Oct 4, 2015
The Bill Cosby Apology
If I were one of Bill Cosby's victims what I would want most from him is a full acknowledgment of what he did and a sincere apology. A full acknowledgment would mean exactly that. No carefully parsed, lawyer-words. No wishy-washy dancing around the subject. No saying "If he offended." It would be a complete acceptance of his responsibility for the wrongs he did. Then part two would be an apology. And, like with the Catholic Church, part of that apology would be reparations, a financial settlement. If Bill Cosby did that, I wouldn't press for the legal system to be involved in the matter.
Now you could ask who am I to say what these women should and shouldn't want? And I would answer by saying that I'm the typical survivor of molestation and sexual violence in this country and in this world. I'm one who's never going to get any justice and will never see any reparations -------- the same as most victims won't. Most of us deal with it or not. Either way most of us live our lives with what was done to us knowing we'll never have justice.
So if I were one of Bill Cosby's victims, I'd be satisfied if Bill Cosby held a press conference and read the following off the teleprompter and followed through on the commitments in it:
I've asked you to be here today to say this................
I did it.
I raped countless women..........so many women that I couldn't even tell you the number. To my disgrace, I don't even remember all the faces and names -------- that's how many women I raped.
When I started raping women, I didn't realize it was rape. I thought rape was something strangers did with a knife in a back alley. I thought I could assume that the answer to "Do you want to have sex with me?" was a "Yes" that didn't even have to be spoken, that consent was automatically given and didn't have to be stated. I thought as long as the women weren't screaming "No. Stop," that it wasn't rape.
Though there were some times when the women were screaming and fighting me, and I still tried to force them thinking I was entitled to it.........that the women somehow owed me.
If I drugged them, they couldn't struggle, couldn't tell me to stop, so that was not rape to me.
As the decades passed, yes, I became aware that society considered drugging women for sex was rape and I still didn't think what I was doing was rape. My head had gotten so swollen, my ego so large, I was so used to getting my own way that I didn't think society's laws applied to me.
I didn't think society's laws applied to me when it came to age of consent. Because I'm not just a rapist. I'm a rapist and molester of children. The father of four daughters, maybe even five daughters, I preyed on girls still in their teens, still high school students. As long as they had developed, they were old enough for me even when they were only 15. And maybe I molested and raped girls even younger than that. To my great shame, I don't know.
I fed underage girls liquor and dosed them with drugs so I could do what I wanted with them. I was America's Dad and the truth is that America's daughters were not safe with me.
I was wrong. Terribly wrong.
Today I stand before you as a humbled man. I know I'm a rapist, a serial rapist. While I was lecturing other people about responsibility and criminality, I was the one who was the criminal who was using my fame, my wealth, my power to hide from my responsibility.
Today I know that I changed the paths of countless women and girls. I know I ruined lives. Left behind me a string of traumatized girls and women.
I am deeply ashamed.
Ashamed not just for what I did in the past, but for what I did in the present. When confronted with the truth, I was the one who said the truth-tellers were the liars. I was the one who was lying.
I am sorry. Sorry for my terrible actions then and my cowardly actions since then. I'm sorry that it took being exposed and deservedly humiliated on the national stage before I realized what I did. Before I acknowledged what I did.
You can say, "The Cos is only sorry because he was caught." And that's partly true. If I had never been caught, I would never have been sorry because I would never have realized what I had done.
But I was caught. And I have finally begun to realize how much hurt, how much damage I have done through the decades. Though I realize now that I'll never know the true extent of all the harm I have done.............not until I'm brought before the Lord's throne on my day of judgment where I will have a lot to answer for.
I can only say I'm sorry. I'm sorry to all the girls and women I hurt. I'm sorry for molesting, assaulting and raping you. I'm sorry for the way I abused your trust in me. I'm sorry for all the pain you must have felt through the years every time you saw my face or heard my name. I'm sorry I made you out to be liars and tried to tarnish your names. I'm sorry a thousand times over.
I'm sorry to my family. I controlled you all and misled you. I expected more from you than I was prepared to do. Because I expected you to be good people when I was not a good person. I was a very bad person.
In my family, I'm sorry especially to my wife, Camille,* who's stood by me through all of this. Camille knew I was a serial cheater. She did not know I was a serial rapist. She believed in me more than she believed in all those women. Camille wanted to believe in me because she didn't want to believe she was married to a rapist and child molester. As a mother of daughters, Camille didn't want to believe she was married to a rapist of daughters. But that's who she was married to............a rapist and a child molester. I'm sorry, Camille.
I'm sorry to the people I got to help cover up my crimes and to facilitate my crimes by supplying victims. They were my crimes and I should never have involved you in it.
I'm sorry to the African-American community. I was telling you to pull up your pants at the same time I couldn't keep my pants zipped up. I talked about shooting a boy for stealing pound cake at the same time I was raping girls. I was no role model to be lecturing anyone.
I'm sorry to my fans. I'm sorry I'm not the person I led you to believe I was. I appreciate the support. But who you should be supporting are my victims. I deserve every bad thing I've been through and that's only a small fraction of what I deserve.
I'm sorry to the American public. You gave me so much. You allowed me to have this wonderful life and this is what I did with it.
But this is what I'm going to do with it now. First, I'm going to make financial reparations to my victims. The rest of my wealth is going to help the victims of molestation and rape, to raise awareness of rape and rape prevention.
From here on out Camille and I will live a modest life. I don't know if I'm going to live out that life in prison. But if I am brought up on charges, I'm going to acknowledge my guilt because I am guilty.
In prison or on the outside I will live out the rest of my life with this on me. I will never again be free from the knowledge that I am a serial rapist, a child molester, a drug pusher, a cowardly slanderer.
Because, yes, I did it. I am guilty.
There are stories that the Pennsylvania DA is going to prosecute Bill Cosby for the Andrea Constand rape. "His lawyers have told him to expect that he’s going to be indicted which means he’s going to be arrested. Handcuffed and he’ll take that walk of shame." And the LA District Attorney's Office is also reviewing a criminal complaint against Cosby.
Maybe if Bill Cosby got up in front of us all and read a statement like one I wrote ----- not just read it, but meant it and followed-up with what it says he'd do ----- his victims would be satisfied without him having to spend the rest of his pathetic life in an actual prison instead of just in a prison of his own making.
Because one thing that America's known for is our willingness to forgive a truly repentant wrongdoer. We'll even accept them as moral leaders, as people who've been in prison have gone on to be respected preachers. If Bill Cosby humbled himself, admitted what he did and became a changed man living a changed life, it would still be possible for him to reclaim some scrap of his reputation from this disaster he spent decades making.
Besides........................it's the right thing to do. And it's high time Bill Cosby started doing the right thing.
* Do I, personally, think that's what Camille Cosby believes? No. I think she thought it couldn't be rape because the women had consented merely by being with her husband. But this is supposed to be written from a repentant Bill Cosby's point of view. And I don't think he'd admit that about his wife. I think what I wrote is along the lines of what even a repentant Bill Cosby would say about his wife.
For on the Bill Cosby rape scandal, read "Cosby-style Rapists and Family Legacy" and "Victim Blaming and the Assumption of Rape."
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