You Have My Permission To Shin Kick Anyone Who Says "Cosby Is A Distraction From Tamir Rice"

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Earlier today, news broke that Bill Cosby would face criminal charges for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand — one of the 50 or so women (this number will never not be outrageous, btw) who have accused him of sexual abuse.

Earlier this week, news broke that Timothy Loehmann — the Cleveland police officer who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice — would not be charged.


These two incidents are not related.

Actually, I'll take that back. These two incidents do have some relation. They both involve Black people. They both involve the criminal justice system. They both happened to happen in America. They both received national coverage. Also, "Bill Cosby" and "Tamir Rice" have the same amount of syllables. And the Rice ordeal occurred in Cleveland, where Lebron James currently plays. Which connects to Bill Cosby because the Cosby news broke today, which is Lebron's birthday. (And mine.)


So yes, technically, these two incidents are tangentially related.

But Bill Cosby finally facing charges for the decades worth of allegations today is not a conspiracy devised for us to forget about Tamir Rice. It is not a distraction. It is also not a citable, reasonable, relevant, or even particularly sane example of how America persecutes Black people but allows the killers of Black people to walk free. While the previous sentence is true, there's no even remotely rational angle for that type of juxtaposition here. That argument is both dangerously stupid and stupidly dangerous. And, if you are caught making it today or any other day, you deserve to get kicked in the shin. Not a debilitating kick. I would like you to walk again. Run, too. But the type of kick that feels how it feels when it's night time and dark and you're naked and you're walking briskly through your living room and you slam your shin into a coffee table. And then you yelp. And then you make a note to yourself to never do it again.


Yes, Bill Cosby is Black. As was Tamir Rice. And yes, Black men and women and children do routinely get railroaded by the criminal justice system. There are literally thousands of examples of this happening. Hundreds of thousands. Shit, millions. Bill Cosby is not one of them. Tamir Rice, sadly, was. But, as tragic as his death is, you are not doing him — or anyone else who fell victim to police-involved violence — any type of honor by using his case and Cosby's to make some trite, quasi-deep, and pseudo-woke point about America and racism.

You just sound stupid. Like the dumbest motherfucker who ever lived. And you deserved to get kicked in the shin.


(And if you happen to be reading this and happen to be near someone who happens to be making this argument, go ahead and shin kick them. And, if you get in trouble for it, just tell them I said it was ok.)

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About the author

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB and a columnist for His debut memoir in essays, What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins), is available for preorder.