Ellis Washington
Smile for me, Camille Cosby
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By Ellis Washington
July 15, 2015


Camille Cosby is a proud, dignified but stubborn woman. You can say that she's standing by her husband, but really, the more people stand against him, the more she perceives it as an affront to her and all that she's done to make him a star.

~Anonymous friend

The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference.

~ Elie Wiesel

Prologue to a Surreptitious Smile

Mega entertainer and comedian Bill Cosby, known as "America's Dad" and star of the 1980s TV hit sitcom "The Cosby Show," has apparently been a serial rapist for over 50 years. In a story on Bill Cosby's wife, Camille, by New York Post columnist Stacy Brown: "Comedian's Wife Camille Says Husband's Accusers Consented to Drugs and Sex," the report says "She's well aware of his cheating, but she doesn't believe that her husband is a rapist." As bad as that is, for all that time Bill Cosby's wife knew that her husband is a sexual sociopath, yet according to two confidants of the couple, believes his nearly 50 accusers all consented to drugs and sex. To me, this makes Camille just as guilty as her sexual sociopath husband, Bill Cosby, to whom she's been married since 1964.

This brings us to a vexing question: Can 50 raped women be wrong and Camille be right? Smile for me, Camille Cosby.

Camille and Sexual Psychopathy

Is Camille Cosby the wife of one of America's most recognized entertainers, or she the greatest sexual sociopath sympathizer in history? I would argue that she is both. Would you, Camille (as Sigmund Freud would ask her from his psychiatrist's couch), have the moral fortitude to admit that the man you devoted your entire life to, the man you raised four children with, the man whose legendary entertainer career you almost singlehandedly built, is an unmitigated sexual sociopath? If these vile acts ascribed to Bill Cosby with the infamous title as the most prolific and successful sexual sociopath in American history, then what culpability can we place on Camille about all or most of these crimes? In other words, doesn't it logically follow that Camille Cosby is the greatest sexual sociopath sympathizer in history? As I read about the damnation of Bill Cosby, to me he and his diabolical acts almost seem like an afterthought, or what philosopher Hannah Arendt called in her 1964 classic book, The Banality of Evil, yet I am transfixed by the slavish complicity and psychotic denial of Camille. "Camille still doesn't believe that Bill provided drugs and had sex with women without their consent," said a source employed by the Cosby family. "She's well aware of his cheating, but she doesn't believe that her husband is a rapist."

One person who's done business with the Cosbys and is still friends with them admitted that Camille Cosby is "a proud, dignified but stubborn woman. You can say that she's standing by her husband, but really, the more people stand against him, the more she perceives it as an affront to her and all that she's done to make him a star." Thus we come to the question of human nature: that ancient, essential aspect of the human condition that makes us have the potential to be either exceedingly good or pathologically evil, along with all of the multiplicity gradations in between.

For 51 years, Camille had to know that she married a sexual predator, but if she spoke out against her husband's sex crimes 30, 40, 50 years ago, all of that fame and fortune she had amassed would go POOF! Gone forever, the mega-fabulous mansion in Shelburne Falls; gone 50 years of wonderful memories so fantastical that a statute of Cosby was erected at Disneyland, and because of this wicked scandal, recently taken down. In the fallout from all this calamity of humanity, Camille stands in the shadows, waiting, watching with that cold, calculating smile as the Cosby brand, the Cosby empire, is dismantled brick by brick; allegation by allegation; deposition by deposition until the avalanche of civil judgments and class-action lawsuits either kills her now 78-year-old husband from the stress, or the psychotic stress kills Camille...killing her softly from the inside. No, I would not like for this scenario to occur, but cosmic justice may perhaps demand it.

Camille Cosby, 71, has been her husband's business manager for decades, and at a recent crisis meeting with advisers, including their lawyers and public relations experts, she demanded that they all "get back out in front of this." "I created him, I knew what I was getting and we'll fix this," she told the gathering at a meeting at the couple's Shelburne Falls, Mass., home Tuesday night. "They are making him out to be such a bad guy, a monster," Camille said, according to one source close to the family. "People are jumping ship," she added in an apparent reference to actress Jill Scott, one of Cosby's most unflagging apologists, who in a recent Tweet now says she's sorry for her staunch support of Cosby, comedian Jimmy Walker, another onetime defender who now calls America's Dad the "O.J. Simpson of comedy."

