Bill Cosby Deserves To Be in Jail, So Do Weinstein, R. Kelly

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Bill Cosby (Montgomery County Correctional Facility)

Bill Cosby, formerly known as “America’s Dad,” completed his fall from grace Tuesday by being clamped in handcuffs after receiving a sentence of 3–10 years in prison on rape charges.

I wasn’t surprised by Cosby’s sentence. He faced accusations of drugging and raping up to 60 women over a 40-year period. I don’t believe conspiracy theories, and when that many people come forward with the same story, some of them must be telling the truth. Some black conspiracy theorists suggested Cosby was taken down as payback for attempting to buy NBC. No, he went to jail because his history of drugging and raping women finally caught up with him!

Cosby’s crimes usually followed the same modus operandi. He would invite a woman to meet him, offer them a drugged drink and they would later wake up feeling violated. One of the worst Cosby stories I heard was a tale from a reporter who claimed she went to interview him. Cosby followed his usual pattern and the woman woke up with semen on her face.

However, I was disappointed to see some comments on Facebook saying that they couldn’t condemn Cosby while people like Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey haven’t been punished. I disagree with that. Cosby was a monster, who had been abusing women for decades. He needed to go to jail.

I understand where the frustration comes from. As I read stories of (mainly) white offenders who rape children and sexually assault women going scot-free, the criminal justice system looks increasingly absurd. All black people are asking for is some kind of uniformity. You can’t tell me that the scales of justice are blind, when Bill Cosby gets 10 years in jail, and Lyle Burgess, a white California man who raped a 5-year old girl, got 90 days of house arrest.

But wrong is wrong. Cosby’s crimes were indefensible. Unfortunately, there is an almost knee-jerk reaction from some African Americans to automatically defend embattled black celebrities. African Americans are acutely aware of the inequalities of the American justice system which punishes black offenders more harshly than white offenders.

Please don’t contact me MAGA lords, because this has been proven by something called facts. According to a study by the United States Sentencing Commission, black offenders received sentences that are 19 percent longer than white offenders.

But sometimes the African American community bends over backwards to defend criminals. However, some people need to be taken out of commission.

R. Kelly is a perfect example. The R&B star has an almost 20-year record of sex crimes with underage women and yet he still has his defenders.

I watched a VICE News report about #MuteRKelly, a group that’s targeting R. Kelly concerts and urging people not to support his music. When confronted with Kelly’s record of sex crimes a black woman said, “That’s between him and God.”

Even worse were the comments from the parents of one of the girls involved in Kelly’s latest sex crime. (Apparently, he’s running a sex cult consisting of young women who are stashed in rented mansions.)

“And the fact is he went to court, he was never found guilty — he was acquitted — and we were led to believe there was no truth in it. Now I got all of these people asking about why my daughter is there, telling me, ‘All of that, the charges against Kelly, was true.’ Well, how come you didn’t tell me that before?” said “Theresa” in a BuzzFeed article.

The justice system is broken and racist, but it doesn’t mean that we, African Americans, should protect criminals, especially ones who have records as long as Kelly’s and Cosby’s. They both belong in jail.

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Manny Otiko writes about race, politics and sports. He has been published in Salon and LA Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @mannyotiko.

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