Bill Cosby: Innocent until proven guilty.

The Cosby Show was a hit with the story about the Huxtable Family from Brooklyn, New York.

I remember being a kid, excited to get home from school to watch television with my older sisters and brother. We all sat around the TV, some on the floor, some on chairs waiting for our mom to come in the room with the biscuits to go with the hot pot of tea my oldest sister just bought into the room. It was Friday afternoon, The Cosby show was coming on. This was a time for our family to sit down and watch the Huxtables. An upper middle class African-American family that lived in Brooklyn, New York.

The main characters are the funny and charismatic Dr. Cliff Huxtable played by Bill Cosby and his wife Attorney Claire Huxtable played by Phylicia Rashad. They played the parts so naturally, it actually felt like they were married on and off the set. The characters, successful parents living busy lives with 5 kids, the show bought together all the warmth you need for an All-American family. It was a hit.

The Cosby Show was a hit with the story about the Huxtable Family from Brooklyn, New York.
The Cosby Show was a hit with the story about the Huxtable Family from Brooklyn, New York.

It was a show that made our family laugh, smile and made us feel good to be in each others company. I mean everyone at school could totally relate to Theo Huxtable and his high school adventures. One of my favourite parts of the show was when Vanessa and Rudy, Cosby`s younger daughters would clean up their room only to finish and have it checked by a father (Bill COSBY) who was more in the spirit of a drill army sergeant inspecting the top of the shelves for any dust.

What a great show. So warm and real. I loved the interactions between Mr and Mrs Huxtable. Their loving smooches, when they would slow dance and even as professionals coming home from a long day at work was right on. I remember the priceless look on Dr. Huxtable’s face when Olivia who was played by Raven Symone would say the cutest and most darnest things. The show overall was entertaining, warm and family focused all while defeating stereotypes of poverty and something that was rare to see on TV during the mid 80s essentially shining a light on the successes of an upper middle class black family in America.

Bill Cosby with his co-star Phylicia Rashad, they both played Cliff and Claire Huxtable on the Cosby Show.
Bill Cosby with his co-star Phylicia Rashad, they both played Cliff and Claire Huxtable on the Cosby Show.

Fast forward 30 years, Bill Cosby, former star and creator of the Cosby show, Jell-O Pudding Spokesman, Fat Albert Creator, Host of Kids say the Darnest things, Stand Up comedian and Actor is being accused by 23 different women that he had taken advantage of them sexually, some with eerily similar stories saying that he had drugged them. How could this be? The women are mostly models and actresses who admittedly were hoping to get a boost in their careers. Think about it, Bill Cosby an actor that could bring families together at the same time opening the door for other Black casted comedies like the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, In Living Color and a spin-off from the Cosby Show, A Different World. A man that himself experienced racism and was emotionally beaten in the predominantly white entertainment world who changed the stereo type of a Black family in American. An innovator. An activist. A philanthropist. How could this be true? Not Bill Cosby?

Bill Cosby on the front page of Time Magazine in September 1987.
Bill Cosby on the front page of Time Magazine in September 1987.

When I read the accusations some even dating back 50 years it certainly and at times admittedly seemed as if a lot of the accusers were hoping to gain from a relationship with the actor who was a Mega Hollywood sitcom star at the time. I’m sure Bill Cosby isn’t perfect and I’m sure he’s had his share of sexual encounters. I mean think about it, some of these allegations come from events happening at the Playboy mansion. Cosby known to party with his close friend Hugh Heffner never had a shortage of women around. Cosby was known to have played the saxophone many times at the mansion, serenading the women and playboy models that partied there. Bill and Hugh even founded the Playboy Jazz festival together.

Bill Cosby, center, is recognized as an honorary Chief Petty Officer flanked by Master Chief Petty Officer Rick West (R) and Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus (L) on February 2011.
Bill Cosby, center, is recognized as an honorary Chief Petty Officer flanked by Rick West (R) Master Chief Petty Officer and Ray Mabus (L) Secretary of the Navy on February 2011.

