September 20, 2020

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BY JUSTIN FORD

After decades of closed lips, a Hannibal Burress comedy set in October 2014 in Philadelphia put Bill Cosby’s rape allegations front and centre, where it belongs.

The real question though, is why did it take a prominent comedian to raise questions about Cosby’s morality and bring an obscene number of rape accusations back into the Zeitgeist? The “all-American dad” made this problem disappear eight years ago when he settled out of court with a woman who claimed he drugged and sexually assaulted her. Now, with alleged victims seemingly coming forward every week, will he soon be forgotten for what he was and remembered for what the public has deemed him as – an alleged rapist?

We, as a society, sometimes refuse to see things for what they really are. We all want to believe that Cosby is still the wholesome and clean comedian we grew up watching on TV. But, with the number of accusers rising to over 20, we’ve condemned him and made up our minds publicly without a judicial verdict, and rightly so.

Cosby recently performed in Kitchener at The Centre In The Square. He was received well inside the venue, but protesters did not hesitate to show up outside the venue and voice their opinions. Though I agree with the general opinion people have formed about Cosby, I do not agree with going to someone’s place of work to negatively affect them based on something that technically hasn’t been proven. I understand why television networks want to disassociate themselves from Cosby and pulled his shows, but it doesn’t really hurt him because he doesn’t need the money. The one and only pro-Cosby thing I believe in is his right to tell jokes to those who will listen.

Let’s say 75 per cent of these women are lying. Due to the statute of limitations expiring they know their claims will never be proven in court and they’re simply grasping at some kind of fame with absolutely no payoff other than tarnishing his image. This would mean that Cosby revoltingly assaulted six different women.

I believe that this is all very black and white. It’s either all true or all false. Unfortunately, I think this is the closest we’ll get to the truth and Cosby’s tarnished reputation will be the closest thing the alleged victims will get to closure. That being said, the trial by Twitter Cosby has gone through has condemned him in the public eye, and I think that’s fair.

The initial Burress bit that flamed the fire basically questioned who is Cosby to tell the black community how to act and behave when he’s been accused of rape numerous times? Burress was simply sick of Cosby telling people to pull up their pants, when clearly he thought Cosby should’ve taken his own advice. There’s over 20 women who agree with that joke because of their alleged personal experiences, and if we can’t convict Cosby in court, we may as well convict him publicly.

 

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