Commentary: What will the future hold for Bill Cosby?

Commentary: What will the future hold for Bill Cosby?
July 07
11:07 2021

By Dr. James B. Ewers Jr.

Were Bill Cosby and Dr. Cliff Huxtable one and the same person? No, yet many thought so. Dr. Huxtable, of course, was a character played by Bill Cosby. The Huxtable character was kind, considerate and thoughtful. He was a family man who gave words of wisdom to those around him.

Bill Cosby, the person, also had a gregarious and giving side. He opined about Black youth and how they should have goals and dreams. He gave parents both solicited and unsolicited advice about raising children and the importance of education.

Bill Cosby was called by some a moralist. He extolled the virtues of honesty and integrity. Mr. Cosby, for a lot of people, was “America’s Dad.”

That was a weighty title, yet folks thought he deserved it. After all, he created Fat Albert and was in demand all over the world. 

For all the applause, acclaim and adulation, Bill Cosby had another side. That side was never revealed in the public square.

You see, we really thought that Bill and Cliff were one in the same. We found out that was not true.

Bill Cosby was released from prison last Wednesday. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court stated he had been denied his constitutional rights. While there is widespread outcry against his release, he is a free man. Reports suggest he will never be tried again for any crime.

Phylicia Rashad, who played Claire Huxtable on The Cosby Show, tweeted “Finally!!! A terrible wrong is being righted-a miscarriage of justice is corrected!”

She is the dean of the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts at Howard University in Washington D.C. The hailstorm of criticism about her comments has been severe. Students and alumni have voiced their displeasure and disappointment regarding her statements.

The facts of the case have been in full view for some years now. The capstone is that Bill Cosby admitted the wrongdoing. He took advantage of over 50 women. He has said that the interactions with them were consensual. The women have said that was not true. They were not consensual.

Cosby admitted as such in a deposition to Bruce Castor, former district attorney of Montgomery County. Castor agreed not to prosecute him in a criminal trial for his testimony in a civil proceeding. Basically, his deposition would be sealed. Obviously, that did not happen.

Andrea Constand, a former Temple University employee, accused Bill Cosby of an inappropriate relationship in 2004. He was convicted of three counts of felony assault in 2018.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the agreement he had with the former DA was valid and therefore Bill Cosby’s case was overturned.

The justice system in America takes strange twists and turns. Yes, Bill Cosby is free today on what many are calling a technicality.

Many African American men have been challenged by this system and are in prison when they should not be. Innocence Projects across the country must continue its efforts to unshackle the shackled.

Families are still waiting for justice; in fact, they are pleading for it. Being behind bars and knowing you should not be is the plight that too many Black men face each day.

The vitriol and upset caused by Bill Cosby’s release will be heard, as it should be. People who see crimes against women should not silence their voices. We have a moral obligation to speak up and to speak out.

Silence will never be an option.

What happens to Bill Cosby now, who is 83 years of age and legally blind? The opinions vary, depending upon who you ask. Some reports have surfaced about him coming back to perform.

Your guess is as good as mine.

James B. Ewers Jr., Ed.D., is a former tennis champion at Atkins High School in Winston-Salem and played college tennis at Johnson C. Smith University, where he was all-conference for four years. He is a retired college administrator. He can be reached at

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