Column: What we can learn from Bill Cosby’s Twitter

Dominic Renzetti, Assistant Sports Editor

Word up to Bill Cosby, or whoever is running the 77-year-old’s Twitter account: being an Internet meme isn’t a good thing.

On Monday night, Cosby, or whoever is running his Twitter account (excuse me for not believing that Bill Cosby tweets), posted a photo of the comedian and simply said, “Go ahead. Meme me!” and posted under the hashtag #CosbyMeme.

Ask and you shall receive.

Within an hour of the tweet, there had already been dozens of images of Cosby ridiculing his dark past.

Cosby’s troublesome history with sexual assault and rape accusations is well-documented but likely unknown to the average person who may just know him as Cliff Huxtible.

Last month at a performance in Philadelphia, which is coincidentally Cosby’s hometown, comedian Hannibal Buress (who has his own opinion about this very newspaper) criticized Cosby on stage for his words in a 2004 speech where he critiqued modern black culture, mocked black language etiquette and asked why one would spend $500 on sneakers but not on education.

Buress, a Chicago-born 31-year-old who previously wrote for “30 Rock” and appears on Adult Swim’s “The Eric Andre Show,” said Cosby is the type of person he hates.

“Pull your pants up, black people. I was on TV in the ‘80s. I can talk down to you because I had a successful sitcom,” Buress said, mocking Cosby. “Yeah, but you raped women, Bill Cosby. So, brings you down a couple notches … ‘I don’t curse on stage.’ But yeah, you’re a rapist.”

Thirteen different women have accused Cosby of taking advantage of them sexually, including actress Barbara Bowman, who told People magazine in 2006 that she was raped by Cosby in a Reno, Nevada, hotel room in 1986.

There’s a few things to take away from this: if you’re a celebrity/public figure/PR team, I would just stay away from these types of things on Twitter all together because you’re just asking for trouble (even though it’s usually/probably your fault anyway). Ask Robin Thicke, R. Kelly, T.I. or the New York City Police Department how their Twitter-fan interaction campaigns went (spoiler alert: not well).

But secondly, and more importantly, if anything: crude Twitter meme rape jokes aren’t really the best way to heal the wounds these women have from what has allegedly happened to them in the past at the hands of Cosby.

I understand that we all want to make Cosby look like an idiot here, but he’s fully capable of doing that on his own.

More often than not, nothing happens to those who commit rape or sexual assault. We saw the same thing happen here on campus not too long ago when the words “my rapist still goes here” were scrawled on the Doudna steps as a cry for help.

Twitter insensitivity aside, I’m glad Cosby got the backlash that he deservedly walked right in to.

More people need to be called out on these things.

It’s the only way to let the world know that we don’t stand for it, that it’s not OK.

Dominic Renzetti is a senior family and consumer sciences major he can be reached at 581-7912 or [email protected].