Carl W. Kenney II is an award winning columnist and novelist. He is committed to engaging readers into a meaningful discussion related to matters that impact faith and society. He grapples with pondering the impact faith has on public space while seeking to understand how public space both hinders and enhances the walk of faith.
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Why are black women supporting Bill Cosby?
Can we talk? I mean, can we really, really talk?
I’m upset with the comments of some black women popping up
in my Facebook news feed.I’m not sure
how to take it all.I mean, I’m a
man.I don’t know what it feels like to
carry all that comes with being mistreated as a woman.I don’t claim to be an expert, but I do my
best to understand.
So, help me understand why so many black women are defending
Bill Cosby?Why are they attacking the
13 women who accuse Cosby of drugging and raping them over the years?Why are they challenging the credibility of
those accusations because it happened so long ago?
Help a brother understand.
I recognize why the image of Dr. Huxtable remains fixated in
the imagination of those who grew up with Claire, Cliff and those adorable
children.Could it be that Cosby’s
television persona kindles memories that help us feel warm and fuzzy when we watch
those reruns? Are black women afraid of losing their model of marriage, parenting
and career success?
I get all of that, but help me understand why women are
throwing other women under the bus.This
troubles me for numerous reasons.Top on
my list of confusion regards the number of women I have dated who have
experienced sexual assault.
Get this.I can’t
think of one woman who hasn’t. Not one.I’ll confess I’ve dated more than enough to draw an adequate conclusion.
Many of those women have experienced multiple rapes.Some have been drugged, beaten and raped. One
escaped in the middle of the day while running with no clothes to cover her
body.Many were raped by family
members.It’s a long, pathetic list that
exposes the ghastly ways of men.
All of them are black.They represent the vast experiences of black women.Some are highly educated. Others are high
school graduates with amazing careers. In other words, it doesn’t matter how
much money they earn or where they received training.Black women, from all walks of life, catch Hell
from men. And, it’s not just black men who use the bodies of black women for
Given the common experiences of black women, help me
understand how a woman can’t understand why a woman refuses to speak up after
being raped.The women I know didn’t
speak up.They kept it to themselves for
a variety of reasons.Some feared
retaliation.Others felt no one would believe
them.A bunch of them merely wanted the
nightmare to go away.
They didn’t want their names dragged in public space.They didn’t want their friends to know.They dreaded being labeled.You know, it’s because of the way you
dress.You carried yourself like you
wanted it.You’re not innocent – you’re
a whore who asked for it.
Why wouldn’t they believe all of that?Isn’t that the common encounter of those who
yell their truth?Help me women! Isn’t
that what happens? Isn’t that what happened to you? Isn’t that the reason you
kept it to yourself?
I’ll say it again, I’m not an expert on how it feels to be a
woman, but I am when it comes to doing my best to carry the burden of a woman I
love.Loving a woman means listening and
embracing everything she has experienced.
What does that look like?
It means standing for any woman who screams rape.It means fighting on behalf of all victims of
sexual assault.It means not calling her
a liar when she says he drugged and raped her, and she was afraid to speak.
Yes, I’m aware of all the liars who make it hard to
stand.Yes, I’m still pissed at Wanetta
Gibson for fabricating a story that landed Brian Banks in prison (see
Rev-elution: Brian Banks not only victim
of Wanetta Gibson lie, June 2013). I accept the hostility people feel
towards Crystal Magum for accusing members of the Duke Lacrosse team of sexual
assault.That stuff is real, but none of
that has any bearing regarding a case involving the claims of 13 women.
Help me understand black women.Is it because most of the women are
white?Is it because you refuse to
believe your television dad would do such a thing?Is your refusal to accept the possibility of
guilt rooted in a need to claim racial solidarity?
I’m not refuting your right to cling to support, but help
me, please help me understand.
If anyone understands being screwed, it should be you.So help a brother out.