Right, so I don’t usually wish to offend people and I will be the first to admit that I like to avoid conflict, but I’m going to bring up a current issue that a lot of people are hot under the collar about: Bill Cosby.
As of right now, Mr. Cosby has been accused of numerous rapes and instances of sexual assault to various degrees. Some of these accusations were made public many years ago and have not been paid much attention to since; others are only being made now.
I watched Bill Cosby as a kid, and not only was he funny, very often he used his franchise to say and impart some very true things. In The Cosby Show, scripts and concepts did not allow for characters to play the victim card, of racism or bigotry or any sort of unreasonable bias: apparent in nearly every episode is the message that your success is dependent upon you and for the most part you alone. I like that idea. I agree with it. I laughed when he cracked a joke.
Does that mean I condone his actions? No.
Is he still a redeemable human being with plenty else to offer the world? Yes.
He did a terrible thing (a lot of them). I’ll be the first to agree with that. I hope he feels guilty for it. I hope he entertains some sort of punishment, nothing extreme, but a measure of discipline that can help him to understand the effects of his actions on other people.
But do I hope he dies in a hole and that the many women he approached over the years each get to crush his testicles under their heels? No. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. Judge not lest ye be judged (not that I have testicles for whose heel-crushed fate I fear, but you know).
(And quite frankly, I do not think it is necessary that the entirety of media attack him for these things. Very few people need public exposure to feel guilty, and the entire spectacle cannot be comfortable for the women who sustained his advances, especially those who may have retained some trauma from the experience. Leave them alone. Let them deal with it in private.)
Forgiveness does not signal a lack of strength. Very few people remember that anymore. And if the women abused by Bill Cosby over the years cannot find it in them to forgive him, that is their business, and it is between them and him. And if they can find it in them to forgive him, there is nothing left for the rest of us to be angry about.
This reminds me of the just-now-dubbed Great Boyfriend Forgiveness Incident of 2013, in which the following series of events occurred: 1. Matt broke up with me, 2. I was a hurt, hating mess, 3. Time passed, 4. Tanner broke up with Hannah in a much less kind fashion, 5. Hannah, in talking to me, said she was not angry with Tanner, 6. I, after much thought, realized I had no reason left to be angry at either Tanner or Matt, given that the person who had been more hurt than I was able to forgive.
Other people define their own interactions. Give them what they need and then leave them alone.