IR: Okay. The case against Cosby started by Judge Eduardo Robreno, a Cuban-American born in Havanna in 1945, who said that Bill Cosby was going around making moral judgments about the Black community which made it OK to charge him.
Howard Moore: In my opinion, that was judicial misconduct. I don't know of any rule of evidence which allows a judge to use out-of-court statements, which appear in the media, to justify unsealing a document the parties agreed to seal, because of statements or acknowledged conduct in the document under seal might be inconsistent with a party's statements reported in the media.
Ishmael Reed: That got the whole thing started.
Howard Moore: Well, I thought the whole thing got started from the Black comic.Hannibal Buress
Ishmael Reed: Well, they just used him.
Howard Moore: I don't know the comic. I never heard him perform or anything.
Ishmael Reed: But comedians are like sort of a rival jury like Bill Maher, you know he is always convicting Black guys.Forty-Four percent of whites agreed with the O.J. acquittal until the media and comedians took over.They didn't have to obey the evidentiary standards required in court.
Howard Moore: Well this guy Buress pulled this thing out of clear air. He cracked on Cosby. That got the ball running. What I found extraordinary in the Cosby situation is the notion of completely wiping his accomplishments off the book completely.
Ishmael Reed: Now. Gloria Allred is representing some of the women who have accused Trump of assaulting them, sexually.
I'm in touch with her daughter, Lisa Bloom, who admits there is a double standard. I said, "Black guys get treated differently than White guys." She agreed that there's a double standard.
Howard Moore: Lisa Bloom was excellent on Trayvon Martin.
Ishmael Reed: This congressman wanted to revoke Cosby's medal of freedom because of alleged lewd behavior. Cosby denied these charges. You got the President of the United States who admitted to all of this.
Howard Moore: Yeah.
Ishmael Reed: April Ryan, who's a Black correspondent, got up and asked President Obama was he going to ask for the Medal of Freedom back. Now she's all over. She became famous like Rihanna became famous because of Chris Brown.
Tennessee Reed: She was famous before that.( Tennessee was taping the interview)
Ishmael Reed: But I mean, she became more famous. No?
Tennessee Reed: Yeah.
Ishmael Reed: Okay, now. I watched about four or five press conferences from Spicer and the president himself. None of the women correspondents has brought up a question about these twelve women who have accused President Trump of sexual assault. He said he was going to sue them afterward. None of these women have brought that up, either. Do these women have a different standard for Black men than they have for their employers?Alleged misbehavior by Black people is looped endlessly.
Howard Moore: It certainly seems that way.It seems like it would be a subject of general interest, which men, as well as women, would raise. Yet, to my knowledge, men have not raised Trump's predatory sexual misconduct, even though Trump bragged about his predatory misconduct and boorish techniques. Making workplace safe for women-all women – and eradicating sexual harassment is a mutual obligation of men and women.
Ishmael Reed: Mel Reynolds. Remember him?
Howard Moore: Refresh my memory. That was some time ago.
Ishmael Reed: Mel Reynolds was a congressman.
Howard Moore: Oh, it's coming back.
Ishmael Reed: He was found having sex with this underage girl.
Howard Moore: Wow!
Ishmael Reed: He had to resign immediately. His wife and child had to move to a shelter. They were broke. He was ruined. He was a Harvard guy.
Howard Moore: Ivy League education didn't save him.
Ishmael Reed: Now we got a president who has done that, according to a woman who was being represented by Lisa Bloom.She said that Trump raped her, allegedly when she was 13. She withdrew the suit because she was afraid of the Trump stormtroopers.This thirteen-year-old abandoned this. She got scared because of Trump's followers who threatened people, especially Jewish reporters. There was a woman who got here from Russia, a Jewish reporter, who said they called her house, they got her private number, had funeral homes call her, and coffin suppliers, and they gave her a hard time. Another woman, in Miami, said he'd harassed her. She had to leave the country; she was harassed so. Are there different standards for Black male public figures and White ones?
Howard Moore: The president is White, so why are you comparing the two?
IR: Do you think there are sort of like custom made laws when it comes to Black male celebrities? Judicial decisions that are applied to them and none others?
