All Articles Tagged "Bill Cosby"

Bill Cosby To Stand Criminal Trial…Without Monique Pressley

September 7th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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Bill Cosby

Source: HRC/

After more than a year of back and forth, with plenty of interviews from alleged victims, statements from anyone remotely associated with Bill Cosby and a slew of think pieces about where the Black community’s support should lie, a trial date has finally been set for Bill Cosby in the sexual assault case brought by Andrea Constand.

According to Variety,  Pennsylvania judge has set the date for the sexual assault trial for June 5, 2017.

You may remember that of the 50 plus women who’ve accused Bill Cosby of either raping, drugging, or sexually assaulting them, Constand’s 2004 allegations are the only ones still within the statute of limitations.

Constand alleged that Cosby drugged and molested her after he invited her to his home. Cosby maintains that the encounter was consensual. The prosecution wants 13 of the women who claimed Cosby drugged and then assaulted them to testify to determine a pattern of behavior.

The defense team asked that a phone call between Constand’s mom and Mr. Cosby—where she asked him what type of drugs he gave her daughter— be dropped from evidence because Cosby was unaware that he was being recorded.

One woman who won’t be by his side during the trial is Monique Pressley. During the height of the allegations, Pressley emerged as one of the most vocal defenders of Bill Cosby, gaining the approval and favor of many in the Black community who didn’t necessarily believe Cosby’s innocence but liked the way she represented herself when she spoke to news commentators.

The news of Pressley dropping out of the legal team might have gone a bit under the radar as the interest in the Cosby saga has waned. But according to The New York Daily News, Pressley chose to no longer represent Cosby in the civil lawsuits and criminal charges brought against him. She did not give a reason for her departure.

An attorney for the seven of Cosby’s alleged victims called for Pressley’s removal earlier this year after she failed to complete proper paperwork before representing Camille Cosby in a February deposition in Massachusetts where she is not legally allowed to practice.

Pressley is the second lawyer to leave the team after Cosby fired his head attorney Christopher Tayback in July.

In addition to the trial for Constand, there are at least ten civil suits from women accusing him of similar attacks. They are suing him for defamation because the comedian said that they were lying about their allegations against him.

Veronica Wells is the culture editor for She is also the author of “Bettah Days.” 

Should The Smithsonian Include Bill Cosby’s Sexual Assault Allegations In Its New Museum?

April 3rd, 2016 - By Ashley Monaé
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Image Source: WENN

Image Source: WENN

Bill Cosby’s controversial scandal of rape allegations that has been looming in the media continues, as earlier this week the new National Museum of African American History and Culture revealed that they would include Cosby. While the museum, which is part of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, said that the comedian would be showcased in an exhibit on African-American entertainers in film, theater, and TV without mention of the allegations against him, things have changed, CNN reports.

On Thursday, founding director Lonnie Bunch said in a statement that the museum will include information about Cosby’s recent scandal in their “Taking the Stage” exhibit, in addition to highlighting his accomplishments in television and comedy:

“There have been many misconceptions and mistaken notions about the presence of Bill Cosby within the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s exhibition, ‘Taking the Stage,’ that explores the history of African American participation in film, theatre and television. This is not an exhibition that ‘honors or celebrates’ Bill Cosby but one that acknowledges his role, among many others, in American entertainment. Some people feel that the Smithsonian should eliminate all mention of Bill Cosby as a result of recent revelations. This museum seeks to tell, in the words of the eminent historian John Hope Franklin, ‘the unvarnished truth’ that will help our visitors to remember and better understand what has often been erased and forgotten. Like all of history, our interpretation of Bill Cosby is a work in progress, something that will continue to evolve as new evidence and insights come to the fore. Visitors will leave the exhibition knowing more about Mr. Cosby’s impact on American entertainment, while recognizing that his legacy has been severely damaged by the recent accusations.”

Interestingly, in January, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art withdrew an exhibit funded ($716,000) by Cosby and his wife, Camille, of which showcased works from the families private collection and received a fair share of backlash. This definitely may have swayed Bunch’s decision.

