by Patricia L. Dickson 7/14/15
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.
Patricia Dickson blogs at Patricia’s Corner.
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