By Sean Yoes, Baltimore AFRO Editor, syoes@afro.com

The long, tortuous arc of the Bill Cosby saga, from entertainment icon, to “America’s dad,” to Black American pariah, to a “sexually violent predator,” has ended with a three to 10 year prison sentence (a possible death sentence) for the infirm, legally blind, 81-year old.

What would have seemed implausible up until a few years ago, became a surreal spectacle on Sept. 25 outside of a Norristown, Pennsylvania, courthouse; Cosby was led into a black SUV, chained around the waist, handcuffed to the waist chain, and headed to the Montgomery Correctional Facility in Eagleville, Pennsylvania, a federal prison.

Bill Cosby departs after his sentencing hearing at the Montgomery County Courthouse, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018, in Norristown, Pa. Cosby left in handcuffs to begin serving a three-to-10 year prison sentence for sexual assault. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Andrea Constand, the woman who the jury believed Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted in 2004, is one of about 60 women who have claimed (most of them relaying remarkably similar stories) the comedian sexually assaulted them over the decades. It is beyond improbable to believe all of these women (including Constand, who has been dignified and unwavering in her claim for more than a decade), are lying as Cosby argues. To be clear, I believe Constand.

But, I still felt myself feeling sympathy for Cosby, a once heroic figure in the Black community, as he was being hauled away in chains and cuffs. Yet, my empathy for the elderly felon quickly melted away once Andrew Wyatt, Cosby’s publicist opened his ignorant mouth.

“It’s important to point out that this has been the most racist and sexist trial in the history of the United States,” Wyatt bloviated. Really? The most racist…trial in the history of the United States? More racist that the trial that ended in acquittals for the two White men that butchered young Emmett Till in 1955 in Money, Mississippi? Was the Cosby verdict more racist than the acquittals of the White police officers who were captured on videotape beating the hell out of a defenseless Rodney King in California in 1991?

Incredibly, Wyatt was just getting warmed up.

“Dr. Cosby has been one of the greatest civil rights leaders in the United States over the last 50 years,” Wyatt said. But, wait, there’s more.

“All three of the psychologists that testified against Dr. Cosby were White women, who make money off of accusing Black men of being sexual predators,” Wyatt continued. It’s an interesting observation since Cosby seems to clearly have a sexual appetite for White women, if you believe the majority of his accusers.

Wyatt continued to ramble on, seemingly unhinged until he revealed an alliance he perceived between Cosby and the most high profile alleged sexual predator of this current “me too” moment.

“What is going on in Washington today with Judge Kavanaugh is part of that sex war that Judge O’Neill and his wife are a part of,” Wyatt said.

I’m not sure about the substance of the so-called “sex war” as Wyatt, and I suspect by extension Cosby, see it, or the role Judge O’Neill, (who sentenced Cosby) and his wife play in it. But, the fact that Wyatt and Cosby feel good about aligning themselves with Kavanaugh at this very moment during the nation’s vitriolic and volatile discourse on sexual violence against women is breathtaking and telling all at once. Perhaps, Wyatt’s use of the phrase sex war was a Freudian slip, because if you believe Cosby’s 60-plus accusers, the fallen icon seemed to be waging a very real sex war on women for decades.

Ultimately, we probably will never know with any certainty what happened, if anything, between Kavanaugh and his accuser Christine Blasey-Ford during that high school party in suburban Maryland in 1982. But, we do know Kavanaugh was picked to ascend to the Supreme Court by Donald J. Trump, an alleged apex sexual predator accused by more than a dozen women of sexual assault, who during the infamous Access Hollywood tape openly bragged about grabbing women by the “p—y.”

Not only has Trump provided full-throated support of Kavanaugh, he has viciously attacked a second Kavanaugh accuser, Deborah Ramirez. And of course, Trump has given a wide-range of support, from political endorsements, to employment at the White House to a sordid menagerie of alleged sexual predators and their enablers such as (Rudy) Roy Moore, Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, Corey Lewandowski, Bill Shine, Rob Porter and others.

This is who Cosby is comfortable getting into bed with, so to speak?

Sean Yoes (Courtesy Photo)

Maybe it is fitting Cosby walked onto the American stage as a brilliant comic and is exiting that stage a wretched fool.

Sean Yoes is the Baltimore editor of the AFRO and the author of Baltimore After Freddie Gray: Real Stories From One of America’s Great Imperiled Cities.

 

Sean Yoes

AFRO Baltimore Editor