I believe he is a rapist.* He is clearly a rapist.
- I think The Cosby Show and his contributions to the collecting and documenting Black-American and African Art are unparalleled in their impact.
- I know, for a fact, that terrible people can make beautiful things.
We are all implicated. Heroes don't actually exist.
That is to say every person we deify without accountability gets bolder, abuses more, believes themselves more powerful until they are committing atrocities with impunity. In creating "heroes" we remove humanity, and actually create monsters.
And every time we get comfortable victim-blaming, we create space for these monsters to create more victims. We create Daniel Holtzclaw. We create Darren Wilsons and George Zimmermans and Daniel Pantaleos. We create Mark Wahlberg. We create Eldridge Cleaver. We create Bill Cosby.
Every time we collectively create blind spots, we reinforce power imbalances. We let white men kill black men; we let men rape women; we let rich plunder poor. All of us.
"No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible."
The snowflakes are all of us as individuals bound together by the momentum of racism, sexism, patriarchy and their brethren. Racism punishes the Black and Brown monsters we've created more harshly and wholly than their white counterparts. Racism brings a man back from the grave to admonish his unfaithful son while laughing at the boys-will-be-boys antics of Charlie Sheen. It is removing the statue of a great entertainer who is the worst kind of person from a park named after a great visionary who is also the worst kind of person.
Our hypocrisy is showing.
As we righteously tear down a terrible man who used every resource at his disposal to prey on women solely because he had so many resources at his disposal, I would like us to not celebrate too much in the task. We have literally built mountains to men capable of much of the same evil and greatness so we are not the impartial arbiters of morality we seem to wish we were.
|Mount Rushmore/Credit: Dean Franklin|
Are we attempting to erase his impact on popular culture as a gesture to override our conscious discounting of the women who accused him in the first place?
Are we really okay with removing Cosby's statue from a space which was made to recognize entertainers while we send our children to schools named after Confederate leaders and slave owners?
Does punishing Bill Cosby make you feel better?
How can it when there's so much left to do?
*I originally started this post months ago, when the allegations surrounding Bill Cosby resurfaced. The revelation of his own admission and the sheer amount of life that has happened between last October and today has prompted me to revisit it.
Previously posted on MOGUL.