05 25 2016
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  • On Tuesday, a judge ordered the 78-year-old Cosby to stand trial on sexual assault charges 
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  • The judge concluded Officer Edward Nero played little role in the arrest and wasn't responsible for the failure by police to buckle Gray in  
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  • Bill Cosby faces a preliminary hearing Tuesday to determine if his criminal sex-assault case in suburban Philadelphia goes to trial.Prosecutors had declined to charge the comedian-actor over the 2005 complaint, but arrested him in December after his explosive deposition in the woman's lawsuit became public. In the testimony given in that deposition, Cosby is grilled about giving drugs and alcohol to women before sex; making secret payments to ex-lovers; and hosting Andrea Constand at his home. They knew each other through Temple University, where he was a trustee and she managed the women's basketball team. Bill Cosby's wife refused to answer dozens of questions during a combative deposition in a defamation lawsuit filed by seven women who say the comedian branded them liars after they accused him of sexually assaulting them, according to a transcript released Friday. Camille Cosby was subjected to intense questioning by the women's lawyer, who repeatedly pressed her to say whether she believes her husband "acted with a lack of integrity" during their 52-year marriage. The lawyer also asked if her husband used his position and power "to manipulate young women." Camille Cosby didn't answer those questions and many others after her lawyer cited marital privilege, the legal protection given to communications between spouses. She repeatedly said she had "no opinion" when pressed on whether she viewed her husband's behavior as dishonest and a violation of their marriage vows. About 50 women have publicly accused Bill Cosby of forcing unwanted sexual contact on them decades ago. Cosby has denied the allegations. He faces a criminal case in Pennsylvania, where prosecutors have charged him with sexually violating a former Temple University employee, Andrea Constand. He has pleaded not guilty. Camille Cosby answered questions in the deposition Feb. 22 and again April 19 after her lawyers argued unsuccessfully to stop it. A judge ruled she would have to give a deposition but said she could refuse to answer questions about private communications between her and her husband. Camille Cosby's lawyer, Monique Pressley, repeatedly cited that privilege and advised her not to answer many questions asked by the women's lawyer, Joseph Cammarata. The exchanges between Cammarata and Cosby became testy at times, and she admonished him: "Don't lecture me. Just keep going with the questions." Using a transcript of a deposition Bill Cosby gave in a civil lawsuit filed by Constand in 2005 and a transcript of an interview she gave to Oprah Winfrey in 2000, Cammarata asked Camille Cosby about extramarital affairs her husband had. "Were you aware of your husband setting up trusts for the benefit of women that he had a sexual relationship with?" Cammarata asked. She didn't answer after her lawyer cited marital privilege. Cammarata asked her about Shawn Thompson, a woman who said Bill Cosby fathered her daughter, Autumn Jackson, in the 1970s. Jackson was convicted in 1997 of attempting to extort money from Bill Cosby to prevent her from telling a tabloid she's his daughter. He acknowledged he had an affair with her mother and had given her money. "Was it a big deal when this came up in the 1970s that your husband had — big deal to you that your husband had an extramarital affair and potentially had a daughter from that extramarital affair?" Cammarata asked. "It was a big deal then, yes," Camille Cosby replied. She said she had "no opinion" on whether her husband's admission he obtained quaaludes to give to women with whom he wanted to have sex violated their marriage vows. Her lawyer objected and instructed her not to answer when Cammarata asked her if she ever suspected she had been given any type of drug to alter her state of consciousness when she had sex with her husband. A spokesman for the Cosbys declined to comment on her deposition. The Cosbys have a home in Shelburne Falls, an hour's drive from Springfield, where the lawsuit, seeking unspecified damages, was filed. An attorney handling a separate lawsuit against Bill Cosby revealed Friday that Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner provided sworn testimony Wednesday. In the sexual battery lawsuit filed in Los Angeles, Judy Huth says Cosby forced her to perform a sex act on him at the Playboy Mansion around 1974, when she was 15. Bill Cosby's former lawyers have accused Huth of attempting to extort him before filing the case and have tried unsuccessfully to have it dismissed. Huth's attorney, Gloria Allred, said Hefner's testimony will remain under seal for now. Hefner also was named as a defendant in a case filed Monday by former model Chloe Goins, who accuses Bill Cosby of drugging and sexually abusing her at the Playboy Mansion in 2008.   The Associated Press generally doesn't identify people who say they're victims of sexual abuse, but the women accusing Cosby have come forward to tell their stories.___AP Entertainment Writer Anthony McCartney contributed to this report from Los Angeles.
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Jineea ButlerBoxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. recently beat his challenger Saul "Canelo" Alvarez in a highly anticipated fight at the Las Vegas MGM Grand.  In addition to Pay Per View, the fight aired on Broadcast Network Televisa and generated the highest rating in Mexican television history. Eight out of 10 households were tuned into the fight that was broadcast for free on the Mexican Network.  According to ESPN, numbers are not finalized but the Mayweather/Alvarez contest may have been the highest Pay Per View, ever topping the bout between Oscar De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2007 with 2.5 million household viewers.

