The Fallen Hero


Our Fallen Hero. . .


By Hermene D. Hartman

What do you do with a fallen hero? Do you toss him out as trash? Do you give him the benefit of the doubt? Do you forget about him? Do you beat him up while he’s down? Do you remember his good deeds and forget his bad? Do you stand still?

These are questions we face regarding Bill Cosby, who has been accepted as “America’s Father” for decades and upheld as a paragon of virtue during that time.

That’s what makes Cosby’s fall from grace so astounding, because he was at the peak of the moral mountaintop and we accepted all his chiding about the proper way to raise families and conduct ourselves – especially the Black community – because, after all, Father Knows Best. But obviously, in Cosby’s case, what you see is not what you get.

New York Magazine’s July cover story features the personal stories of 35 of the 46 women who have come forth accusing Cosby of sexual assault and rape, with most of the incidents occurring after Cosby had allegedly drugged them. The women appear on the cover of the magazine in individual seats, with one seat left open, signifying that there may be others who received the alleged Cosby treatment.

Their stories are all pretty similar, with Cosby allegedly drugging the ladies and having his way with them in some form or fashion – that is, he did something sexual with them, and they may not have been fully conscious of their actions at the time – in acts that certainly did not seem to be consensual, since the drugged victims were in no condition to really consent to anything.

These women in their collective did not come forward at the time of their incidents with Cosby for fear that no one would believe them and that their truth might be harmful to them. This is a common sentiment among women who have been rape victims, especially when rich, famous, and powerful men have been the perpetrators.


The Great Black Hope. . .


Dr. Cosby

Cosby obviously lead a double life from the time he first gained celebrity, even before his I Spy days. On one hand, he was the man we saw on TV and America grew to love. He raised the bar, presenting a new image of the middle-class Black American family – a wholesome picture.
He was funny, witty and gave us family stories that all could relate to. He became quite wealthy and donated significant dollars to Black institutions like Spellman. He became an art collector, recognizing the talent of Black artists, and was a strong supporter of the Black culture community.

He supported Black causes. He did it right. He didn’t forget his roots, his community, his people. He began to address the social ills of Black America and went on tour to say straighten up to a generation that he thought was not on par. He was even funny in his preachiness.

But then there was this other side that was not so funny. I am sure that being on top of the world like Cosby was with his Dr. Huxtable weekly TV show – around the period when most of these incidents are alleged to have happened – he could have had, sexually and consensually, almost any woman who orbited his sphere.

He probably did not have to drug anybody to have sex, and yet he did. What kind of man is this? One of the women who came forth said she was a long-time associate of Cosby’s whom she trusted implicitly and that he had never remotely tried anything with her. But one day, he gave her pills and when she came to, she was naked in bed with a friend of Cosby’s next to her, with Cosby in the room. Realizing what happened, she said she screamed, “Do you like eff-ing dead people?” before she left.


What Kind Of Man Drugs Women???


Gloria Allred and accusers

Cosby took advantage of women. He worked his casting couch on false pretense. He solicited the pretty ones from the modeling agencies and the Playboy clubs. They came in all shapes, colors and styles. They were models, writers, actresses and the like.

They maybe wanted a shot at show biz and Cosby was willing to mentor, or they liked being in the limelight, or they maybe wanted something he had to offer and it’s possible they may have been more than willing to barter sex to get what they wanted from him.

But no matter what their reason for being around him or willingness or eagerness even to have sex with him, it’s quite another thing to wake up from a drug stupor with someone inside you or other obvious signs that you have been unconsciously molested. No one deserves that, no matter what their intentions might have been. That’s a crime.

What kind of man seeks drugged women for his sexual pleasure anyway? She cannot respond or responds slowly. She does not remember or has vague memory. Is this really pleasurable?
One of the most unnerving aspects of the New York magazine story as the women share their tales, is the number of them remembering the look on Cosby’s face at the time of the alleged sexual encounters. It seems that his Dr. Jekyll side came out.

Apparently, Cosby did not seek real relationships with these women; they were simply, for the short term? Why didn’t he go to prostitutes? Why didn’t he just pay them for sex? What’s wrong with this picture? He used his power wrongly. He punished women if they did not cooperate. He banned them from career moves or bad-mouthed them to his peers.

I didn’t want to believe the Cosby mishap, but when you see all these accusers on the cover of a magazine and hear their similar stories, the denying is over.

I keep waiting for someone to explain, but no one can explain. His testimony in the deposition from a decade ago that appeared in the New York Timesinvolving the young woman from Temple University reveals Cosby’s devilment in his very own words. Who or where was his lawyer?
He talked about his sexual conquests in the deposition like he was reciting his memoirs. Was this arrogance or pathology? Is Bill Cosby a psychopath? He most certainly seems to be a serial sexual predator who got thrills from drugging and assaulting women. What if one had died from the drugs; what if one of the women had committed suicide over the incident?
Cosby has disgraced himself, his family and his fame. He probably won’t go to jail or be tried in the court of law for his bad deeds because of the statue of limitations. Most of his raping was done 20 to 30 years ago. But he has been sufficiently tried in the court of public opinion and found guilty.

And he has been ordered to give another deposition on October 9, related to a lawsuit filed by a California woman who claims Cosby molested her in 1974 when she was 15.
This is the legacy that now comes with Mr. Bill Cosby. What do you do when a hero has fallen?

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