Monday Reads: Cosby and Crimes Against Women and Children

new-york-magazine-bill-cosby

Good Morning!!

New York Magazine’s latest cover features 35 women who say they were drugged and sexually assaulted by Bill Cosby. At the moment the link to the “13-page photo essay” is unavailable–apparently the site has crashed.

From The Guardian: Bill Cosby accusers detail trauma and betrayal in magazine.

Thirty-five women who have accused Bill Cosby of raping them have spoken out in an explosive photo essay for New York magazine. More than 40 women have so far accused the comedian of sexual assault, but the cover story represents a sea change in how the comedian’s alleged victims have been publicly perceived.

On Sunday, the magazine published excerpts of interviews with each woman for a 13-page photo essay, covering accusations they have made against the comedian and the backlash they have faced.

“Listen, he was America’s favorite dad,” saidBarbara Bowman, who says she was raped as a 17-year-old actress. She made her case public in 2004, when testifying on behalf of Andrea Constand, who said she was also one of Cosby’s victims.

“I went into this thinking he was going to be my dad,” Bowman told the magazine. “To wake up half-dressed and raped by the man that said he was going to love me like a father? That’s pretty sick.

“It was hard for America to digest when this came out. And a lot of backlash and a lot denial and a lot of anger.”

Inside Higher Ed reports: Spelman Discontinues Cosby Professorship.

Spelman College announced Friday that it is discontinuing an endowed professorship named for Bill Cosby and his wife. “The William and Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby Endowed Professorship at Spelman College has been discontinued and related funds have been returned to the Clara Elizabeth Jackson Carter Foundation,” said a statement from the college. A spokeswoman declined to comment further. Bill and Camille Cosby are major donors to Spelman and an academic building is named for Camille Cosby. The Clara Elizabeth Jackson Carter Foundation was created by Bill Cosby to provide grants to historically black colleges.

The hardest thing for many people to understand about this is the way Camille Cosby has stood by her husband through the many years it has taken for this entire ugly business to play out. Was she simply in denial? Was she reluctant to give up the money and fame that came with being the wife of a powerful man? We may never know, but she was apparently an active force in her husband’s defense.

Bill and Camille Cosby

Bill and Camille Cosby

From the July 12 New York Post: Bill Cosby’s wife says accusers ‘consented’ to drugs and sex.

Bill Cosby’s wife knows her husband is a serial philanderer, but believes his scores of accusers consented to drugs and sex, two confidants of the couple say.

Last week’s revelation that Cosby admitted during a deposition that he intended to ply women with Quaaludes before bedding them barely fazed Camille Cosby, the ­insiders told The Post.

“Camille still doesn’t believe that Bill provided drugs and had sex with women without their consent,” said a source employed by the Cosby family. “She’s well aware of his cheating, but she doesn’t believe that her husband is a rapist.”

Mrs. Cosby is “a proud, dignified but stubborn woman. You can say that she’s standing by her husband, but really, the more people stand against him, the more she perceives it as an affront to her and all that she’s done to make him a star,” said another source who’s done business with the ­Cosbys and remains close to them.

Camille Cosby, 71, who is also her 78-year-old husband’s business manager, demanded last week at a crisis meeting with advisers that their lawyers and p.r. specialists “get back out in front of this,” the business source said.

“I created him, I knew what I was getting and we’ll fix this,” she told the gathering at a meeting at the couple’s Shelburne Falls, Mass., home Tuesday night.

There’s more disgusting stuff at the link. According to the Post’s sources, Camille was also angered that longtime Cosby defenders have been changing their positions in light of recent revelations.

At Refinery 29, Kelsey Miller argues that women like Dottie Sandusky (wife of convicted child rapist Jerry Sandusky) and Camille Cosby can be simultaneoursly enablers and victims.

The Complicated Case Of Camille Cosby.

It is easy and tempting to make assumptions about Camille Cosby. “That poor woman,” some say. “That idiot,” say others. And, to some, she is “that monster.” Pity or vilification are the textbook responses to spouses in these cases. Watching and waiting for Camille’s next move, I’m reminded of last year’s TODAYinterview with Dottie Sandusky (wife of Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, who in 2012 was found guilty of sexually abusing 10 boys)….

Last week, The New York Post shared a widely reported story that Camille (also her husband’s business manager) had held a crisis meeting with Bill’s team to discuss damage control. “I created him. I knew what I was getting, and we’ll fix this,” she was quoted by a source as having said. It was also alleged that she referred to the “infidelities” as an embarrassment she’d long since reconciled herself with, and emphasized them as just that — affairs, and not assaults.

