The Wolf Who Cried Boy

[IMAGE DESCRIPTION: Bill Cosby seen from the shoulders up. His finger touching his chin. His eyes rolled upwards. His lips pressed into a smile.]

In a calculated and cynical move, Bill Cosby — a person who shamed poor black people for not “acting right” in front of white people; who chastised us on behalf of Whiteness; who made fun of our particular customs, our particular situations, and our particular names; who told us to stop using racism as an excuse for our condition — is now claiming that racism is behind all of the rape allegations against him.

And he’s claiming that to solidify the support of the very same black communities he spent a great deal of time berating.

This is the definition of crafty. He knows our history and the history of the country. He knows that there is a horrific praxis amongst white people to falsely accuse black people of crimes we didn’t in no ways commit. There is a peculiar, sordid, and long-standing practice of white women falsely accusing black men of rape.

Cosby is hoping to bank on this brutal history and use it as cover to cast doubt on his own crimes. I mourn that decision because of the confusion and chaos it will cause for black people who are actually innocent, who were actually falsely accused, whose innocence will be doubted even further because a clearly guilty person has misused a historical reality for his own benefit — a historical reality he spent a good chunk of public speeches denying.

And there is one huge detail that Cosby and others find themselves overlooking:

Not all of his victims are white women.

There are a number of black women, including famous black women like Beverly Johnson, who have come forward with stories of being victimized by Cosby.

Yes. We live in a country where we are innocent until proven guilty. And in a rape culture, rape is one of the hardest crimes to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. We are always looking to somehow blame the victim and absolve the rapist because consent is an abhorrent concept to the imperial mind; and this is, in all ways, an imperial nation.

Please keep in mind that over 50 women have come forward.

OVER. 50.

If there’s more than 50 who came forward, the statistics says that there’s probably more than 100 who didn’t. Now isn’t the time to hold onto myths and symbols. Now isn’t the time to give in to unsubstantiated conspiracy theories. Now is the time to consider that Cosby’s sole black woman attorney quit, probably because she found her conscience.

Now is not the time to be a fool.

Now is the time to be a witness.

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