Johnnetta Cole, director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art and longtime friend of the Cosby family, also shared her thoughts on Cosby’s exhibit, defending it. Cole said that the showcase is “not about the life and career of Bill Cosby” but rather “is about the interplay of artistic creativity in remarkable works of African and African-American art and what visitors can learn from the stories this art tells,” Think Progress reported.

As of now, the museum is continuing with Bunch’s decision of including the accusations of 50 women who accused Cosby of sexual misconduct and will open on September 24.

What are your thoughts?

Johnnie Cochran And The Excuses Made In Defense Of Black Men

March 16th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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johnnie cochran

Source: WENN

I am obsessed with “The People v. O.J. Simpson.” Every Tuesday night, I wait with baited breath for the most recent episode. And then I spend the rest of the week, researching to see what was and wasn’t factual. I have discussions about the bits of information the show has exposed. I theorize about what I would be thinking at this present moment as a juror, I watch video interviews from the key players, wondering how they went about their lives after the trial of the century ended.


I think what’s so fascinating about the series is the way public perception, mine and society’s, has changed over the years. In the 90’s, I was a kid, in elementary school. Still, the details of the trial everybody seemed to be watching were inescapable. And so I was cognizant enough to know that the people around me, wanted O.J. to get off, whether they believed he killed Ron and Nicole or not. And they loved Johnnie Cochran. They hung on his every word, eating up his expressive arguments. They remarked on his smoothness, his way with words, his coolness under pressure. They chuckled and then recited his catch phrases ad nauseam.

But they never talked about his past with domestic violence. They never talked about the fact that he had a mistress, a White woman, who he was living with, in another house during his first marriage. No one ever mentioned that he had a child with this woman, a son who she named Johnnie after his brilliant father.

It was “The People v. O.J. Simpson” that brought that fact back to the light. And for the third or fourth time since the series premiered, I thought about what I would have thought of Johnnie Cochran as an adult watching this case, because right now, he’s not exactly a hero for me.

I don’t have a disdain for the lawyering profession, but there is something unsettling about a person who would knowingly defend someone who they believe is guilty, as I believe Johnnie knew O.J. was. People will say, it’s his job as if that excuses the behavior. It doesn’t. Many of us have jobs. And if our superiors told us to do something that was immoral, no one would applaud us for following instructions. There has to be a higher code of ethnics than doing what is necessary to keep a job.

But now, knowing what we know about the late Cochran, doing what it takes to stay hirable and employed were the least of his flaws. Last night, “The People v. O.J. Simpson” talked about Cochran’s past with domestic violence, with his first wife, his ex wife, Barbara Jean Berry as the victim. Married in 1959, she accused Cochran of abuse on multiple occasions. In her motion to receive a restraining order against Cochran she wrote, “‘On April 29, 1967, my husband violently pushed me against the wall, held me there and grabbed me by my chin. He has slapped me in the past, torn a dress off me [and] threatened on numerous occasions to beat me up.”

Ten years later, after the couple reconciled, she filed divorce papers again stating that “without any reasonable cause, provocation or justification physically struck, beat and inflicted severe injury up on the person of the Petitioner’. “

When the Los Angeles Times asked Cochran about the allegations he said, “’I have never touched her or hit her, and we are very good friends to this day,’ Cochran said at the time.

‘Those are 20-year-old statements for legal reasons. She knows they are not true and will be happy to talk to you about it.’”

When they did call her and speak to her about it, she said she didn’t want to discuss it.

Later, in her book Life After Johnnie Cochran: Why I left the sweetest-talking, most successful black lawyer in L.A. she wrote that Cochran and his father pressured her to deny the abuse claims and said that Johnnie called her after reporters first questioned him, saying if she denied the claims she would never want for anything if she would tell the reporter he was a wonderful guy. She said if she had done so, she would have made more money than the sale of her book which she ultimately released months later. Poignantly though, she said of Johnnie and Simpson.

“He and Simpson were mirror images of each other in their apparent disdain for women.”

