Sunday, November 23, 2014

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Bill Cosby?

I don't know Bill Cosby.  I have no inside information about what he has or has not done.  It is conceivable that Mr. Cosby is merely the victim of scores of women of various ages, occupations and histories who all just conspired to make up stories about Cosby now for some unknown reason.  Bill Cosby might just be a victim of one of the most extensive celebrity-related conspiracy in history. Right.

If you accept that Bill Cosby engaged in some sort of nefarious behavior, which I do, why would he do this?  Is Cosby just an over-sexed, self-centered jerk, or is his behavior something more?  How does one of the most beloved men in America go from angel to devil?  I have some theories.  Mind you, my theories are not based in fact and certainly not based in science.  I have handled sexual harassment cases for some time and I have seen firsthand the actions of others that remind me of the allegations lodged by the women accusing Cosby.  So, for what it's worth, here is what I think.

Bill Cosby has problems, deep-seated problems from an early age.  If the allegations are true, Cosby has an issue with self-esteem and power.  Sex and power oftentimes go hand in hand.  In ancient times and now, when an invading army defeats the locals, what do they do?  RAPE and pillage. Sexual harassers are damaged men in positions of power who abuse that power.

Look at Cosby's history.  We have heard Bill Cosby lecture Black men ad nauseum about pulling their pants up, etc.  I think Cosby, by taking on the role of African-American super-father was tempting fate.  He talks about education, which is a good thing, but he had issues in school and went on to get his Ed.D. degree only after failing his sophomore year in high school, dropping out of school, taking correspondence courses to get his GED, enrolling in college, dropping out and finishing his education later.  While it is admirable that he went back to school, he has had human failings and was not always a golden child.  So, why does he think he can preach to others?

If you look at the sexual allegations, it seems that the first came out publicly after his time on The Cosby Show as the prototypical "American Dad." In the early  2000's and late 1990's, America was not ready to accept a tarnished Cosby, so the allegations fell on deaf public ears, while Cosby paid off the women he abused.  During the Cosby Show, Bill Cosby had fame, power and money.  He got cocky.  As time elapsed, his fame diminished and more allegations came forward.

I think that people like Cosby sometimes have a death wish.  Perhaps he wanted to tempt fate.  After all of these years as a Teflon-celebrity, with no allegation however disgusting, sticking, Cosby desired to regain some of his lost power.  It was not until Bill Cosby planned a television comeback and reignited his touring career that his world collapsed.  Perhaps his preaching about how Blacks should act, coupled with his diminished name, was sufficient for these persistent allegations of sexual abuse by many women to finally take hold. Maybe now, after pushing the envelope his whole life, Cosby had finally gone too far.  Maybe now Cosby's Teflon turned to Velcro.  Perhaps Bill Cosby was seeking the condemnation and punishment that he always knew he deserved and was destined to find.

If the allegations are true, Bill Cosby is a criminal.  Yet, as America's sweetheart dad, he was able to skate.  What if Bill Cosby is just an older Lindsey Lohan seeking public condemnation for his self-hatred?  In any event, it appears that Bill Cosby tempted fate one time too many.

Hopefully there is a lesson here, about power and sex and fame.  Hopefully the Bill Cosby story will spur some other girl or boy to come forward and refuse to be sexually abused.  Hopefully, Bill Cosby's legacy will be one of Americans, male and female alike, understanding the nefarious nature of abusing one's power by controlling others.

The Cosby store is one of abusing power more than one of sexual promiscuity.  Bill Cosby may have just thought he was more powerful than he is.  Or maybe he was just seeking the punishment he always thought he deserved.

1 comment:

  1. Bill Cosby's degree is not a true doctorate, earned after years of study and scholarship. It's a bogus degree from UMass-Amherst, created to help the school have alumni with deep pockets. It didn't require that the person have a master's, and it took a couple week-end seminars. Cosby's 'dissertation' was about how teachers could use his Fat Albert character in the lessons. But it gave Cosby another layer of authority that he could use to better condescend. He was busy lecturing black kids to keep their pants up and he couldn't keep his on. And he is a misogynist who knew he'd be protected by his fame/celebrity. He didn't anticipate social media and another comedian calling him out.