Jewel Allison, who came out accusing Bill Cosby of rape in November dating back to the late 1980’s, wrote a powerful piece Friday explaining why she didn’t come forward sooner.
Writing in The Washington Post, Allison wrote why being an African American victim weighed heavily on her mind.
“As an African-American woman, I felt the stakes for me were even higher. Historic images of black men being vilified en masse as sexually violent sent chills through my body. Telling my story wouldn’t only help bring down Cosby; I feared it would undermine the entire African-American community.”
Allison claims Cosby took her to dinner in the late 1980s when he slipped something in her wine, making her ill. The comedian then forced himself on her, Allison has claimed. She wrote that when seeing other accusers like Andrea Constand and Tamara Green come forward, she was terrified instead of relieved.
“I did not want to see yet another African-American man vilified in the media. As I debated whether to come forward, I struggled with where my allegiances should lie – with the women who were sexually victimized or with black America, which had been systemically victimized.”
Even Allison felt a desire to protect Cosby, who, as Dr. Huxtable, was a source of comfort for her during a 1980s that saw “Reaganomics, AIDS and the crack epidemic.”
But the soothing image of Cosby’s character went out the window on the night Allison claims he raped her.
But as I vomited in the backseat of the taxi that Cosby ushered me into after he assaulted me one night in the late 1980s, that Dr. Huxtable image no longer made sense. I felt both physically violated and emotionally bamboozled. Still, I didn’t want the image of Dr. Huxtable reduced to that of a criminal. For so many of the African-American men I knew, William H. Cosby, Ed.D. provided a much-needed wholesome image of success, and the character he made famous was their model for self-worth and manhood. I knew that, in my reluctance to add my assault to the allegations facing Cosby, I was allowing race to trump rape.
She concluded Cosby might have been one source of hope for the African American community, but “fictional icons like him should not wield so much power over our collective spirit.”