I turn 27 next week & leave for Basic Training next month on the 30th

        • Lea Thrace

          Early happy birthday and Stay safe sir!

        • Neptunes presents The Clones

          I remember doing one thousand flutter kicks then doing a ridiciolous ten kilometer march with a full kit. Man

          • JOhn Crawford

            National Guard

        • LadyIbaka

          Happy early birthday!! :)

  • skinnynow

    Well said D.Scott. This is eerily similar to R. Kelly where having so much evidence in front of you about the man you admire makes you question is it really worth it to support the art. Separating the art from the artist is difficult and there’s no real right or wrong answer.

    • Thank you, CD.

    • pls

      nobody had a hard time criminalizing chris brown, who is also a repeat offender “allegedly”

  • LadyIbaka

    There is NO gray area at all. Like, none!! This is also not a complicated issue. A RAPIST is a RAPIST be they in the public limelight or out of it. Think about it for a second, if he was Dante the construction worker accused of rape, would you regard the matter as being ‘complicated’. No! You’d probably be like, why is he still working at the construction site and not behind bars?

    The public has known of his sexual transgressions since forever. When that first case came to light and was swiftly swept under the rug those many years ago, his ‘idyllic ness’or whatever verbiage ya’ll want to use should have been out the door then. But noooooo, money talks, walks and breathes freedom.

    Rape, in layman’s terms means, seggz WITHOUT the consent of the other person(s). So, really what gray area are you folks talking about. The reality of the matter is, Cliff Huxtable was an upstanding man of character, NOT Bill Cosby. Those are two separate entities. How do we move forward as it pertains to lining his pockets, simply stop supporting any of his current endeavors.

    He’s been supporting HBCU’s for a long time, cut him off. Find new donors or create other ways of attracting them.

    How do you reconcile….you simply don’t. This is not an Iyanla fixable issue.

    • I’m not sure if it’s clear or not: There’s no grey area about what he’s alleged to have done or how we should see him going forward. The grey area is about reconciling what we thought we knew (those of us who grew up in a way with Rudy and Bud) with what is now evident.

      • LadyIbaka

        Hasn’t enough time passed for folks to reconcile he is a sexual predator, since that first case came out??

        • As I asserted in the piece, he’s almost assuredly that. The question is how do you reconcile that near certainty with the image most of us 80s babies grew up with? That’s the problem a lot of people are having. I know people who are certain that he committed these crimes but won’t read anything about it because of what that Cosby brand meant while we were growing up.

  • Tonja (aka Cheeks)

    This was well-written! I really loved the juxtaposition of the Rudy story episode with this. How the Flower Girl said stop… that actually punched me in the chest with its poignancy. Great read.

    Separating the art from the artist IS a huge gray area. On one hand, you vow to boycott their work going forward, but does the way you felt about their art prior somehow null and void? It certainly taints it, but… is it wholly invalidated? I find it hard to say yes to that question with confidence. And therein lies the complexity.

    What I know for sure is that Bill Cosby wasn’t his art. Bill Cosby, the man… I didn’t even know. But, from what we’ve been shown (which is extreme opposite ends of the spectrum, depending on who is delivering the image of Bill) is an unnerving combination.

  • nillalatte

    Has anyone noticed that the majority of his victims are white? Isn’t this the ‘fear’ of Black men everywhere… being accused of rape by a white woman? Automatic lynch mobs some might think would be the outcome. Yet, white people don’t believe these allegations from white women about this Black man. Moreover, what privilege shall be declared for his privilege of raping these women? It’s a rather odd social dynamic, that’s certain.

    • LadyIbaka

      Oh snap. I didn’t even notice that at all. I just saw women.

      • nillalatte

        LOL… y’all have had an affect on my vision. ;)

    • Tonja (aka Cheeks)

      There’s definitely a racial element to it. Defenders of his are definitely using the “tearing down a Black man” trope. Which… to be honest, is not something to totally toss as a possibility, given the special media coverage (it’s definitely different than an Allen or Polanski journey). And it’s also not something that automatically means thinking so means you’re supporting him, by default. I think both conversations can co-exist… they’re just hard to have without one being the image for either side. It’s unfortunate.

