Hilltop Views

Cosby conviction sparks debate over lack of legal action against Trump and Weinstein

Sierra Rozen and Lauren Sanchez

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After a little more than two years, and Bill Cosby has finally been convicted on three counts of sexual assault. It has been a long and harrowing journey as the nation watched the downfall of someone who had once been known as “America’s dad.” Honestly, it’s what he deserves.

Many credit his conviction to the rise of the #MeToo movement. The trial had been as somewhat of a standstill until the #MeToo movement picked up speed. Now, Cosby may be serving up to 30 years in prison; this is truly a triumph for survivors of sexual assault everywhere, including those 60 women affected by Cosby himself.

Cosby’s conviction comes as a bittersweet moment. On one hand, it is a great thing to see a sexual predator put behind bars. However, with prominent figures like President Donald Trump and former film producer Harvey Weinstein not being jailed for their crimes, it calls into question if there is an element of racism behind these two not being convicted as well.

For example, multiple accusations of sexual assault were brought up against Trump. One of the most infamous was made by his ex-wife Ivana Trump, in which she accused him of marital rape. He was also accused of sexual harassment by Jill Harth, though her case was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount of money. Along with another accusation that was filed in court, he has also been accused of unwanted physical contact by 12 different women.

When these allegations were made public during the campaign trail, Trump was never forced to face repercussions for his actions in court. His supporters claimed that the women were only coming forward in an attempt to derail Trump’s campaign.

Let’s not forget the fact that Harvey Weinstein has not faced any consequences besides losing his company. Despite many allegations being brought to life by multiple celebrities, he has still not faced criminal charges. The exact numbers include 18 allegations of rape, over 100 allegations of sexual abuse and 84 reports of sexual harassment, assault or rape, as reported by Nardine Saad from the LA Times. This is completely baffling as he rightfully deserves to serve multiple years in prison.

Despite Cosby obviously belonging in prison for his crimes, why has no action been taken against white men who have committed the same crime? All three are men in power, yet the only one being punished is a black man.

The other issue is the consequences that await after Cosby’s convictions. People are worried that the ruling would bring out an ugly version of sexism. In trying to defend Cosby, many are speculate about the possibility of false sexual assault accusations.

Historically, black men have been the victims of false accusations by white women in attempt to demonstrate racial power. Many are now claiming that the black women who have come forward to accuse him are being used as “pawns,” and are being led down this path by white women who are teaching them to hate black men.

Obviously it has taken a lot of courage for these women to speak out against such a well-loved celebrity. To disregard their bravery in such a trying time is disgusting, and an attempt to shift the blame onto the women.

While Cosby’s conviction is a step in the right direction in acquiring justice for survivors of sexual assault, there are issues with the situation, namely the fact that swift action has not been taken against two powerful white men who both have allegations against them. Cosby got what was coming to him. Why hasn’t Trump or Weinstein?

About the Writers
Sierra Rozen, Viewpoints Editor

I am Sierra Rozen – Communication major, Journalism and Women's Studies double minor and Viewpoints Editor for Hilltop Views. This is my sophomore year...

Lauren Sanchez, Viewpoints Section Editor

I am Lauren Sanchez — a Communication major with a focus in Journalism at St. Edward's University. I'm currently the Viewpoints Section Editor for Hilltop...

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Cosby conviction sparks debate over lack of legal action against Trump and Weinstein