But it wasn’t just the abuse. There was also Johnnie’s 28-year affair with a woman named Patricia. She later bestowed the last name Cochran on herself. Berry called her ex husband a bigamist as he was supporting this woman with $4,000 a month and had fathered her child, who she named Johnnie.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Patricia is a White woman. And I’m not a hater to interracial relationships; but for Cochran to be fighting against the White establishment all the time, for Johnnie to “blacken” up O.J.’s house to appeal to the Black jurors he approved, it’s…interesting to say the least.

And interestingly enough, when we discuss Cochran’s legacy, the abuse, the manipulation, the side family never really come up. He was just a great trial lawyer who was an advocate for Black people.

Let’s be honest though, Black men specifically, Michael Jackson, Todd Bridges, Jim Brown and Diddy.

And there is the rub. The only reason Johnnie’s flaws are minimized and he was so highly regarded back in 90’s was because he was a champion for Black men. And the Black community will ride for anyone who defends Black manhood, even at the expense of Black women. And while I might have fallen for that okey doke as a young girl, not yet well versed on the manifestations of misognoir, today, in my matured mind, I just can’t.

I would like to think that as a more evolved society, knowing more about feminism, male privilege and witnessing the ways Black women have been relegated to a position of inferiority, even within our own communities, we would recognize the signs. We would know better and do better. But I don’t know if that’s entirely true.

And it’s still happening today. Specifically with Monique Pressley in her defense of Bill Cosby. Interestingly enough, she’s called “Johnnie Cochran in a skirt.” And while we don’t know about her personal life like we know about Johnnie’s, her morality is questionable to me too because she’s so willing to hold up Cosby, a Black man who has abused her own community: women, Black and White alike. But again, when discussions of her arise, we applaud her smooth talking. People love the way she shuts down reporters, with an insincere smile, not considering the fact that she may very well be selling her soul to do so.

This is the genius of “The People v. O.J. Simpson” for as much as it’s a show about a case that happened over 20 years ago, it still manages to say quite a bit about our current societal climate.

15 Stars Who Got A Pass For Being Unfaithful

January 28th, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Tumblr

Image Source: Tumblr

Stars like Tiger Woods have to be wondering: why do some cheating celebrities get a pass for being unfaithful while others go right under the bus? Well we don’t exactly have the answer to that but we do know there are plenty of entertainers whose philandering ways some didn’t even bat an eye at. Did you forgive these unfaithful celebs like most of us did?

Image Source: WENN

Image Source: WENN

Donald Trump

How come we never hear this coming up in the presidential debates? Donald Trump not only cheated on his wife, but married the mistress!

Victim Blaming From The Victim: R Kelly Waited Decades To Discuss His Sexual Assault But Finds Cosby Accusers’ Silence Strange

January 21st, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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R Kelly Waited Decades To Discuss His Sexual Assault

Source: Sebastian Kim for GQ

I’ve never denied R Kelly’s musical genius. Though I can no longer listen to his music in peace, I can’t deny the fact that the man had jams, many of which characterized my childhood and adolescence. But as the saying goes, or as my father would like to say, “Genius ain’t free.”

It often comes with quirks, eccentricities and in the case of R Kelly, [alleged] perverse sexual desires. In his recent, three day interview with GQ‘s Chris Heath, titled “The Confessions of R Kelly,” we see both sides. We learned of the boy who looked at the Sears (now Willis) Tower and vowed to become great and formidable like the structure itself. The child turned man who couldn’t and still struggles to read, spell and solve math problems. And a man who, despite these deficiencies, is quite clever with analogies.

In describing his own mind, R Kelly said:

“If you look around, you see cars rolling down the street all the time, but if you ever see a floating car, you gonna be like, ‘Whoa! Whoa! Wait a minute, what is that? I’ve never seen that before.’ You can’t figure it out because you don’t know who built it, you don’t know who created it, you don’t know who came up with the concept, you don’t know the blueprint of it, you don’t even know how it works, but you love it because it looks so sweet, floating down the street. And that one car, if it has any type of feeling in it, is gonna feel alone, because it’s not understood.”

It makes sense. He is different.

And for all of his strengths, including his musical giftedness, unique mind and ability to overcome growing up without a father, illiteracy, being repeatedly molested; the interview also showed Kelly’s often warped, disturbing, cringe-worthy thought processes. There are moments when he seems to speak about the affection and connection to his family members in strange terms. Like being “in love” with his grandfather and “in a son/mother way having a serious, serious crush” on his mom.