Judge Eduardo Robreno – who has been a federal judge for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania since 1992 – cited the "stark contrast" between the comedian's public and private identities as one of the motives for the public's right to know, notwithstanding the insistence of Cosby's lawyers that releasing the documents from a 2005 sexual assault case would "embarrass" the comedian. Now prosecutors in Los Angeles and Las Vegas will more carefully examine Cosby's approximately 50 sexual assaults on women covering a vast period of five decades. In the face of this onslaught of criminal intent aimed at her husband, questions are asked – What will Camille do? Is this the last straw for Camille? Will Camille now divorce Bill? Camille will do what she has always done – smile publically, destroy privately. As stated by the family source, Camille confessed, "You have to allow for space to let your partner do what he wants. I have done that and [Bill] has done that and there's no jealously, no friction." She admitted that now and again the couple goes through an "evaluation period" to decide whether the marriage should come to an end. "She even once talked to Oprah Winfrey about cleansing herself of baggage every now and again and how it always seems to lead her back to staying with Bill," admitted one family source.


Smiling Cosby and some of his rape victims

Look at the picture of Camille. That same tight smile that hid so many deep, dark, diabolical secrets when they were married in 1964, 51 years ago, is the same evil, duplicitous smile that hides so many lies behind a crumbling façade in 2015... Smile for me, Camille Cosby.

Epilogue to the Woman with the Sly Smile

I just can't get passed Camille's smile. The frozen sly smile that despite the circumstances both seems so pleasant and yet so diabolically disturbing all at the same time. It is a smile that is part of the human condition... part of history. For example: How many "enlightened" French citizens during the anti-Christian genocide of the French Revolution (1789-99) smiled as between 130,000-150,000 people were slaughtered at the Vendee alone? As the atheist fanatics – the Jacobins, sans-Culottes, radical newspaper editor, Jean-Paul Marat and the lawyer Robespierre howled like bloodthirsty wolves, laughed like demons and smiled with ghoulish glee as they went on the rampage killing King Louis XVI and wife Queen Marie Antoinette and many other aristocrats? Both Church destruction and Christian genocide birthed political liberalism during the Enlightenment Age as the smiling French Revolutionaries burned down thousands of cathedrals, churches throughout France, murdering priests, bishops, nuns, Catholics, Protestants, Jews, innocents by the tens of thousands. As the mobs marauded the countryside looking for innocent blood to spill, didn't most of the good French citizens all sat by apathetic, indifferent, or more accurately, like the sans-Culottes (common people who became willing, violent partisans against 'the rich') all participated in the Enlightenment Holocaust against their fellow Frenchmen?

Returning to Camille, her smile haunts and vexes me at the midnight hour. It reminds me of the horrors of Slavery and the Slavemasters inflicted upon their Black Brothers, yet it was those "decent people" who didn't have slaves, who benefited from the slavery system and allowed the institution to flourish for hundreds of years in America that is most to blame... and they all profited from Black genocide with a smile while singing hymns on Sunday to assuage their guilty, duplicitous conscience. (*N.B.: Only 2% of American's ever had slaves).

Camille's smile is the evil of apathy – I don't care, I don't care, I don't care! I saw their legions of smiling faces in so many old movies and documentaries of the Holocaust showing the Nuremberg Rallies, the spectacles of hundreds of thousands of German citizens smiling, laughing raising in unison the 'Heil Hitler' in filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl's legendary Classics now banned in Germany – Triumph of the Will (1935) and Olympia (1938) Part 1 – Fest der Völker (Festival of Nations) and Olympia Part 2 – Fest der Schönheit (Festival of Beauty). How many "Good German Families" who never killed anyone, yet benefited from Nazism's tyranny, and turned up their radios louder to drown out the sound as the trains rolled by their homes filled with their Jewish neighbors facing a sure death in Hitler's Holocaust and the tens of thousands of death camps of the Nazi Reich?

No, Camille isn't a Slavemaster, a Hitler, or Robespierre, but you must understand America how smiles throughout history have masked many evils, killed many multitudes in so many, horrible ways.


All smiles: Hitler and Riefenstahl during filming (1934)

Nobel Laureate, Holocaust Survivor Elie Wiesel suffered greatly and knew about the evil intent of a smile. Wiesel wrote singularly and passionately in his many magnificent and revelatory books regarding the biblical suffering of the Jewish people under Hitler and the Nazi Holocaust. One of his famous sayings is his most tragic and belies the trivial, but diabolical nature of the smile: The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference. Indeed, willing collaborators with the workers of criminal intent has been an evil and existential leitmotif throughout history, yet in modern times must be exposed and condemned by all people of good will lest the grotesqueries of human nature hidden behind a simple smile destroy us all.

... Smile for me, Camille Cosby, Smile for me.


Book Notice

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Invitation for manuscripts

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© Ellis Washington

 

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Ellis Washington

Ellis Washington is a former staff editor of the Michigan Law Review (1989) and law clerk at the Rutherford Institute (1992). Currently he is an adjunct professor of law at the National Paralegal College and the graduate school, National Jurisprudence University, where he teaches Constitutional Law, Legal Ethics, American History, Administrative Law, Criminal Procedure, Contracts, Real Property, and Advanced Legal Writing, among many other subjects... (more)

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