During his notorious Black self-hating “Pound Cake” speech to the NAACP on May 17, 2004, Bill Cosby said, “[Those people have] names like Shaniqua, Shaligua, Mohammed, and ‘all that crap’ and all of them are in jail.”
Those “crappy-named” people he was referring to were poor Black people in the hood whose parents, many of whom are single mothers, didn’t have the luxury of a college education but nonetheless wanted to show their cultural pride by staying away from giving their children common Eurocentric names like Becky or Abigail or Liam or Ethan and instead giving them Afrocentric-sounding or Islamic names.
Cosby obviously wishes at least one of the persons on the seven-men, five-women jury was “Shaniqua” from the hood because she would’ve been more inclined to be wary of America’s racist so-called justice system and its sordid history of mistreating Black men, especially Black men accused of sexually assaulting White women. Maybe “Shaniqua” would’ve forced a hung jury. But instead, on Thursday during the second day of deliberations, Cosby was found guilty on all three counts of Aggravated Indecent Assault, a second degree felony that could lead to a prison sentence as high as 30 years or as low as 10 or possibly, under certain mitigating circumstances, house arrest.
Before continuing, I gotta “go there” and say what needs to be said. Y’all White women gotta stop it with all that fake outrage regarding Cosby. After all, most of y’all (i.e., 52 percent) voted for Donald Trump even after he boasted about repeatedly “grabbin’… (y’all) by the… [genitals].”
By the way, before I proceed any further, I must say this: I am no Cosby apologist. I believe he’s a serial sexual predator who did exactly what Andrea Constand as well as the 59 other women accused him of doing. My belief is based not only on what she credibly testified to in court and what those nearly 60 others (who, by the way, didn’t know each other but gave eerily similar credible accounts) said during separate televised interviews but is also based on what Cosby himself said under oath during a four-day 1,000 page deposition in 2005 and 2006. When asked by a woman’s lawyer if he had ever given Quaaludes to any women without their consent, he inexplicably stated, “I don’t know.” He also stated he doesn’t take Quaaludes himself because they make him sleepy and the only reason he ever had them was to give them to women he wanted to have sex with. He wouldn’t describe those actions as sexual assaults. Instead, he called them “rendezvous.” Stop and think about all that for a moment. What a dangerous predatory creep!
Such predators should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. However, although the trial evidence showed he’s by no means factually innocent, it also showed he’s legally not guilty. And there’s a big difference between not being factually innocent and being legally not guilty. In other words, you can commit a crime and still be not guilty of that crime. Allow me, based on my 26 years of experience as a criminal defense trial attorney, to explain.
For example, let’s say a guy wearing a ski mask and gloves robbed a bank and got away clean with $250,000 because no one could identify him and he left no fingerprints. And let’s say he then began living so large with fancy cars and custom-made suits that his neighbor, who happens to be a cop, becomes jealous and after the guy leaves his house, he decides to sneak into the guy’s garage and scratch up one of his cars and go into his bedroom and bleach his suits. While in the bedroom, he stumbles across thousands of twenty dollar bills, a gun, a ski mask, gloves, and photos of the robbed bank. He calls for police back-up and arrests the guy when he returns home. But because all that evidence was illegally obtained by the police, the case will be thrown out and the bank robber will go free. In other words, even though he wasn’t factually innocent, he was legally not guilty.
This applies to Cosby because there were procedural violations of his rights that denied him a fair trial. And arguments concerning all those violations will be raised by his lawyers in a Common Pleas Court Motion For Extraordinary Relief, a Common Pleas Court Post-Sentence Motion, a Pennsylvania Superior Court Direct Appeal, and/or a Pennsylvania Supreme Court King’s Bench Application. In those filings, his lawyers will raise several strong legal arguments including, but not limited to, the violation of Rule 404(b) that prohibits the DA from introducing “evidence of a crime, wrong, or other act… to prove a person’s character in order to show that… (he) acted in accordance with the character” as well as the violation of Rule 403 that calls for a judge “to exclude (even) relevant evidence if its probative value is substantially outweighed by a ‘danger’ of… unfair prejudice, confusing the issues, misleading the jury… or needlessly presenting cumulative evidence.” When Judge Steven O’Neill allowed five other accusers to testify against Cosby regarding uncharged and unreported sexual assaults from nearly 40 years ago, he violated both rules.
Furthermore, his lawyers will argue that Juror Number 11— along with the entire jury panel — should’ve been removed because, before the trial even began, that juror purportedly told the other jurors, “I just think… [Cosby’s] guilty, so we can all go home.” Moreover, they’ll argue that the judge should’ve recused himself from the case since his wife is a sexual assault counselor, thereby either rendering him biased or at least caused the appearance of impropriety, which is just as much of a violation.
Despite the fact that Cosby’s legally not guilty since his due process rights were violated as I just explained, he’s also not factually innocent as the strong evidence clearly showed. And even though Black folks want to rally around Blacks caught up in America’s racist criminal so-called justice system, we gotta do the right thing. Blacks who love Blacks must not make excuses for Black sexual predators like Whites who love Whites do for White sexual predators (such as Trump, Roy Moore, George H.W. Bush, Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, and many others).
In conclusion, although Bill lost — and deserved to lose — his “ghetto pass” for dissin’ “Shaniqua” and other so-called “crappy-named” poor Blacks and especially for being a serial sexual predator, we still love Queen Camille because of her love and respect for all Blacks and because of her unwavering regalness under extreme spousal and public stress.
And besides, she never had me or any of my ancestors lynched on false rape accusations.
Michael Coard, Esquire can be followed on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. His “Radio Courtroom” show can be heard on WURD96.1-FM. And his “TV Courtroom” show can be seen on PhillyCam/Verizon/Comcast.