      There’s so many layers to this ish. Rape culture throughout for sure… and that crosses racial barriers.

      • Meridian

        Two separate issues in my opinion. I don’t think the racial component has any correlation to guilt or innocence. He isn’t being accused because he’s black. He’s being accused because he’s guilty. The way it’s being covered is happening because he’s black, which isn’t justifiable.

        I think a far more intriguing line of discussion is, IF majority of his victims were white women, what does it feel like to watch a black man be so readily defended against these accusations? It’s a pretty interesting dynamic that the victimization of white women is getting erased because no one believes them anymore. That’s gotta be pretty scary knowing you can’t just sick a mob on a black man anymore. On some level, when looking at this through the racial lense, even though no one supports his actions of s*xual assault that’s gotta be something worth diving deeper into. Rape culture or not (and lets just go ahead and say he’s guilty), how does it feel to exist in a society where a black man is largely untouchable for his crimes against white people? That has to be a fear of people everywhere.

        • R*pe culture or not (and lets just go ahead and say he’s guilty), how
          does it feel to exist in a society where a black man is largely
          untouchable for his crimes against white people? That has to be a fear
          of people everywhere.

          I think the fear has always been among White people of being forced to assimilate with people who clearly aren’t like them under terms they can’t control. I’m sure a spot like Stormfront has had a field day with this, because it’s all their fears explicated in one shot.

          • Meridian

            Word. Our whole society was built so that they would never find themselves in that position…and yet here we are. I think when faced with that reality a lot of people will buck it, try to keep the status quo as what they’re used to, but I really wonder what’s going through their heads as to why they want it that way. What’s the actual issue they have in a society where the tide is turning in favor of blacks?

            Specific to the Bill Cosby thing, his actions are a completely different thing from that dynamic imo. As a black woman, there have been a number of current events where I’ve found myself torn. I don’t support the crime but it is pretty interesting to see black men in a flipped script like that, especially in instances where the victims of those crimes are white.

        • Tonja (aka Cheeks)

          “The way it’s being covered is happening because he’s black, which isn’t justifiable.”
          Which was the only thing I was referencing. Media coverage. Not whether he was guilty. As someone who watched a child molester get some sort of a vanguard award at the Golden Globes and another one subsequently receiving an Oscar and was thoroughly disgusted by each, I can’t help but notice the difference in how it’s covered in the media.
          But again, me noticing that doesn’t — by default — mean, I condone his actions. In fact, it’s just the opposite… I think each should be treated justifiably. And that goes for in the media as well. It just means it’s something to think about.

      • The thing is that there have been a number of Black women that have spoken up as well. It’s not even a neat racial situation. Even if you buy the tear-down-a-Black-man trope, how do you explain the Black women claiming the same thing?

        • Tonja (aka Cheeks)

          For the record, I’m not saying I buy into the theory. Makes me wonder tho… what it if it was only Black women? Given how we’re treated (aka no one gives an ish)…

          • menajeanmaehightower

            You mean like R. Kelly…

          • FYI, I think there would be an outcry, but I do think it would have been thought of as a Black community thing. Think the Eddie Long controversy, and you get the gist.

    • I am becoming a cynic as I get older. I think that there is a racial undertone with respect to the Bill Cosby’s rape accusations and those who doubt the accusers/victims. If the stereotype is the hypersexual black male who preys on White Women, what happens when White Women knowingly spend time alone with them? This paired with the fact that Cosby was “happily” married throughout the years the rapes allegedly occurred makes it even harder for the accusers/victims. “They should have known better, than to be alone with a married man” or “that’s what they get for being alone with a Black Man” . It is almost as if (this is pure speculation by the way) he used the time-worn lie of the hypersexual Black man and his polished public image against his victims. So they would either come across as being homewreckers or loose women who were asking for it.

      Regardless of the race question-seventeen women is seventeen women, and that is not something that you can simply ignore. I too am curious about the social dynamic of Cosby’s supporters.

