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  • Writer's pictureRobert Law

Bill Cosby Open Letter to the Community

Before you rush to judgment on Bill Cosby be aware of the American Standard of Justice that is rooted in white supremacy and white privilege. Historically in America, there has been a deep seated emotional as well as political need to castrate Black men, white supremacy demands that a black man’s mistake be fatal, while actual crimes committed by whites are ignored or forgiven. American history is repeatedly stained with the death of unarmed blacks being killed even before Emmett Till and Medgar Evers in Mississippi, or Clifford Glover in Queens New York, or LaTasha Hollins in Los Angeles, or Amadu Diallo and Eleanor Bumpers in the Bronx New York, The policeman that killed 14 year old Randy Evans in Brooklyn New York, argued that he had suddenly become afflicted with a rare form of epileptic motor seizure, and temporary insanity, so rare was it that the Epilepsy Foundation of America had no knowledge of it. None the less the court ruled that the policeman was not guilty of any wrong doing.

We are reminded that when the young avowed white supremest invaded Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston South Carolina and killed 9 Black worshipers, the local Black clergy immediately called for him to be forgiven. The shooter Dylan Roof said “I would like to make it crystal clear, I do not regret what I did, I am not sorry.”  Bill Cosby is accused of using recreational drugs to seduce women to have sex with him. A charge we now know he denies. The news accounts that he confessed were fake. Actually according to spectators in the court room, there were so many contradictions, suppressed testimony as well as breach of process in jury selection, including the prohibited opening of a sealed deposition; that in reality there was no trial. Bill Cosby was tried and convicted without any actual evidence that his “crimes” had ever been committed, no police reports, no medical records, no collaborating witnesses, just the accusations of white women recalling events that occurred 30 years in the past. And that is in opposition to the legal principle that the accuser cannot bring the action and also be the witness without any collaborating evidence. 

From Tulsa Oklahoma, to the Scottsboro Boys, to Emmett Till, to Bill Cosby, American history teaches us that the mere word of a white woman can be a death sentence for a Black man. What took place with Cosby in that Montgomery County court room was a choreographed example of the American Standard of Justice manipulating the justice system to refine, protect, and maintain white privilege. Bill Cosby’s experience is a graphic reminder that those Black people with money and prestige are not in the protected class they may think they are. Of course they opened a sealed deposition on Cosby and distorted its content. Just as the U.S Supreme Court ruled against Dred Scott in 1857, Blacks still have no legal standing in what is the still prevalent American Standard of Justice. The use of the women’s movement to legitimize the displacement of Blacks as being unworthy of power and trust, is also consistent with the historical patterns of white privilege. As Dr.Claud Anderson has pointed out, from a racial perspective, white women have always had the advantage of enjoying the fruits of white privilege and the option of categorically discriminating against blacks. 

Some women suffrage groups openly attacked congress for its exclusion of women from the 15th amendment saying it favored blacks. Author Eric Foner quotes the prominent white feminist, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, saying “Think of Sambo who does not know the difference between a Monarchy and a republic, who never read the Declaration of Independence making laws for Lydia Maria Child, Lucretia Mott, or Fanny Kemble.” The black woman she stated, would be better off as the slave of an educated White man, than to be with a degraded ignorant black one. As Dr. Anderson points out, racism is different from sexism in both intent and effect. 

We are painfully aware of the practice of criminalizing blacks in order to create a rationale for suppressing black aspirations for power and equity, none the less we do not condone or dismiss the improper, illegal or immoral behavior of anyone, male or female. Our concern however, is that to condemn Cosby on these allegations as they have been presented is to ignore American political reality, and to sanction the denial of justice where blacks are concerned. We note that from Johannesburg, South Africa, to Charleston, So. Carolina, blacks have willingly embraced the spiritual vitality, and the redemptive healing power of forgiveness. Refusing to allow someone’s heinous acts committed against us, to be fatal to them, however, even as he maintains his innocence of the specific charges being brought against him, we at this point in our political experience are expected to, without the compassion shown to others, recklessly destroy the Bill Cosby legacy.

It occurs to us that when most Black and white entertainers were absolutely willing to accept, embrace and export to the world devastating and ridiculous images of black buffoonery and incompetence, Bill Cosby skillfully broke the popular mold of the dysfunctional black, and not only changed the way whites saw blacks, but more importantly the way emerging black generations would see themselves.

Cosby understood the concept that culture is a weapon, and he used his craft to deconstruct the deeply rooted precepts of black ignorance and wretchedness inherent in the American white supremacy social construct. Perhaps there are those who understood that his successful challenge of those concepts were even more significant than the money he unapologetically donated to black institutions. For as Dr. Harold Taylor has noted, when you restore the intellectual vitality, the self-confidence, and the moral dignity of the individual, that provides its own proclamation of freedom, freedom for the imagination and for the human personality, those who understand the meaning of this freedom through their experience with their art possess an antidote against despair and a most powerful weapon against oppression. Don’t Sleep On The Importance Of Dr. William H. Cosby Jr. 

Bob Law

Chairman, National Black Leadership Alliance This Letter Is Endorsed By: Bernie Hayes, Broadcast Journalist, St Louis MO; Rev Eugene Carson, Queens NY; Arthur Harris NBLA, Harlem NY.; Theo Broughton, Hood Research, Detroit MI; Bill Grace Founder, WEB Dubois Learning Center, Kansas City MO; Abiodun Oyewole, Founding Member Original Last Poets; Walter Beach, Macungie PA; Walter Edwards, Harlem NY; Marcia Harris, Empower To Educate, Hackensack New Jersey; Maxine Hunter, New York NY;  Dorothy Pittman Hughes, Jacksonville FLA;  

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