“This is not an opportunity to talk about difficult matters privately or in a closed environment. This is a circus. It’s a national disgrace. And from my standpoint, as a black American, it is a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas, and it is a message that unless you kowtow to an old order, this is what will happen to you. You will be lynched, destroyed, caricatured by a committee of the U.S. Senate rather than hung from a tree.”
-Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice Of the United States Supreme Court, Oct 11, 1991
The above words were uttered by then-nominee for the US Supreme Court, one Mr. Clarence Thomas, nearly a quarter of a century ago. It was said in the midst of what some, and this writer is in agreement with the notion, of what could only be rightly described as a wanton witch hunt. Thomas, accused by a former staffer, Ms. (now Prof.) Anita Hill of “sexual harassment”, had his name and reputation sullied in the worst of ways. Though he was eventually confirmed to the nation’s High Court, his life would never be the same.
Such things are nothing new to African American Men; indeed, the country’s historical record is littered with instances of false or otherwise sensationalized accusations of sexual assault and worse, often lodged by White Women – witness last fall’s Hollaback!’s “anti-street harassment” PSA shown world wide on YouTube, indicting working and lower class Black Men as sexual predators – nearly a century after the premiere of the film “Birth of a Nation“. It’s a very, very old story, sordid and rotten as a whorehouse at low tide.
From the Tulsa Race War, to the Rosewood Massacre, to the Scottsboro Boys, to Emmet Till and beyond, Black Men have been constantly the target of vicious and more often than not fallacious allegations of sexual assault, mainly against White Women – and often, with deadly results. Indeed, the historical record shows, with grim clarity, that a majority of the racially motivated lynchings, race riots and massacres that have occurred in the country, came about as a direct result of such baseless allegations.
As 2014 drew to a close – a year dramatically punctuated by a string of events that would be hard to dismiss as anything but a War on Black Men – one of Black America’s national treasures, William H. “Bill” Cosby – was himself subject to a high-tech lynching. Not on the US Senate floor, as was the case in Justice Thomas, but rather, in what seems to be a close-knit mass media assault on his enduring legacy.
More than a dozen Women at last count, most of whom were White (fashion model icon Beverly Johnson is a notable exception) have stepped forward, all with charges and allegations that Cosby sexually assaulted them, using drugs and drink as his modus operandi. Even though prosecutors have declined to bring any formal charges against Cosby, and to date none of the accusers have pressed any charges of their own, each passing day seems to bring more such claims of abuse…claims that have no material evidence, no witnesses and no court date attached to them.
And already, the ordeal has taken its toll on Cosby; late last year he resigned his board position with Temple University, an institution with which he has been joined at the hip for at least a generation. Protestors and hecklers have showed up at his shows in Canada, and famed attorney Gloria Allred continues her on-air media sorties against the actor/comedian.
In a dramatic show of support, both Cosby’s real-life wife of nearly half a century, Mrs. Camille Cosby, and his television wife from “the Cosby Show”, Ms. Phylicia Rashad, have come before the media to defend Cosby’s reputation and good name, and also to point out that the media’s rush to judgment and shoddy reporting led to the recent UVA/Rolling Stone “gang rape” fiasco. Both ladies have urged the American public to reserve their judgment until all of the facts – to be determined by a court of law – are in, and to resist a mob mentality afoot among the social justice warrior crowd. In response, the Feminist Lobby and their allies in the Cathedral Media have attacked Mrs. Cosby and Ms. Rashad, as turncoats to Women everywhere, facts or truth, be damned.
Many have speculated on the timing of these mass-allegations against Cosby, and have raised their eyebrows in supicion; to be frank, and I’m no conspiracy theorist, I share their skepticism. After all, in an age where all violent crime, including rape and sexual assault, are at all-time lows, one would think that any Woman who was attacked in such a manner would only be all-too eager to report it to the authorities. But, as my AVFM colleague, Ms. Janet Bloomfield has recently pointed out, there can be ulterior motives for a Woman, or in this case a group of them, to make such outrageous charges. It certainly tallies with the American historical record as we have it with regard to Black Men, that’s for sure.
For my money, I don’t think this is just about money, as many have suggested; no doubt, I think there is a fiduciary motive. But, as Clarence Thomas so astutely noted so long ago, I think there is a desire on the part of some of the American public, to want to silence those among the Black race, who dare to think outside the box, and to give voice to their heterodox views. Surely, by now everyone reading this will be well aware of what I am talking about with regard to Cosby; a decade ago, during a gala celebration commemorating the 50th anniversary of the famed Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision, ending forever Jim Crow “separate but equal” doctrine in the country’s public schools, Cosby delivered what has become known as the “Poundcake Speech” – where Cosby was plain spoken and brutally blunt about the very real internal struggles and problems, foibles and even pathology, that beset the nation’s most vulnerable African American sections. His speech was barely over before certain voices within the Black Establishment was calling for his head on a pike, for “airing dirty laundry” within earshot of White folks. Books were written about asking if whether he was out of his mind; charges were made that he was serving the interests of racist Whites who wanted an out to visit their hatred onto Blacks; and still others charged that Cosby was “blaming the victim” – poor and lower class African Americans – instead of pointing to “systemic” forces that held them back. Overnight, Cosby was seen as a pariah by much of respectable Black America, upheld by perhaps its small but not insignificant conservative bloc for saying what needed to be said. I honestly do think there is a move afoot to sully his reputation in light of these facts, among other notable actions taken during his career – one that stands, sadly, as one of the relative few among the pantheon of Black luminaries and celebrities that has been a tireless advocate and supporter of the upliftment of Black Americans.
Does any of this mean that it is not possible for Cosby to be a rapist? Absolutely not – history has also shown us that otherwise upstanding and respected people can be guilty of committing some of the most heinous crimes known to humankind. But that’s just it – Cosby hasn’t been found guilty; in fact, Cosby hasn’t even been charged with a crime. And if the past century of lynchings, riots, race wars and massacres, not to mention the ordeal of Justice Clarence Thomas a few decades ago proves anything, it is that the only appropriate forum to hash out the facts and find out the truth, is the courts – not the mass media.
As one of our most famed Americans, Mr. Bill Cosby deserves his day in court…
…not his name dragged through the mud, by a mob of mostly White Women.