Howard Moore: As a general rule, a different standard is applied. O. J. and Clarence Thomas are exceptions. But, they finally caught up with O. J., and a woman judge sent O. J. to prison for 35 years for trying to recover property stolen from him. O. J. used his fame, wealth, and street creed in the first go round, but did O. J. in the civil case, when he didn't have his dream team. Clarence Thomas is a fascinating case. He used his considerable intelligence and his race to push back against allegations of gross sexual misconduct and win confirmation to a life time seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. Of course, his accuser was a Black woman. An interesting study would be an analysis or comparison of Clarence Thomas and Bill Clinton. That would be a great exploration of color-coded treatment.
IR: Yeah, but [in O. J.] they brought in his dreams in as part of the evidence. Is that unprecedented, or has that been done before?
Howard Moore: That would be unprecedented.
Ishmael Reed: This brings up questions about the sisterhood.Their singling out Black males like Clarence Thomas, regardless of what one might feel about some of his reactionary decisions, and letting powerful white men slide.Roger Ailes got fired from Fox for sexual harassment. He even had a woman pimping for him. I saw Pamela Paul, the editor of The New York Times Book Review on a panel where these white women were engaged in wild speculation about the Cosby case. I asked her for my magazine Konch, whether she would condemn Ailes. She said she didn't remember the panel that I was referring to. I sent her the transcript. She remembered but said that she was on the panel as a book reviewer responding to a book about Cosby and wouldn't comment on Ailes.Now a socialist feminist named Harriet Fraad, she said that the feminist movement began as a working class integrated movement, okay and that Gloria Steinem and these corporate types took it over.Her connections to the C.I.A. have never been clarified. Is this an example of the double standard?
Howard Moore: I don't know. I know my contact with Friedan, what's her first name?
Ishmael Reed: Betty Friedan.
Howard Moore: Betty Friedan. When we were living in Atlanta, she came to Atlanta to interview Jane, my wife. The interview was conducted in our living room. I saw Betty Friedan as I walked through our living room on my way out. She didn't even acknowledge my presence even though she was a guest in my house to interview my wife. I was invisible. Would she have acted the same if I were white? Unfortunately, I will never know. So let me excuse her. She was preparing her interview and just didn't notice me.
Tennessee Reed: Who was this?
Tennessee Reed: Who is that?
Ishmael Reed: One of the founders of bourgeoisie feminism. She wrote a book called The Feminine Mystique. But the French feminists and patriarchs did all of the thinking. The late June Jordan said that she left Women's Studies department at Berkeley because it was reliant upon French patriarchal theory. Friedan was a battered wife. She had to put on makeup to cover up the bruises. She would not take on Jewish American patriarchy.Germaine Greer said that when she visited Iran at the request of Iranian feminists, she and the members of the American party clowned on their hosts, demanding things like separate limousines.The women who jump on the brothers are silent about the misogyny that takes place in their ethnic groups. That's why I asked whether Spielberg would do a movie about the oppression of Jewish women in the United States and Israel, where women have to ride in the back of the bus and can't have their pictures in the newspaper and all that stuff. Or you know the guys throw rocks at them if they are wearing the wrong attire. I just wanted to make that point.A lot of guys from other ethnic groups have joined a handful of media Black feminists in taking it to the brothers.Now, the big case against Cosby, according to the media was the woman who said that Cosby drugged and raped her at the Playboy mansion. The media went wild over that story.She lied.
Howard Moore: Yeah.
Ishmael Reed: The judge threw it out, and the woman who was the corroborating witness said she never met the woman. So she was out there for gain, okay? I did a Google search, I could only find a couple of mentions that the case was thrown out, but her accusation against Cosby went on for pages. Citations from the media.This was a major setback for the accusers but went unnoticed.
Howard Moore: I thought it was a major setback, and I think that it was supposed to be fifty women that accused him but the judge only considered thirteen of those women and only one of them testified. What was her name, Heidi Thomas?
Ishmael Reed: She got paid already.She got paid in that Temple suit.
Howard Moore: I don't think she was a party in the Temple suit.
Ishmael Reed: She got a settlement. Now she's coming back again.
Howard Moore: Well, that's not exactly right. The state is the complaining party in the current criminal prosecution. The woman who settled the Temple suit is the alleged accuser in the criminal case.
