Do You Think Bill Cosby's Rape Allegations Are a Conspiracy?

You should not. And let me tell you why.

By now everyone is pretty familiar with the Bill Cosby sexual assault allegation saga that includes a list of over twenty women who have brought accusations against him. Most of these women have provided heart-wrenching detailed accounts of being drugged by Cosby rendering them defenseless before he proceeded to allegedly rape them.

Having carefully watched this story develop over the past few weeks, it has become rather apparent that rape itself is a polarizing issue. It has become even more salient that because Cosby has been a pioneer for blacks in the entertainment industry, many people are unwilling to even question his innocence. In turn, people find themselves dismissing women's troubling stories invoking victim-blaming rhetoric and crying conspiracy to "take down a powerful black man."

Allow me to preface this by saying I love Jill Scott's neo-soul music and what she has done to expand the representation of black women in entertainment to highlight our curves, consciousness, and vulnerability. However, I found her statements extremely troublesome because they exhibited similar motifs of conspiracy theories and victim-blaming Bill Cosby's alleged rape victims.

Initially, I did not write a blog about the Twitter back and forth with Jill for several reasons. One, the tweets had already been picked up and included in stories on VIBE, BET, Madame Noir, Bossip, and other publications. Two, I have been continuously harassed by rape apologist twitter trolls who lack Jill's level of civility or intelligence. Lastly, I tweeted her regarding her views because I am a fan and I found them troubling.

I did not engage in a Twitter conversation with Jill Scott simply so I could later write about it. Therefore, I had no intentions on ever penning a blog about the conversation. Yet I have seen such a large number of people who agree with her sentiments. So I have decided to deconstruct our conversation in hopes of shedding light on how these notions promote rape culture.

Initially Jill Scott begins to assert the idea that perhaps the stories of women coming forward with rape allegations are propaganda aimed at tarnishing the reputation of one of the most powerful black men in entertainment.

The notion that twenty women would collectively gather to put themselves in the spotlight for rape accusations and be exposed to public shaming all to bring one man down is a disturbing one. That particular idea is rooted in sexist ideologies. Much the same way people claiming black witnesses of Mike Brown's killing in Ferguson, MO conspired in their accounts is rooted in racist pathologies. In the instance of Cosby's accusers, there exists no single shred of evidence I could find to suggest that some of these women have conspired to plot against him. In a conversation in which Jill Scott calls for evidence that Cosby is even capable of committing such heinous acts, it appears cognitively dissonant to accuse 20 women of lying without evidence of deceit or benefits they would gain.

Next, Jill Scott inquires as to why some of the women would revisit Bill Cosby after he allegedly sexually abused their bodies.

Jill's question is not uncommon. Many people believe it odd for a victim to return to a person who has abused and traumatized them.

Not only is this an instance of victim blaming but it is a sad reality that many victims are forced to be in the presence of their abusers. Most people are sexually assaulted or raped by someone they know. Therefore in many cases abusers are family members, classmates, peers, or colleagues. In the case of Bill Cosby's alleged victims, almost all of these women were in his presence because they were led to believe he would mentor them in their entertainment careers. During the 1970s and 1980s, Cosby wielded an enormous amount of star power that it appears he may have used to coax women into compromising positions.

Thursday, Vanity Fair released an editorial in which black supermodel Beverly Johnson opened up about being drugged by Bill Cosby. She states that she met with Cosby under the pretext he would help her get a small role on The Cosby Show. He offered her a cappuccino, which she declined but succumbed to his wishes after she felt pressured.

As I readied myself to be the best drunk I could be, he offered me a cappuccino from the espresso machine. I told him I didn't drink coffee that late in the afternoon because it made getting to sleep at night more difficult. He wouldn't let it go. He insisted that his espresso machine was the best model on the market and promised I'd never tasted a cappuccino quite like this one.

It's nuts, I know, but it felt oddly inappropriate arguing with Bill Cosby so I took a few sips of the coffee just to appease him.

After consuming the drink, Beverly says she felt "woozy" and slurred her speech before going into a tirade cursing at him in an attempt to shame Cosby for what she believed was his plan to rape her. Beverly is convinced her verbal abuse was successful as he ended up dragging her limp body down a set of stairs and shoving her into a cab to leave.

Beverly Johnson's account does not end with an accusation of rape. But does it really need to? If Bill Cosby indeed drugged her, that alone is horrifying.

Her story illuminates the social expectation women feel to comply with men's requests for fear of being seen as rude, a bitch, or worse being physically harmed. One can only imagine this weight may magnify in women in the entertainment industry whose incomes rely on maintaining amicable relationships with powerful individuals, most often men.

Let us suppose that somewhere there may be a valid reason, in spite of twenty-plus alleged victims, for which one refuses to believe Bill Cosby has ever harmed a woman -- conspiracy is simply not one of them.

Follow the author on Twitter: @curlyheadRED.