6 Black Feminists Speak Out About the Cosby Sexual Assault Conviction in Colorlines

On April 26, 2018, Colorlines Editorial Director Akiba Solomon asked six Black feminists -- Tarana Burke (#MeToo Movement founder), Aishah Shahidah Simmons (“NO! The Rape Documentary"director and producer and #LoveWITHAccountability creator), Jamilah Lemieux (writer, cultural critic and vice president of programming for CASSIUSlife.com), Dr. Salamishah Tillet ((A Long Walk Home co-founder), Ayana Byrd (author and editor) and Monifa Bandele (MomsRising senior vice president and The Movement for Black Lives activist) -- to speak about the Cosby sexual assault conviction.  

Here's what Aishah Shahidah Simmons wrote:

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"As an incest and adult rape survivor, I’m elated that Bill Cosby was found guilty of sexual assault. I also know that prison sentencing will not eradicate rape culture, nor does it equate accountability and transformative justice. In an ideal world, Cosby should be required to be in daily counseling with a Black feminist licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in sexual trauma. I also believe he should be required to listen to the testimonies of not only Andrea Costand, but his other victims/survivors. I am unwavering that Cosby should donate a significant amount of his remaining resources to organizations that have a demonstrated track record of working to end sexual violence in holistic ways that emphasize community accountabilityrestorative justice and transformative justice. Finally, there isn’t any doubt in my mind that Bill Cosby sexually assaulted multiple women over a span of decades. Similar to all of the individuals and institutions that looked the other way for decades while [USA gymnastics doctor] Larry Nassar committed sexual harm against children, I also believe there are at least a few, if not many, individuals and institutions who knew about the violence Cosby committed against women. We have to move beyond solely focusing on the person who commits the sexual harm because they often do not operate in a vacuum. It’s important to hold Cosby (and Nassar) accountable. But we must also hold individual and institutional silent bystanders accountable. If we do not, sexual violence will continue to permeate our society."

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