BlackLivesMatter Not Cosby’s Folly
Black Lives Matter, not Cosby’s follies. A few days after Dylann Roof sat in an African Methodist Episcopal Church and gunned down nine African Americans in cold blood, I posited this rhetorical question on my Facebook Timeline:
“How long will it take for black people to become distracted again and what will distract them?”
The question was not designed for a response. I wanted the community to stop and reflect on issues of grave concern. Nevertheless, it produced 46 comments.
One commentator, similar to the “dashiki wearing brother” I referenced in Justice in the Round, my new book on race and justice in America, took offense to the question. He intimated that the mere asking of the question was an insult to black people.
“This is great. Black people get killed. And we attack black people. Way to go, brave souls,” an old friend whom I have not seen in two decades, weighed in 15 minutes after the query went live.
Billy Pearson said, “W can expect people to become distracted when the “new Air Jordan or smart phone rolls out.”
“Black people can’t wait to jump on somebody else’s bandwagon,” Jarvis Jones opined. She added, “rather than rolling up our sleeves and getting busy.”
“Harold, both of us have been in this a long time and we know in a few weeks this will have all died down in the minds of African Americans,” Faye Coffield said.
“Beyonce,” said Gregory Cancryn.
“Do we all have ADHA,” replied Cheryl Lattimore, my college classmate whom you can learn more about in Justice in the Round.
“We are all being purposely distracted and dumbed down,” Cindy Miller said, “so that we do not pay attention to government and corporate agendas.”
When the Confederate flag flap hit the airwaves many felt that the attention had been successfully diverted away from generations of racial prejudice directed towards African Americans. Many believed that the flag that racists hold near and dear to their hearts was sacrificed to appease the raging discontent of African Americans over the senseless Charleston massacre.
As Cindy Miller has aptly pointed out the government can’t divert attention to its responsibility for ending racism as long as the discussion is centered around a symbol of that racist oppression; so again, up pops the sexual follies of Bill Cosby.
The Cosby Quaalude story is essentially a none story. A simple distraction away from the violent racism that black people have been suffering in the streets, on sidewalks, in police vans and in churches in America, especially in the past twelve months.
Cosby’s 2005 deposition testimony should be viewed in the context of the time period the questions asked him to expound upon. As I recall the late 1970s and early 1980s the drug of choice of hipsters was Quaalude. The reason Quaaludes were chosen were because they were what were known as “downers,” as opposed to “uppers” which left a user in a hyperactive state. So the hipsters used Quaalude to mellow out. Sex may have followed the use of Quaalude, but it was not unconscious sex. It was relaxed non-stress sex, at least this is the opinion of the experts.
The most I can get from this deposition testimony is that Cosby had sex with women outside his marriage. It seems to me, more of a personal problem involving Cosby, his wife and the women who engaged in sex with him. It does not merit national attention and certainly not at the expense of BlackLivesMatter.
Black churches are being burned down under mysterious circumstances and there has yet to be round the clock media coverage of these events similar to the coverage of fires that destroyed Ferguson and Baltimore when we had a strong suspicion that those setting the fires were more than likely African Americans.
Black Lives Matter, not Cosby’s sexual follies. Keep your heads up, your brains alert and your feet moving toward “justice in the round” or “justice or else.”
Harold Michael Harvey, is the author of the legal thriller “Paper Puzzle,” and “Justice in the Round: Essays on the American Jury System,” available at Amazon and at haroldmichaelharvey.com. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org