Some Canadians in Ontario who seem to have been possibly motivated by the most recent sexual allegations prominent in the media such as the revelations and charges against the former CBC radio Host Jian Ghomeshi, sexual accusations between MPs in Ottawa, and some high profile cases have started a protest against Bill Cosby who will be doing shows in Kitchener, London and Hamilton. Despite protests being organized in and outside the venue and the Premier and Mayors of two cities publically boycotting it, everyone seems to be missing one very important point. Bill Cosby is not charged with any crime, as of yet. And if he does get charhed he is still innocent. Until, he is proven in a court of Law to be guilty of charges if there will be any, the man that played the beloved husband of Claire Huxtable, Dr. Cliff Huxtable, is innocent.

Now, finally we hear from Keshia Knight Pulliam who played Rudy, Cosby’s youngest daughter on the show. After recently being fired by Donald Trump as a project manager on the new season of Celebrity Apprentice for not calling her childhood on-set father Bill Cosby to ask for a donation to a charity (a show that was filmed in March 2013 before the allegations), she came out on the Today Show and the Wendy Williams show and shared her thoughts on Bill Cosby, who she considered a father figure growing up. Now keep in mind the reason Knight didn’t contact Cosby was because they just hadn’t spoken in 5 years, remember it’s been a long time since they were on the show together.

When asked by Wendy Williams how she feels about Cosby being accused this is what she had to say,

“You know, honestly that’s not the man I know, them man I know has done a tremendous amount for colleges, for endowments, has given money so, so many people can go to school. And even what he did, the revolution he created with Television. The Cosbys, we were the first family that no matter what race, religion, you saw yourself in, we saw how much alike we were than different..I don’t have that story to tell of him. the man I know and love is who I just described…there are two sides to a story and we are in American, so it’s innocent until proven guilty in a court of law….but once the dust settles people will recognize how he’s given to society with all of his work and you can not take that away.”

She told the Today show, “All I can speak to is the man I know and I love the fact that he has been such an example [and] you can’t take away from the great that he has done, the millions and millions of dollars he has given back to colleges and education, and just what he did with The Cosby Show and how ground breaking that was.”

Well there you have it, another perspective. Now until I hear differently from some of his other co-stars and the people who spent 8 years with him on set like Phylicia Rashad, or any of the others that played his children like Sabrina Le Beauf, Lisa Michelle Bonet, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Tempestt Bledsoe. I will not be satisfied with the organized protests to Cosby’s performance in Canada.

Today, he just released a press release warning his fans to stay away and “not confront the person making the disruption.” Cosby promised his fans “the show of their life.” I mean, he’s 77 years old and he really doesn’t need to be doing shows but he loves it, he loves the people, he loves show business. His character assassination from sexual encounters that took place years ago is There are probably many other women out there who have had sex with Cosby but never came out publicly because they got what they wanted or they were there for the experience. Now, women are not a sexual object in any way. But men can be if you want them to be right? I mean, Bill Cosby is this big American star making millions, playing the saxophone serenating the women with his big humor and quick wits.

Cosby frequently gave speeches to Temple commencement audiences filling football stadiums.
Cosby frequently gave speeches to Temple commencement audiences filling football stadiums.

Maybe the Premier and the Mayors of those cities should find out and tell their citizens how many convicted rapists and child molesters live within 50 miles of these cities where the shows will take place. Maybe all this organized energy and verbal assault should be placed on those dirty, filthy and demented citizens that live in our communities. Now, I’m not here standing up for Cosby or here to say he’s an angel. But I what I will say is before you go judging, and believing the accusations are true keep in mind, 30 years ago the excitement of having sex with an A-list celebrity in his prime was exhilarating as it would be today if you`re into that sort of thing.

Bill Cosby served for four years with the US Navy and was enlisted at the age of 19.
Bill Cosby served for four years with the US Navy and was enlisted at the age of 19.

