And if an imaginary but deadly heavy tree trunk really does come down, I really hope it hits Bill Cosby on the head.
About ten years ago Bill Cosby came up with a (totally unnecessary) statement on parenting done wrong -by black people, I don’t remember exactly what the context was, or what triggered it, but I remember it took me a little bit to understand where he was going.
His statement was pretty blunt, with a mix of sentences like “English is a language, black youth must stop using this language like a chain of sounds that only make sense to them yo bro, ho’zit?, because this will never integrate them into society and will only contribute to keep them outcasts“, which to an extent I may agree with, and “black women must stop giving birth to dozens of fatherless children and hope the system will take care of them”, which I couldn’t agree with in a million years.
As it turns out, that interview was the beginning of the end. Apparently he had stepped on many -far too many- feet and pointed the spotlight right back onto himself. My feeling is that he sufferend of the same carelessness of all the serial killers who have gotten away with a crime for many years and now feel untouchable, which is, in fact, exactly what pushed him to step back into the public scene with such a controversal interview.
A lot has been said about how people were less inclined to believe the victims because they identified him with his character, who had trouble grounding his kids, let alone drug-rape a woman! An awful lot has been said about how the accusations were based on the sterotype of black men being more likely to be sexual predators.
Now that the issue is not anymore about whether he has or hasn’t done it, because he has admitted to it, everyone is astonished and outraged. And if the fact that ten years have passed since the first report and the investigation/lawsuit/trial is the blatant proof that rape culture exists, it is also strangely embarassing for those who wore out their fingers tweeting that #Blacklivesmatter who are now uncertain whether to defend his blackness of the women’s dignity.
They do matter, of course, but is it really necessary to have a scale of categories to defend? Because if it is, black people have to go before or after women, there is no way out…
Our society has unfortunately delegated the thinking process to the media, that up until yesterday ran scenes of the Cosby Show to portray Bill Cosby as he was in fiction, and that, as of today, have started posting pictures of him taken to make him look like a sinister sex predator (which he is, of course, but nothing has changed from a month ago in the almost 80-year old actor…). Do we really have to generalize and decide what category to defend? The good news is, we don’t!
We are free to judge Bill Cosby for what he is, a serial rapist, we are free to get angry and frustrated at the fact that he will never serve one day in jail as much as we can still stand up for black people whose lives are endagered by those who are supposed to protect them.
Because the bottom line is: Black Lives matter, not impunity. In a democratic system based on the equal treatment of all its citizens people of any colour must be tried fairly and given a sentence consistent with the crime they have committed, without discrimination, AS MUCH AS any life must be preserved and respected.
So, while I hope with all my heart that I will hear of no more Eric Garners and Michael Browns, I also deeply hope to see Bill behind bars!