The Huxtable Hate

BillCosbyby Patricia L. Dickson7/14/15
When I first heard that Bill Cosby had been accused of and sued for drugging and sexually abusing Andrea Constand in 2005, I immediately knew (regardless of whether or not he was guilty) that he was being targeted because he had spoken out against the black culture.  His famous pound cake speech in May 2004 (just a year before the accusation became public) at an event to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision was powerful.  Because Mr. Cosby had always been a champion for education, it was understandable that he would be visibly upset and disheartened at the regression that he saw taking place in the black community.  Mr. Cosby knew the price that had been paid and the sacrifices that were made during the Civil Rights movement that culminated in the landmark Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education.  As an older black man who lived during those times, he had every right to be upset and speak out about the current state of affairs in the black community.

Mr. Cosby’s Cosby Show, along with the 1980s spin-off show A Different World, were unquestionably landmark sitcoms that proved that black Americans and a black American family could be portrayed at the center of success by showing an educated, intact family.  However, his greatest crime was that he made black Americans believe that they could be successful.  In fact, it was reported that more black kids enrolled in college (historically black colleges and universities grew by 24 percent) than at any other time in history because of the show A Different World.  Mr. Cosby’s reputation was established as one that commanded respect, and when he spoke, people listened (regardless of race).  Because of that, he had to be destroyed.

Now that a judge has released court documents from the 2005 deposition from the lawsuit filed by Andrea Constrand where Mr. Cosby admitted under oath to purchasing Quaaludes years ago and giving them to at least one woman before sex, Chauncey DeVega, a leftist writer for Salon, admits why liberals hate Bill Cosby.  In her article, she claims that The Cosby Show duped America.  She contends that the show enabled our ugliest Reagan-era fantasies.  What were our so-called Reagan-era fantasies?  According to Ms. DeVega:

… the politics and values of “The Cosby Show,” which were so attractive to so many and for such a long time, are based on a distorted and inaccurate presentation of the black community, one that has enabled a pernicious type of right-wing “colorblind” racism to flourish.

Television offers a distorted image of reality. It—and other types of mass media—are the primary means through which unreal and false representations of human social relationships are learned by the public. The family drama and situation comedy both provide excellent examples of this phenomenon.

The Cosby Show” followed the day-to-day struggles and experiences of a rich black New York family called the Huxtables. The father, played by Cosby, was a successful obstetrician, and his wife, Claire, was a partner in a law firm. They had one son and four daughters. They hail from a long line of successful African-Americans who were graduates of historically black colleges. The show was a response to a white popular imagination that largely saw black and brown Americans as poor, as members of the underclass,  as criminal, or beaten down by racism — and as such lacking agency, freedom, or upward mobility.

The problem liberals have with Bill Cosby is that his character Dr. Huxtable took away black America’s victim card and took the focus off white America oppressing black America.  For thirty minutes a week, white America was let off the hook for all the racism it was inflicting on blacks.  The Huxtable family caused black kids to want to emulate the Huxtable kids and aspire to go to college instead of sitting around blaming whitey.  According to liberals, the Huxtable family was a distorted and inaccurate presentation of the black community.  The Evans family from the show Good Times was a more accurate portrayal of a black family held down by the man.  James and Florida Evans were not college-educated, and no matter how hard they tried to escape the ghetto, whitey kept them down.

Everyone attacking Bill Cosby is doing so by associating him with Dr. Huxtable, the character he played on a television show.  Why is Bill Cosby’s character on a television show attached to his personal character, whereas other actors’ characters are not?  People play all kinds of characters on television that do not accurately portray who they really are in their personal lives.  I believe that the reason why the left has to attach Dr. Huxtable to Bill Cosby is not so much to show that Bill Cosby is a fraud, but to show that Dr. Huxtable is the fraud.  Liberals hate Dr. Huxtable, and they hate Bill Cosby for bringing him into our living rooms.  Liberals hate the Huxtables because they did not fit the narrative that racism is still alive and well.

For instance, according to Ms.  DeVega:

•Theo Huxtable was never harassed by the New York City Police Department because he was a young black male.

•Cliff Huxtable was never stopped by the police because he drove an expensive luxury automobile.

•Claire Huxtable was never racially profiled while she shopped in an exclusive boutique or high end retail department store in Manhattan

Before the recent onslaught of women came forward with claims that they were abused by Mr. Cosby decades ago, he was in the process of launching another television sitcom.  With the current environment rife with racial discord and division, liberals could not afford to have another Dr. Huxtable and family enter our living rooms and destroy their well-cemented narrative of white racism and white privilege.  Therefore, they had to kill off Dr. Huxatable for good.

PatriciaDicksonPatricia Dickson blogs at Patricia’s Corner.
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7 Responses to The Huxtable Hate

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    Judging from the number of accusations, as well as the newly released affidavit, I have to think Cosby was in fact guilty (though there may well be some exaggeration in the charges). But it is interesting that Dr. Huxtable has been so much a part of the discussion. I’ve seen some arguing that whether Cosby himself was a fraud (and one should note that he was hardly some Uncle Tom type when young, as I recall from a documentary on black history he did in the late 1960s) says nothing about his most famous character. (And what about his Jello pudding pop commercials? Does that make that products unacceptable now? Come to think of it, for any liberals who remember them, it probably does.)

