Everyone has an opinion of the Cosby scandal. With whatever position you may have, that may or may not represent a larger agenda, he is currently at the mercy of the court of public opinion. I didn’t want to address this issue, but the more we learn, the harder it is to ignore. While I’m not here to assign or take away blame or guilt, this, like many other things in our culture, should cause us to pause and really take a look at ourselves. In doing so, this is what I have discovered:
For the most part, we fell in love with Heathcliff; we never really got to know Bill.
Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable, who lived and practiced medicine at #10 Stigwood Avenue, in Brooklyn Heights, New York. We was tall and handsome, smart and witty, a loving husband and great father. He was educated, enlighten, cultured, and socially conscious. We never saw him smoke, drink, cuss (with one exception), or be sexually inappropriate with anyone. Even his sexual advances toward his wife were tactfully charming and tastefully appropriate. He is the picture of a great, but ordinary man and a bonafide icon. But at the end of the day, we forgot the at he was a well written character.
We never really got to know Bill Cosby. While the character was patterned after a stand up routine, we assumed that because Bill looked like Cliff, sounded like Cliff, danced and acted silly like Cliff, that he is in fact Cliff. The man we see, when the media is discussing sexual misconduct, isn’t the man Bill, but the icon Cliff. Bill so eloquently portrayed Cliff, we really thought they were one and the same.
We have to be very careful when we are tempted to idolize people. Bill Cosby is a man, and is capable of doing things that are wrong and even illegal. We don’t have the privilege of boxing people into whatever WE want them to be. Let’s be real, if the media were to delve into any of our pasts, there would be something found in all our lives, that would disappoint and even disgust the public at large. There is nothing wrong with pursuing justice, and he should be held accountable to what ever him may have done. But at the same time, let’s not be so quick to dismiss or even defend people because of our limited view of them.
“Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins.” (Ecclesiastes 7:20, New American Standard Bible)
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