The Holtzclaw trial: it’s intersectional feminism or bust

In the United States, more than 800,000 people serve as local and state law enforcement officials. These police officers are charged with upholding and enforcing the law, maintaining order, and providing general services. To carry out these duties, police officers possess certain powers, granted by the state. If the situation calls for it, police officers can frisk, detain, and arrest civilians, as well as seize property. In addition, depending upon the situation, police officers are empowered to use force to defend themselves or civilians (the amount of force extends along a spectrum from police presence through deadly force). Given the powers that police officers have, it is incumbent upon them to maintain a level of professionalism in the course of their duties and to wield their powers responsibly and ethically. Unfortunately, there are countless examples of cops engaging in a range of irresponsible, unethical, immoral, and/or illegal activities from bribery and unjustified arrests to illegal search and seizure and the use of excessive force. And then there’s one common form of police misconduct that is second only to accusations of excessive force: sex misconduct.

Continue reading “The Holtzclaw trial: it’s intersectional feminism or bust”

The Holtzclaw trial: it’s intersectional feminism or bust
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Police Behaving Badly 9.24.15

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At a recent presidential candidate forum, former Republican presidential hopeful Scott Walker was asked about police brutality and racial inequities. Rather than address any of the numerous examples of excessive force used by police against unarmed civilians, or how racial prejudice may play into many such incidents, Walker decided instead to express his unequivocal support for police officers:

“Do we have an issue in this country that we have to deal with when it comes to race? Absolutely,”he said. “But we shouldn’t confuse that into somehow thinking that that means we shouldn’t treat our law enforcement professionals as the great men and women that they are.”

He continued, refusing to admit that any of the officers involved in the recent, high-profile deadly shootings may have made a mistake. Instead, he told the story of Deputy Darren H. Goforth, a police officer who was killed in Texas earlier this year.

“Every leader we have — at the local level, the state level, all the way up to the president of the United States, for that matter anyone in the clergy and business and anywhere else — needs to step up and say that is wrong,” he said. “The men and women who wear the badge are doing the right thing, every day. All the time. they protect us. We need to have their back. As president, I will have their back every single day.”

In the United States Scott Walker apparently lives in, all law enforcement officials are good, morally upstanding individuals with integrity and compassion and an unwavering devotion to upholding the law. To him, police officers are entitled to respect and obeisance on the basis of nothing more than their position, regardless of their actions. Such thinking marks Walker as a multiply-privileged, empathy-deficient, authoritarian out of touch with the lives of many of the U.S. citizens he once sought to preside over. Authoritarian, because blind obedience to law enforcement officials is a textbook example of authoritarianism. Empathy-deficient, because Walker does not live in a vacuum. As a political official, it strains belief to think he hasn’t heard of the multiple high profile cases of police officers shooting unarmed or fleeing suspects. No, he’s heard of them. He simply doesn’t care about the people that have been injured and killed by cops. And multiply-privileged because as a white, heterosexual, cisgender male politician, he is highly unlikely to ever be the victim of police brutality.

For those of us who do not live in Scott Walker’s USAmerica, the experience is quite a bit different. We are aware of the existence of law-abiding, ethical, law enforcement officials who live up to the responsibilities of their job and do not abuse their power. Unlike Scott Walker, however, we also know that law enforcement agencies across the country are infested with morally bankrupt, unethical, corrupt, tyrannical thugs. How do we know these things? Because we have gifts Walker does not. We have the superhuman ability [and desire] to pay attention to stories of police brutality and abuse of power. Stories like the following five:

Continue reading “Police Behaving Badly 9.24.15”

Police Behaving Badly 9.24.15

There is no “perfect rape victim”

CONTENT NOTE: SEXUAL ASSAULT AND RAPE

Ah, victim blaming. One of the most ubiquitous manifestations of Rape Culture. Whether its blaming rape victims for their sexual assault due to their clothing, level of sobriety, flirtatiousness, or the company they keep, victim blaming can take on many forms. It is horrible because rape occurs regardless of how much or how little clothing a victim wears, their level of sobriety, how much they flirt, or who they choose to associate with. This is because the only person who can decide whether or not a rape will happen is a rapist. Victims have no control over the actions of a rapist. On its own, blaming a rape victim for their assault is horrible enough because it shifts the blame for the sexual assault from the rapist to the victim. Some rape victims have to endure victim blaming on top of another level of social humiliation: slut-shaming.

Continue reading “There is no “perfect rape victim””

There is no “perfect rape victim”

There is no "perfect rape victim"

CONTENT NOTE: SEXUAL ASSAULT AND RAPE

Ah, victim blaming. One of the most ubiquitous manifestations of Rape Culture. Whether its blaming rape victims for their sexual assault due to their clothing, level of sobriety, flirtatiousness, or the company they keep, victim blaming can take on many forms. It is horrible because rape occurs regardless of how much or how little clothing a victim wears, their level of sobriety, how much they flirt, or who they choose to associate with. This is because the only person who can decide whether or not a rape will happen is a rapist. Victims have no control over the actions of a rapist. On its own, blaming a rape victim for their assault is horrible enough because it shifts the blame for the sexual assault from the rapist to the victim. Some rape victims have to endure victim blaming on top of another level of social humiliation: slut-shaming.

Continue reading “There is no "perfect rape victim"”

There is no "perfect rape victim"

Police Behaving Badly 5.13.15

From the use of excessive force to stealing drugs from suspects…from racial profiling to abusing the power of their badges…from sexually assaulting suspects to planting evidence…there is a never-ending stream of stories of law enforcement officials behaving irresponsibly, unethically, immorally, and/or criminally. Here are five recent examples from across the nation:


From out of South Carolina come two stories of police brutality, both resulting in the firing of the officers involved (h/t to If You Only News). The first story involves the brutal beating sustained by Brian ‘BJ’ Hatcher at the hands of ex-police officers Robert Joshua Shaw and John Bell. The two officers pulled over Hatcher during a routine traffic stop in November 2014. While the situation began calmly, it quickly descended into the latest example of police brutality (warning: following the end of the material quoted, there will be a graphic image of Hatcher’s injuries):

Two Honea Path police officers have been fired after a traffic stop turned violent late last year, sending one man to the hospital.

Robert Joshua Shaw and John Bell were terminated on Friday, according to town officials.

Investigators say the traffic stop happened on November 14 when the officers pulled over Brian “BJ” Hatcher, 34, on US-76.

Officials say Hatcher, age 34, led them on a chase and when he stopped, he came at them with an object that appeared to be a knife. A fight then broke out, according to authorities.

