NewsOne Now Audio Podcast: Battle To Defund Planned Parenthood Rages On, Is Stripping Cosby Of Honorary Degrees Overkill?


Battle To Defund Planned Parenthood Engulfs Capitol Hill

On Tuesday the debate over funding Planned Parenthood saw civilities fly out the window during a Congressional hearing on Capitol Hill.

The head of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards,  sat before a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee for five hours during which the proceedings during which Congressional Republicans seemed to hold no punches in their attempt to discredit the organization and remove taxpayer funding from it.

On Wednesday Roland Martin, Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI, 14th District) and the NewsOne Now panel discussed the Congressional hearing, the GOP’s desire to defund Planned Parenthood the ongoing pro-life/pro-choice debate and if the fireworks on Capitol Hill are over healthcare or the lobbying efforts of the organization.

Is Stripping Bill Cosby Of His Honorary Degrees Overkill? 

Marquette, Fordham, and Brown University have stripped Bill Cosby of his honorary doctorate degrees as a result of the allegations that he drugged and raped nearly 50 women over the course of the last 30 years.


During Wednesday’s edition of NewsOne Now, Roland Martin and panel discussed Brown, Marquette, and Fordham’s decision to strip Cosby of his degrees and if these attempts to erase the embattled comedian from history are overkill.

When speaking about Brown University rescinding their degree, Martin posed the question, “What does that say — Bill Cosby stripped, Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, may have raped Sally Hemings, she had babies from him — but he still has an honorary degree?”

NewsOne Now panelist Michelle Bernard responded to Martin’s question, saying, “If you are a slave and you ‘have sex’ with your ‘slave master,’ it’s rape.”

Bernard continued, “Bill Cosby is a Black man. There is still in this country … this fear of Black men with White women in a consensual relationship and they have decided that it hurts their brand, so to speak, to give him (Bill Cosby) the honorary degree.”

Cleo Manago said he does not believe this is an issue of branding, “because this issue is not living anymore. It kind of left the press.” He told Martin, “somebody said once ‘the bigger they are, the harder they fall’ and Bill was big and Bill is Black…”

Manago added, “The whole country was founded as you know … was started by slave owners and dehumanizers and murders and rapists and genocidal people as well, so you can’t compare” Cosby and Jefferson to one another.

Martin went on to detail a number of institutions that have removed the Cosby name from their buildings and said, “If you want to make a statement and we say, ‘We don’t want your name on nothing, we don’t want your name on a fellowship,’ should they also return the money donated by the Cosby family back then?”

Being that this is the first time these institutions have stripped someone of an honorary degree, Martin asked that these colleges investigate other honorary degree recipients’ pasts and strip these individuals of their honors if transgressions are found.

All that and more in this edition of the NewsOne Now Audio Podcast

TV One’s NewsOne Now has moved to 7 A.M. ET, be sure to watch “NewsOne Now” with Roland Martin, in its new time slot on TV One.

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