One of the more worrying characteristics of modern culture is, in my opinion, our use of sweeping statements. There is no more gray area. You can’t both support troops and oppose war. You can’t both admire police officers for their commitment to service and public safety and abhor the violence some commit needlessly. You can’t both appreciate Bill Cosby’s legacy as a pioneering African American man in the entertainment industry and express concern over the recent (and past) accusations of rape and sexual assault.
Let me say this: I very much admire the hard work Bill Cosby has undertaken and the success he has achieved. The man is hilarious. He’s an inspiration. He has a legacy and that should not be taken away from him. But that doesn’t mean we should write off the accusations, forgiving him these possible crimes because he has been such a good influence in other areas.
I’m worrying about this today because of Phylicia Rashad’s recent statement. Last night, Showbiz 411 posted an exclusive interview with the iconic actress who starred alongside Cosby in his titular Show. Here’s a snippet of the story:
“Forget these women,” Rashad said. “What you’re seeing is the destruction of a legacy. And I think it’s orchestrated. I don’t know why or who’s doing it, but it’s the legacy. And it’s a legacy that is so important to the culture.”
Forgetting these women, as Rashad urges us to do, would be incredibly bad for women. It might be OK for Cosby and for African American men, but what about women? What about African American women? What about any woman (or man) who has been assaulted, recently or thirty years ago, by any man or any woman who has left or is leaving a legacy that others think ought not to be tarnished by such accusations? Should they also keep mum for what we might call “the greater good”?
I don’t think so. I’m worried.