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Killing Bill Cosby


My great grandmother, Asantewaa, once whispered this short story:

A young man once had a toothache. He looked in the mirror, mouth wide open, and spotted the area of the ache, and then the tooth. His grandmother warned him to wait it out for another day. He refused. The pain was unbearable. With some help he managed to gather enough funds to get the tooth pulled out.

A month later, the ache had returned, it had moved to the next tooth. Again, he had the tooth pulled out. Thirty-one months after, this young man was left with no teeth. His grandmother than asked, “Kofi, is the pain gone?” He replied, “No, Nana!”

After all, the teeth had nothing to do with the ache, Kofi’s gums had become infected. Nana then asked, “Are you going to pull out your gum?” But of course, Kofi was now distraught.

“Some actions are irreversible, you ought to be certain,” said his Nana.


After the narrative, Asantewaa put it more succinctly: When you have a toothache you don’t always have to pull the tooth out. Or soon, you’ll have no teeth with which to chew. You must find out more about the ache. Were you knocked in the jaw? Did you fall on your face? Is it a tooth decay? Or a fracture? Or perhaps a gum infection? These are important questions in need of constructive answers. For after all, it’s not about the ache. It’s about what caused it.

But so is the science of Human Interactions.

Many misunderstand why the African American community is not particularly happy with mainstream media portrayals of several predominantly white women’s accusations of rape by Bill Cosby. The issue is not entirely about the morality. There are no African Americans who condone rape!

The issue is about the cancer in American institutionalization of racism. The culprit here is the mainstream media – white media to be precise. There is no shortage of examples in the long history of the Crucifixion of Black males in white media – a concerted and widespread phenomenon. ‘The Black man is no good, or up to no good,’ says white American media.

For many African Americans, whites are only quick to condemn Black crime. A remarkable long history is that of mass incarceration where more Black males go to prison all too often and spend more time in jail for absolutely no law enforcement reason. While white males, for example those dying from Heroin overdoses in New England, are looked upon favorably and supported for rehabilitation with the hard-earned taxpayer currency, of which Blacks contribute a significant sum.

In parallel is the Bill Cosby issue and that of the white man, Charlie Sheen. While the brazen mainstream media has chosen to spread Bill Cosby’s arms on the cross for his inexorable decline into Hell, Charlie Sheen, his job and his TV Shows are fully earmarked for a flight for Heaven. Charlie Sheen had infected, and continues to infect women, raping some in the process, with HIV.

No wonder, the story of another white man, a law enforcement officer, who raped at least thirteen Black women while on duty, has conveniently vanished from the Yeshiva of white media attention and from the ‘ever-watchful’ eyes of the American white public.

The incessant Crucifixion of Black men is a relentless effort in white media. African American communities are incensed and appalled by its unpardonable march. If it wasn’t the case, the morality of the issue could be at stake, but then again white America has a long history of an inhumanity towards African Americans that it mires any chance at this too. Why belabor this elaborate issue in barbarism.

The fact remains, Bill Cosby is just another sacrificial lamb. He will be chewed and spat out by the hoard of inhumanes parading the vast terrain of white American mainstream media. The target has been Black men for decades, and white media is intent on keeping it that way. Next week we could be garrulously witnessing a video of a Black man beating his fiancé, and then perhaps marrying her a week later, while the other thousands of abuses in white America, by white men, like the white male drug addicts of New Hampshire, will remain forever shrouded in white American mysticism.

When it comes down to it, it’s really not about the morality of any issue. It’s about maintaining a racial eidolon in American institutions. African Americans know it and white Americans know it better. It’s all about painting Black men as ‘evil, no good and up to no good,’ to justify brutalizing them, incarcerating them and murdering them on the bloodthirsty streets of America. This has been the case since slavery. It’s not about morality.

As for me, I have come to humbly and completely understand when African Americans zen on the root cause of their pain, their ache, and not the tooth. But so should you!

