TN--University invites Cosby to speak
For immediate release Wednesday, November 19
Statement by David Brown, Memphis SNAP leader, [email protected] 901-569-4500
Bill Cosby is set to perform at a college dinner in Tennessee. We urge Freed-Hardeman
University officials to rescind his invitation.
The Dec. 5 dinner at Freed-Hardmann University near Jackson is for a worthy cause. But that doesn't obscure the fact that it also honors a credibly accused sex offender.
Cosby's never been criminally charged, as best we can tell, nor of course convicted. The sheer number of allegations he faces, however, and the credibility of those accusers makes most people accept the very likely reality that he did in fact sexually assault at least some - if not all - of these women.
So honoring him, regardless of which charity benefits, is inappropriate and hurtful. It rubs salt in the wounds of already wounded victims of sexual assault. But worse, it deters others from reporting sexual violence. "What' the use?" many crime victims will ask. "Rapists, especially the powerful and popular ones, always get by with it," many will say. So they'll keep silent instead of reporting and preventing crimes. No institution, especially not a college, should contribute to such feelings of helplessness.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 18,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)