There was his discussion of his relationship with Aaliyah (the very little he would say about it) where he, a 27-year-old, when they met, talked about being her “best, best, best, best friend.”

Most notably, he went into detail about the sexual abuse he experienced at the hands of an older female relative from the time he was 7-8 until he was 14 or 15. Until his 2012 autobiography Soulacoaster, Kelly had never told anyone about it. Not his wife, not his mother. No one. He told Heath it started as oral sex and then became forced intercourse. When he tried to confront this woman, as an adult, eight or nine years ago, he said she:

“Didn’t want to talk about it. Didn’t own up to it. Told me, ‘Sometime when you’re kids, you think you’ve been through something, or did something, that you didn’t do, probably was a dream.’ Things like that. But it was definitely not a dream.”

And then interestingly enough he talked about forgiving this woman for perpetuating what he considers a generational curse.

“I, well, definitely forgive them. As I’m older, I look at it and I know that it had to be not just about me and them, but them and somebody older than them when they were younger, and whatever happened to them when they were younger. I looked at it as if there was a sort of like, I don’t know, a generational curse, so to speak, going down through the family. Not just started with her doing that to me.”

It’s a curse Kelly says he has broken. Then the interviewer and author asked Kelly if he wished that this woman were held accountable for her actions.

“Back then, too young to judge. As I’m older, I’ve only learned to forgive it. Was it wrong? Absolutely. But it’s a family member that I love so I would definitely say no to that one. To be honest, even if my mom, I saw her kill somebody, I’m not gonna say, ‘Well, yeah, she definitely should go to jail.’ It’s just something I wouldn’t do.”

Let’s put a pin there and we’ll return to it in a minute.

R Kelly Waited Decades To Discuss His Sexual Assault

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When talking about fatherhood, R Kelly likened himself to the Bill Cosby. The Bill Cosby we once knew as father figure Heathcliff Huxtable from the show. Naturally, choosing to evoke that name, Heath had to ask Kelly what he thought about the allegations lodged against him.

His answer was very interesting.

“I can say is that it was a long time ago. And when I look on TV and I see the 70-, 80-, 90-year-old ladies talking about what happened when they were 17, 18, or 19, there’s something strange about it. That’s my opinion. It’s just strange.

Although if—
“[interrupts] It’s strange. Strange is strange. I can’t explain strange. That’s why strange is strange. Because it’s something we can’t explain.”

But don’t you think that if they’re telling the truth, it doesn’t matter how long ago it was?

“If God showed me that they were telling the truth, I would say that’s wrong. I don’t care if it was a zillion years ago. But God would have to do that, because God is the only one can show me that. No man can tell me that. No woman can tell me that. And when you wait 70 years, 50 years, 40 years, to say something that simple, it’s strange. You know why I say that is because it happened to me, and it wasn’t true.”

R Kelly is not the only Black person to proclaim Bill Cosby’s innocence. He’s not the only man or woman to question why the women waited so long to report the incidents of sexual assault. He’s not the only famous person to question whether or not these women are after fame or notoriety.

But being that R Kelly is a survivor of childhood rape who waited decades, 38 years to be precise, to talk about the experience, it is incredibly hypocritical for him to question these women for coming forward years after their alleged assaults with Cosby. The same shame, guilt, confusion he felt as a child might have been the same feelings these 50 + women dealt with as well. Not to mention Kelly’s relative was not famous and powerful like Bill Cosby was. Clearly, he’s viewing the situation from the lens of a famous Black man, accused, time and time and time again, of his own sexual deviance.

Which brings me back to the comments he made about his relative. R Kelly talks about eventually coming into the knowledge that what happened to him was wrong. But he doesn’t believe his relative should have been held accountable for her actions because he loved her.