Walking down the Las Vegas Strip, I realized this fight represented more than a boxing match between two undefeated champions.  I immediately remembered a conversation I had with Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. about Joe Louis and Max Schmeling.  He said, "Hearing a fight on the radio was much different then seeing a fight on TV. It animated our senses because we had to visualize the blow for blow with our minds, we anticipated what was going to happen, and prayed for a win.  When Joe Louis won, it gave us confidence that we could beat the white man at his own game."

I identified with that liberated feeling that Rev. Jackson described on the faces of the many Canelo supporters who flocked to Las Vegas to show their Mexican pride.  Although television is everywhere today, you could look into their faces and see that they were dreaming of Canelo Alvarez knocking out Floyd Mayweather.  It seemed as if a win would have solved all their problems: immigration reform, job security and equality, all with one match.  Their machismo and constant screams of "Canelo!"showed they believed that it was going to happen.

This made me think about how boxing has been an emancipator for racial discrimination.  Think about the fight between Jack Johnson and reigning world champion Canadian-born Tommy Burns in 1908.  Before Johnson chased the champion for two years, world heavyweight championship fights between Blacks and Whites were not allowed.  It was reported that Jack Johnson was the most famous and most notorious African-American on Earth.

Can you imagine the sense of pride that accompanied Johnson in the Black community?  Not free to do much else, but finally a shot at being king of the boxing world.  Racial animosity among Whites was so intense they started searching for a "Great White Hope" to defeat Johnson.  James Jeffries a former Heavyweight champion came out of retirement to challenge Johnson in 1910.  Coined the "Fight of the Century," racial tension was so high special  precautions were taken to secure the safety of both fighters.  No sale of alcohol or entry to anyone who appeared to be under the influence for the July 4, 1910 crowd of 20,000 in downtown Reno, N.V.

Johnson's victory sparked race riots and marked a significant racial advancement for people of color.  However, Johnson didn't use his power to advance that of the race.  He refused all Black challengers, helping to continue to bar Black fighters from the heavyweight championship. Joe Jeanette a colored heavyweight champ criticized Johnson saying, "Jack forgot about his old friends after he became champion and drew the color line against his own people."

That observation brings me back to Floyd Mayweather and The Money Team.  Much like Jack Johnson, Mayweather flaunts his status, drawing criticism from his own people.  Most of the African-Americans who assembled in Las Vegas were not sporting his gear or rallying behind Mayweather. Rather, they were doing what we always do: flossing and chasing the half naked women around. .

Of course, a big sporting event is meant for a night of fun, but history shows us its always been more than that.  The Mexicans understood clearly that their posturing was for a position in this world.  They are outworking us and outnumbering us, and we think that because they haven't figured out how beat us in a fight, we are still winning.  How do we rekindle that pride that came along with the Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling fight?  Must everything be stripped from us before we realize if we don't fight, we won't win?

 

Jineea Butler, founder of the Social Services of Hip Hop and the Hip Hop Union is a Hip Hop Analyst who investigates the trends and behaviors of the community and delivers programming that solves the Hip Hop Dilemma. She can be reached at jineea@gmail.com or Tweet her at @flygirlladyjay

 

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