There are so, so, many women. They all tell similar horrifying stories of being drugged and sexually assaulted by Bill Cosby, a man who found fame and fortune playing a Black doctor with an upper class family on television nearly 30 years ago.
The man he played—Cliff Huxtable—was a rarity on network television in those days. A Black man in a successful, happy, intact family was something to be pointed to with pride and admiration. He presented an ideal and made it seem attainable.
And while in his later years Cosby has become equally known for his fatherly lectures to Black youth about pulling up their pants and staying in school, the values of Cliff Huxtable the father, have been a continuous positive reinforcement for our community through his TV re-runs.
And now? The current number of women who say Bill Cosby drugged and raped them is somewhere around 20 (It is hard to pin down the exact number because some of them have chosen to remain anonymous). The assaults are alleged to have taken place in hotels, talk show dressing rooms, his home and various locales across the country.
It may take a long time before we know what Cosby has actually done, if ever. Our image of Cosby has nevertheless been tarnished, not only by the magnitude of the alleged occurrences, but also by the possibility that the long held image of him being a Cliff Huxtable—like Black personality that has inspired generations of our community for years, has been nothing more then an act.
Like many, it is hard for us to believe that everything we are hearing is true. However; as we continue to witness this unfortunate and often ugly drama unfold, of who the real Bill Cosby may be, we cannot help but feel sorrow for his real-life family and friends who, like the rest of us, are forced to come to grips with the possible realization that Cosby, the actor, has effectively played a convincing role and we, his audience, in addition to being entertained by him–have also sadly been mislead, and indeed tricked.