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Jill Scott Changes Her Mind After Cosby Confesses To Giving Women Drugs

By Emily Cutler | Miscellaneous | July 7, 2015 |

By Emily Cutler | Miscellaneous | July 7, 2015 |

Sorry, Donald Trump, but you won’t even get to win the contest for “Dude Having The Worst Week Ever.” That goes to Bill Cosby.

News broke last night (heads up on the autoplay video) that Cosby acknowledged in a 2005 deposition that he obtained a prescription for Quaaludes in order to give them to women he wanted to have sex with. For most people, Cosby admitting that he got drugs with the intention of using them for sex is less shocking than vindicating. And gross. Terribly, horrifically gross. But it was an eye opener for Cosby’s vocal defender Jill Scott.

While she’s not wrong about the mistreatment that black men receive in the U.S.’s justice system, I have to take issue with her passive- aggressive assertions that she was just waiting for “PROOF.” I don’t begrudge her for standing by a man she respected and loved. Nor do I think she was wrong in not rushing to judgement. Because despite the testimony of over two dozen women, this would still be a difficult case to prove in court.

What I take issue with is her previous insistence that without PROOF, he must be innocent. We don’t need physical proof to have believed Cosby’s accusers. The court of law isn’t the same as the court of public opinion, and the court of public opinion usually gets a bad rap. The court of law says that we need substantial, physical evidence to prove absolutely that someone committed the crime of which they are accused. The court of public opinion asks is it more likely that almost 40 women are lying or that Cosby is? Because while Jill Scott mostly targeted the media/ society “attempting to destroy a magnificent legacy,” what she was actually doing was saying that 39 separate women are lying about being violated in order to take down an innocent man.

I understand not wanting to believe terrible things about people we love and respect. But pretending that the ways in which that love and respect blind us to terrible truths are actually just level-headed prudence is one of the reasons why sexual assault is as rampant as it is. Waiting for PROOF also means waiting before dismissing 40 women as liars.

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