State investigators said the officers claimed Hatcher was “originally compliant,” but then came at them with a knife and they did what they felt needed to be done to restrain the man.

Hatcher was charged with failure to stop for a blue light, driving under suspension and resisting arrest. Several items, including a knife, were put into evidence.

Hatcher’s family said he had to undergo facial reconstructive surgery for injuries he suffered during the arrest and said officers went too far.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division was called to investigate after the allegations of excessive force and the officers were placed on administrative leave.

Here is how badly ‘BJ’ Hatcher was injured (again, some may find the image disturbing)-

* * * *

The second story out of South Carolina involves a former police officer who has been charged with second-degree assault and battery and misconduct:

Anderson Police Chief Jim Stewart said a police officer with the city was fired Monday after an alleged assault.

According to Stewart, a woman said Lawyer Scott assaulted her while he was on duty at the Anderson Recreation Center on March 16.

Stewart contacted the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division to investigate the complaint, and Scott was placed on administrative leave without pay.

SLED officials said Scott was charged with second-degree assault and battery and misconduct in officer. They said the assault charge carries a sentence of up to three years in prison. The misconduct charge, a common-law charge, carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.

SLED officials confirmed they are investigating at the request of the Anderson Police Department.

Police said Scott’s employment was terminated with the city of Anderson on Monday.

Scott was arrested and booked into the detention center on Thursday.

* * * *

Florida woman testifies she passed out in car and cop raped her when friend stopped him for help  (Trigger Warning)

According to the Orlando Sentinel, the 26-year-old victim was in tears as she told the court that her boyfriend had flagged down the deputy because she appeared to be unresponsive after a night of partying on New Year’s Eve.

In a complaint filed earlier this year, the woman said that she woke up to find Donnelly standing beside her SUV, and her boyfriend had been placed in the deputy’s cruiser.

On Tuesday, the woman testified that Donnelly groped her through the window, and used his hand to rape her.

She said the deputy promised not to take her boyfriend to jail if she did not report the rape.

A probable cause affidavit indicated that Donnelly told the woman that she was “f*cking sexy” and that he had a wife. The woman said that she felt scared and that her only choice was to cooperate.

A sexual assault examination later revealed that the woman had suffered a cervical injury.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) confirmed the woman’s story when it found three places in Donnelly’s patrol car with her DNA: the steering wheel, the gear-shifter knob and the officer’s flashlight.

Thankfully the department is in the process of firing this guy and hopefully justice will be served.

* * * *

The death of Michael Brown, Jr at the hands of the racist, murderous ex-cop Darren Wilson served as a lightning rod for the Black Lives Matter Movement (which actually began in the wake of the acquittal of the racist-as-fuck George Zimmerman). Since that day in August of 2014, protesters around the country have called for an overhaul of the criminal justice system, greater transparency from law enforcement agencies, accountability for police officers who kill civilians, and an end to police brutality (among other things). That last point has been a focus for many protesters (to the point that many people falsely believe the Black Lives Matter Movement is only in response to police brutality) and you’d think that the greater scrutiny being placed upon cops would cause them to reflect upon how best to serve and protect the citizenry. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be the case for many cops, like some in the Denver PD:

As cities nationwide rose up to protest in solidarity with Baltimore, we saw video after video of basic rights being violated. On of the most disturbing was incidents was recorded in Denver on Wednesday, as pepper spray was used liberally on peaceful demonstrators including a 12-year-old child.  The incident was captured on video by two different witnesses.

Here is one of those videos.

I can’t embed the other video as it is posted on Vimeo, but click the link above and you can see for yourself. The Freethought Project also has a third video from the event, which was peaceful until law enforcement officials decided that no protest is complete without state-sanctioned violence.

If you’ve the stomach for it, the link I provided above quotes a response from an individual who supports the police response to this protest.

Oh, and this example of police brutality on the part of the Denver PD is but the latest in their very long history of violence:

Denver police have a very long history of violence. Most recently they have gained attention for the killing of Naeschylus Carter, also known as Naeschylus Vinzant, an unarmed man murdered by the same unit that arrested James Holmes, the Aurora shooter who killed 12 people and injured over 80 more. Holmes was in possession of automatic weapons and explosives, yet he was taken in alive. Carter’s family has not yet been notified of the killer cop’s name, and the community speculates it is because he is due to testify in the high-profile Holmes case.

A search for “Denver” on The Free Thought Project brings up nearly 23 pages of stories which can give you a glimpse as to why this community is outraged.

* * * *

The last story in this PBB entry enrages me beyond belief. Police officers are entrusted with power by the state to serve and protect the community. When they betray that trust…when they commit criminal acts, they should be arrested, charged, and should face the judgement of the courts. They should not, I repeat NOT be given their motherfucking jobs back after being charged with rape or possession of child porn (and no, I don’t give a flying fucking rat’s ass that they’ve been reassigned). But that’s exactly what has happened in New Orleans:

In the last 12 months, more than a half-dozen officers with the New Orleans Police Department have been booked and charged with various crimes.

In many of those cases, the officers are placed on what the NOPD refers to as “emergency suspension without pay.”

But the WDSU I-Team has learned that type of suspension only lasts so long and some officers charged with serious crimes are back on the job working — much to the surprise of some.

In a quiet Mandeville neighborhood, many people living in one subdivision near the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway know the NOPD sergeant who lives nearby. Several residents were shocked when the 16-year veteran of the force, Bradley Wax, 54, was arrested and charged with 38 counts of possessing child pornography.

When Wax was arrested, the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office said investigators found pornographic images of children on computers and other electronic devices.

Because of the nature of the crime — and the number of counts filed — Wax faces a worst-case scenario of more than 500 years behind bars if he’s convicted. The NOPD wasted no time in announcing that Wax had been placed on emergency suspension without pay back in April of 2014.

Twelve months later, the I-Team found Wax on the job working in fleet management at NOPD headquarters in Mid-City.

Dr. John Penny, criminologist at Southern University at New Orleans, has followed NOPD issues for the bulk of his career.

“It’s incredibly hard to imagine anyone in that capacity would be back working and being paid for it at taxpayer expense,” Penny said.

But Wax is, and he’s not alone.

In February 2014, longtime NOPD Officer Michael Thomassie was arrested and charged with aggravated rape, the state’s most serious sexual assault charge.

In Thomassie’s case, prosecutors said the alleged victim was a child in his care and was younger than 10 years old when the crimes occurred. As with Wax, the police department placed Thomassie on emergency suspension without pay.

But the I-Team found him working in Algiers behind a desk at the NOPD’s Fourth District.

