Now that we’ve established our dedication to supporting Black people, Black businesses and Black excellence, where do we draw the line with our support?
No, I’m not talking about not supporting a Black businesses because of bad customer service. I’m talking about not supporting Black public figures who have committed violent crimes such as rape or sexual assault. In the midst of the #MeToo movement, some Black people have found themselves at a crossroads, not sure if they should be sticking to their morals or sticking to their people.
Specifically, to adored characters who many considered family. Yes, like Bill Cosby. Cosby was found guilty on three counts of aggravated indecent assault against a woman on April 26, 2018. On Sept. 25, 2018, he was sentenced to up to 25 years in state prison and a $25,000 fine plus court costs.
Some Black people’s support for Cosby doesn’t seem to stem from a place of true belief in his innocence, but simply because of his race. Verified Twitter user @TARIQNASHEED has spent the last two years tracking the Cosby case and strongly feels as if the allegations are all a lie fueled by racism.
“When there are DOZENS of white males in Hollywood & politics accused of multiple rapes and sexual assaults-but the ONLY one going to jail is the BLACK MALE (Bill Cosby), how in the hell is this NOT about race”
Nasheed is an American film producer and media personality who formerly wrote the pimp themed series of books titled “The Art of Mackin,” “The Mack Within: The Holy Book of Game” and “The Elite Way.”
Mashed was referring to the Harvey Weinstein case, which until recently, left Weinstein to seem free and in the clear. Weinstein’s recent conviction has caused some social media users to be doubtful about Weinstein’s sentence. Naturally, two people who commit the same crime should receive the same sentence.
But as Black people we are well aware of the racial injustice done by the court systems when it comes to our people being sentenced.
The Federal Bureau of investigation’s 2018 Uniform Crime Reporting statistics reveal that in 2018, a total of 18,776 people were arrested for rape. 12,794 of whom were white and 5,376 were black.
According to the RAINN’s statistics on the criminaljustice system, out of every 1000 sexual assaults, 995 perpetrators will walk free.
So what does that mean for Cosby supporters who believe his allegations, arrest, conviction, and sentencing were all fueled by racism? It means that as much as we would like to see Black people staying out of prison and the court system, it’s beneficial for perpetrators like Cosby AND Weinstein to be convicted and properly sentenced.
By convicting those who commit violent crimes like rape and sexual assault, victims of these crimes are more likely to report their attacks.
As a Black woman in America, I am pro-Black. My love and dedication to my community does not mean that I am supporting Black people when they are wrong. Which leads me to a curious hypocrisy in our community: Many pro-Black people forget to support and protect Black women. This is a double-standard that must be addressed.