    • Interesting point you brought up in how race issues can get mixed up in the situation. I think it was the New Republic that had an article saying that the idea of Bill Cosby running around raping White women when he had this squeaky clean image played right into the worse racist fantasies out there. It came off a bit too neat, if that makes sense, like some racist wet dream.

  • Brooklyn_Bruin

    It’s not a complicated issue though. A guy we like has been accused by a bunch of women of being drugged and raped, or being treated like a white girl @ some frat house. At this point in the game, these women can’t sue for money and the state couldn’t prosecute. So all that is left is to disparage the man’s reputation and make sure he can’t make any dollars. And his victims have won. There’s nothing left to at this point, unless they want to hound the man into committing suicide. The press will keep it going for the clicks, but Bill lost.

  • Meridian

    I mean, it’s pretty simple in my opinion. Bill Cosby is a man and if he raped 17 women or any number of those women than he should get the punishment that fits his crimes. It really is that cut and dry to me. Cliff Huxtable is a character that reflected the future of America. It was iconic and infallible and it always will be. It was also a television show. Even though it’s a tough pill to swallow, prove that he did it and punish him. It will be the latter part of his legacy but no one can ever undo or erase the former part of it.

    The strawman arguments people use is the same concept as discussions in race relations. People start these ridiculous arguments and others feed into them so the meat of reality never gets addressed. We follow these same ol’ lines of conversations like we’re running on a script and we get so caught up in having these typical, full of sh*t talks that no growth actually happens in society. He raped, he should be punished. That simple. Anyone who doesn’t think so isn’t getting the time of the day. Same way a racist wanting to discuss what’s so bad about their clearly racist actions wouldn’t get the time of day. I honestly don’t even know why people entertain such conversations or are willing to engage in them. Same thing happened with the Janay Rice situation and it’s like…he’s clearly f*cking guilty. Everyone knew he was. People still wasted time coming up with these silly a*s arguments and people still entertained them. There should be a base of discussion. There shouldn’t be a debate. That’s how we make things of this nature (and discussions on things of this nature) so black and white. There’s no point in beating a dead horse.

  • Bill Cosby’s legacy has been reduced to social media memes that take low-blows and jabs to his new-found status as a certified rapist.

    Considering the severity of the transgressions and the response of intended humor it’s a pretty safe to say he’s utterly and completely ruined.

    It’s actually pretty disheartening considering the overwhelming positive influence his creative content had on the African-American and general population at large; people were saying he set the stage for the Obamas in the White House for goodness sake.

    I could wax poetic about how we should separate the man from his work, but that’s not how the real world works, nor is that the stuff legacies are made of…

    Legacies are a combination of the man(and woman’s) work, achievement, and personal life as perceived by the public and shaped by the media all working together in tandem. Not to sound heartless, but this would probably be a good time for Mr. Cosby to face his music accept personal responsibility for his misdeeds.

    Far as the racial component goes—- it’s a major blow to one of our culture’s iconic beacons of virtuous black manhood and fatherhood.

    The writer is correct. There are no gray lines. Only black and white….

    • Brooklyn_Bruin

      Lotta black folks still listen to R. Kelly though.

      In actuality, people have no problem separating the man’s misdeeds and crimes, provided the song is jamming, the jokes are funny, or they run the all right.

      • R. Kelly isn’t considered a pillar of the black community. Not necessarily a great comparison.

        R. Kelly’s always been known as lecherous, so it’s not a huge shock….

        Plus, sleeping with underage girls while gross isn’t heinous as forcibly raping
        20 plus women…..

        • Brooklyn_Bruin

          There’s plenty of people who believe R. Kelly is just a regular dude.

          Haggling over details now?

          You want me to mention Tupac instead? Snoop had a hand in murdering some Ethiopian teenager, we still rock with him. Funkmaster Flex was arrested for domestic violence, and we don’t even need to get into Mister Cee situation (which is tragic for other reasons).

          Black folks have had no problem celebrating actual villains as well as artistic ones. MLK Jr. was a known philanderer, I’m betting you still take off on his holiday.

