Like many others in America, I grew up in a world where Bill Cosby taught us that accomplishing something great with your life and meeting high expectations was completely possible. He mixed comedy with earnestness, sincerity and a father-like heartwarmingness that made many of us aspire to do things we may have never imagined possible. He had a knack for knowing how to reach people (especially kids) during the latter decades of the 1900s, but continued to the present day to pour out into the children, because he realized that they were the future of our world. In other words – Bill Cosby was a highly motivational and influential figure in our lives.
Having said that…this whole rape controversy mess is…well, just terrible. Period.
The thing is: of course you never want to believe things like these are true. Especially of highly respected heroes who have done so much good for people. Yes, everyone has their faults. Yes, he did have a sketchy past that included having a child out of wedlock during his marriage to Camille years and years ago. People seem to forget that “celebrities” are people too – people who make mistakes, whether not-that-great or flat out awful. Sexual assault, of course, is no joke among these, and Cosby’s fame + his glowing past makes this even more devastating. If Cosby had less good will surrounding the name he’s built for himself, it’d be easier to write off the so-and-so as a monster we could all despise (which some have already jumped the Cosby ship in full swing anyway). But with everything I listed at the beginning (and then some), this makes the realization of a potential monsterous chain of events all the more devastating.
Now, on one hand, it’s very hard to say that a woman is lying about sexual assault, no matter how long the time frame between the incident and confession. It’s a very serious matter, one that has a long-lasting impact on the victim and their emotions. So while I personally don’t want to believe the stories that are coming forth, and while you could make a case for the timeline of these events being a potential hoax, is it really our job to say that a woman is lying about something so serious? Sure, it could be a hoax for money or to shut Cosby’s reputation down for whatever the reason. But how much can we really speculate?
Also, Cosby is not saying anything about this. Likely, this is a legal move – as in, the less he says, the better. But this isn’t like when twitter proclaims a celebrity “dead” and the celebrity is there to defend themselves. It’s really a lose-lose situation, because since he won’t say anything about it either way, we only have one side of the story – that he’s guilty. And now he’s losing a new show over it, parts of his tour as I understand are being cancelled – I mean, things have really escalated in the worst ways possible – right down to a TMZ rumor involving innocent Raven-Symone, who was a baby on the Cosby Show with him when she started her acting career.
For right now, the whole thing is truly disheartening. Unfortunately, it is possible that these things could have happened, as people do have skeletons in their closet that will come to the light eventually, as all things do. Some of these things will be very surprising when coming from people we hold in such high regard, such as Bill Cosby. Remember Robin Williams? A man who brought the rest of the world so much joy, but he himself had many personal battles with suicide, which got the best of him in the end. While we’re waiting on the outcomes of this whole thing, it really does lead to a question: are you, sitting there reading this, doing things in private that can be glorified when brought to the light…or viewed as monsterous? We get so upset about these figures we hold on a pedalstool, but think about it. Do you have anything unhealthy in your private life that could ruin you, even among just a few good people you trust – and can you live without it? Maybe this isn’t the direction our thoughts should go in, I don’t know – but things like this always make me eventually turn the mirror on myself to make sure that if it was me in the situation, what could I have done to abstain from getting there?
I truly hope something positive can come out of all of this.