The I-Team asked the NOPD why Wax and Thomassie, who are facing felony charges, were back on the job. The department declined a request for an on-camera interview, but issued this statement:

“An emergency suspension is generally used as a tool for emergency situations when an officer has been arrested and is physically unable to come to work and perform their duties. Once the officer is able to return to work, they are reassigned to administrative duties pending the outcome of an investigation. Based on civil service rules, officers are disciplined after an investigation is completed and a formal disciplinary hearing has been held.”

Wax and Thomassie are set to go to trial this summer.

The Police Association of New Orleans admits the situation is “difficult” given the charges, but says the officers are innocent until proven guilty. Eric Hessler is an attorney for the association and claims that even though they wear the shield and wield the authority of any other officer, “It’s very rare they’ll be interacting with the public in any fashion.”

Wax is assigned to the fleet division and Thomassie is on desk duty. Those are different roles than they held before their arrests, but Penny is still concerned.

“It sends a very dangerous message to the citizens of this community,” Penny said.

NOPD spokesman Tyler Gamble said that, according to policy, “An employee can only be suspended up to 120 days.”

And that puts the city of New Orleans in a quandary.

It may be hard to believe, but it’s true. Taxpayers are providing the salary for cops who have been charged with rape and possession of child porn. I cannot express how outraged this story makes me.  The USAmerican criminal justice system is so fucked up I just can’t even…

Fuck me, I need a drink.


Btw, it shouldn’t need to be said, but I’ll say it anyways:

I do not believe that all cops are bad or corrupt. The purpose of this ongoing series is to highlight those officers who are not worthy to wield the powers they’ve been invested with by the state.

Police Behaving Badly 5.13.15

Bill the rapist Cosby: now it’s 43

Since late last year I’ve been following the ever-growing number of women who have publicly accused comedian Bill Cosby of sexual assault. I first became aware of the allegations when Cosby was called out as a rapist during a stand-up act by comedian Hannibal Burress. Following that accusation, two women stepped up to accuse Cosby of sexual assault. Soon after, I learned that the number of victims jumped to 15. Then 19. Then 22. Then 23.  Then 26. At this point I suspected the number would rise to 30 in little time (which it did) and began to wonder how high it was going to go. How many women did Bill Cosby sexually assault over the years? Last week, the number of victims rose to 41. Today, it has risen to 43:

Former “Cosby Show” actress Lili Bernard and writer Sammie Mayes on Friday came forward with sexual assault allegations against Bill Cosby in a press conference in New York City. The women stood next to attorney Gloria Allred, who is representing many of Cosby’s alleged victims.

Allred says Cosby raped Bernard in New Jersey, a state that does not have a statute of limitations on rape. Cosby could conceivably be charged for the crime if a prosecutor finds sufficient evidence. This has not been possible in the cases of other women who have accused Cosby of sexual assault in recent years.

I find it fucking outlandish that different states get to decide whether or not to have a statute of limitations on rape, and I’m glad to hear New Jersey is one of those states without one. I hope there is enough evidence to charge Cosby, so that there can be some measure of justice for the many, many women he has assaulted over the last several decades.

In her statement, Mayes said she met Cosby when she attended a New Orleans TV conference in the mid-’80s. She says she was just starting her writing career, so she eagerly accepted Cosby’s offer to do an interview with him.

Mayes says she asked a passerby to snap a photo of herself and Cosby (see above) as they headed to his hotel room together. Once there, she says, he mixed her a drink. When she woke up covered in drool, she initially thought she had fainted.

But she says she soon noticed her shirt was unbuttoned, and her bra pushed to the side. Her chain belt (which can be seen in the photo) had been loosely re-hooked.

“I realized I had just survived an encounter with a scheming madman who hid his demons behind an alluring persona,” she says. Out of fear for her safety, she says, she apologized to Cosby profusely and left the room quickly.

Bernard claims Cosby assaulted her in the early ’90s when she guest-starred as the zany and pregnant Mrs. Minifield on the final season of “The Cosby Show.” She says Cosby became a mentor and a father figure to her.

A faux mentor/father figure who wanted to gain her trust, affection, and respect as part of his predatory tactics. Once he did that, his plan was to rape her, which is exactly what happened:

“After he had won my complete trust and adoration he drugged me and raped me,” she said during the press conference.

Bernard says Cosby threatened and intimidated her after the assault, telling her, “As far as I’m concerned, Bernard, you’re dead,” which she interpreted as a death threat.

A few months later, Bernard was hospitalized for suicidal thoughts following the trauma. She said she still suffers nightmares and panic attacks.

I wonder if that hospital would still have those records and if they could be beneficial in building a case against Cosby. I really hope so because I want to see that lying shitstain rapist face the consequences of his actions.

Bill the rapist Cosby: now it’s 43

Bill the rapist Cosby: now it's 43

Since late last year I’ve been following the ever-growing number of women who have publicly accused comedian Bill Cosby of sexual assault. I first became aware of the allegations when Cosby was called out as a rapist during a stand-up act by comedian Hannibal Burress. Following that accusation, two women stepped up to accuse Cosby of sexual assault. Soon after, I learned that the number of victims jumped to 15. Then 19. Then 22. Then 23.  Then 26. At this point I suspected the number would rise to 30 in little time (which it did) and began to wonder how high it was going to go. How many women did Bill Cosby sexually assault over the years? Last week, the number of victims rose to 41. Today, it has risen to 43:

Former “Cosby Show” actress Lili Bernard and writer Sammie Mayes on Friday came forward with sexual assault allegations against Bill Cosby in a press conference in New York City. The women stood next to attorney Gloria Allred, who is representing many of Cosby’s alleged victims.

Allred says Cosby raped Bernard in New Jersey, a state that does not have a statute of limitations on rape. Cosby could conceivably be charged for the crime if a prosecutor finds sufficient evidence. This has not been possible in the cases of other women who have accused Cosby of sexual assault in recent years.

I find it fucking outlandish that different states get to decide whether or not to have a statute of limitations on rape, and I’m glad to hear New Jersey is one of those states without one. I hope there is enough evidence to charge Cosby, so that there can be some measure of justice for the many, many women he has assaulted over the last several decades.

In her statement, Mayes said she met Cosby when she attended a New Orleans TV conference in the mid-’80s. She says she was just starting her writing career, so she eagerly accepted Cosby’s offer to do an interview with him.

Mayes says she asked a passerby to snap a photo of herself and Cosby (see above) as they headed to his hotel room together. Once there, she says, he mixed her a drink. When she woke up covered in drool, she initially thought she had fainted.

But she says she soon noticed her shirt was unbuttoned, and her bra pushed to the side. Her chain belt (which can be seen in the photo) had been loosely re-hooked.

