“Cosby who received an award…would drop a verbal bombshell…A scathing diatribe was delivered that attempted to hit on Black poverty and its connecting factors, but mostly offered a castigating overview of Black lower/working class culture.”
From: The Misdirected Diatribe Of Bill Cosby.
Trouble In Black Paradise, Page 246
Bill Cosby is under fire. Hardly anyone doesn’t know that at this point some 22 women have come forth with basically similar allegations: they were drugged and sexually assaulted by him.
Overall a shocked public is not used to seeing Cosby being painted in this light.
In modern times I saw the comedian becoming white America’s handpicked, squeaky-clean TV poster-boy (the perfect showcase for what’s “permissible” African-American success and ethical standard—on viewable airwaves).
Clear is the notion that there’s been a “gotten over” rise amid the reality of systemic racism’s still quite palpable machine: The Cosby Show presented a successful professional with a similarly successful wife, raising an upper middleclass family—that’s making it on the other side.
And I say white handpicked with reason: now—just as it was back then—media corporations and their essential affiliates that control America’s broadcast airwaves are overwhelmingly owned, run and scrutinized by straight white men.
An interesting sensation arose for me seeing Cosby’s character in this setting—that air of super moral superiority riding on the show’s comic vehicle wreaks with irony, strangely bringing to mind a predecessor: the feisty “mammy” stereotype counterpart officiating in white households (where even white folks accept bold admonitions). Both characters wield a customary “wand”—repercussions raining down, schooling violators as to what’s acceptable social behavior.
Cosby though, soon caused controversy: he moved that morally correct image off the screen and into “real life.”
Publically Cosby began pontificating on a headline that reoccurs all too often. The deadly turmoil escalating in Afro urban life is a topic tied into what my previous blog exposes for Mississippi Delta Blacks: a severe social regress in light of hard fought for gains.
Soon, one opportunity to speak amped-up the controversy; it was delivered during his address at the NAACP’s May 17, 2004 gala in Washington, DC. (convened for the 50th anniversary of Brown vs. the Board of Education—a school integration achievement celebrating one of those gains).
Each of Cosby’s commentaries was reminiscent of a reform school disciplinarian’s. Delivered was a militarized tongue lashing; a mostly convoluted, high moral based rant berating Black urban lifestyle.
Mannerisms and linguistic choices (that actually purposefully reject standard Caucasian “styles”) shot to the forefront—things he claims sits heavily at the “source” of that Afro regress.
Typically the mainstream press ignored all other social segments that had also drawn Cosby’s chastising, running with the lambast he gave Black imagery’s distinct “expression” instead.
I had potent cause to dedicate a full segment in my book Trouble In Black Paradise on the trouble with Bill Cosby and his pontifications. Especially indicted is America’s monstrously hypocritical corporate media—I pose more extensive, blistering critiques that I implore you to read.
I also had firsthand experience with how that media has long participated in protecting Cosby’s white celebrated image—covering up extremely public moral indiscretions that would find other limelighters mercilessly flayed.
In 1987, after meeting fellow Black gay activist Henri at the 2nd March on Washington for LGBT rights that October, he hosted my New York visit at his Harlem home for New Years of 1988. The now deceased Henri Chinn was very connected to top political, social-cultural and entertainment circles—especially dear to my “renaissance man” heart.
In every circle we visited throughout my two week stay I was stunned by a conversational shocker: Cosby (allegedly witnessed by these insiders) was having torrid romantic dalliances with multiple women—flagrantly at public events. All said (with empathy infused flabbergast) that his wife Camille had to know, as much of it was done in her presence.
Now, I consider myself to be a knowledgeable Black social insider, but the same stories shared at every New York home and event (being the talk of the time) left my newly informed mouth absolutely gaping.
My image of Cosby was permanently changed. Following this, when he dared to morally excoriate Blacks—blaming our rejection of worshiped white cosmetic mores (for advancing Black decline)—I saw him as a sell-out riddled with hypocrisy.
Here is the trouble with Bill Cosby:
The Cosby Show catapulted an already “successful” entertainer up into the monetary rafters. Endorsements poured in and his image as a “successfully correct” African-American was shored up by conventional media; with specific reason they plunked him smack-dab in the heart of white America’s extremely narrow social comfort zone—a powerful position indeed!
To be continued…