  • Tentpole

    If 17 women accused Damon Smith of sexual assault, Damon would have an uphill battle to establish the fact the he could be innocent. Damon would have a few liabilities. First, he is not an A-list celebrity with deep pockets that would payoff in a civil suit. Second, he is not a high profile individual who stands for a cause that could be damaging to my interest.

    Bill Cosby on the other hand is an A-list celebrity with deep pockets sorta like a walking lottery ticket and if you can pick the numbers you can get rich just as fast. All it takes is for one woman to tell her story publicly and now everyone else can say the same thing with a different time and date. I don’t know the facts so before I am will condemn Cosby, I want to know the all the facts first.

    Being accused of sexual assault for a man is like Ebola, once you get it, your chances of survival are slim to none. If you are a male and get accused of sexual assault, you are already convicted because it is up to the male to prove the accusations to be false and his facts must be beyond reproach.

    Is it because in the regular world, most men of sexual assault are guilty? Therefore, we don’t understand what happens celebrities are in the same boat. My exposure to Cosby didn’t start with the Cosby show, I was aware of him long before then. I am not stuck in a Heathcliff Huxtable mindset. I know more of the man he really is. What scares me is how fast we are willing to throw one of our own under the bus without knowing the facts. When we all know that their are others who have been attempting to undermine us every chance they get.

    • Epsilonicus

      I know of Cosby from a friend. He worked in a hotel and Cosby would only allow female hotel staff to work with him. He would call down to the front desk and ask for female staff to come to his room all the time. One time he did it to get a female staff member to help him buy bath robes. It looked like a set up to me.

      • PunchDrunkLove

        Yup, on this alone…GUILTY! lol

    • cakes_and_pies

      Are you talking about he court of public opinion or the actual court system? Those accused of rape hardly get charged let alone serve time.

    • Wild Cougar

      With all his money, why did he never sue anybody for defamation of character? If they were out for money making false accusations then surely he could stop that nonsense in a civil trial. Make them show their evidence. Wonder why, with the powerful lawyers he must have had, he never sued anyone for defamation? Because they would show their evidence.

      • Well, dude was apparently cutting checks, and his bag man literally has the receipts. From his perspective, it was cheaper to pay these women off.

        • Wild Cougar

          It’s not cheaper than suing.

          • Tentpole

            Yes it is

            • Sigma_Since 93

              Hush money with contractual non disclosure language and jello pudding pops kept folks quiet.

              • Sidebar: how much do you want to bet that Jell-O regrets their association with Bill Cosby? Do you realize how many Bill Cosby rape memos have invoked their company name? There’s nothing they can do about it either.

                • That sucks, I love Jello :-( I suppose situations like this are why many companies aren’t reaching for celebrity endorsements as heavily as they used to. People can flip and here your brand is, hanging in the balance because some idiot decided to be an indecent human.

                  • If I ran a company that didn’t involve athletics or cars I’m straight-up getting cute kids or animals for my commercials because celebs aren’t worth it. It’s either that or product placement in a blockbuster movie or TV show.

                    • Sigma_Since 93

                      Until that cute kid gets a coke habit and folks talk about their glory days advertising your product.

                    • Easy fix. Cute kids are a dime a dozen so just rotate them out when they get near their teen years.

                    • Sigma_Since 93

                      Like Menudo back in the day.

                    • Yup you can’t go wrong with puppies!

            • Wild Cougar

              I think you might be confusing the cost of filing a lawsuit and defending against one.

        • Brooklyn_Bruin

          That Hush Money seemed to be for his willing mistresses, not for the chicks he drugged. Cosby is a creep and a criminal. Being a jerk to Camille isn’t criminal though.

          • Truth be told, he might have done it to both. Plus at least one of the women he drugged was already involved with him. If dude is willing to turn over the receipts, we can cross check.

      • Tentpole

        Not so fast WC, this is not like suing a newspaper because of what they incorrectly printed. This will turn into a he said she said war. The celebrity community has always follow the ASAP rule. Do whatever you need to do to get off the news cycle so your career won’t suffer. It is a known fact, celebrites will quietly pay to make you go away regardless of the facts. They know the time it takes to defend yourself can sometimes do more harm than good. Look how fast many of us are throwing Cosby under the bus now.