Of course, reports like this should be taken with a hefty handful of salt, but it’s worth noting that Camille’s supposed remarks are certainly in keeping with Cosby’s own in the deposition. Both reveal the kind of psychological gymnastics that allow someone to leap over the evidence at hand — to find acceptable, ordinary dalliances where many would see something much more sinister….

To believe that Camille Cosby is an evil, calculating accomplice to the crimes her husband’s been accused of would be to ignore the possibility that she’s just another victim of those same alleged crimes.

Conversely, to believe that Dottie Sandusky is merely a naive grandma would be to ignore the magnificent power of deliberate denial. We know nothing of the internal lives of these women, nor can we speak to the dynamic of their marriages. Is it likely they knew of their husbands’ actions? Certainly. It is just as likely that they were subject to manipulation and abuse themselves.

The point being: One does not cancel out the other. It’s a cognitive dissonance that neither mainstream media nor its consumers can seem to resolve. We want clear answers and archetypes, and instead we’re stuck with real people, none of whom are entirely good or entirely monstrous.

I suppose Miller has a point, but it’s difficult for me to have much sympathy with either of these enabling wives. Each of these women appear to have actively covered up their husbands’ criminal behavior and allowed these men to damage the lives of so many young men and women.

Sandra Bland

Sandra Bland

Also in the news . . .

CBS Local 11: History Of Racial Tension Where Bland Died.

Waller County was named for Edwin Waller, a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico in 1836, who four years later became the first elected mayor of Austin. Whites make up 44 percent of the 47,000 residents, Hispanics 29 percent and blacks 25 percent.

First settled in the early 1820s, the area became home to slave-labor cotton plantations. Hempstead was incorporated in 1858 thanks to a railroad terminus.

The plantations were dismantled with the end of the Civil War in 1865. Three years later, historical records report a race riot, followed by unrest in the 1880s, when a White Man’s Party was established to blunt active black political participation in the county where blacks outnumbered whites.

That’s when violence blamed on the Ku Klux Klan and other extremist groups gave it the “Six Shooter” sobriquet.

More recently, voter intimidation and voting-rights complaints have arisen from students at Prairie View A&M University, a college established in 1876 specifically to train black teachers.

The complaints led to a federal lawsuit. The district attorney at the time, in 2004, reached a settlement and apologized. But the issue resurfaced only two years later and again in 2008, when additional early voting sites in the county were established only after federal pressure.

“There’s a lot of prejudice going on,” said Eugene Hood, citing a history of police harassment as he cut hair at Chad’s Barber Shop on University Drive, just south of where Bland was arrested outside the main entrance to the university.

Marie Armstrong of Dallas, a Prairie View senior, remembers being pulled over and ticketed for a broken brake light and being forced to go court. She wished police would exercise some judgment.

More at the link.

A courageous woman who killed a man who was beating and trying to strangle her may have rid the world of a dangerous serial killer. David Lohr at Huffington Post:  Neal Falls, Man Killed By Escort, Had Cache Of Weapons And List Of Prostitutes, Police Say.

Neal Falls, the man shot to death by a prostitute after he attacked her on Saturday, had a cache of weapons and a list of online escorts inside his vehicle, police said Wednesday.

The items, as well as statements the woman said Falls made to her, led police to suspect he may have been involved in other unsolved crimes.

“He had a machete, shovel, two axes, a bunch of knives, a double-headed ax, a bulletproof vest, numerous sets of handcuffs, as well as the firearm used to kill him,” Lt. Steve Cooper of the Charleston, West Virginia, police department, told The Huffington Post.

Police also found a list containing the names of an unspecified number of women inside the man’s vehicle.

Photo of Neil Falls surrounded by photos of the "murder kit" police found in his car. (Source: Huffington Post)

Photo of Neil Falls surrounded by photos of the “murder kit” police found in his car. (Source: Huffington Post)

More details from a previous report by Lohr:

The man…was shot and killed in Charleston, West Virginia, on Saturday, according to WCHS-TV. The incident reportedly occurred after he met a female escort through Backpage.com, an online classified ad portal that is often used by men seeking prostitutes.

“The details that we’re able to release right now are that there was a struggle … that the man had beaten and strangled the woman and gotten her onto the ground, laid the gun down as he was dragging her back through the house, and she was able to pick the gun up and fire over her shoulder blindly, and the bullet did strike the man, killing him,” Charleston Police Lt. Steve Cooper told the Charleston Gazette on Saturday.

Police in nearby Chillicothe, OH, are looking into the possibility that Falls could be responsible for the disappearances of 6 Ohio women.