“I realized I had just survived an encounter with a scheming madman who hid his demons behind an alluring persona,” she says. Out of fear for her safety, she says, she apologized to Cosby profusely and left the room quickly.

Bernard claims Cosby assaulted her in the early ’90s when she guest-starred as the zany and pregnant Mrs. Minifield on the final season of “The Cosby Show.” She says Cosby became a mentor and a father figure to her.

A faux mentor/father figure who wanted to gain her trust, affection, and respect as part of his predatory tactics. Once he did that, his plan was to rape her, which is exactly what happened:

“After he had won my complete trust and adoration he drugged me and raped me,” she said during the press conference.

Bernard says Cosby threatened and intimidated her after the assault, telling her, “As far as I’m concerned, Bernard, you’re dead,” which she interpreted as a death threat.

A few months later, Bernard was hospitalized for suicidal thoughts following the trauma. She said she still suffers nightmares and panic attacks.

I wonder if that hospital would still have those records and if they could be beneficial in building a case against Cosby. I really hope so because I want to see that lying shitstain rapist face the consequences of his actions.

Bill the rapist Cosby: now it's 43

3 more women accuse Bill Cosby of drugging and raping them

First it was a trickle. Then it was a slow but steady stream. Then it was a fast-moving river. Now it’s like Niagara Falls.  Three more women have alleged that Bill Cosby drugged and raped them, bringing the total to 41.

Forty-fucking-one

Well-known civil rights attorney Gloria Allred is representing these women (as well as several others). According to Allred, the women are speaking up because Cosby continues to refuse to “acknowledge and take responsibility for his conduct towards women.” The three women include Janice Baker-Kenney:

On the night of the alleged assault, Kinney, who was 24 at the time, said a friend invited her to the house for a “pizza party.” There, she says Cosby offered her two pills. “I thought it must be OK,” she said. “Bill Cosby said it was.”

She woke up later in the living room area on the couch with her jeans unzipped and her blouse opened and remembered Cosby bringing her upstairs to the bedroom.

The following morning, she woke up next to a naked Cosby who was touching her belly and genital area. She said she quickly got dressed and before she walked out the front door Cosby allegedly said: “‘this is between you and me’ and he put his finger to his mouth like a ‘shhhh’ sign.”

Marcella Tate:

Marcella Tate was a 27-year-old Wilhelmina model when she was assaulted by Cosby at the Playboy Mansion’s Chicago location in 1975. He gave her a drink, and the last thing she remembered was him laying next to her in bed, naked. The Playboy Mansion has been a frequent setting for the alleged assaults.

and Autumn Burns:

Burns said she met Cosby in 1970 at a Las Vegas casino in which she worked when she was 20 years old. She said she was invited to his suite where he made her a drink, after which she felt “woozy and not in control”. She said the comedian then forced her into sex acts.

Of course, as expected, Cosby’s defenders show up in the comment sections of these articles to defend their icon. Apparently he’s such a virtuous individual that he is unassailable and so obviously not a rapist. I’m so motherfucking sick and tired of the lack of empathy and compassion for rape victims and I say that as someone who has never been raped. I cannot image how awful it must be for sexual assault victims to watch people defend a rapist, no matter how much of a celebrity he is.

3 more women accuse Bill Cosby of drugging and raping them

I’m sad too, but not for Bill Cosby

As part of his October 2014 stand-up act, comedian Hannibal Buress reminded the country of the sexual assault allegations surrounding fellow comedian Bill Cosby. Referring to him as “the f–king smuggest old black man public persona that I hate”, Buress went on to say:

“He gets on TV, ‘Pull your pants up, black people. I was on TV in the ’80s. I can talk down to you because I had a successful sitcom,'” Buress mocked. “Yeah, but you raped women, Bill Cosby, so turn the crazy down a couple notches.”

Buress couldn’t have known, but his comments served as the catalyst for many of Cosby’s victims to speak up publicly about their assault at his hands.  While a handful of his victims had already publicly accused Cosby of raping them (Andrea Constand, Beth Ferrier, and Tamara Green), it turns out there were many, many more.  As the number of accusations increased, more victims chose to speak up publicly, some for the first time.  Barbara Bowman was among the first women to allege that Cosby sexually assaulted her. Days later, Joan Tarshis came forward with her own allegations. Then there was Janice Dickinson, followed by Therese Serignese and Carla FerrignoLouisa MoritzAngela Leslie, and Linda Joy TraitzMichelle Hurd, Renita Chaney Hill, Victoria Valentino, Joyce Emmons, Kristina Ruehli, Jewel AllisonJena T, Judy Huth, Chelan, Helen Hayes, P.J. Masten, Beverly Johnson, Chloe Goins, Lisa, Lachelle Covington, Shawn Brown, Donna Motsinger, Katherine McGee, Linda Kirkpatrick, Lynn Neal, Kasey, and Cindra Ladd.

Recently, three more women have spoken up, raising the total number of allegations against Bill Cosby to three dozen. Heidi Thomas decided to speak up and her story mirrors the stories of so many of Cosby’s victims. 30 years ago, she was questioning her career choices when she was given the opportunity to meet Bill Cosby. Seeing this as a way to further her career, Thomas journeyed to Reno, Nevada, in the hopes that Cosby would coach her and help her develop her acting skills.

Thomas says she was picked up by limousine at the airport in Reno. She questioned the driver because she remembered seeing the city lights behind her as they drove away. Thomas says she was confused because the postcard she bought at the airport showed Harrah’s as being in the middle of town.

The driver told her that a friend let Cosby use their house outside Reno so “he doesn’t have to deal with all of the paparazzi,” Thomas says.

Thomas says Cosby greeted her at the door of the sprawling house, and later, the coaching began.

She says she performed a monologue, and when she finished, Cosby asked her to do a cold read of a person who was intoxicated.

According to Thomas, Cosby wasn’t impressed. Thomas wasn’t much of a drinker.

“How are you ever going play an intoxicated person … if you’ve never been drunk?” she says he told her.

She says Cosby wanted her to relax, and he gave her a glass of Chablis.

Thomas admits that her memory of the next few hours is “foggy,” but she says that at one point, he may have asked her something like, (Are you) “feeling the part now?” or “Feeling the lines now?”

Thomas says that when she woke up, Cosby was next to her in bed, naked and “forcing himself in my mouth.” She says she remembers feeling like she wanted to throw up.

Soon after, Thomas says, Cosby was getting on top of her again and referring to himself in the third person.

“I’m your friend … your friend is gonna (ejaculate) again,” Thomas remembers him saying.

