I have been purposely avoiding comment on the Bill Cosby debacle. I must admit I did not want to believe it. Who wants to believe America's "Dad" is a sexual predator? A freak? An abuser? Where was his wife in all this? I will even admit to wondering if some of the women were jumping on the bandwagon for notoriety. We've been inundated with stories about rape, murder, violence and it does tend to anesthetize me/us after a while. With so many women coming forward with stories about Cosby drugging, raping, abusing them dating back to the 1960s, it seemed plausible yet overwhelming. How can so many have kept quiet so long (even though I TOTALLY get the feelings of powerlessness and fear that pervaded)? Are we victimizing yet another black man without proof?
I listened and laughed to "Why Is There Air?" I fell in love with Cosby as the voice of God & Noah on his famous recording about Noah & the Ark. I loved the recorded (and later animated) Fat Albert stories. I watch "I Spy" as a teen and "The Cosby Show" as an adult though I did find the latter a bit treacly.
The point is, I had all the same questions, hesitation and confusion most people do.
Beverly Johnson, the first black top model, a woman I remember from my late teens and twenties who graced the cover of every magazine I liked, has come forward to tell a similar story: Bill Cosby, in the guise of revitalizing her career with a part on "The Cosby Show", drugged her. Her detail is chilling. It's also believable. She addresses the questions I've had in a straightforward manner. Her attitude is believable.
I believe her. I believe the others.
The emperor has no clothes.