Listen, I’m all for love; really I am. But love doesn’t excuse wrongdoing. It seeks to correct it and make the loved one better. And if you want to talk about breaking generational curses, his relative being punished for sexually abusing him would have gone a long way in accomplishing that both psychologically and symbolically. Children and adults need to see that their bodies and their feelings are so valuable, that there is punishment associated with the violation of them. You don’t cease to love someone because they’ve been punished for inflicting bodily, emotional and psychological harm on someone else. You hope it makes the better and prevents them and even the victim from perpetuating that evil onto someone else. Maybe if R Kelly had seen those type of consequences, it a might have helped to hold him accountable for his own predatory relationships with young girls.

Perhaps R Kelly feels like he’s broken the curse because his victims, for all we know, are not family members. But romantic and sexual relationships with girls, children, is not breaking the curse. It’s continuing it on a grander scale, with the money and access to not only feed his proclivities but cover them up and evade punishment as well.

I could be completely off base; but the same forgiveness R Kelly is issuing to his relative might be the same leniency he’s extending to himself. In one part of his mind, he realizes his behavior is not right. But in another, he excuses it by saying it happened to him. And since he’s loved and adored by fans and was exonerated by the justice system, he feels he should be excused.

But it’s just not true.

What R Kelly needs is to be honest about his past, his patterns, (a couple of other things like his mother’s death) and seek to really break the curse through acknowledgement, therapy and then reform.

If you haven’t already, carve out some time to read the entire interview. It’s very well-written, well constructed and very telling.

Sorry, Monique Pressley Just Doesn’t Do It For Me

January 11th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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Run your race.

A photo posted by Monique Pressley (@moniquepressley) on

There has been quite a bit of admiration expressed for Bill Cosby’s lawyer Monique Pressley. She’s been likened to the morally bereft but still likable Annalise Keating from ABC’s hit show “How To Get Away With Murder.”  The Grio said that even those who maintain that Bill Cosby is guilty, still celebrate Pressley’s greatness. People have called her “Johnnie Cochran in a skirt” and one person tweeted:

And I have to admit Pressley is talented. She’s sharp, quick witted, intelligent, fast talking and will insult any doubters, naysayers and journalists with a smile. She’s the perfect combination of nice nasty you’d want in an attorney, should you ever find yourself in some trouble.

I’ve gleaned all of this by watching a series of YouTube videos where Pressley went up and held her own against probing CNN, MSNBC and Huff Post Live anchors.

But even before all of this media attention, Pressley was quite accomplished. According to her website, she received her law degree from Howard University before going to work as a public defender for the District of Columbia. She practiced complex civil litigation and white collar criminal defense in Maryland before beginning to work at the Attorney General’s office. During this time she was also an adjunct professor at Howard University’s School of Law.

She’s the principal at her own law firm and the mother of two children, a boy and a girl.

And to top it all off, she’s an ordained minister.

It’s really too bad that many of us only came to know her for defending Bill Cosby.

Because, despite all of her accomplishments and the poise with which she carries herself in front of the cameras, all I keep wondering is how does she sleep at night?

Perhaps, she’s one of the Black folks who believes Bill Cosby is too great, too philanthropic, too benevolent to the Black community to have allegedly raped or sexually assaulted over 50 women. And that’s certainly her right. But being a woman who deals with facts, numbers, human nature and patterns of behavior for a living, I don’t see how she could.

I imagine that as Bill Cosby’s attorney, she’s likely poured over document after document, in Bill Cosby’s decade long association with these allegations, including parts of the deposition where Bill Cosby admitted giving Quaaludes, a sedative, to women for sex, parts of the deposition that haven’t been made available to the general public. She’s probably seen some things.

When asked about that part she said that the drug was commonly used in the ’70’s and said,

“I don’t think anyone is arguing that my client kept a stack of these Quaaludes in his medicine cabinet for two decades.”

Why wouldn’t anyone be arguing that?

In other interviews, she’s alleged that they haven’t been on the market for sometime now, as if that would prevent Bill Cosby, a very rich, powerful and influential man from obtaining them if he so desired.