Rather than get angry with Cosby, Thomas says, she made excuses and asked herself, “What’s happened? Why am I here? Why is he naked? What did I say? What did I do?”

Thomas says she remembers eventually storming out of the room and slamming the door, and then apologizing for being “rude.” The next thing she can remember is riding with Cosby to his show. She says the rest of her memory is spotty: She recalls a cook offering her strawberries and having wine with Cosby before his show. But, she says, she doesn’t remember much more from the four-day trip.

Thomas says that months after the incident in Reno, she learned Cosby was going to be in St. Louis. She says she traveled there and was able see him backstage after one of his shows, but never talked to him about what happened in Reno. She was never alone with him, she says.

“There’s another thing I wish I could explain,” she says of the trip. “[The] closest thing I can say here is I just wanted to make this right … I’m still not thinking I’ve been abused. I’m thinking this is all my fault.” Thomas says she wanted to see if Cosby really thought she had talent.

That was 1984 — and Thomas says that she’s been haunted in the years since, thinking that maybe she’d brought it on herself. She chose not to confide in anyone, including her agent or the talent agency.

But Thomas says everything changed a few weeks ago when she learned that her mother knew something had happened in Reno. Thomas says she learned this from a friend; her mother had never mentioned a word of it to her in all these years.

Indeed, Johnson says Thomas called her from Reno back in 1984 after her first full day there and after the alleged incident. Thomas says she doesn’t remember making that call, but her mother has little trouble recollecting the confusion and anguish she felt hundreds of miles away.

“I remember standing in the kitchen thrilled to hear from my daughter. She was excited.” Johnson remembers making some small talk when she said Thomas said something very disturbing.

“I did something wrong and … I got away and slammed the door,” Johnson remembers her daughter telling her.

Johnson says she continued trying to get more information from her daughter on the phone.

“‘Did he rape you?’ She said, ‘No, I got away.'”

Johnson says she wanted to comfort her but didn’t know how. “I couldn’t reach her. I couldn’t touch her. I didn’t know anyone in Reno to send her to. She was on the other side of the earth.”

Thomas says she returned to Denver with no memory of the flight or the ride home with her parents.

“I don’t remember seeing them. What did we say to each other? How did she look? I-I-I have nothing.”

Johnson says she decided not to mention the phone call — or let on that she knew in any way — because she just wanted “things get back to normal” for her daughter.

Thomas has never spoken publicly about this incident, until now. She says finding out that her mother knew all along was what freed her to speak.

“I finally find out that she knows, that Dad knows, that they are supporting me if I want to go public…Then it became full steam ahead, I want to empower people.”

“I was beginning to think though…that whole keeping-your-silence is a form of acceptance. It’s not supporting the women who are coming forward. It’s not helping … and if enough people make enough of a fuss, maybe we can get a culture that starts to listen,” Thomas says.

Reading her story brings tears to my eyes and enrages me. She remained silent because she felt no one would support her. And that’s what happens in our culture. People don’t support victims of sexual assault and rape. They blame them for their assault. They tell victims what not to wear, where not to go, who not to hang out with. They give all sorts of “advice” to sexual assault victims. But support? There’s far too little of that to go around. This is one of the reasons that many victims of sexual assault and rape stay silent. If no one is going to support you…if no one is going to believe you, why speak up? And this is something that flies over the head of Cosby’s attorney:

Cosby’s attorney has called the spate of sexual assault accusations against the comedian “ridiculous.”

Martin D. Singer said in a statement it defies common sense that “so many people would have said nothing, done nothing, and made no reports to law enforcement or asserted civil claims if they thought they had been assaulted over a span of so many years.”

Here’s the thing Mr. Singer-if you pay attention to what the victims are saying, you will learn exactly why they remained silent. But no, you don’t even have the decency to listen to them and actually pay attention to their words. You dismiss them out of hand. I’ve been trying to cut back on insulting others a little bit, but your callousness and indifference to the sexual assault of one woman, let alone three dozen, enrages me. You and your serial rapist client are morally contemptuous assholes who most likely have no compassion to spare for former models Linda Brown and Lise-Lotte Lublin, who recently spoke about their horrible encounters with Bill Cosby:

Brown said she was 21 when she met Cosby in 1969 at a restaurant in Toronto. She went to his hotel room, because he wanted to give her a gift, and when she got there he gave her a soft drink. She took a sip, blacked out, and woke up naked in bed with him, where she says she was raped.

“I felt like a rad doll and like a real-life blow-up doll for him” she said. “I felt dirty, ashamed and embarrassed,” and fooled into believing that Cosby was “nice, trustworthy and honorable.”

“I want people to know who Mr. Cosby really is: He has a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality and if you trust him then he has fooled you as well,” she said.

Lublin was 23 when she met Cosby in 1989 in a Las Vegas hotel where he sought to evaluate her acting skills. He insisted she have a drink to relax.

“I trusted him because of who he was, and how well he was respected around the world,” she said. “The taste was horrible and unfamiliar to me because I was not a drinker.”

She fell into a stupor, remembers Cosby wrapping himself around her and stroking her hair and then she passed out. She woke up at home with no memory of how she got there although her car was in the driveway.

“Bill Cosby appears to think that rape is a joke,” she said. “Let me tell you something, Bill, I’m not laughing.”

She vowed to lead a campaign to press Nevada legislators to throw out the statute of limitations for sexual assault. Such a change would not help in her case or in the cases of most of the women who have accused Cosby.

“I will do everything in my power to change the law that protects criminals and re-victimizes the innocent,” she said.

For his part, Cosby continues to deny the dozens of allegations against him. On Wednesday, he released a statement saying:

Dear Fans: For 53 years you have given me your love, support, respect and trust. Thank you! I can’t wait to see your smiling faces and warm your hearts with a wonderful gift — LAUGHTER. I’m ready!

I thank you, the theatre staff (Heymann Performing Arts Center), the event organizers and the Lafayette Community for your continued support and coming to experience family, fun entertainment. Hey, Hey, Hey — I’m far from finished. Sincerely, Bill Cosby.

Yes, we know you’re not finished (you are at NBC though). You continue to press on with your North American tour (which you laughably tout as “family, fun entertainment”). You do so because you still have supporters. You still have people who refuse to believe you’re a serial rapist. You still have people who think your carefully crafted media image represents the type of person you are. I know that there are many people, especially African-Americans, who are having difficulty reconciling the idea of a much-loved, well-respected icon being a rapist. The doors you’ve opened for others, the paths you’ve helped pave, the barriers you’ve helped shatter…these are things that people rightly appreciate. Hell, I appreciate the work you’ve done.

However.

