By Egbert Gaye
Bill Cosby is making a lot of Black people around the world feel uneasy.
After all, for more than 50 years he has been our stalwart in Hollywood, standing tall as a source of inspiration for his accomplishments as an entertainer at a time when Blacks were scarce and their roles flimsy.
He made us laugh and he made us proud.
Now, in the twilight of his spectacular career, he is making us uncomfortable as a roll call of women, mostly white, come forward with a range of accusations of sexual improprieties leveled at him.
Over the past several years, the 78-year-old Cosby has been denying as many of those allegations as he could, but has also owned up to some of them, including using the drug Quaaludes to get his way with one or two of these young women.
And in some cases, he tried to make financial amends to his accusers.
Truth is, for those who have been paying attention, much of Cosby’s goings-on slip into the realm of the creepy when we hear about his dalliances with under-aged girls and his regular use of drugs and alcohol to aid in some of his conquests.
But the fact that he has never had charges brought against him allowed us to cut him a Bligh, or give him a free pass.
All of that changed on December 30, when he turned himself in to a Pennsylvania court after a warrant was issued for his arrest for a felony sexual assault charge lodged by a woman, currently living in Toronto.
It signaled a turning point in the ongoing saga that has been unfolding over the past couple of years as dozens of women have been coming forward with a litany of accusations against the aging comedian.
Sadly, this new turn of events looks to be ugly, if only because it seems as if “they” are out to “get” Cosby.
They being a justice system that seems a bit arbitrary in the interpretation of the law when it comes to this particular case.
For example, in July 2015, a federal judge, Eduardo Robreno, decided to unseal court filings in a civil suit brought against Cosby in which he admitted to certain improprieties with accuser Andrea Constand.
The judge said his decision was based on the comedian’s moralizing on certain political issues.
Opening those transcripts allowed what appears to be a vengeful district attorney to reopen the investigation and changed what was supposed to be a misdemeanor with a two-year statute of limitations to aggravated indecent assault with a 12-year limitation due to run out in January 2016.
All of which points to a little bit of hot water for “The Cos” who will be back in court on January 14 to face what appears to be a group of jurors willing to bend the law a little to get “justice.”
Seeing that, more than a few Black celebrities have made public pronouncements backing him.
This, in spite of the fact Cosby has been making a lot of Black people angry over the past several years with public chastising of Black parents and Black youth.
Since 2004, Cosby has been making a lot of Black people angry with a series of pronouncements about the priorities of Black people in the community, parenting style and the mannerisms of Black youth.
Cosby’s path to success started in his native Philadelphia where he blazed a trail of excellence as a student athlete from elementary school through high school and on to Temple University where he played basketball and football.
He earned his master’s degree and his PhD in Education from the University of Massachusetts.
His stand-up career started in 1962, with gigs across his hometown and then in New York.
He broke into television in 1965 when he was cast in I Spy, a highly successful espionage television series that earned him worldwide acclaim.
Several hit television series followed in the 70s, 80s and 90s, including Fat Albert and The Cosby Kids and all time popular The Cosby Show, the sensational series that remained America’s top-rated show for much of its time on TV between 1984 and 1992. Such was the power of Dr. Clift Huxtable. White America loved him and dubbed him America’s dad.
He also starred in a series of what was described as “blaxploitation” films in the 1970s.
Cosby has been married to Camille since 1965. They have five children. Their only son, Ennis, was shot and killed on January 16, 1997 while changing his tire near Interstate 405 in Los Angeles.
It’s estimated that Bill Cosby accumulated an estimated $400 million over his 50-something years in show business.