When asked about Bill Cosby’s damning Spanish Fly conversation, in a televised interview with Larry King, where Cosby’s eyes light up with glee as he discusses how all boys from age 11 until death will be searching for Spanish Fly to coax, manipulate and control women, Pressley told CNN,

“Do people do things forty years earlier that they consider acceptable and then no longer consider them acceptable when it’s forty years later? Certainly…”

Pressley went on to say that even though she’s only 45, she did things she regrets, 30 years ago, as a young teenager. But there’s a difference between doing something foolish as a teen and allegedly committing decades worth of crimes. And if you committed a crime thirty years ago, something as heinous and life altering as rape and sexual assault, you should still suffer the consequences for those “unacceptable behaviors.”

In almost all of her interviews, specifically the one with Marc Lamont Hill, Pressley keeps asserting the fact that these women waited years, even decades, before reporting their rapes or sexual assaults. It’s the same thing so many of us have seen on our Facebook feeds. And it’s victim blaming.

Marc Lamont Hill had to politely remind her that, according to the FBI, less than 2 percent of rape victims offer false claims and half of rape and sexual assault victims come forward when they have been raped, particularly when it’s intimate rape, someone they know, not a stranger in a dark alley. He had to remind her, a woman, that even if these women did wait decades to come forward with their stories, they would be well within their rights to do so as victims of this crime.

That’s when Ms. Pressley starts toting the merits of the American justice system and how we should ask ourselves to trust its process. Because there have never been any mistakes made in the American justice system. Meanwhile Tamir Rice, Mike Brown, Sandra Bland and Eric Garner’s blood is still crying from the ground. Like Mr. Cosby these were Black people too. Unlike him, they don’t have money for themselves and haven’t made millions of dollars for White men.

Interestingly enough, later in that same interview Pressley talks about the history of rape allegations from White women, being lodged against Black men.

“We have to remember in terms of the allegations that would have been coming forward in the late ’60s and ’70s, that Bill Cosby was still then, as he is now a Black man in America. And I find it incredulous to believe that none of the majority White females who are saying that something was done to them that was inappropriate by an African American male, in the late 60s and 70s, that none of them would have been believed. Because if we look back on our own history and see what was happening in those times, nothing could be further from the truth. As a matter of fact, he would have been target number one in those days and I’d argue in these days. He would have been target number one then and he is now. So, it’s hard for me personally, not speaking on behalf of Mr. Cosby, but speaking as someone who is student of history, to think that one, two, ten, twenty, however many women had allegations, had accusations, that they wouldn’t have been heard or listened to and that when they went to a friend or they went to a confidante or when they went to a police department that they wouldn’t have been taken seriously enough in those days. I’m not saying whether it’s true or not, I’m saying that based on what I know of our country and our country’s history and when we look back on the kinds of things that were being done then to African American males then that’s hard to believe.”

I guess, as a student of history, Pressley hasn’t seen the ways in which the justice system leans and bends toward people who have money. And maybe in her years of working with the criminal justice system she hasn’t seen the ways in which women are doubted and receive little support when they report a rape, often making a traumatic experience even worse. I’m sure the women who were allegedly raped and sexually assaulted by Mr. Cosby were well aware of these facts, particularly in the 60’s and 70’s when society was less concerned about rape culture, victim blaming and treating women fairly, than we are now.

Listen, I get that Ms. Pressley has a job to do. And as someone who has to defend a man with a reputation as tarnished as Cosby’s is right now, she’s doing a pretty good job. I just don’t see any honor in it. At all.

I think that there are people who simply take pleasure in watching Pressley make mostly White news anchors seem unprepared, uninformed and unintelligent. But there’s a larger part of me that believes that the reason Pressley is being so heavily celebrated is because she is doing what Black women are supposed to do. Defend Black manhood, particularly the Black patriarch, to the death, even if that Black man is dead wrong.

The Game: How Can Bill Cosby Be Prosecuted And Mike Brown’s Killer Go Free?

January 6th, 2016 - By Raven Carter
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Rapper and reality star The Game reacts to shooting of NYPD officers: "I guess y'all can't breathe either."

Splash News

From TMZ

It’s crazy Bill Cosby has been charged with a musty old crime while the cop who killed Michael Brown is a free man … so say The Game.
Game says he’s not throwing shade on Bill Cosby’s accusers, but he says there’s no physical evidence proving Cosby did anything and the allegations are in the ancient past.
Game goes on to say, “But Darren Wilson, who killed Mike Brown on camera, is FREE. George Zimmerman, who killed Trayvon Martin, is FREE.” He goes on to cite other examples.

