Cosby’s moralizing by day and alleged raping by night was not hypocrisy. It was something much worse. The only way he could have been so strident in his presentation of himself as a good person is if he believed he was one.
In his mind, drugging women so that they couldn’t prevent him from having sex with him didn’t make him bad. This is a sick belief, and one from which we recoil in horror. But it’s not the belief of a sick man. Rather, it is the belief of a man very much in touch with reality. The uncomfortable truth is that there is no difference between being a loving, devoted, family man, a pillar of the community—and a rapist. Our culture will gladly allow you to be both. They will even invite you to speak and give you awards.
Whether or not he is ever convicted of rape, Bill Cosby will die a broken and deeply hated man. And this seems fitting. A career based on an idea of individual achievement should rightfully be destroyed by an individual failing. Unfortunately, the culture that cheered for him and paid for him to be our hero even when he behaved like a monster is still very much alive. Whom do we blame for that?