Dear Bill Cosby
Dear Bill Cosby:
I trust this letter finds you in good health and in the best of spirits. I know that things are very difficult for you these days. I am not certain if this letter will find its way to you or if it will be read by anyone, but I felt you could probably use an encouraging word. How could I not offer Bill Cosby an encouraging word after all of the inspiration that you have given me over the years.
I do not judge Bill Cosby. Many people do, but I am not one of them. I have no authority to judge you. I do not judge the women who have made allegations against you as I do not have any authority to judge them. I happen to believe that there is a higher source in the universe that will get the final say in what this all means to you and the women who have made the allegations.
It does not appear that you are in a good place right now. There appears to be a full-court press to destroy the wholesome legacy that you have built up. The forces aligned against you are legion. They are very powerful. They control the media which is largely responsible for shaping the negative public opinion about you. They control the courts which, without a sound legal reason, allowed portions of a sealed deposition to be opened to the public. They control the entertainment industry where you work. They control the banks, who control the financing of any future entertainment projects you wish to pursue. But I don’t have to tell you these things, I am sure you are feeling the pinch from all corners.
Keep your chin up. You can overcome this time in your life. I’ve had my trials too. I’ve been buried alive as you are being buried. They can’t keep you in that grave. While there is this mass hysteria surrounding the bad karma you have released into the world, your positive work is part of the karmic universe too; and those positive gifts to the universe will come back to you in positive ways.
You have something most men do not have, a loving wife. It is obvious that she loves you. Her love will see you through these difficult days. Enjoy your days with her. Hold her hands. Take walks with her. Laugh with her. Enjoy intimate meals with her. Block out the haters. Their hatred will consume them. Get closer to your inner self for it is where your true redemption lives. You do not owe the public any explanation. You only owe yourself the truth. Acknowledging this truth internally will set you free. Mass media driven public opinion, be damned.
Also, know that you are not the only person who has been beset and pressed on all sides. Perhaps, you know the story of a Hebrew King named David who orchestrated the death of an officer in his army so he could have sex with the officer’s wife. At least you are not accused of doing a deed as dastardly as the deed committed by David in order to have sex with the beautiful wife of a soldier under his command. The universe took David’s new born son from him. You have already given up your son. Your healing is near.
Additionally, know that you do have supporters. They do not support you because they condone the conduct you are alleged to have committed. They support you because the system is not fighting fair with you. The system has changed the rules to “get Bill.”
There are reasons why we have statutes of limitations. The main reason is to enable the accused to have an opportunity to defend themselves against allegations. When the allegations are about events that took place a long time ago it becomes difficult for anyone to mount a defense.
For the sake of argument, if the only person who could prove that the accused was out of the country in 1978 and not at the Playboy mansion had died in 2005, that proof would not be available to aid in the accused defense today. On the other hand had a charge been leveled against an accused within seven years of the alleged events, that witness would still be alive. Statue of limitations bring finality to legal issues. They serve an important purpose in our civil and criminal justice system.
This rule was designed to shield white men from unsubstantiated allegations. The rules are changed when they benefit black people, who were not considered citizens when the statute of limitation rule was conceived. That has always been the case. I am sure you know this all too well. It is one of the many burdens you have to bear in this situation. See “The Jury System was Designed for Europeans to Judge Europeans” in Justice in the Round: Essays on the American Jury System, Harold Michael Harvey, Cascade Publishing House, 2015, p. 95-99.
Any who speak favorably on your behalf are shunned, and threatened with the loss of their livelihood, like Whoopi Goldberg. She did a flip flop to cover her prodigious posterior when one of your accusers called for her to be fired from “The View.” Her reversal of support for fairness is reminiscent of that group of people who shouted “Hosanna” on Sunday and “crucify him” on Friday.
Goldberg was aided in her withdrawal of support by Dan Abrams, a lawyer by education, who urged the public to try you in the court of public opinion because the statute of limitation has expired in the vast majority of cases that have surfaced in the last nine months. As a lawyer, Abrams knows better. He knows the reason we have a legal system with procedural rules is to resolve disputes; and if those disputes can not be resolved within the framework of the legal system, that is the way the cookies crumble, end of the allegation.
Abrams advice is so dangerous that if he gave that advice to an actual client, he would subject himself to disciplinary action by the agency that governs his professional license. In the court of public opinion, every person with a posterior can voice any opinion they desire, without a scintilla of evidence to back it up. They can take a Cosby fart or burp and spin it to say this proves that Cosby drugged women to have sex with them. In the court of public opinion, it does not matter whether you did it or did not. Legal standards do not apply. There are no rules of evidence, no objections to hearsay. Any and everything is admissible into evidence so long as it points to the guilt of Dr. Bill Cosby.
A few months ago, you said this attack on you “is unprecedented. ” Actually, assaults like this one are not new. Ten years before his death, the legendary Booker T. Washington was mauled in the press by the New York newspapers. They accused him of being a whore monger and a carrier of a bad social disease. Washington, like you, was a very powerful and effective leader whose influence reached beyond the black community. The press would not let the story die. Washington never lost faith in his mission. He endured those attacks until his untimely death 100 years ago this past February.
Before Washington was cold in the earth, the system turned its attention to another charismatic black leader, Marcus Garvey, who believed that a strong business community was the key to black people’s success in America. The government hounded Garvey for over a decade. Finally they were able to discredit him as a businessman, railroad him through the legal system on fraud charges and deport him to Jamaica.
In the first two decades of the 20th century the American system had distorted the image of a leading black educator in the country and a prominent black nationalist.
In the early days of your career in mainstream entertainment, you witnessed the attempts by the FBI to destroy the character of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Like you, they attacked King on the sexual front. They said he was a whore monger, a man who cheated on his wife and a liar.
There is no reason to expect fairness in the presentation of evidence against you. Four years ago, the State of Georgia executed Troy Davis, a black man, who had been convicted of murdering a white police officer. The problem with Davis’ conviction is that there was a mountain of evidence that pointed towards reasonable doubt. Davis should have been set free, but instead he was given a lethal injection. When the system desires it pound of flesh, legal standards do not apply. The system, beyond a reasonable doubt, will over look the rules to get you.
This attack is an honor. You are in good company. The system does not exert this amount of energy on mediocre Negroes. You are one of the heavy race lifters and it takes a concerted effort to bring our best and brightest down.
But you do have unwavering supporters. The people who support you are small, voiceless people. They can be crushed by the system far easier than the system can crush you. For this reason, few dare to utter a strong word against the unfair treatment you are receiving.
The great Spirit of the universe breaks us to rebuild us better than before a crisis. I know you have the capacity to come back stronger than you were before the armies of the night descended upon you. The only question in my mind is: Do you have the will to pay the price for redemption? If you do, you will throw off that dirt from the grave in which they have placed the great Bill Cosby and you will do far greater works than you dreamed was possible.
Do not give up. Do not surrender. The world needs your positive contributions.
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