The arrest of Dr. Cosby helps us disabuse ourselves of the hope that plying White supremacist ideas about Black folks through a Black Nationalist caste system will somehow make even the most “successful” amongst us immune from those very ideas. At the same time, Dr. Cosby was not arrested because he is Black and powerful. He was arrested because he’s an alleged serial rapist. And while it is true that our justice system is crippled by systemic racism, it is also true that our society is crippled by systemic chauvinism and misogyny that cause us to dismiss women and their right to govern their own bodies, as well as the veracity of their word in comparison to that of one powerful man.
I don’t like Bill Cosby’s brand of respectability politics and their focus on the Black middle and upper classes. I’m also not happy that he has been arrested. But I am happy that a group of women – one that is far too large – may get justice for what happened to them.