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Akosua joined Grandmother Africa as a film critic in 2012. Akosua received a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Economics from the University of Ghana in 1998. She is the author of an ECOWAS report “Chronicling the reconciliation of Hutus and Tutsis in Rwanda in the aftermath of the Genocide". In 2011 she received the African Reporting Project fellow (ARPF) where she spent 10 months reporting in Congo-Brazzaville for a narrative feature on victims of domestic violence.


  1. Akosua its a beautiful thought provoking picethe . But in this case, can all the alleged victims be wrong? Why now? Why didn’t they connived to bring him down at the peak of his career. Dont think this is a matter of give a dog a bad name and hang it. All of them cannot be attention seekers or bought accusers.

    • Thanks for reading. The issue for me is not about the inherent morality of the accusations. I argue that this is not even the intent of the white women or the white media accusing Bill Cosby. It’s always wrong to rape a woman. That is not the debate. Plus, Bill stands accused, that means, he hasn’t raped anyone. That is fact. If after court proceedings, he is found guilty, then sure, let him face the consequences. My thesis however deals with a bigger issue – that of the racial dynamics of crime and punishment, especially in the white media. We never debate any white man this way in the media. And there are plenty of bad white men who actually raped several (black) women.

      The reason for this is simple – it is a concerted effort to crucify only Black criminals in the media. One can say there is an agenda to overwhelm us with the criminality of Blackness and in tandem, flood us with the piety of whiteness. These are deep sociological terms with reverberations in Science, Philosophy and History. For instance, the sociology of it stokes the attitude towards imprisoning Black men for the same crimes that white men are rehabilitated for. But it affects you the citizen in real ways. While a Black man is in a private prison, you pay exorbitant money in taxes (120,000 dollars in New York State per prisoner per year) to keep him there while you could better spend less than half of that a year to keep him out, like they do for white men.

      The river runs deep but in most cases, you always have to follow the money in America – criminality is lucrative, the Black man can then be painted as ‘no good, and up to no good,’ and makes it easier to keep him in prison. Bill Cosby in the news everyday, fits this agenda.

      • Thanks Akosua. Cannot purport to know much about the ‘logies’ behind cases in America . All that I know is that negative news of any race sells. More so of no mean a person like Bill cosby. Hes too big for the press to ignore. He could have been any colour or race and would still have been news worthy. Considering the amount of influence he yielded on our generation.

  2. The grounding of this issue in an African narrative makes a difficult issue all the more refreshing to comprehend in a new light. I have read several dissertations on this, often dry ones, but none captures the essence of what is going on in America as far as race, crime and punishment are concerned. The step you have taken to elucidate the overarching agenda is neat, pure, candid and above all truthful. Thanks for being such an attentive chip form that old block of your great grandmother!

  3. Oyuwa! As always, this is humbling. In a short essay my sister, you have decoupled the reasons why this case has spread like wildfire. You make it read so simple yet so complex. Mo wai!

  4. My position on this Bill Cosby saga has been very clear, our preparedness as African-American community to begin stepping-up in our game of media advocacy as presently depicted through the work of Akosua, doing our grounds studies and counter-publish to reveal fake publication for conspiracy purpose to dent integrity; a means to protect our own is the way forward. Where are the Black Jury…cum prosecutors.

    Why don’t this expert assist providing evidences in their office archives to advocating “Think-Tank” around to spread the gospel. When such is achieved, the masterminders will grow to realize those fictitious move never actively work again just by the use of the media for mass-destroying of reputations.

  5. There are currently 64,000 Black women missing in the United States. But it’s no news in the white media. Natallie Wilson, co-founder of the Black and Missing Foundation and Avis Jones-DeWeever joined Roland Martin last Thursday on “NewsOne Now” to discuss their efforts to bring more awareness to missing Black women. For more information about the Black and Missing Foundation visit BlackandMissing.org.


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