In spite of your accomplishments, you are still a human being. You are not a peerless paragon of perfection untainted by human foibles. You are a complex, flawed, human being. Your flaws exist alongside your accomplishments. You are the first African-American to star in a weekly prime-time television series. You are also a serial rapist. You brought Cliff Huxtable to life and in the process, presented an image of African-American families that helped shatter racial stereotypes. You are also a peddler of the bullshit that is respectability politics. I recognize that it’s difficult for many out there to view you in this nuanced manner. You’re an icon. You’re an inspiration. You’re a hero. But there’s a problem with that.

Elevating humans to hero status often results in flaws being ignored. Commendable attributes are praised while flaws are rationalized, downplayed, or ignored. Biologist and atheist Richard Dawkins is admired and well-respected in the atheist community for (among other things) helping to lead people away from religion. And yet, he’s a Rape Culture apologist–a fact that many of his supporters deny. The late Mother Teresa is lauded the world over as a saint and a hero who did much to help poor people and those in need. In response to the question “Do you teach the poor to endure their lot?“, Mother Teresa once said “I think it is very beautiful for the poor to accept their lot, to share it with the passion of Christ. I think the world is being much helped by the suffering of the poor people“. Despite Mother Teresa’s endorsement of human suffering as a good thing (or any of the other criticisms against her), there are many people who still view her as a saint whose shit smelled like roses. Even after allegations of doping arose, fans across the world continued to idolize Lance Armstrong, refusing to entertain the idea that the seven-time Tour de France winner used drugs to enhance his performance. I suspect that even after his admission of drug use, he still has supporters. Elevating humans to iconic or heroic status brings with it the danger of their follies being ignored, rationalized, or even outright ignored. What’s worse, when that icon or hero is discovered to have done something decidedly unheroic-like say, sexually assaulting 36 women-it can be difficult for some to accept that the person they admired and held up as virtuous is actually a flawed human being. That’s a problem currently facing Lee Daniels, co-creator of the television series ‘Empire‘. Daniels recently sat down for an interview with CNNs very own peddler of respectability politics, Don Lemon:

“It is very, very hard, and what bothers me most is if there is an iota of truth to this … the one person of color that means the most to me is pulled down,” Daniels told CNN’s Don Lemon on Wednesday. “If he is guilty, it says that we are human, which is what I like to examine with every character that I breathe life to. We are not black, it is not white — it’s grey. We are all complicated, and we all like to point fingers and drag people down and drag people through the mud when stuff ain’t right. What’s fascinating is it’s not going to change. I pray for him. I pray for him. I’m sad. I am wrecked by it, I am gutted by it. He’s a man. And the victims, you know?”

Oh dear Isis, where to start? Oh yeah, with his doubt over the accusations. “If there is an iota of truth to this” indicates that Daniels is uncertain whether or not Cosby is a rapist. Unfortunately, that means he still has doubts about whether 36 women are being truthful. Remember upthread when I discussed believing rape victims? This is what Daniels needs to do. No one is asking him to place Bill Cosby in the mental file marked rapist for all time and never adjust his opinion of the guy. We’re saying “believe the women”. If it turns out that all 36 of them are lying, then he can adjust his opinion. If we’re ever going to see a reduction in incidents of rape and sexual assault, it is vital that we support victims.

Then there’s the confusing comment “if he’s guilty, it says that we are human…”. Whether he’s guilty or innocent doesn’t change the biological fact that Bill Cosby is a human being. He’s not some highly advanced human who no longer has flaws. He’s not an evolutionary offshoot of humanity. He’s not some non-human species of animal. This is exactly why it’s problematic to have heroes. No matter what he’s done, Cosby is still a human being. Understand that Mr. Daniels, and you might begin to understand how Bill Cosby can be both an inspiration and a sexual predator.

As for the rest, I’ll simply restate what I said elsewhere:

I’m sad too.
I’m sad for the 36 women who were sexually assaulted or raped by Bill Cosby.
I’m sad that according to Jennifer Lee Pryor (widow of the late Richard Pryor) Cosby’s actions were a well-kept secret in Hollywood.
I’m sad that people around the world are leaping to the defense of a man they know precious little about, and are taking his word over the word of 3 dozen women (implying in the process that they are lying and he is being truthful). Given the rape statistics which are readily available to anyone reading this, it makes far more sense to believe victims when they allege that they were attacked (and if it turns out that a victim is lying-which doesn’t happen anywhere near as often as too many people believe–you amend your opinion).
I’m sad that so many people still think of rapists as “men who jump out of the bushes and attack random women”, rather than people whom the victims know.
I’m sad that Bill Cosby likely won’t face the inside of a prison cell.
I’m sad that people think Bill Cosby is just like the warm, affable, fictional characters he’s played on television shows.
So yeah, I’m with you on the sadness. Not the prayer thing though. That’s a complete waste of time.

I’ll add one more thing: I’m not sad for Bill Cosby. He’s a scumbag.

I’m sad too, but not for Bill Cosby

I'm sad too, but not for Bill Cosby

As part of his October 2014 stand-up act, comedian Hannibal Buress reminded the country of the sexual assault allegations surrounding fellow comedian Bill Cosby. Referring to him as “the f–king smuggest old black man public persona that I hate”, Buress went on to say:

“He gets on TV, ‘Pull your pants up, black people. I was on TV in the ’80s. I can talk down to you because I had a successful sitcom,'” Buress mocked. “Yeah, but you raped women, Bill Cosby, so turn the crazy down a couple notches.”

Buress couldn’t have known, but his comments served as the catalyst for many of Cosby’s victims to speak up publicly about their assault at his hands.  While a handful of his victims had already publicly accused Cosby of raping them (Andrea Constand, Beth Ferrier, and Tamara Green), it turns out there were many, many more.  As the number of accusations increased, more victims chose to speak up publicly, some for the first time.  Barbara Bowman was among the first women to allege that Cosby sexually assaulted her. Days later, Joan Tarshis came forward with her own allegations. Then there was Janice Dickinson, followed by Therese Serignese and Carla FerrignoLouisa MoritzAngela Leslie, and Linda Joy TraitzMichelle Hurd, Renita Chaney Hill, Victoria Valentino, Joyce Emmons, Kristina Ruehli, Jewel AllisonJena T, Judy Huth, Chelan, Helen Hayes, P.J. Masten, Beverly Johnson, Chloe Goins, Lisa, Lachelle Covington, Shawn Brown, Donna Motsinger, Katherine McGee, Linda Kirkpatrick, Lynn Neal, Kasey, and Cindra Ladd.

