First Bill Cosby made us laugh. Now he’s making us cringe.
And one of the most striking things about Cosby’s refusal to comment on a rising tide of rape allegations is that the reactions are breaking down along political lines. Conservatives, who admire the way that Cosby has spoken out against dysfunction and lousy parenting in black families, are skeptical. Liberals, who view themselves as champions of women’s rights, are abandoning him.
So as new questions swirl around America’s dad, the television icon, the guy who broke a racial barrier on prime-time TV, they are also being filtered through a political lens on the African-American superstar who dared take on his own community.
Cosby isn’t helping himself, in my view, by ignoring the allegations that he sexually assaulted a number of women. His silence, when asked about the accounts by NPR’s Scott Simon, spoke volumes. And his lawyer’s statement Sunday that they won’t “dignify” the allegations by commenting sounds like a dodge. With a new accuser surfacing over the weekend, it just seems like an untenable stance.
Everyone remembers Cosby as comic, or Cosby as Cliff Huxtable. But let’s flash back to 2004, when Cosby disrupted a celebration—a Constitutional Hall gala marking the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Ed—with some blunt talk about the black lower class:
“People marched and were hit in the face with rocks to get an education, and now you have these knuckleheads walking around…. The lower economic people are not holding up their end of the deal. These people are not parenting.”
There was more: “I am talking about these people who cry when their son is standing there in an orange suit. Where were you when he was two? Where were you when he was 12? Where were you when he was 18, and how come you didn’t know that he had a pistol? And where is his father?”
He also ridiculed ghetto talk and thuggery:
“They’re standing on the corner and they can’t speak English. I can’t even talk the way these people talk: ‘Why you ain’t,’ ‘Where you is.’…
“These are people going around stealing Coca-Cola. People getting shot in the back of the head over a piece of pound cake and then we run out and we are outraged, ‘The cops shouldn’t have shot him.’ What the hell was he doing with the pound cake in his hand?”
Source: Fox News | Howard Kurtz