In Defense of Bill Cosby: “My crimes that afternoon were two. I committed the transgression of wearing a tweed jacket, black sweater, black slacks and glasses, a no-no for the ‘thug barbers’ there because to be an appropriate African American by their standards was to wear saggy pants, sport jerseys and doo-rag caps. My second transgression was to bring a book, James Baldwin’s Notes of A Native Son. It didn’t matter that Baldwin was one of the greatest prophets on race relations in the history of the 20th century. The fact that I brought a book to read deeply offended their sensibilities, because to read, in their mind, was acting white.” (via MeFi)
Kill Bill 2.
Yes, Bill Cosby is a paradigm, no, a PHENOM of self hatred and of ugly, snarling cynicism of the type that dogs the children of one of the four greatest holocausts of modern times (the other three being the Jewish Shoah, the Aboriginal holocausts of North America and South America, and the genocide against the Armenian peoples).
The nerve, the gall, the unmitigated discursive cruelty of this man, to schlep about in public as he does of late, collecting fees (however well the bastard is dressed) for denigrating the descendants of a people who have suffered historically the kidnapping, rape, mutilation, enslavement, dispersal, and the historical marginalization, brutalization, forced illiteracy, economic and physical terrorism, and repeated, racist, mass violence that African Americans have endured! We, the children of the very same peoples who began human civilization in Ethiopia, migrated north to the Nile Valley where we invented mass agricultural, technological, architectural, and cosmological knowledge, and who educated and suckled Rome and Greece, the cradles of the very Western culture that now denigrates us! Who have built, unacknowledged and un-renumerated, the very infrastructure, under pinning, and rational, material, and economic basis of American society as slaves and as wage slaves up to this very day!
Likewise, the nerve, the insensitivity and venality of a Black ‘entertainer’, who presumes to wield a ‘PhD in education’ (!?) who cannot seem to act as if he has good sense; a Black millionaire who himself achieved those millions only as a consolation prize, hard one by a one whose very own talents, skills and genius went unappreciated, denigrated, and insulted by the active and structural reality of the Jim Crow and segregation which victimized and short changed him and which he has lived to see only remake itself into a new form of economic segregation after the hard fought struggles of the Civil Rights Movement, which he witnessed and which he took part in! His wealth is a ‘consolation prize’, yes, because he could have been far more than an ‘entertainer’ a ‘comedian,’ an ‘actor’ in world history had he been born into a just society rather than into the witheringly brutal and stupid, violent and pernicious United States he was cursed to have been born into as a man of limitless talents, which Dizzy Gillespie ha said of him, but of towering bitterness, as others of his former musician compatriots have charged.
Despite everything he has witnessed, everything he knows, that is imprinted into his very flesh–the scars and carbuncles that no million shekeles could ever compensate him for, despite all he surely knows of the truth of U.S. history and culture and the way in which it is stacked against Blacks when we actually do what it is he excoriates us for in his opinion not doing, he berates and chides, and expectorates upon us, his people.
For he knows by his own first hand knowledge that Black ‘achievement’, what ever that means, can and will be tolerated in the U.S. only individually and even then only in prescribed and narrow avenues of endeavor such as the low avenue he his individual self was confined to (the exception of Barack Obama thus actually proof of the rule, not repudiation of it!). Surely he knows even better than I and the others of my younger generation, that when we collectively achieve power, grace, wealth, and literacy we are murdered for it (Rosewood, Detroit, and Tulsa, Bill!!).
But no. Despite what he surely knows of the truth of history, this man, this mountebank, this minion, dares to bray and bray at us in the newsprint and in the electronic flicker of our and his oppressor that we should ‘do better’?
Bill Cosby, go to hell. Or, are you perhaps already there?