Recently, three more women have spoken up, raising the total number of allegations against Bill Cosby to three dozen. Heidi Thomas decided to speak up and her story mirrors the stories of so many of Cosby’s victims. 30 years ago, she was questioning her career choices when she was given the opportunity to meet Bill Cosby. Seeing this as a way to further her career, Thomas journeyed to Reno, Nevada, in the hopes that Cosby would coach her and help her develop her acting skills.

Thomas says she was picked up by limousine at the airport in Reno. She questioned the driver because she remembered seeing the city lights behind her as they drove away. Thomas says she was confused because the postcard she bought at the airport showed Harrah’s as being in the middle of town.

The driver told her that a friend let Cosby use their house outside Reno so “he doesn’t have to deal with all of the paparazzi,” Thomas says.

Thomas says Cosby greeted her at the door of the sprawling house, and later, the coaching began.

She says she performed a monologue, and when she finished, Cosby asked her to do a cold read of a person who was intoxicated.

According to Thomas, Cosby wasn’t impressed. Thomas wasn’t much of a drinker.

“How are you ever going play an intoxicated person … if you’ve never been drunk?” she says he told her.

She says Cosby wanted her to relax, and he gave her a glass of Chablis.

Thomas admits that her memory of the next few hours is “foggy,” but she says that at one point, he may have asked her something like, (Are you) “feeling the part now?” or “Feeling the lines now?”

Thomas says that when she woke up, Cosby was next to her in bed, naked and “forcing himself in my mouth.” She says she remembers feeling like she wanted to throw up.

Soon after, Thomas says, Cosby was getting on top of her again and referring to himself in the third person.

“I’m your friend … your friend is gonna (ejaculate) again,” Thomas remembers him saying.

Rather than get angry with Cosby, Thomas says, she made excuses and asked herself, “What’s happened? Why am I here? Why is he naked? What did I say? What did I do?”

Thomas says she remembers eventually storming out of the room and slamming the door, and then apologizing for being “rude.” The next thing she can remember is riding with Cosby to his show. She says the rest of her memory is spotty: She recalls a cook offering her strawberries and having wine with Cosby before his show. But, she says, she doesn’t remember much more from the four-day trip.

Thomas says that months after the incident in Reno, she learned Cosby was going to be in St. Louis. She says she traveled there and was able see him backstage after one of his shows, but never talked to him about what happened in Reno. She was never alone with him, she says.

“There’s another thing I wish I could explain,” she says of the trip. “[The] closest thing I can say here is I just wanted to make this right … I’m still not thinking I’ve been abused. I’m thinking this is all my fault.” Thomas says she wanted to see if Cosby really thought she had talent.

That was 1984 — and Thomas says that she’s been haunted in the years since, thinking that maybe she’d brought it on herself. She chose not to confide in anyone, including her agent or the talent agency.

But Thomas says everything changed a few weeks ago when she learned that her mother knew something had happened in Reno. Thomas says she learned this from a friend; her mother had never mentioned a word of it to her in all these years.

Indeed, Johnson says Thomas called her from Reno back in 1984 after her first full day there and after the alleged incident. Thomas says she doesn’t remember making that call, but her mother has little trouble recollecting the confusion and anguish she felt hundreds of miles away.

“I remember standing in the kitchen thrilled to hear from my daughter. She was excited.” Johnson remembers making some small talk when she said Thomas said something very disturbing.

“I did something wrong and … I got away and slammed the door,” Johnson remembers her daughter telling her.

Johnson says she continued trying to get more information from her daughter on the phone.

“‘Did he rape you?’ She said, ‘No, I got away.'”

Johnson says she wanted to comfort her but didn’t know how. “I couldn’t reach her. I couldn’t touch her. I didn’t know anyone in Reno to send her to. She was on the other side of the earth.”

Thomas says she returned to Denver with no memory of the flight or the ride home with her parents.

“I don’t remember seeing them. What did we say to each other? How did she look? I-I-I have nothing.”

Johnson says she decided not to mention the phone call — or let on that she knew in any way — because she just wanted “things get back to normal” for her daughter.

Thomas has never spoken publicly about this incident, until now. She says finding out that her mother knew all along was what freed her to speak.

“I finally find out that she knows, that Dad knows, that they are supporting me if I want to go public…Then it became full steam ahead, I want to empower people.”

“I was beginning to think though…that whole keeping-your-silence is a form of acceptance. It’s not supporting the women who are coming forward. It’s not helping … and if enough people make enough of a fuss, maybe we can get a culture that starts to listen,” Thomas says.

Reading her story brings tears to my eyes and enrages me. She remained silent because she felt no one would support her. And that’s what happens in our culture. People don’t support victims of sexual assault and rape. They blame them for their assault. They tell victims what not to wear, where not to go, who not to hang out with. They give all sorts of “advice” to sexual assault victims. But support? There’s far too little of that to go around. This is one of the reasons that many victims of sexual assault and rape stay silent. If no one is going to support you…if no one is going to believe you, why speak up? And this is something that flies over the head of Cosby’s attorney:

Cosby’s attorney has called the spate of sexual assault accusations against the comedian “ridiculous.”

Martin D. Singer said in a statement it defies common sense that “so many people would have said nothing, done nothing, and made no reports to law enforcement or asserted civil claims if they thought they had been assaulted over a span of so many years.”

Here’s the thing Mr. Singer-if you pay attention to what the victims are saying, you will learn exactly why they remained silent. But no, you don’t even have the decency to listen to them and actually pay attention to their words. You dismiss them out of hand. I’ve been trying to cut back on insulting others a little bit, but your callousness and indifference to the sexual assault of one woman, let alone three dozen, enrages me. You and your serial rapist client are morally contemptuous assholes who most likely have no compassion to spare for former models Linda Brown and Lise-Lotte Lublin, who recently spoke about their horrible encounters with Bill Cosby:

Brown said she was 21 when she met Cosby in 1969 at a restaurant in Toronto. She went to his hotel room, because he wanted to give her a gift, and when she got there he gave her a soft drink. She took a sip, blacked out, and woke up naked in bed with him, where she says she was raped.

“I felt like a rad doll and like a real-life blow-up doll for him” she said. “I felt dirty, ashamed and embarrassed,” and fooled into believing that Cosby was “nice, trustworthy and honorable.”

“I want people to know who Mr. Cosby really is: He has a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality and if you trust him then he has fooled you as well,” she said.

Lublin was 23 when she met Cosby in 1989 in a Las Vegas hotel where he sought to evaluate her acting skills. He insisted she have a drink to relax.

“I trusted him because of who he was, and how well he was respected around the world,” she said. “The taste was horrible and unfamiliar to me because I was not a drinker.”

