Monday, January 12, 2015

Many Faces

One of the things that I think, intentionally or not, "Serial" brought to the forefront is that no one wants to believe that the folks they know could be behind something terrible.  Until they reach whatever personal algorithm convinces them otherwise.  I was thinking of this as various other people weigh in on the Bill Cosby rape allegations. I understand that  folks with microphones have rushed to various celebrity co-worker's houses or called them endlessly asking for their opinion.  But, whether or not I believe these various accusers or victims is not at all based on popular opinion.  So far, none of these people are disagreeing with any specifics that I'm aware of, other than, he was always a nice guy, so therefore people who say he did something to them must be wrong.  And I understand that. 
I understand why, in "Serial" Mr. Syed's various friends and family members believe his innocence.  I don't even necessarily disagree with them.  I certainly agree there were a number of terrible things that happened with his case what I would like to believe a better crafted justice system would not allow for. 
In the case of Cosby, I have thoughts, mostly along the lines of any who thinks anyone seeks the limelight by claiming they were drugged and raped has, well, not paid any attention to how horribly we treat rape victims.  But my thoughts are certainly not that anyone should be punished based on my thoughts.  And so, I think where I'm going with this is twofold.  One, we, as a culture, need to stop asking anyone who has ever worked with anyone if what their opinion is about allegations that have nothing to do with them.  And we, as a culture, also need to accept that if people who did bad things were all as easy to spot as we would hope, we would hardly need a justice system at all.

Edited to correct a cat on keyboard insertion.