Bill Cosby Is Not A Distraction From Tamir Rice

December 31, 2015  |  

As we close 2015, one thing I hope folks don’t bring into the new year is the belief that talking about Bill Cosby is somehow a distraction from [insert other topical news story here].

I can assure you, what is happening to Bill Cosby is not a distraction from anything else we all were doing on Facebook and Twitter. And he certainly isn’t a distraction from getting justice for Tamir Rice, which appears to be the most timeliest of conspiracies surfacing online.

Nor is it a distraction from Freddie Gray. Talking about Bill Cosby is also not a distraction from Sandra Bland, Trayvon Martin or any other victim whose killers have gone free.

What is happening to Cosby is what is supposed to happen to those accused of acts of violence (and yes, that includes sexual assault).

And that is the delivery of justice.

And justice is all that we want – well at least it is all that I want.

And I don’t just want justice for alleged victims of Cosby. I also want justice for Mike Brown.

And I want justice for Freddie Gray.

And I want justice for Sandra Bland.

And I want justice for Trayvon Martin.

And I want justice for Tamir Rice.

And I want justice for Eric Garner.

And I want justice for Sean Bell.

And I want justice for Aiyana Jones.

And I want justice for Larry Jackson.

And I want justice for all the rest whose murders by the state have gone without justice.

And I want justice for the victims of R. Kelly.

And I want justice for Tyshawn Lee.

And I want justice for Kaylyn Pryor.

And I want justice for the trans women and men who have been killed, and yet, their murders remain unsolved and under-investigated.

And I also want justice for those unfairly incarcerated.

Listen, I am not trying to convince anyone of Cosby’s guilt or innocence. At this point, it is a circular, unproductive, and quite frankly, soul-draining argument.

But what I am saying is that I (and I suspect many of you) am fully capable of asking and demanding justice for more than one thing at a time. I can multitask. And just because I believe that Cosby’s alleged victims deserve justice does not negate or distract me from my other requests for justice.

Justice is not a tit-for-tat strategy. Justice is not Black or White. Justice is about atoning for a wrong in the name of what is right.

It is true that justice for us, particularly when committed by others, has been elusive.

But just because they deny us justice doesn’t mean we stop believing in the principle of it all together.

When that happens, we lose the moral high ground in our demands for justice, which we are being unjustly denied.

Happy New Year.

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