Momentum is building to have the White House revoke Bill Cosby’s President Medal of Freedom, the highest award a civilian can receive. It is the latest in a list of people and organizations distancing themselves from the falling star. The petition comes after mounting reports the comedian and education advocate drugged and sexually assaulted at least a dozen women.
The alleged victim’s claims are finding traction on Cosby’s own words. The Associated Press pushed for the released of a 2005 deposition, where Cosby admits, under oath, that he obtained qualudes to give to young women he wanted to have sex with. That admission is prompting the executive director of a group supporting sexual assault victims to post the petition and a message to President Obama online. Angela Rose leads PAVE, Promoting Awareness Victim Empowerment. “Bill Cosby admitted to procuring drugs to use against women he wanted to have sex with…and that behavior can not be celebrated…The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest most prestigious hone that can be awarded to any civilian….and his name should not be on that list.” Rose said.
But some residents in Savannah say they feel a rush to judgment in the Cosby case. Dr. Gary Guillory says he believes the call for Cosby to give up the Medal of Freedom is premature. ” ” I guess we have to look at why he was awarded the medal and um, and just look at his entire life. Should we discount all of his life’s contributions and achievements?” said Guillory. President George W. Bush presented Cosby with the medal in 2002, citing his revolutionary portrayal of blacks on television and his interest and dedication to education. The severity of the accusations, backed by Cosby’s statements, are not enough to sway Savannah minister Doris Edwards to sign the online petition. ” “It may be very very bad, but the only thing is, he is a public person and most people who do very, very, bad things are private people. So you know, I really believe that he deserves some grace.” Edwards said.
The petition on the White House’s “We The People” website. If the petition gets 100,000 signatures by Aug. 7, the White House will review it and respond. Bill Cosby not charged in a criminal case involving rape, but even without a criminal court case on the line, it seems he’s losing in the court of public opinion. Wednesday morning were well over ten thousand online signatures.