Home > Miscellaneous Debris > “Why I Liked THAT Cosby”

“Why I Liked THAT Cosby”

I was holding out some kind of hope that the allegations agains Bill Cosby would turn out to be false; maybe he would come forward with evidence to refute every claim, magically. I held out hope because when I was a child and grew up watching Bill Cosby showing me me, on the TV screen.

I was born in 1975 so I grew up when “The Cosby Show” debuted and closed. I was also watching shows like “What’s Happening?” and “Good Times” as well as “Different Strokes”, “All In The Family”, and “The Jeffersons”. But something about “The Cosby Show” transcended all those shows. While I looked much like “Roger Thomas” from “What’s Happening?”, and even identified with his character a bit, I never felt like “What’s Happening?” depicted me, or my family environment. I guess the single mom deal was far from my reality. All the other shows were extremes of my reality – “Good Times” was a depiction of a black family fighting to make it while living in the projects (low income housing). “The Jeffersons” was an ode to black business success taken to the heights, whilst not forgetting the roots. Ultimately, I just couldn’t see my situation. Then came “The Cosby Show.”

My parents were not doctors and lawyers, but they were employed well enough to provide their children with middle-class, even to some degree upper-middle class, lifestyles. We never wanted for anything. Our house was never cold, and there was always more than enough food on the table. On this note we probably overindulged, but that was my reality; my parents provided. We lived in an amazing amount of security; I was definitely allowed to play outside after dark without parental supervision. We lived in a town that provided us with an education that was an example of how good U.S. public education should be administered. And when it came time for college, we went to top notch private universities (me Syracuse University and my sister Fordham University…price tags not exactly at “Good Times” level). Basically, we had a great life under the umbrella of my parents. This was “The Cosby Show” to a great degree.

“The Cosby Show” also showed me that we, as black youth, could aspire to be working professionals with a healthy family life, while being humble and regular (also with all the happy dysfunctionality that goes with family life). I dreamed big as a kid, and I still dream big. I am studying for my doctorate of education in curriculum and instruction, not something the average person just throws around. I don’t say that to be high-minded but just to say my dreams are still moving forward. I still dream big, but I guess I can also reel in those dreams and turn them into practical realities. Again, “The Cosby Show” was a reflection of this.

But, if there is one thing I really loved about the Bill Cosby I grew up with was that he made me, and my family laugh. We just laughed and laughed and laughed to no end. In some ways I think my parenting style, and overall demeanor, of trying to inject humor and comedy into situations comes from Cosby’s character of “Heathcliff Huxtable”. My parents were/are awesome, but they were not clowns and jokers (although now they seem to joke a lot more than when I was a kid). “Heathcliff Huxtable” showed me a father and husband and son could be funny and serious and inspiring all at the same time. I was always like this, but as a father and husband and son I am now in the moment where all these traits and realities are coming together and living through my current persona. Looking back I see that “The Cosby Show” depicted characters like this all the time, and they were characters I could identify with then and now.

It truly does sadden me to know the truth about Bill Cosby because the reality of his exploits does corrupt all the good memories I have of him as a child. I do wish all these women, and insiders would have blown the cover much much much sooner so I could have discarded the facade. I know he was really funny, for me, but obviously at great cost to others. He was plainly a bad person that put on a great show, and it has caught up to him, thankfully. I will not introduce “The Cosby Show” to my child under some false pretense other than to say that as a child I simply did not know Bill Cosby was a monster, and I wouldn’t have watched him if I had known.

So the question goes, “will I re-brand those cherished memories for what I now know is the truth; the product of a sick twisted man?” I can’t obviously retroactively stop laughing; go back in time and tell myself to stop watching this guy. If anything, I do hope Cosby mans up and comes forward because at least he could then own his success more truthfully; with the equitable depravity he displayed. The alternative is his legacy will forever be that he was and is just a coward and pure fake.

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Categories: Miscellaneous Debris
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