Thursday, January 22, 2015

I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV.

Why aren’t people listening to these women? Is it because most of this allegedly happened so long ago? Is it because some of them went into Cosby’s hotel room alone? Is it because there are no polaroids? Is it because he’s so famous? Or is it just because they’re women?

---Larry Wilmore

When it came to light that actor Stephen Collins had sexually abused three girls, some of the commentary sounded like this, "But I loved him!" 
Meaning, I loved the character he played on TV
On TV, he was a minister.
And a father of 7 children.

I attributed some of the initial shock at the Cosby allegations to the fact that we loved him. 
Meaning, Heathcliff Huxstable. 
Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable: devoted husband, father of 5, funny face maker.

Beyond Heathcliff, we loved Cosby, or the man he played in life: charitable, comedic.

There can be such kickback when we don't want to acknowledge  what I will label "difficult stories" presented to us, especially when they challenge an already formed loyalty.

As these stories continue, it doesn't appear that we are as attached to the TV personas as much as to the need to have 300 confirmed victims, a semen stained dress, a time limitation on when this this could have taken place, eye witness accounts, and a description of what she was wearing.

May we listen as these difficult stories come forth, and remember how very hard it is for someone to speak about something for which they know they will be further attacked and discredited. 

This is why it has taken so long.
This is why there are so many.  Women are finding strength, years later, in finding that they are not the only one.

Can you imagine being a lone voice saying, I have something to say about the man you adore and revere. 

Good luck to that lone voice.

We still confuse power with greatness, and persona with goodness.  They are not the same. 

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