Ishmael Reed: Right.
Howard Moore: But I don't think he settled with Heidi Thomas.
Ishmael Reed: Oh, I thought the one in the Temple suit was the one that they're using, right?
Howard Moore: Right.
Ishmael Reed: She got paid already.
Howard Moore: Right, in a sense she received monetary compensation for her agreement to settle.
Ishmael Reed: So now she's going to get paid again. She wants to get paid again.
Howard Moore: She can't get paid again, because she released all of her claims against Cosby in the prior civil case unless Cosby had incompetent lawyers. I doubt that.
Ishmael Reed: Well, they got a victory, right? What about the guy running for office, like in the Old South, over a hundred years, the district attorney who ran for office on the promise that he would get Cosby?
Howard Moore: He knew what would appeal to his constituents.
Ishmael Reed: And he got elected.
Howard Moore: Right.
Ishmael Reed: That's like the Old South. I mean, isn't that, you know, that's been going on for a hundred years, man, running against Black folks like Trump did. "Chicago" is a metaphor for Black crime and he said that Blacks-he wouldn't hire them at casinos because they can't count. He doubted the fact that Obama could finish Harvard and he that he edited The Harvard Review.
Howard Moore: What Cosby has to do right now he needs to conduct public opinion surveys as to how people in the counties where he's going to be tried view him, and, if he hasn't done it, he needs to hire the best jury consultant in the country. Cosby should expect people to have mixed emotions and attitudes about him. He needs to know how to identify jurors who will listen to the evidence and make an effort to be fair. I have a feeling the evidence against Cosby is not very strong, including his admission in the civil case he used drugs to induce women to have sex. As I recall the excerpt from his deposition in the civil case, Cosby didn't say he used drugs to induce the woman in the criminal case to have sex. The evidence on this issue is probably entirely circumstantial, which would make proof whether whatever sex, if any, occurred was consensual circumstantial.
Ishmael Reed: Tom Mehserle, Michael Jackson's attorney, said the media has been unfair to Cosby.
Howard Moore: It has been.
Ishmael Reed: So they made money by electronic lynchings.Everybody ridiculed Clarence Thomas when he said that he was a victim of a "hi-tech lynching" but what he meant was that he didn't have the opportunity to cross-examine his accusers.
Howard Moore: Clarence Thomas meant more than that. He meant the entire proceedings amounted to a "high-tech lynching." The Senate didn't challenge Thomas. The Senate rolled over.
Ishmael Reed: Like the O.J. trial saved CNN. It saved CNN.
Howard Moore: O. J. saved The National Enquirer.
Ishmael Reed: So what happens when you get someone like Cosby and the O.J. trial, no matter what you think about it, although you got that kid that got that award the other night at the Oscars for O.J. he interviewed me.
Howard Moore: Oh, yeah?
Ishmael Reed: They didn't use my interview.I told him that there of the country's leading forensics experts Lee, Wecht, and Baden still have questions about the case and they weren't playing the race card. Michael Baden says that most of the shoe prints were made by the cops. Also, the gloves didn't fit. Linda Deutsch and the Associated Press witnessed the glove demonstration. She said they didn't fit. The New York Times guy who wrote that they fit didn't even witness the demonstration.Those who produced the series last year about O.J. took their cue from Jeffrey Toobin who said the jury was all Black, that's not true. There were Hispanics and Whites.He said that Blacks couldn't deal with reality and they shouldn't be patted on the head. The Hispanic juror said that he was convinced that the police planted tainted evidence.The argument in the tabloid media is that so many women have come forth that the charges against Cosby must be true.Mehserle said that just because a whole lot of people come forth doesn't mean that they have evidence because in the Michael Jackson case there were a lot of crazy people who made claims.He also said that the Cosby jury, were there to be a trial might include conservative women who would wonder why these women would hang out with a married man and would ask them about their partying habits.
Howard Moore: Right. Look. Remember the McMartins? Three hundred charges and they didn't get even one conviction. A crazy white woman started the prosecution and even convinced people the McMartins built a chamber underneath the school where they sexually abused children. The McMartins were ruined financially. I believe that the objective of the allegations against Cosby.
Ishmael Reed: The costliest case in California history.
