Concerning Bill Cosby, here’s a comment I posted under another article:
I listened many times to one of Bill Cosby’s comedy albums back in the 1970’s growing up in the MS Delta…and I’ve long credited him with helping me begin my journey out of racism. I’ll always be deeply grateful to him for that, but whatever he did for me can never excuse his crimes. It’s just heartbreaking to see what kind of clay feet this particular childhood hero of mine had.
But what happened? What changed Bill Cosby? There’s an interesting quote that may help, from England’s Lord Acton:
“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”
In Bill Cosby’s case, his fame, reputation, and influence were his power. But is it power in and of itself that changed him? I don’t think so. From Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn:
To do evil a human being must first of all believe that what he’s doing is good.
And that’s the key: Bill Cosby may have had an experience back in the early 1970’s where he went to bed with a girl who was too drunk to resist even by saying “no”…and remember, those were the days when men honestly thought and told each other that “maybe means yes, and no means maybe”. And from that point on, he probably didn’t think that he was actually committing rape…until much later when social awareness of sexual assault began to grow, by which point he was simply too addicted to the act to stop.
The point of this comment is to explain the “how” and the “why” that led to his addiction to rape, but none of this excuses anything he has done even for a moment. He’s guilty. Bill Cosby (like Harvey Weinstein) will be remembered as a blot of shame on history, and for all the women whose lives he wounded and wrecked, it’s much less than he deserves.