By the time most of you read this paper, Bill Cosby will already have performed at Budweiser Gardens amid a sea of protest.
Anyone not living in a cave will well know of the multiple allegations of sexual assault against the once beloved star of The Cosby Show.
At last count, at least 15 women had publicly accused Cosby of sexually assaulting them — usually by secretly drugging them into a state of helplessness.
If it’s true, Cosby could be convicted in a court of law of many criminal counts and sentenced to what would amount to the rest of his life in prison.
But here’s the rub: he hasn’t been convicted. In fact, he hasn’t been criminally charged. Not yet, at least. Maybe not ever, for all we know. Three have launched a civil suit and another woman reached an undisclosed settlement with Cosby years ago over similar allegations.
There are passionate feelings about Cosby performing in this city, most vocally from Megan Walker, the director of the London Abused Women’s Centre, who called on the show’s promoters and Budweiser Gardens parent company Global Spectrum to shut the performance down.
There are passionate emotions on both sides of the issue, even though those who support Cosby’s right to earn a living would be hardpressed to side with him as a man as the accusations pile up.
Our system of justice may be flawed, but it’s the best one we have and it works on a presumption of innocence before guilt. We, as a nation, are also not big on censorship. During elections, communist candidates roam the land freely, as do many others with ideas most find abhorrent. It’s who we are. It’s what we fought and died for.
In our way of life, before the man is convicted, the best we can do is peacefully protest and leave Cosby a large, empty room. If promoters lose their shirts once, they won’t likely make the same mistake a second time. That is our right. The rest we have to leave to justice.