When our Black father is not perfect
Dad told a lie. It is something that in the mind of a child is unfathomable, the destruction of a level of truth. That is what America is dealing with in reaction to the Bill Cosby scandal. During the 1980s with the “Cosby” show and throughout his career as an entertainer and educator, Cosby has projected himself as a safe father figure with a black face. Within the Black community, his positive portrayal of Black manhood was needed at a time when so many Black men were flawed or absent in the family. Now, when we look at Cosby the question is asked, “Are we looking at the face of a sexual predator?” Every action and funny voice that has come from the beloved comedian is now suspect because of the re-emergence of rape accusations from decades ago.
The fact of the matter is that several generations have grown up enjoying his stand-up routines, TV shows and movies. Little did we know that our substitute father was a philanderer, according to his own admissions of an adulterous affair and accusations of fathering illegitimate children. No one wants to participate in the tearing down of another Black man, however; there are too many questions that need answers from Cosby. Do we deserve these answers? That is a yes and no. We deserve them because we trusted Bill Cosby and many of us took his morality lessons and parenting tips to heart. We deserve them because as a fan he wants us to trust him. Finally, we deserve the answers to preserve his legacy. However, we do not deserve the answers because Cosby is a private man. We do not deserve the answers if we are just jumping on the bandwagon to seek his destruction. We do not deserve the answers if we just want to gossip about sexual escapades of an old man in his younger years.
Many people, who have never met Cosby, trusted Cosby and now that trust is broken. The restoration of the collective trust of Black America is what is needed from Bill Cosby.