The number of Bill Cosby's alleged victims just rose exponentially, at least in the eyes of MSNBC ever-hyperbolic contributor Michael Eric Dyson.
Dyson, who teaches the decidedly soft science of sociology at Georgetown when he's not huffing and puffing on cable TV, appeared on NOW with Alex Wagner this afternoon to opine on Cosby's wife and daughter coming to his defense, along with Cosby asking "black media" to approach allegations against him with a "neutral mind."
Right out of the gate Dyson's remarks surely struck that sliver of MSNBC's audience that can be considered rational -- conservatives, in other words -- as odd and offensive --
WAGNER: What do you think of this strategy, to have his wife, his daughter out there as respondents to charges of sexual assault?
DYSON: Well, when Beverly Johnson came forward, that was seen by many as the death knell. (Johnson, a prominent businesswoman, was the first black model to appear on the cover of Vogue). Like, you know, you could claim an implicit racial bias when black men are accused of raping white women, then white women are more likely to report it publicly, so you got all of that sort of loosey-goosey stuff going on there. But when Beverly Johnson speaks up, you know, it puts the kibosh on all that. But the problem is, now you've got a legitimate black woman, you gotta have what? Another legitimate black woman ...
WAGNER (seconding the notion): Right!
DYSON: ... so it's gotta be his wife against Beverly Johnson. I think it's pretty cynical. What else could Mrs. Cosby and the daughter do? Of course it's predictable and sad.
And could you provide examples of "illegitimate" black women, Professor Dyson? Professor ...?
Turns out this was just an appetizer for the piece de resistance shortly after --
WAGNER: What did you think of Cosby's contention that the black media (Wagner making air quote gesture) needs to be neutral?
DYSON: Wow, black against the wall, you know, back against the wall, black against the wall, right? It's the OJ approach, it's the Michael Jackson approach, you know, people who have lost their way in terms of racial, you know, excoriation now depend upon the very black people that they've sent to the doldrums. (And a doctorate in sociology is needed to decipher that sentence). Look, Bill Cosby has had an incredible career as a Mark Twain of American comedy and for 45 years, 50 years, he has never mentioned race in his comedic act. All of a sudden, he becomes a race expert because he's pissed off. Now ...
WAGNER: And many in the black community have said he has had a, you know, not the right tact (presumably Wagner means "tack") in talking about the issues that plague African-Americans.
DYSON: Number one right here. (Alluding to his past feuds with Cosby) ... You're beating up on people, you're a hypocrite by doing so, which is why I never speak about a lot of stuff 'cause I know where my skeletons are, and trust me, I ain't trying to give nobody a key to my closet. (Duly noted). But the point is, I'm not going to go out with a microphone and try to beat people down. And Bill Cosby has been relentless and nasty and let me tell you something else -- the very kind of man who would rape women, allegedly, is the same kind of man who will rape an entire black community, poor black people who are vulnerable before him, using his powerful foot to clump down on their necks. And black people who think that tough love and hate are the same thing and that excoriation is the sign of an affection, I think here have to also admit that this is something that is a bristling part of our own psyche that needs to be addressed.
Cosby in effect saying pants up, don't loot is tantamount to raping the "entire black community"? The irony is rich -- Dyson falsely accusing another black man of sexual assault, with Cosby fiendishly resorting to words to overpower his victims. One devoutly hopes the editors at Rolling Stone were watching and quickly dispatched a reporting team to investigate.
At least it's been clarified what Dyson means when he alludes to "illegitimate" blacks.