News Item, from the Orlando Sentinel:
Bill Cosby’s statue is being removed from Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park, a Walt Disney World spokeswoman said Tuesday evening. The statue was to come down Tuesday night after the park closed. Disney did not have further comment. The bronze bust’s removal comes after court documents unsealed Monday revealed that Cosby testified in 2005 he had obtained Quaaludes with the intent of giving them to women with whom he wanted to have sex. The Associated Press had gone to court to get the documents released. Dozens of women have come forward in the past year saying Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted them as far back as 40 years ago.
That’s funny; last I heard Bill Cosby was still recognized as a major trailblazer in stand-up, TV comedy, and television integration (remember “I Spy”?), an important positive cultural force for race relations and black community self esteem, and a spectacularly talented comedian with a unique voice and presence. None of that has changed. Those were the achievements that prompted Cosby’s bust’s inclusion in Disney’s Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame Plaza, along with celebrities such as Lucille Ball and Oprah Winfrey who, like the Cos, have been inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame. O.J. Simpson is still honored in the College Football Hall of Fame, because he was one of the greatest college stars ever. His post-career hobby as a murderer, like Bill’s extra-curricular activities as a serial rapist, have nothing to do with the honor, just as Cosby earned and still deserves, his honor for what he achieved on stage and screen.
Sure, it’s uncomfortable having a bust of an unapologetic sexual predator in a Disney World attraction, and it might prompt some uncomfortable question from the kiddies. Well, good. It’s never too soon to learn that human beings are flawed, complex creatures, and that even the most brilliant and talented have dark sides, do terrible things, and can be cruel, selfish, dishonest and even criminal. We honor Thomas Jefferson for his crucial role in giving this nation life, and defining its mission and values for the ages. We’re not honoring his hypocrisy, his cowardice, his own rapes, or his slaveholding. Disney World, of all places, should understand this, since its progenitor was both a genius and a man who left a lot of circumstantial evidence in his legacy that he was anti-Semitic.
“First they came for Cosby, and we did not speak out…”
There is no stop to this slippery slope, and the political correctness mob will never stop. Yesterday the House of Representatives voted without dissent to ban Confederate flags from national cemeteries, as well as confirming the Park Service’s hysterical order that Confederate flags cannot be sold as souvenirs at Confederate army battlefields. A man who died under the Confederate flag can’t have that flag placed on his grave one day a year? A child who wants to learn about the Civil War and collect artifacts and symbols is prevented from doing so by government power?
Stop airbrushing your history, your heroes, your geniuses and your trailblazers, America.
It is wrong—dishonest, incompetent, unfair, irresponsible, destructive….and so, so short-sighted and stupid.
Yes, it takes courage to oppose this tidal wave of political correctness—surely some in this country still have courage, right? I know it’s scary in an environment where the immense weight of the news media, the internet and the government are constantly teaming up to smear and destroy anyone who dares to take unpopular positions—that means, “rational positions based on more nuanced analysis than the average internet meme from Move-On”—or who tries to slow one of the unreasoning, destructive , runaway cultural freight trains that are bearing down on American society with increasing frequency. But prominent people stood up to Joe McCarthy, opposed popular wars, fought for civil rights, and have repeatedly risked reputation, employment, friendships and even their lives to insist on sanity, proportion and rationality when it was being swept aside by coalitions of the opportunistic, the Machiavellian and the ignorant. Surely there are prominent Americans who will stand up to this? Hello? Is anybody there?
Because this isn’t just airbrushing. It is bulldozing. And the culture, history and perspective it will leave the nation with will be flat, bleak, and a lie.
But oh so inoffensive.