        • Wild Cougar

          You don’t know how defamation suits work. If a bunch of people are lying the most effective way to shut it down is a defamation suit. That’s if truth is on your side. That warns the next one not to try it. It looks like Cosby never even hired lawyers to threaten to sue.

          • Tentpole

            It only works if they have something to lose. Again, it will keep Cosby name in the news cycle longer and the longer it stays fresh the more digging will be done.

            • Wild Cougar

              I think it’s interesting that on the one hand you say you want all the facts but you excuse Cosby for not letting the facts be known. He shouldn’t have to prove his innocence? Then why not let the case go to trial instead of paying people off over and over.

  • I remember when I read the original allegations in the 2007 time frame that Bill Cosby was much like Marvin Harrison, the former All-Pro wide receiver who bodied someone on a Philly street but got away with it because no one was willing to talk in court. Shady as the reports were back then, no one was willing to go on the record or go to court about it. The few people who went to court got their checks, shut up and moved on. I was disturbed, but the lack of women speaking out combined with his then-low profile in the public eye allowed me to move on.

    Ever since Champ put out that infamous blog about r*pe, I’ve made a point to educate myself so that I could discuss it with actual facts and come up with possible solutions to what is rightly a touchy subject. One of the things that has struck me is how r*pists not only groom victims but entire environments. R*pe culture is definitely real and creates the potential for grooming. However, it’s interesting to me how time and again, serial r*pists make a point of either selecting for people who won’t ask questions to be around them or convincing the world of how pure their motives are. It’s forced me to question how I deal with dudes so I don’t become the next useful idiot.

    Taking this back to Bill Cosby, think about how much his squeaky clean image was as much as a weapon as those drugs he was handing out. Until Hannibal Burress came at the king and didn’t miss, how many people out there would have connected Bill Cosby to drugs, period, not to mention knocking them out and him using chicks like they were nothing but life support systems for Fleshlights? He fooled the heck out of a lot of people. If that doesn’t scare you nothing will.

    Still, Cosby’s body of work speaks for itself. In between all those r*pes, he was a groundbreaking actor and probably made the most important TV shows of all time. His work is his work. Maybe he can use his fortune to help women somehow as much as he hurt him. I’m not sure, but it’s clearly RIP to his career…and deservedly so.

    • Meridian

      “I’ve made a point to educate myself so that I could discuss it with actual facts and come up with possible solutions to what is rightly a touchy subject. One of the things that has struck me is how r*pists not only groom victims but entire environments.”

      I think that’s why it’s so important to start conversations with a specific base in mind during rape culture discussions. It neutralizes the power s*xual predators have in any given environment and allows the discussion to move towards more productive things.

      “Still, Cosby’s body of work speaks for itself. In between all those r*pes, he was a groundbreaking actor and probably made the most important TV shows of all time. His work is his work.”

      I think so too. What The Cosby Show was to the culture and what it was in television history is solidified. It happened and it changed things. That’s not something that can be erased even if it’s something that can be tarnished by the actions in his personal life. I won’t look at him the same moving forward. He won’t have the same respect or support from me on the basis of “yo, that’s Bill Cosby”. That’s gone now. It’s really unfortunate.

    • LeeLee

      “R*pe culture is definitely real and creates the potential for grooming. However, it’s interesting to me how time and again, serial r*pists make a point of either selecting for people who won’t ask questions to be around them or convincing the world of how pure their motives are. It’s forced me to question how I deal with dudes so I don’t become the next useful idiot.”

      Thank you for #allofthis. A lot of us believe we are above being manipulated, but we aren’t. Master manipulators can get you to do what they want AND make you think it was your idea! Make you think you know them better than you know yourself. There is good and evil in all of us. I can’t remember who said this but “everyone has a public life, a private life, and a secret life.”

    • Freebird

      ” I’m not sure, but it’s clearly RIP to his career…and deservedly so.”

