So, is this the state of Black women in this country today? A state in which, Black women will openly and audaciously dare to challenge the truth of another woman, in support of a man?
I mean, seriously consider the fact that as women, we should know better than anyone, how little respect there is in our society for our truths and stories. In perfect example, I was just watching a Law & Order: SVU episode the other day, in which a woman who was sexually assaulted, feared accusing her assaulter of rape because she had authored an S&M themed book, that he read.
Inherently, the reality of her assault became a matter of debate on whether a person that promotes and even likes S&M, can accuse someone of raping them (as if, there is some sordid similarity with sexual acts that are unwanted and non- consensual and rough sex).
It was during one of those SVU episodes that one of the detectives so accurately pointed out, sexual assault is the only crime you have to prove the “victim” didn’t ask for it. No one ever expects a robbery victim to prove, they didn’t ask to get robbed.
As Black women, that reality of denied truth is expanded ten fold, as our stories and truths are sometimes twice, three or even four times as likely to be forgotten, mistold, or ignored (considering class, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability and nationality).
So, in general, as a rule of thumb, all types of red flags should go up when the first and only people to defend a man wavering more than a dozen sexual assault allegations, are women!
Whether you believe the allegations or not, these allegations and the questionable response from the Black community are telling of so much more!
All of these Black women (from Jill Scott to Keisha Knight Pulliam) have come out in support of Cosby’s “legacy” (not character), yet, not one woman will dare challenge that perhaps, these rape allegations could, just possibly, be about more than a damn show that has been in syndication for more than 20 years now?!
“THIS IS about the war on women’s bodies!”
I mean seriously, you’re saying because he’s rich, famous, Black and even potentially brilliant, that there’s no way he could be a rapist?! I don’t see the correlation btw the two ideas…
As Phylicia Rashad puts it, this actually has nothing to do with these women, or for that matter, (I would assume) rape, at all! As she puts it, “My message is, what happens to a nation in which people knowingly and willfully disavow the tenets that describe the nation? … This is not about the women. This is about something else. This is about the obliteration of a legacy.”
This is just crazy! I try not to join conversations about rape because I have a deep personal bias, having lived and continuing to live as a survivor of many types of sexual assault. But dude, is any Black celebrity going to challenge the nature of this conversation right now?
Is anyone going to stand up and say, hey, this is about more than a friggin’ “legacy”! THIS IS about the war on women’s bodies!
Argh! Screw Cosby and all these reinforcements of male privilege!
You mean to tell me, Phylicia Rashad, Whoopi Goldberg, Keisha Knight Pulliam, Debbie Allen, Jill Scott, Camille Cosby, and who ever else is in support of Cosby’s legacy, that a man’s legacy is more important than a woman’s body?! Because, much to your dismay, you can not separate allegations of sexual assault, from the facts behind sexual assault.
A person does not get the right to change the nature of facts and truth, just because it makes them feel uncomfortable. These allegations are not a matter of public opinion, really!
An accusation against a person, based on their transgressions against another person, does not become an inherent matter of public debate simply because it is known. People of course, can engage in discourse about it, all they want. That won’t change the truth in the matter.
For centuries, governments, institutions and people collectively defended and debated about the nature of slavery and whether it was a good or bad thing. That didn’t change the evil of slavery. And, as with all things done it the dark, that evil was revealed for what it was. No debate.
Even now, when people attempt to dismiss the wicked nature of the history of chattel slavery in the United States, it does not really ever become a matter of public debate, because it already is. There is no debate about what already is. Slavery is evil and slavery did happen. There’s no debate. Anything after that becomes a cop out and a defense of what is.
“You’re inherently defending the nature of his accused acts, arguing that even if he did do this, it does not change his legacy or who he is to you.”
The same thing goes for the “question” of whether Cosby committed such acts, as he is accused of. There is no debate about that. You can’t debate about something that is already fact. Even if, you don’t actually know what the fact really is. In fact, especially if you don’t know what the fact really is.
There really is no such thing as defending someone who is accused of something like rape and sexual assault, because YOU WEREN’T THERE!! Thus, any defense of such a person, is inherently a defense of the nature of what they’re being accused of.
No matter who the hell Cosby was to Rashad or Pulliam on the set of a fictitious show, that person can’t account for who Cosby was and probably still is, behind closed doors. Thus, unless you’re behind those doors with him 24/7, you can not account for who he is. Therefore, any defense of him, really only accounts for your opinion of what he did or did not do.
You’re inherently defending the nature of his accused acts, arguing that even if he did do this, it does not change his legacy or who he is to you. That’s what really lies behind the defense of Cosby by Rashad, Goldberg, Scott and etc.
Because, let’s be real here, I’ll be damned if I’ll ever let someone else question me about my own truth about my body, based on THEIR opinion of someone else’s character!
I don’t care where who he is, where he’s from, or what he’s done for the world, its people and all the little baby dogs and cats, or anything else! None of that, not one damn thing, invalidates his potential to do the things I experienced him do, to ME!
I mean, really, how many people are going to like the idea of knowing a rapist, let alone working with one for decades?! No one would be comfortable with that idea.
They’ll inherently ask themselves, how did I not know that the person I was working with, sleeping with, hanging out with or doing whatever else with, was capable of such “heinous” things?!
So, in many ways, I must question, who it is that these so- called supporters are really “protecting” and/ or “supporting”?
In all, I must say, this sh*t cray! Real cray! #WomensLivesMatter #BlackLivesMatter #AllLivesMatter
**Originally Published: January 12, 2015