Now when that A-list celebrity is enlisting the thought of winding down his/her career or maybe is 77 years of age and worth in excess of $400 million like Cosby, all of a sudden that thrilling sexual encounter with the celebrity seems to be losing value and you may feel like you’re owned something and you never really gave him permission to begin with or did you. May be some victims will be able to make a deal with Cosby outside of court to save the years of court if any charges are filed. So folks, the shows in Canada will go on…and Bill Cosby said it will be the show of a lifetime.

Some protests being staged on the nights of the shows will be by organiztions representing sexual assault victims and will be there hopefully not to make Bill Cosby look like a monster but to shine light on an issue that has been in the dark for so long. It’s great to see groups come together to fight for the cause of sexual violence but how do we know someone’s not telling the truth or pushing an agenda, maybe payday. Yes, we have to support the victims by believing them but how can we so quickly 20 or 30 years later..Maybe this is coordinated.

 He was University of Temple"s most famous Alumni and former Board member.
He was University of Temple”s most famous Alumni and former Board member.

Maybe it’s smart to shine a light on the cause through the attention of someone like Cosby and the accusations against him. But let’s be fair. Heckling Cosby LIVE on stage is just brutally mean spirited and leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Now if this was 5 months after him being found guilty in a court of law then I would accept the organized protests. However to use Cosby`s bruised will and character assassination for the gain of a social cause is sacrificial. Right now, he does not face any criminal charges. It`s a mean world. When the accusations and allegations come out, everybody turns their back on you. Even the US Navy which Cosby served in his younger years took their honorary award away.

Bill and Hugh's friendship goes almost 50 years.
Bill Cosby/high heffner Their friendship goes back almost 50 years

Here is a release to the press from the US Navy on December 4, 2014.

ARLINGTON, Va. (NNS) — Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Michael Stevens today said the Navy is revoking Bill Cosby’s title of honorary Chief Petty Officer, originally presented in 2011. The Navy is taking this action because allegations against Mr. Cosby are very serious and are in conflict with the Navy’s core values of honor, courage and commitment.

Cosby enlisted in the Navy in 1956 and served for four years as a hospital corpsman before being honorably discharged in 1960 as a 3rd Class Petty Officer.

Its sad that noble organizations and people look at this situation are so quick to separate themselves and their brand and are willing to pass judgement burying and even taking back their honorary awards and staining his accomplishments which include social victories and contributing to academia, culture and the civil rights movement. Hopefully he never took advantage of his sexual situations like these women are accusing him of… A part of me thinks I know Cosby, or maybe I think he”s Dr. Huxtable. I know Cliff Huxtable. He’s a great Doctor and Husband. He would never so anything like that.

Anyways, being raised in a house full of older women, I know what girl power is all about meaning I know the power of organized sisterhood. But let`s not drag Bill Cosby`s face in the mud in the process of doing it. Use Bill Cosby`s celebrity to raise money for sexual assault victims, OK, Yes. Screaming, taunting and yelling profusely at the legend while he is trying to serve and perform for his once beloved audience as he`s done for years, No. He doesn’t even face any charges yet. So I will close with this final line; William J. Cosby AKA Bill Cosby: Innocent until proven guilty.

Sukh Johal
With a background in sales, security and real estate development, Sukh is a political strategist excelling in community organizing, fundraising and civic affairs. He enjoys performing and has appeared as a background performer in Hollywood productions. Sukh grew up on the tough streets of Dunoon, Scotland before moving to Canada at age 10 and brings a unique perspective to Surrey604. He speaks his mind, and believes social media can be a force for good. Sukh has been a control agent for President Obama’s Inaugural Celebration team in Washington DC and spoke on interfaith affairs at the White House. A member of the Surrey Board of Trade’s International Trade Team and Vancouver Board of Trade’s Company of Young Professionals, Sukh is also past President and current VP Public Relations of Surrey Civic Speechmeisters Toastmasters Club at City Hall and VP of the Multifaith Action Society of BC, an interfaith organization promoting grassroots diplomacy, cooperation and goodwill.