      He received a standing ovation at a show he recently did. I think it was in Florida.

    • menajeanmaehightower

      The comment about culture and grooming is so real. UVA is getting their behinds handed to them now (along with other schools) due to the culture the school has allowed with their fraternities.

      • The thing is that grooming of Greek life at a lot of schools was a knock-on effect of raising the drinking age. Limiting drinking to a few known locations, combined with our awareness of alcohol as a weapon, and now sociopaths have an easy route to victimize people (and note the lack of gender). I’ve read stories of frats going dangerous because they let in a few shady pledges who straight flipped cultures in the span of a year or two. This stuff is dangerous. And unfortunately all it takes is a few nutjobs to make life horrible for everyone else.

        • menajeanmaehightower

          Stories like the one at UVA break my heart. I get that only a few men rape but if they are having multiple victims, the devastation is real.

          • That makes two of us. Plus like I said elsewhere, there’s that fear that you might end up being cool with one of those dudes. Not only did you not prevent something, you could end up consigning something horrible. Yikes!

      • Sigma_Since 93

        It’s one of the differences between white and black greek organizations; white greeks tend to have houses where the drinking and shenanigans can take place. Black greeks never seem to have a house on fraternity row so the drinking takes place in a dorm room, the apartment party, or on the way to the party. I love my frat but he won’t be blending women in between my sheets if I’m throwing a party.

        • I’ve never known any BGLO’s to have houses unless they were chapters at PWI’s. I could be wrong but I’m not sure how many, if any, HBCU’s actually have a fraternity row. Is that due to HBCU’s having issues financially and not being able to secure property/land?

          • Sigma_Since 93

            Not sure. I could definitely see the school’s point in saying there’s a house on campus where only 25 ninjas are going to live and we have capacity issues???? Hell naw! or We don’t have a house to hold 200 Deltas that just went over in addition to the 335 that are already here.

            We had a house in Fayetteville but a) it was only for meetings b) wasn’t affiliated with the school, and c) shared with the Zetas.

          • Sigma_Since 93

            Y’all put me in timeout because I made a jokey joke on the Deltas??? Champ does it all the time!!!! I’m trying to be like my role model……

            • ? what are you talking about……

              • Sigma_Since 93

                Disqus put my response to you in moderation. Where’s Liz when I need her!!!

        • Medium Meech

          As a black Greek in general and a Kappa in particular I will be the first to admit that we weren’t sh*t in undergrad. But I guarantee if one of my brothers said anything about drugging or raping a giirl we would have slumped him ourselves. We took (maybe a little too much) pride in our prowess with women but this whole drugging and forcing women thing is wholly unfamiliar and would not have been tolerated .

          • b sweet

            See upthread. The frat house stories that closely resembled BET’s “Uncut’ came from the Kappas. Y’all really ain’t sh*t

        • menajeanmaehightower

          There is no doubt in my mind that what has happened at white fraternities happens at black ones as well. Those organizations (the activities, drinking, and banging women) are a breeding ground for this type of behavior. As Todd stated above, it only takes 1 or 2 to screw up an entire organization.

          • Sigma_Since 93

            I agree to a certain extent. Back in the day the NPHC groups never had houses and we had to a) rent the gym or hall on campus or b) partner with some club. We were always looking to make money; more than a $3 red silo cup affair. The screws were much tighter beacuse a) campus security was checking for booze entering the building b) bar security was kicking folks out the club if you got too reckless c) the whole driving while impaired thing. d) the negative press of having something jump off at your event; you knew that if a mess up with one organization would make it more difficult for all of us.

            • b sweet

              All the frats had houses on my campus (except the Sigmas, sorry boo) and I’ve never heard of a woman getting drugged or raped. Now, I’ve heard stories that make my chin hit the floor (Nupes ain’t sh*t), but no rapes. Even with sporting teams, you hear certain sports gang raping, but not others. Now that I’m typing this out, I’d love to see race/social economic class/ privilege and rape stats. Rape is about violent control and power, and there’s historical evidence to support one particular group’s affinity for violent control and power. hmmmm

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