“We are in communication with Charleston regarding that situation,” Bud Lytle, a spokesman and crime prevention officer for the Chillicothe Police Department, told The Huffington Post. “Obviously, it’s not a great distance from us and it involved a prostitute and an individual known to pick up prostitutes.”

Falls, who was originally from Oregon, is also be investigated by authorities in Nevada, according to Lohr: Neal Falls Investigation Expands To Las Vegas-Area Dismemberments: EXCLUSIVE

“We received information that caused a conversation to take place between us and law enforcement in Henderson, Nevada,” Lt. Steve Cooper of the Charleston, West Virginia, police department, told The Huffington Post on Thursday.

Cooper said he couldn’t discuss specific cases Nevada authorities are now looking into because the investigation “is ongoing and we don’t want to risk comprising [sic] it.”

The FBI also is investigating, a law enforcement source told The Huffington Post on Friday. A spokesman didn’t immediately answer a request for comment.

CBS News: Woman who killed alleged serial killer recounts final fight.

Falls was answering an online ad for an escort, police said, when he showed up to a Charleston, West Virginia, home.

The woman, who wants only to be known as “Heather,” answered the door.

She said Falls, armed with a gun, asked her: “live or die?” Then he started choking her.

“When he strangled me, I grabbed my rake, and when he laid the gun down to get the rake out of my hands, I shot him,” Heather said. “I grabbed the gun and shot behind me.”

Heather ran out of the house and flagged down a neighbor, who called 911. The neighbor said she “had to defend herself,” and she had “cuts and stuff all over her.” ….

Police are not charging Heather for the shooting, which they say was in self-defense. “I knew he was there to kill me,” Heather said.

See a video of Heather describing her ordeal at WCHS ABC Local 8.

This turned into a post about crime, but–as I have written previously–for me rape and sexual assault are political issues. Crimes against women and children are often ignored and covered up in our society, with the media as enabler.

Movie shooter John Russell Houser

Movie shooter John Russell Houser

Just take a look at Dakinikat’s post from yesterday. She points out that the media are largely ignoring the fact that Louisiana mass shooter John Russell Houser specifically targeted women who were watching a movie created by a feminist.

So, let me address the mainstream media and police confusion about Houser’s “choices” of victim.  These are the same groups of people that rarely address the daily violence against and murder of women by the men in their lives. This is from a blog that tracks and monitors male misogyny called “We Hunted the Mammoth”. The author is David Futrelle.

Police in Lafayette, Louisiana are evidently struggling to understand why the outspokenly misogynistic, racist and anti-Semitic John Russell “Rusty” Houser murdered two women and wounded 9 other moviegoers at a showing of “Trainwreck,” a film written by and starring Amy Schumer, a feminist comedian with a Jewish father, known for joking frankly about sex.

Please check out Dak’s post if you haven’t read it yet.

What else is happening? Please post your thoughts and links in the comment thread and have a nice Monday.


44 Comments on “Monday Reads: Cosby and Crimes Against Women and Children”

  1. Sweet Sue says:

    As of yesterday, CNN was still running a crawl stating that the police are searching for a motive in the Lafayette mass shooting.
    The Keystone Kops could have figured it out by now.
    Oh, and good for Heather.

  2. dakinikat says:

    I read that NY magazine article yesterday. Pretty amazing that so many women agreed to go public and the cover is stunning!

    • Beata says:

      I read the New York Magazine article yesterday. It is an undeniable act of enormous courage. These women are brave and forthright. Finally, they can tell their stories and be believed. They have names. They have faces. Their lives matter. Read the article and know their truths.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Their website is still down, unfortunately. I hope some folks will also read my post. It’s not about the NY Mag. story. I address the issue of Camille Cosby’s enabling and orchestrating the pr campaign. The brave woman who killed her attacker–a suspected serial killer–is an important story too, IMO.

        • Beata says:

          BB, I did read your post this morning and it is excellent. I was leaving for a medical appointment and only had time to write a brief comment.

          Camille Cosby acting as an apologist and a shield for her rapist husband FOR DECADES is beyond disgusting; it should be a crime. The brave woman who killed her attacker is to be commended. That is an amazing story.

          • bostonboomer says:

            Thanks, Beata. I guess I’m a little down today. Sorry I posted that in reply to your comment.

        • janicen says:

          great post, bb. for some reason I’m really tired today so I’m not commenting much. My heart breaks for Cosby’s victims. They have suffered in silence for so long and have been twice victimized, first by Cosby and then by the doubters who didn’t believe them.

          • bostonboomer says:

            I just can’t forgive the wives for covering for them. I think they did it to protect themselves, and let others suffer instead.