  2. M Farrell says:

    Patricia– The reasons stated in your essay may be why the reaction to Dr. Carson (a real life Dr. Huxtable) has been so heated– He was even put on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list at one point–

    • Timothy Lane says:

      They put Carson on because he disagrees with them on homosexuality. As with all liberals, the SPLF can’t abide dissent.

  3. Anniel says:

    Patricia, Thank you again for an excellent article. I was glad to hear your take on what certain people really object to, Dr. Huxtable himself, a fictional character acted by Bill Cosby, an actor who spoke out truthfully about blacks and their needs. Your article was an “aha!” moment for me because I had never thought of the effect Dr. Huxtable had on ALL races who watched the program every week. We loved the characters and thought many blacks were like they were.. It never occurred to us that anybody would object to a man like Dr. Huxtable.

    BTW, my spell check keeps trying to change “Dr. Huxtable” into “Dr. Huggable.” He was that.

    • Anniel,

      This Cosby ordeal has made me realize that although Mr. Cosby is at least 30 years older than me, he naively believed that liberals (both black so-called intellectuals and white) really wanted what was best for the black race. I think he found out after his famous pound cake speech that that was not the case. After that speech, Dr. Cornell West even wrote a book about Mr. Cosby criticizing him as being out of touch with the black community and living in the past. I remember Mr. Cosby being so excited to vote for Obama. I think he even thought Obama wanted what was best for the black race and he found out the hard way.

      If you remember, Cosby was the first prominent black person to criticize Obama for saying that the police acted stupidly in the Professor Skip Gates ordeal. He later walked it back a little (probably because of more backlash from black Americans). With this in mind, coupled with his pound cake speech, I believe that his past skeletons were released in a fury all at once to silence him. I believe that sometime in the future we will learn that the attack on him was a coordinated act (just like we learned of the journalist coordination during the 2008 presidential election).

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        he naively believed that liberals (both black so-called intellectuals and white) really wanted what was best for the black race

        Oh, liberals indeed do want what’s best for the black race. It’s just that their “best” is markedly different from any reasonable or sane definition of “best.”

        For some reason, continuing the narrative of black victimhood and white guilt is absolutely central to whatever “best” the Left has in mind for blacks. In practice, this has kept many on an ideological plantation. And as Theodore Dalrymple notes about the white underclass in England, being apart of a Leftist-created underclass is an equal opportunity employer.

        Just as all roads lead to Rome, all roads to this kind of stuff lead to Cultural Marxism. The central underlying assumption is that blacks are victims and whites are the oppressor class. For anyone (particularly whites) to hold blacks (or any minority group) to the same standards as everyone else is one of various bad things: insensitive, racist, a product of white privilege, cultural hegemony, etc.

        The main underlying point is that only if blacks are completely free of corruptive white influence can they be “authentically” black. Thus if whites value education, blacks cannot. They must do the opposite. As a separatist movement (which it is), they must reject all things white, an idea central to Black Liberation Theology, arguably the reigning paradigm under the umbrella of Cultural Marxism.

        We see how thoroughly white guilt has set in because many white yutes are aping hip-hop and other aspects of black culture. And that’s not necessarily bad. Most cultures have something to offer. It just depends upon what is being aped. This wearing of pants way down below the waste line is one of those things that ought not to be aped, as well as the bizarre rap-like hand gestures (there is a category of white kids now known as “wiggers”). Kids, leave the hand gestures to the professionals (that is, to the Italians).

        And one of the things we’re not allowed to say is just how racial (I say “racist”) black culture has become. The antipathy toward whites is so great that anyone (such as Cosby…surely as “authentically” black as they come) who sides with those who think education is not about “acting white”, that drugs and crime are bad, and that marrying a girl instead of sleeping around is good, must be tarred and feathered to keep the black grievance narrative alive.

        Why is this grievance more important than, say, getting a good eduction, staying drug-free, staying out of gangs, and simply racial harmony itself? After all, is it really all that much fun to fuel the flames of hatred? Doesn’t that get old?

        Well, racial prejudice is a powerful organizing force. It was when blacks were being repressed. And it is now when they’re being repressed by their own (and the Left’s) victimood/racial ideology. But it is a powerful toxin. And with this as the reigning cultural backdrop, most whites have fallen completely for perhaps one of the few smart things George W. Bush ever said: “the soft bigotry of low expectations.” It’s just easier to cave to all this (see Dana’s article on education) than to stand up for objective, colorblind standards (and, of course, “colorblind” is said to be yet another way of expressing white privilege). Call it being “sensitive” or “compassionate” (let alone “good intentions”) and you complete the sophistry.

        And, yes, ultimately all this is the sign of a moral and intellectual sickness — affecting both blacks and whites (and everyone else as well).

  4. Anniel says:

    It seems there is no one as vindictive as a liberal scorned.

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