She fell into a stupor, remembers Cosby wrapping himself around her and stroking her hair and then she passed out. She woke up at home with no memory of how she got there although her car was in the driveway.

“Bill Cosby appears to think that rape is a joke,” she said. “Let me tell you something, Bill, I’m not laughing.”

She vowed to lead a campaign to press Nevada legislators to throw out the statute of limitations for sexual assault. Such a change would not help in her case or in the cases of most of the women who have accused Cosby.

“I will do everything in my power to change the law that protects criminals and re-victimizes the innocent,” she said.

For his part, Cosby continues to deny the dozens of allegations against him. On Wednesday, he released a statement saying:

Dear Fans: For 53 years you have given me your love, support, respect and trust. Thank you! I can’t wait to see your smiling faces and warm your hearts with a wonderful gift — LAUGHTER. I’m ready!

I thank you, the theatre staff (Heymann Performing Arts Center), the event organizers and the Lafayette Community for your continued support and coming to experience family, fun entertainment. Hey, Hey, Hey — I’m far from finished. Sincerely, Bill Cosby.

Yes, we know you’re not finished (you are at NBC though). You continue to press on with your North American tour (which you laughably tout as “family, fun entertainment”). You do so because you still have supporters. You still have people who refuse to believe you’re a serial rapist. You still have people who think your carefully crafted media image represents the type of person you are. I know that there are many people, especially African-Americans, who are having difficulty reconciling the idea of a much-loved, well-respected icon being a rapist. The doors you’ve opened for others, the paths you’ve helped pave, the barriers you’ve helped shatter…these are things that people rightly appreciate. Hell, I appreciate the work you’ve done.

However.

In spite of your accomplishments, you are still a human being. You are not a peerless paragon of perfection untainted by human foibles. You are a complex, flawed, human being. Your flaws exist alongside your accomplishments. You are the first African-American to star in a weekly prime-time television series. You are also a serial rapist. You brought Cliff Huxtable to life and in the process, presented an image of African-American families that helped shatter racial stereotypes. You are also a peddler of the bullshit that is respectability politics. I recognize that it’s difficult for many out there to view you in this nuanced manner. You’re an icon. You’re an inspiration. You’re a hero. But there’s a problem with that.

Elevating humans to hero status often results in flaws being ignored. Commendable attributes are praised while flaws are rationalized, downplayed, or ignored. Biologist and atheist Richard Dawkins is admired and well-respected in the atheist community for (among other things) helping to lead people away from religion. And yet, he’s a Rape Culture apologist–a fact that many of his supporters deny. The late Mother Teresa is lauded the world over as a saint and a hero who did much to help poor people and those in need. In response to the question “Do you teach the poor to endure their lot?“, Mother Teresa once said “I think it is very beautiful for the poor to accept their lot, to share it with the passion of Christ. I think the world is being much helped by the suffering of the poor people“. Despite Mother Teresa’s endorsement of human suffering as a good thing (or any of the other criticisms against her), there are many people who still view her as a saint whose shit smelled like roses. Even after allegations of doping arose, fans across the world continued to idolize Lance Armstrong, refusing to entertain the idea that the seven-time Tour de France winner used drugs to enhance his performance. I suspect that even after his admission of drug use, he still has supporters. Elevating humans to iconic or heroic status brings with it the danger of their follies being ignored, rationalized, or even outright ignored. What’s worse, when that icon or hero is discovered to have done something decidedly unheroic-like say, sexually assaulting 36 women-it can be difficult for some to accept that the person they admired and held up as virtuous is actually a flawed human being. That’s a problem currently facing Lee Daniels, co-creator of the television series ‘Empire‘. Daniels recently sat down for an interview with CNNs very own peddler of respectability politics, Don Lemon:

“It is very, very hard, and what bothers me most is if there is an iota of truth to this … the one person of color that means the most to me is pulled down,” Daniels told CNN’s Don Lemon on Wednesday. “If he is guilty, it says that we are human, which is what I like to examine with every character that I breathe life to. We are not black, it is not white — it’s grey. We are all complicated, and we all like to point fingers and drag people down and drag people through the mud when stuff ain’t right. What’s fascinating is it’s not going to change. I pray for him. I pray for him. I’m sad. I am wrecked by it, I am gutted by it. He’s a man. And the victims, you know?”

Oh dear Isis, where to start? Oh yeah, with his doubt over the accusations. “If there is an iota of truth to this” indicates that Daniels is uncertain whether or not Cosby is a rapist. Unfortunately, that means he still has doubts about whether 36 women are being truthful. Remember upthread when I discussed believing rape victims? This is what Daniels needs to do. No one is asking him to place Bill Cosby in the mental file marked rapist for all time and never adjust his opinion of the guy. We’re saying “believe the women”. If it turns out that all 36 of them are lying, then he can adjust his opinion. If we’re ever going to see a reduction in incidents of rape and sexual assault, it is vital that we support victims.

Then there’s the confusing comment “if he’s guilty, it says that we are human…”. Whether he’s guilty or innocent doesn’t change the biological fact that Bill Cosby is a human being. He’s not some highly advanced human who no longer has flaws. He’s not an evolutionary offshoot of humanity. He’s not some non-human species of animal. This is exactly why it’s problematic to have heroes. No matter what he’s done, Cosby is still a human being. Understand that Mr. Daniels, and you might begin to understand how Bill Cosby can be both an inspiration and a sexual predator.

As for the rest, I’ll simply restate what I said elsewhere:

I’m sad too.
I’m sad for the 36 women who were sexually assaulted or raped by Bill Cosby.
I’m sad that according to Jennifer Lee Pryor (widow of the late Richard Pryor) Cosby’s actions were a well-kept secret in Hollywood.
I’m sad that people around the world are leaping to the defense of a man they know precious little about, and are taking his word over the word of 3 dozen women (implying in the process that they are lying and he is being truthful). Given the rape statistics which are readily available to anyone reading this, it makes far more sense to believe victims when they allege that they were attacked (and if it turns out that a victim is lying-which doesn’t happen anywhere near as often as too many people believe–you amend your opinion).
I’m sad that so many people still think of rapists as “men who jump out of the bushes and attack random women”, rather than people whom the victims know.
I’m sad that Bill Cosby likely won’t face the inside of a prison cell.
I’m sad that people think Bill Cosby is just like the warm, affable, fictional characters he’s played on television shows.
So yeah, I’m with you on the sadness. Not the prayer thing though. That’s a complete waste of time.

I’ll add one more thing: I’m not sad for Bill Cosby. He’s a scumbag.

I'm sad too, but not for Bill Cosby