Cosby, Bill: A twentieth-century comedian
“He used to be funny.”
I overheard someone make that comment. They were talking about Bill Cosby. They had decided he was no longer funny because he was convicted of sexual harassment and assault on women.
I thought to myself, did that rob him of his humor? Are we the sub-total of everything we create and do? Or is our creative life separate from our personal life, which we live out based upon the dictates of our own conscience?
Would Abraham Lincoln be as well-liked for freeing the slaves if we knew he was assaulting women who worked at the White House?
What if we discovered that Mother Teresa was abusing little girls while simultaneously and almost single-handedly touching the lives of the lost souls of India?
Religious people certainly seemed pretty upset when they heard rumors that Jesus might have kissed Mary Magdalene on the mouth.
Although we know better, we think that people who do good deeds should also be morally impeccable. How does one achieve that?
And for that matter, how is it possible to look objectively at Bill Cosby without coming across as if you’re trying to defend his iniquity?
Should we burn all the Michael Jackson records because it appears, from the testimony of several sources, that he molested children?
Should Catholic priests be forbidden to be alone with altar boys and girls because the history of such encounters is filled with sexual perversion?
Am I prepared to have the deeds I do and the person I truly am merged into one being, which is evaluated in totality instead of broken into two categories—the me I wanted to be and the me I was?
I honestly would have no problem listening to a comedy routine from Bill Cosby. But I don’t think I could tolerate hearing him postulate on fatherhood and how to get kids to behave better. And I do believe many of the accolades he received for citizenship and the leadership awards should be retracted.
He was still funny.
It may be the only thing he’ll have left when he dies in a cage.
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