Herb Boyd (Courtesy Photo)
Like so many Black publications we’ve been on the sidelines of the Bill Cosby flare up, not sure when and how to enter a situation that is a classic she-say, he-say with allegations from a coterie of women charging him with rape.
Obviously, we hold to the presumption of his innocence until he’s proven guilty, but with the daily accusations, and the most recent coming from former supermodel Beverly Johnson, it’s becoming harder and harder to keep our counsel.
We are not alone in this quandary, but the situation was made a bit more tenable with a recent poll conducted by The Grio asking if Black media should be held to a different standard when covering the Cosby debacle? Nearly 60 percent of more than six thousand voters said no, “tell it like is”; 28 percent said, yes, given that white media has never been that fair with Black America; and some 12 percent said they were not sure about which way to go.
Apparently, Cosby has voiced his opinion on how Black media should handle the affair. “Let me say this,” he told a reporter at the New York Post. “I only expect Black media to uphold the standards of excellence in journalism and when you do that you have to go with a neutral mind.”
His neutrality is clearly not evident in this regard since he is sending the Black press a message through a White newspaper.
We were told that he was not talking to the press, at least not to some of the press.
“They don’t want me talking to the media,” he told the Post, after he had spoken with a reporter.
This kind of behavior is symptomatic of his condition. On the one hand he has nothing to say but is willing to chit chat with a paper that is generally hostile to the Black community. Go figure.
Even so, we consider him innocent until he’s proven guilty, and we would hope that our willingness to be fair has some influence on his future attitude. The allegations are deeply disturbing, and if any one of them proves to be true, all of that chastising and berating of young Black men, his talking down to the Black community, stand as the epitome of hypocrisy and unsavory acts of a miscreant. At some of these forums he belittled young Black men and telling them to pull up their pants, while he may have been taking his off.
There is no way to predict how any of this will play out, whether he will find a way to turn this adversity into a commodity, or slink off into an oblivious old age, content to revel in the cartoons of Fat Albert and the reruns of The Cosby Show.
Dr. Huxtable, heal thy self!