The Tonight Show With Jay Leno

This Bill Cosby news has me torn. When the allegations first surfaced, I was reminded of vague memories from what I read on the tabloids while trying to convince my mother to buy me a candy bar at the supermarket.

Those allegations were false, right? But then a bunch of women came out telling the same story, over and over. Bill Cosby offered them something to drink and they woke up without their clothes and a foggy memory of what happened.

Then I went back to a quote I’ve grown to live by, “Everybody doesn’t tell the same lie.” Still, I gave Bill the benefit of the doubt while beginning to separate Cliff Huxtable from Bill Cosby. You see, Cliff Huxtable raised me when my father was too busy drinking until he was just as unconscious as one of Bill’s alleged victims.

When I needed to learn how to knock on the door, it was Cliff Huxtable who taught me to say “Who It Is?” before walking into a room.

Bill Cosby and “Motimer Inkabod Marker” taught me how to draw, count, and do all the other fun activities on Picture Pages.

Fat Albert and the JunkYard Gang taught me how to deal with bullies and be a good friend. Bill Cosby taught me all the things my father probably should have, but never did.

Once I became a father myself, old episodes of The Cosby Show were the blueprint to the type of father I try to be. Hell, I even try to be Cliff Huxtable to my lady, who I hope is my Claire. My daughter and I even watched episodes of Lil Bill. His contributions to my emotional life are almost endless.

This conflict is an inner battle, because Cosby’s body of work is great. Like so many other Black people, Bill Cosby practically raised me for all the days when daddy was supposed to come, but didn’t.

That’s why this latest news is so heartbreaking. For me, it’s something my father would do: let me down after selling me a dream. It feels like everything I thought to be correct, right, and true isn’t real.

I have to have a conversation with my kid that, yeah, Dr. Huxtable was an awful man. He admitted to giving women drugs so he could have sex with them. The President has all but called him a “rapist.” Some people have called him a monster. Are they wrong?

There is no denying the good that he’s done, just as the time has come for him to own the bad he’s done. He’s disgraced; the great tools he’s left behind to teach and empower people are now void. His legacy is destroyed and it feels like we are all outside, waiting on our stoop for daddy to come pick us up. We have to come to grips with the fact that daddy isn’t coming.

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty

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