Read more about The Game’s thoughts on the Cosby case at

Why Teaching Sexual Consent Is Essential To Ending Rape Culture

January 5th, 2016 - By Charing Ball
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

On a side note: Let’s talk about sexual consent.

And no, we are not just talking about it because of Bill Cosby.

We are talking about it because based on a number of conversations I have had with the populace both online and off, I can tell that quite a few of us do not have a clue about what it means to explicitly give or receive permission before we engage in sexual activities (including kissing, touching and intercourse) with another human being.

And this is kind of important because sexual assault is a crime…

For instance, many are under the impression that if someone offers you a mood-altering drug, and you willingly accept it, then you basically consent to every action that happens following the consumption of the pill.

While it is conceivable that a person who accepts a mood-altering drug might be interested in a sexual relationship, not everyone who takes drugs is “asking for it.”

Many people are also under the impression that a person has given consent to be sexually assaulted by virtue of being in an active sexual relationship, or previously having sexual relations with the person who assaulted them.

That is also false.

There are other beliefs that many of us have about consent that are not very accurate and are potentially dangerous. And while there are tons of resources already available to help us all understand better what consent is and how to apply it to our lives (like here, here, here and this great Nigerian Jollof Rice consent video here…just to name a few), I am beginning to wonder if just having the information readily available is enough?

Maybe it’s not enough to tell folks to “Just Google it.” Lord knows what they might return with. Perhaps it is time we start drilling into people’s heads the importance of no means no. And maybe, just maybe, we need to start doing it as early as preschool and in all of the schools across America.

Yeah, I know what some of you are thinking: Isn’t this topic a little to heavy for children? Personally, I don’t believe that it is as children too can find themselves victims and perpetrators of unwanted sexual advances. But teaching consent isn’t a sex talk. And teaching consent is not only about showing folks how to effectively communicate their boundaries and wants, but also showing people how to navigate through situations when the “yes” or “no” is ambiguous.

As noted by Michelle Dominique Burk in a post for Everyday Feminism:

The way consent has been framed for most children — in cases where it is explicitly addressed — is that we tell kids something along the lines of “If someone says ‘no,’ then you need to listen to them.”

While this is an important lesson, it is normally as far as the discussion goes.

And simply couching all aspects of consent into this one no-means-no phrasing misses several key components of consent that are essential for kids to learn and employ as they start developing interpersonal relationships.

Discussing consent with a child in only this way proposes that “no” is the only form of non-consent available. This isn’t true, and when children learn about consent in this way, they can grow up with a sense of ambiguity about what constitutes consent.

Because discussing all aspects that encompass boundaries and consent can seem incredibly overwhelming – especially when trying to explain them to a child – many adults shy away from talking to kids about consent in a way that is comprehensive.

However, discussing consent with children in a way that acknowledges its various facets is hugely important because as children go through adolescence and then adulthood, the way that they have learned about consent as a child will inform how they interact with other adults and children in their own interpersonal relationships.

It should be noted that last year, California became the first state to mandate sexual consent lessons be required in high school sex education classes, which is a great start. But in all honesty, it’s nowhere close to where we need to be as a society.

And based on a lot of comments that I have been reading online, folks are going to find themselves in some serious trouble. While I am certain that some of the “folks” behind some of these comments are actual predators, I have to also acknowledge that some of the misinformation from those who aren’t comes from living in a culture that 1. does not value women and 2. treats rape as the norm.

Should The Bill Cosby Trial Be Televised?

January 5th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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Image Source: WENN

Image Source: WENN

When the footage of Bill Cosby being arrested last week, aired, my mom looked at the tv screen and said she felt sorry for him. Now, my mom is not one who believes that all of these rape and drugging allegations are a conspiracy to keep Bill Cosby from buying NBC (which is really so outlandish when you think about it. Comcast bought NBC for 6.5 billion, with a B, dollars.) The point is, she believes he did it.

