Log onto Twitter, Instagram or Facebook on any given day and you’ll see vicious debates on whether or not Bill Cosby is innocent. There are people that will tell you there’s no way dozens of women have come forward to accuse him and all of them are lying. There are also people that will say why have they waited so long to come out and accuse him?
Just this week both his wife and daughter have come to his defense. No matter what you believe there’s someone on the other side of that argument that believes the exact same thing. When disagreeing with whether or not Bill Cosby or any other man is a rapist are you protecting his right to being innocent until proven guilty or are you calling the victim a liar. In calling her a liar are you scaring other women from coming forward because they don’t want their name dragged through the mud?
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this in 2014. Once the Ray Race video surfaced of him and his wife people immediately asked the question: was it her fault? She even came out and placed blame on herself in a sense. She accused the NFL and Baltimore Ravens of asking her to take responsibility for her role in the incident. To a lot of people that came off as them asking her to say it was her fault even if that wasn’t what she was literally saying. There’s no easy answer. There are cases all over America and the world where men have been falsely accused of rape only to be vindicated after years in prison or living with damaged reputations. There are cases all over America and the world where women have been raped and abused with no justice which so ever.
It’s easy to be black and white. He did it, he needs to go to prison. He didn’t do it, they need to stop lying on him. The truth is we don’t know the truth and for a lot of people that’s are more terrifying concept than anything they can imagine.
To be the women or man screaming for someone to be locked up for the rest of their life only to realize they’re innocent has to give you a feeling of guilt you can’t control. To be the man or woman defending a rapist only to realize he’s really a rapist is something that will live with you for the rest of your life.
As a writer I try to remain impartial but if I can give anyone advice I’d give this; stay away from absolutes until you know without a shadow of a doubt that he or she is guilty or innocent.