I used to love “The Cosby Show.” Bill Cosby gave Americans a different view of what an African-American family looked like.
He was an obstetrician. His wife, played by Phylicia Rashad, was a lawyer. His daughters were popular and smart and his son, Theo, also was popular but struggled in school. Viewers discover that he has dyslexia.
Bill Cosby was the perfect dad: college educated, wealthy, perfect family, athletic, respected and intelligent. His only flaw is that he would occasionally cheat on his diet. The show taught us life lessons.
But that was TV, and in that world, things are often better than they really are.
In real life, Cosby has a number of flaws. On Tuesday, a Pennsylvania judge ordered Cosby to stand trial for sexual assault, ruling that there was enough evidence to try the former America’s Favorite Dad on charges that he attacked a woman in 2004 after drugging her.
Cosby is 78 and doesn’t look much like the TV dad who once raced around a stadium track in a “Cosby Show” episode. He doesn’t even look like the man who once criticized African Americans, saying that they have only themselves to blame for a number of social ills.
I’m not going to knock Cosby on some of the things he said back then, because some of them needed to be said. But it’s still strange that the same person who came off as such a moralist is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting more than 30 women.
On Tuesday, the ruling against Cosby came after a preliminary hearing that he attended in Montgomery County, Pa. Witnesses testified about statements that Cosby and his accuser, Andrea Constand, gave to police in 2005. He allegedly drugged her and stuck his hand down her pants and fondled her.
If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison.
Prison would be a bad look for Cosby, but if he did the crime, then he needs to do the time.
Which is the same sermon he was preaching a little more than a decade ago.
James E. Causey is a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist and blogger. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Facebook: fb.me/james.causey.12. Twitter: twitter.com/jecausey