Howard Moore: I believe you are right about that.
Ishmael Reed: And the prosecutor was used as a TV consultant on the O.J. thing.The media had hundreds of hours of accusations against Patsy Ramsey.That she killed her child. After she had died they found DNA that pointed to another person. So the media as used in deciding elections and sort of like an alternate all white jury.
Howard Moore: That's why it's so important that Cosby speaks to a jury consultant. I think the most important thing in the case is going to be the composition of the jury.
Ishmael Reed: How about the contrast. Bill Cosby denies these charges, but he might spend the rest of his days in jail. The president of the United States admits to sexual assault and hangs around little girls for the opportunity to see them undressed and all that, and he becomes president. What's wrong with this story? What's wrong with this picture?
Howard Moore: This is the true America. This is who we are, and one standard is the White man in America and the White women and different standards for everybody else.
Ishmael Reed: Last question. How do you feel about the Black institutions that returned the philanthropy of Camille and Bill Cosby without a trail even having taken place where he could face his accusers.
Howard Moore: The decision of Black educational institutions to return gifts Bill and Camille Cosby made is one which they may make but are not compelled to make due to publicity about Bill Cosby's alleged predatory sexual conduct. The UNCF has not returned the 25 million dollar gift from the Koch or Koch Brothers who support programs and practices which would restore Jim Crow.
The ACLU has not returned gifts from the Koch Brothers who support programs and practices which would extinguish civil liberties as we presently know and enjoy them.
Opposition to reparations is exceptionally strong notwithstanding the predatory sexual practices of the so-called Founding Fathers and countless other white men then and now which created a mixed race and never paid child support.
Perhaps, Black educational institutions are raising a higher moral and ethical standard but only time will tell. Few of us will be alive when that standard is reached and not just aspirational.
Ishmael Reed: What are your concerns about the Cosby case from here on?
Howard Moore, Jr.: Some lawyers think they know everything and they don't need cognitive scientists' help to select juries. His lawyers maybe of a different mind set, but just in case they are not, Cosby should call the shot on the necessity for using a jury consultant. Cosby is fighting for his life and legacy. Nothing short of an acquittal will vindicate him. We all are on trial in this case, even though many of us don't realize it, and others will loudly deny it and declare us crackpots for thinking that way. Yet the undeniable use of rape to justify extra-judicial as well as judicial lynchings is real fodder alarm when one of us is brought to the bar in Cosby's circumstances. Rape has been the take down and stuff out charge directed at the well to do and the poor among us for over 200 years, especially interracial rape. It is a core pillar of racism.
Ishmael Reed: Thank you, Howard
Howard Moore, Jr. is an attorney admitted to practice law in Massachusetts, Georgia, and California. Mr. Moore practiced law for over 50 years. He represented most, if not all, of the most prominent leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. , Julian Bond, Stokely Carmichael, H. Rap Brown, and Muhammad Ali. Mr. Moore served as General Counsel for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and related entities. He organized the Federation of Southern Cooperatives, which provides technical, financial, and management assistance to cooperatives in 16 states and the District of Columbia. Mr. Moore formed the Southern Legal Assistance Project (SLAP), which provided legal defense and assistance to peace activists and war resister to the war in Vietnam. Mr. Moore argued cases before the U. S. Supreme Court and served as trial and appellate counsel in numerous cases in the Supreme Court. Mr. Moore represented Angela Davis who was acquitted of murder, conspiracy, and kidnapping by an all-white jury in San Jose, California, in 1972. In the Angela Davis Case, Mr. Moore introduced use of psychologists as jury consultants and to attack eye-witness testimony. Many of Mr. Moore’s cases are precedent in a broad spectrum of criminal and civil cases across the country. Some consider Mr. Moore’s article “Brown
v. Board of Education: The Court’s Relationship to Black Liberation”, published in Law Against the People, Essays to Demystify Law Order and the Courts, edited by Robert Lefcourt (1971), to be the origin of critical race studies. Mr. Moore was born, raised, and educated in Atlanta, Georgia, to working class parents. He is semi-retired from the practice of law and now lives in the Bay Area with his wife, a retired lawyer and fledging novelist. He has three adult children; one of whom is a practicing lawyer.