Bill Cosby created The Cos — perhaps unofficially in the early 1970s, after breaking a color barrier by being cast in in I Spy in 1965 — as a means of convincing us he wasn’t at all like that lecherous curmudgeon Bill Cosby.
Bill Cosby created The Cos as a means of convincing us he was not Bill Cosby.
The Cos, as you know, is the ugly-sweater-wearing, heavily moralizing, fictitious and perfect network father; a soda and Jell-O Pudding hawking, benign, so-wholesome-even-white-people-adore-him black man.
The one we grew up with.
The one who created and did all the voices for that Debbie Downer cartoon about poor, funny-looking and -talking black kids, “Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids” — those animated sweat hogs.
The Cos is the one who collected honorary Ph.D.s like Bill Cosby collects accusers.
The Cos is the one who kept us distracted and none the wiser.
Surprisingly — why am I ever surprised? — Name Brand Negroes all across America (a number of syndicated radio talk show hosts; Whoopi Goldberg) took the usual slow-footed let’s-wait-and-see attitude when news broke detailing 2006 allegations that Cosby had allegedly drugged and sexually assaulted a number of women.
Thirteen women eventually came forward as part of that case.
Why are we so afraid of this fat, dirty, old man?
And why did it take a viral YouTube clip of black stand-up comedian Hannibal Buress to be the one to take Cosby to task, deftly showing the rest of us with one, sure punchline that we’d all, so far, been too silently bullied by our own perceived ideals of Cosby (in whichever guise) to just say what we thought was true: William H. Cosby, Jr., father to a gaggle of grown daughters, could very well be a serial rapist.
(Buress: “Bill Cosby is the smuggest, fucking old black man that I hate. ‘Pull your pants up, black people! I can talk down to you because I had a successful sitcom.’ Yeah, but you rape women, Bill Cosby, so...”)
So it appears, with the July 18 New York Times blockbuster story uncovering Cosby’s four-day deposition taken between 2005 and 2006 in response to allegations from Andrea Constand, a former Temple University employee, who claimed Cosby drugged and molested her.
The published excerpts from that deposition not only reveal Cosby acted sexually inappropriately with Constand, in his own smug and arrogant answers; Cosby is also a creep, a sexual deviant and the illegal dispenser of cold medicine and Quaaludes.
He is also so assured of, yet addicted to, his own sexual prowess that he claims in the deposition he stopped short of full-on sexual intercourse with doped-up women so they would not fall in love with him.
Is it that good, Cosby?
If so, then why you gotta first put ’em to sleep?
I can see how Cosby watchers are so confused. Many of the comments after the Times story are from folks who are disappointed, devastated and embarrassed that this man — their “father” — could do such despicable things, bringing shame and degradation to the front steps of their fantasy families.
To them I say: Split this man in half, open him up to see two and maybe more narcissistic and entitled black men.
The Cos was/is the conduit for Bill Cosby’s gifts. And that cannot be denied or erased, even given what we are now reconciling.
Conversely, Bill Cosby is led solely by his dick.
This is a scenario as old as The Scriptures and Victorian literature: Man vs. Himself. Good vs. Evil.
It’s R. Kelly pissing on someone’s daughter, filming it in a hotel room, then getting a standing ovation at a black awards show for singing “I Believe I Can Fly.”
It’s my former pastor, a dynamic teacher, biblical scholar and charismatic leader, forced to admit to an extramarital affair with a woman in the church before being ex-communicated from the very church he shepherded to its present glory.
These are both dated examples, but they are proof Cosby is and was never alone in what he assumed he could get away with.
Something particular, though, is askew with Bill Cosby.
He has a reason and an explanation for every single incorrect thing he’s being accused of doing to and with Andrea Constand; he is neither contrite nor apologetic. And in typical predatory fashion, he puts the onus of his sexual misconduct with Constand on Constand.
When her attorney asks Cosby if he’s ever talked about his “physical interaction” with Constand, he paints women as sexually promiscuous gossips.
“When I was a boy it was a thing that girls used to say, ‘Please don’t tell anybody.’ But it is something that I’ve learned as you grow older that they’re the first people to go and tell somebody after something has happened.”
Constand’s lawyer asks Cosby about Beth Ferrier, another woman who’d accused him of inappropriate sexual contact even after they’d ended their admitted extramarital affair. Ferrier reported that she felt woozy after a cup of coffee with Cosby before his performance in Denver and regained consciousness in a car with her clothes tussled and her bra unhooked.
First, this means a team of people could have been in on this with Cosby — drivers, assistants, hotel employees, house workers, managers, his wife, Camille.
It reminds me of a line from the great American poet Saul Williams: What have you bought into and how much will it cost to buy you out?
It makes me think bad things about Bill Cosby.
Very bad things.
Like: He hates women; he hates women so deeply he does not even require from them reciprocal physical responses, so he drugs them, which makes me think he is a borderline necrophiliac; he is the worst caliber of powerful man, a la Donald Trump, which means he recognizes that his power exists to be abused.
Further, in his own mind, Cosby is somewhere silently playing his position, ruminating with Camille mute beside him that his “power,” the same that heretofore kept him safe in the arms of the statute of limitations, will keep him from being completely dismantled.
We need to all reconcile the fact that we may never see a full-on, judicious revenge fantasy play out co-starring Bill Cosby and The Cos.
All the psychosexual entanglements besieging victims (“No one will ever believe Bill Cosby drugged and raped me”) have conspired to fail the victims; the court of public opinion failed them early and often.
We can be somewhat satisfied that it must be getting increasingly confusing for Cosby to figure out which one of him did what to whom.”
CONTACT KATHY Y. WILSON: [email protected]