This column is tough for me. It took me time to even type the first word to start this for about two weeks or so. Then when the new info came out about Dr. Bill Cosby and his deposition. I was shocked to say the least after reading the things I read Mr. Cosby had done.
My childhood has been about 24 trips around the sun ago now, and though my childhood was long ago, each time I would watch the Cosby Show on Thursdays and now in syndication I feel like a kid all over again. I was under 12 when the show started. It was to me like being on another planet seeing the show when it premiered in 1984. Nothing like it existed before nor remarkably since.
Wow, upon first seeing it was my first reaction. A mom who was a lawyer and a father who was a Dr., am I dreaming? They were black people as well, is this real? Yes, it was, Mr. Cosby was the first and last to accomplish a non stereotypical view of Black America. The kids didn’t speak Ebonics and didn’t sound like kids from my community that’s for sure. This isn’t to say the kids on Cosby weren’t realistic. It’s saying I’d never been exposed to any people like the kids on the show on real life events. I had also not met a mother and father like Cliff and Clair Huxtable. I desired that life for me from day one of seeing the very first showing of “The Cosby Show!” The kids, they were cool and respectful and educated, up to the minimum of attending college at the least. The Cosby show showed America in a different light. For years the images of Black American men on TV hadn’t been positive. George Jefferson was a racist in his views sadly. This wasn’t a good light shed on blacks to me and depicted us in a light I found subservient especially when it came to brown nosing Mr. Wittendale for a better rent on his dry cleaners business located in the building he also lived in as well as a tenant, that Mr. Wittendale’s family owned!
Cosby NEVER once made race an issue, NEVER made reference to color period. Cosby NEVER settled for repeats from ideas other black shows had done before him. He touched on teen pregnancy and drug use as well as disease. He touched on divorce and bad decisions kids make regardless of race. He NEVER made religion his focus. Mr. Cosby used his power of influence to change what an American family was. Most of us are like the Huxtables regardless of race. I’m not saying we are two parent homes with a mom as a lawyer and dad as a Dr., by no means. I’m saying we are all trying to better our families as we better ourselves in the process. All of us are flawed aiming for a perfection that doesn’t exist as we chase it to no avail during this thing called LIFE. Mr. Cosby thru his TV show made me believe perfection was a possibility, LOL!
The Cosby show made me imagine Mr. Cosby as my dad! He was the only parental figure on TV I identified with and looked up to because his TV character was not perfect but close but, was an example of how to be a dad/son/husband/friend/Doctor! Mr. Cosby created a bridge between Black Americans and all other races that hadn’t been crossed as much since the civil rights movement! He used TV as a vehicle for unifying the races without trying and influencing me and others of ALL races with the spin off TV show, A Different World that showed college life for the first time on national TV and encouraged many in my generation to attend college.
Now sadly I go onto why I use to, in past tense admire Mr. Cosby! Finding out your hero took advantage of woman no matter why and how is saddening to say the least. Finding out drugs were used even worse while using fame and power to assist in such acts floored me!
Sadly, I initially didn’t believe these women. I thought it was a money grab. Then the deposition from the Temple University employee became public and my heart sank into my stomach. I for a day had no appetite at all. This was not Cliff Huxtable, I get that but, Bill Cosby the man who spoke on how we need to do better in our communities who took advantage of woman and ruined my view of humans, well role models that is. I already was dealing with personal trials but, finding out the man I admired wasn’t who I thought he was! That was heavy and a blow to my faith in humanity. He was just as bad as all men I encountered having NEVER been raised by my blood father and abused by my uncle verbally and at times physically! Those scars remained until therapy healed those wounds from abuse I endured.
The Cosby Show was part of my therapy. I saw Cliff Huxtable as a possibility. A dad for all dads to aspire to be. This is why Mr. Cosby’s actions hurt so much even if he claims they were consensual, the use of drugs isn’t in any way what role models do. That said, I believe the Temple University employee and her claims the deposition confirms. So even worse he was guilty! My hero lost his ability to fly. My hero lost his ability to make me think humans had good in them, well at least I no longer see good in him.
We all have a woman we love. Could be someone’s daughter and niece or sister or a wife or girlfriend but, no matter the relationship imagine one of them being drugged and rapped! Can you? Let alone by a man we all thought we could trust such as Mr. Cosby. How many years had he done such egregious things to women? How many women haven’t put in claims? How many more woman haven’t even come forward at all? Something to ponder to say the least.
In my years I’ve lived I’ve NEVER been so disappointed in a non family member. We are all flawed but the level of egregiousness in drugging and rape is far beyond a mistake. It’s cold blooded and malicious. The countless claims though we don’t know if these claims are true we will see in time. The deposition shows the man we as kids in the 1980’s wasn’t who we thought he was (voice of Dennis Green former Arizona Cardinals head coach)!
I can forgive Mr. Cosby I will admit because I’m Christian but, I wonder if the victims can or will. I’m writing this on ManLogic because if you can’t talk to the guys/fellas about things who can you/we?
This story will pass, most horrific stories eventually do pass with time but, the wound the victims suffered will linger. My hope is Mr. Cosby will one day decide to come clean! I doubt that will occur on Mr. Cosby’s remaining lifetime though because of the prideful man he is but, let me say sorry for him to the victims.
I’m sorry to those who were sexually abused by Mr. Cosby for all the pain you’ve endured. Nothing I say can heal your wounds but, as a man I’ll do my best to educate other men and young boys on how to not treat woman. I hope that one day you all will be able to function and live healthy lives and I apologize to you all for not believing you previously. Now I do.