          • NW Luna says:

            They are certainly in denial. But they are also condoning, or at the very least, enabling, by their denial, the abuse of others, as their predator husbands continue to do harm. I cannot understand being so wrapped up in your own status to deny the evidence to this extent.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I wish you had posted the link yesterday. It could be a long time before it works again.

      • dakinikat says:

        I thought about it but it was really late when I saw it and figured if you didn’t cover it I’d put it on your thread rather than bury it on mine.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    Native American Activist Found Dead In Jail Cell After Traffic Fine Arrest

    http://countercurrentnews.com/2015/07/native-american-found-in-jail-after-traffic-fine-arrest/

    Rexdale W. Henry, 53, was recently found dead inside the Neshoba County Jail in Philadelphia, Mississippi, on July 14th. He had been arrested over failure to pay a minor traffic citation.

    Local WTOK, reported that corrections officers reported Henry dead around 10 a.m.. But reports and logs reveal that he was seen alive and perfectly fine only half an hour before that.

    Reports say that the state crime lab in Jackson are currently conducting an autopsy. The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation also says that they are “looking into” Henry’s death.

    • Fannie says:

      The Choctaw Indians have always been a peaceful, and very together tribe. They were part of the Trail of Tears. Note this is where the three civil rights workers were killed in 1964……..and Mississippi Burning.

    • NW Luna says:

      What?!

      There’s a Twitter tag now #ifIdieincustody

  4. bostonboomer says:

    Creepy scene from Cosby show revealed Cosby’s proclivities.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Death and Taxes: In Cosby Show episode, Dr. Huxtable drugs women with ‘special’ barbecue sauce.

      In season 7 episode 3 titled “Last Barbecue,” things go crazy around the 20-minute mark. When the women all of the sudden become lovey-dovey, notice how Dr. Huxtable’s daughter Sondra is barely conscious as she lovingly lounges into her husband Elvin’s arms.

      Writing credits for the episode go to Bernie Kukoff and Janet Leahy, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t assume that Bill Cosby popped into the writers room with this idea?

      “It’s my barbecue sauce,” Huxtable explained to his wife Claire, played by staunch Cosby defender Phylicia Rashad. “Haven’t you ever noticed after people have some of my barbecue sauce, after a while, when it kicks in, they get all huggy-buggy? … Haven’t you ever noticed that after one of my barbecues—and they have the sauce—people want to get right home?”

      Huxtable then implies that he’s got a cup of barbecue sauce ready to go in their bedroom. Jesus.

      • dakinikat says:

        Creepy doesn’t even begin to cover it.

      • Fannie says:

        He built his life around raping women, in his mind was he thinking of celebrity status, and that he was a hero, had the self image of being a hero?

        Meanwhile, these women have been trying to rebuild their lives, year after year. This time I hope they take him down and out for good, let him do the time for all these crimes.

        Thanks BB, I can’t hardly think of how to figure Camille out. Except I see a wife years ago in the court house, and she couldn’t believe that her husband was a serial rapist. I watched her sob, and sob, yet I wanted to get in her face and shout out, he’s a RAPIST.

  5. dakinikat says:

    Thx for quoting me. As you know, I’m going through this situation with a very dear friend of mine and I’m trying to get her out of there before her husband kills her and me and a detective both believe the next time he goes after her, he will. I’ve been in that situation too. Men don’t seem to understand the complexities of “control”. They just want it any way they can get it and blame women and children if they lose it.

  6. Sweet Sue says:

    Congratulations, BB.
    I see that Boston has withdrawn its bid to host the Olympics.
    I know you were dreading it.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I heard that the committee was withdrawing it from the city. I’ll have to go check on google news.

  7. bostonboomer says:

    It turns out the NY Mag. website was hacked.

    Hackers take down New York magazine’s website after its explosive Bill Cosby story

    New York magazine’s website was taken down, apparently by hackers trying to silence it, just hours after publishing the accounts of 35 women who say they were raped by Bill Cosby.
    The site came back up about 12 hours later

    A group of hackers going by the name VikingDom2016 took credit for the attack, though it was not possible to confirm if they were responsible. Reached on Twitter, a representative for the group offered various motivations for taking down the magazine’s website.

    “Want to know a top reason?” the person, who goes by the name ThreatKing, said. “We know one of them females in the cover.”

    The person wouldn’t elaborate on that comment and then cast the group’s actions as an attack on the magazine’s home city: “New york, A place where the police don’t care and people run wild with fake handguns trying to ‘troll’ and record people.”

    WTF?!