Still, she felt a way seeing a feeble and legally blind Bill Cosby being led into the court room by his legal team, stumbling along the way. At first glance, it does appear to be a sad sight. But when you consider the women, more than 50 of them, it looks something like the beginnings of justice, even if it’s coming much later than it should have.

The only thing I regret is the fact that it didn’t happen sooner.

Whoopi Goldberg seems to share that sentiment.

Yesterday, on “The View,” during the Hot Topics segment, the women were discussing Cosby’s arrest, arraignment and upcoming preliminary hearing for an alleged sexual assault in 2004 against Andrea Constand. 

Goldberg said, “I’m glad it’s happening. Because I sort of feel like whenever you have people saying, ‘This is what happened. This is what happened. This is what happened.’ I want the court…I want to hear it. I want everybody to be able to ask the questions. Because we’ve heard a lot but we have not heard anything from his side.”

His tv granddaughter, Raven Symoné said that “there’s action being done” and she’d watch his trial if televised.

The panel also featured legal analyst Sunny Hostin who said the media would have to make a motion for cameras to be allowed in the courtroom and then a judge would grant or deny the request.

She did say “I think people want to see it.”

Personally, I’m with Whoopi. I want to see what Cosby has to say for himself. Though I didn’t always feel this way. When the allegations first came out, though I believed the women, for some inexplicable reason, I felt a way about the media asking Bill Cosby, straight out to his face, whether or not he was a rapist.

Now, I realize this is exactly what he needs. To be held publicly accountable for his actions. Particularly when he’s spent so much of his career publicly positioning himself as morally superior.

Whatever happens, a decision will have to be made soon as a preliminary hearing in the case is set to take place on January 14.

Interestingly enough, in another case, involving seven women who claim Bill Cosby sexually abused them and are suing him for defamation of character, his wife Camille Cosby, who has stood by her husband’s side, saying more about the allegations than he himself has, has been ordered to testify this Wednesday.

Her attorneys filed an emergency motion to stay or delay her deposition, claiming that she would be forced to share intimate details of their married life, including her husband’s sexual proclivities. Her lawyers argued that Mrs. Cosby having to testify, as the comedian’s wife and business manager, would present “undue burden” and “would not spare their client embarrassment.”

The whole thing is laughable really.

Camille was the same woman who released a written statement saying that her husband had consensual sex with 50 women during the course of their marriage. I guess that wasn’t embarrassing or invasive or revealing of his sexual proclivities.

The only difference now is that she can’t lie under oath, without facing the penalty of perjury.

If she knew and thereby enabled her husband’s actions over the decades, she needs to speak up for herself publicly too.

But if the trial is indeed televised, Camille won’t be the one on camera. It’ll be Bill himself. And he’s the one who needs to provide the answers.

What do you think, should the trial be televised?

You can watch what the women of “The View” had to say about it in the video below.

According To Lark Voorhies, Bill Cosby Supporters Are “Defending The Devil Himself”

January 3rd, 2016 - By Ashley Monaé
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Lark Voorhies is making headlines this weekend for more than just her questionable lupus fiasco.

As most know by now, 78-year-old comedian Bill Cosby was arrested on Wednesday (Dec. 30) in regards to the alleged 2004 sexual assault of former Temple University basketball coach, Andrea Constand. This year in particular, nearly 55 women spoke out about Cosby’s inappropriate actions towards them that were similar to that of Constand’s. Since Cosby’s private life has had a light shined on it, many who know or just enjoy his work and his influence have also spoken out about the situation, Voorhies included.

“The man you admired, Dr. Huxtable, was a scripted, imaginary character. Remember, Bill Cosby is not actually Dr. Huxtable,” she captioned a photo of Cosby that she posted to her Instagram.


Voorhies then continued, in sort of a mini-rant, posting yet another photo of Cosby. “And for us African-Americans to blame race is unimaginary and unacceptable. IT IS NO LONGER 2015,” she wrote. “People are blaming NBC, race, & politics. We need to start blaming Bill Cosby himself for his reprehensible and disgusting actions.”

“Anyone who defends this man is defending the devil himself,” she continued, finally ending with, “The truth is in the pudding!”


A video posted by Lark Voorhies (@thelarkvoorhies) on