Bill Cosby’s fall from grace is a lesson for all black celebrities who want to forget their origins. Last month, the 77-year-old comedian was arrested and criminally charged in Pennsylvania for allegedly raping a Temple University employee in 2005. In the past two years, more than 50 women have accused Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting them even as he forged a hugely successful Hollywood career.
In his prime, when he had the top-rated TV show and endorsed Coca-Cola and Jell-O, Cosby didn't want anything to do with regular black people. He believed everything would be OK as long as he acted white and catered to white audiences. He was the politically correct black actor who blamed hip-hop for all the problems facing African-Americans.
During a 2004 speech at the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition & Citizenship Education Fund’s annual conference, Cosby sounded like controversial Fox News host Bill O’Reilly when talking about black people in poor, inner-city neighborhoods. He said, “Let me tell you something: Your dirty laundry gets out of school at 2:30 every day; it’s cursing and calling each other 'nigger' as they’re walking up and down the street. They can’t read; they can’t write. They’re laughing and giggling, and they’re going nowhere.”
His views haven’t changed much in recent years. In a 2013 interview with CNN’s Don Lemon, Cosby referred to uneducated blacks from the hood as “no-groes.”
Now Cosby is just another nigger in the criminal justice system. All those Caucasian Hollywood types he rolled with don’t want anything to do with him. It's a trap other black stars have fallen into. The same thing happened to O.J. Simpson, Michael Jackson, and Tiger Woods. They believed nothing bad could happen to them if they tried to shed their blackness.
The irony is that black people are usually the first to defend black stars. Rapper the Game recently complained on his Instagram account that Cosby was being railroaded through “word of mouth” allegations. During a radio interview this past September, fellow comedian and actor Damon Wayans groused that famous director Woody Allen continues to make movies despite accusations that he’s a pedophile. Some African-Americans have pointed out that Cosby wasn’t the only male celebrity plying women with quaaludes and other pills to get sex during the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s.
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But Cosby hasn’t done anything to earn the black community’s support.