During my winter break, regardless of which home I visited or for how long I stayed, I was asked in some form or another, “What do you think about Bill Cosby?” I was challenged and debated while I formed my own opinion and listen to others’. What I found interesting is that, through it all, there was one common factor — each individual struggled with the issue of legacy.
“He did all of those great things, and now this is all he’ll be remembered for.”
“Why did all of those women come forth now, all these years later?”
“Why knock a great man down?”
However, when considering Blacks or any minority entertainer, it’s different. The difference is that, both the halo effect and tokenism come into play. It is the aspect of tokenism, the rarity that their presence and accomplishments represent, that causes this difference.
So, in this light, when a Black public figure does something distasteful, illegal, etc., it calls into question the actions of every person that is associated with their race because of the lack of company.
In doing so, Blacks are oftentimes pressured to pick one side, or lens, when considering multifaceted situations.
In this case of Cosby:
A) Support Cosby and his legacy — which means you don’t support women affected by sexual violence.