Ever since the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned Bill Cosby’s aggravated indecent assault conviction and freed the actor-comedian, people have been speaking out for and against him. Add former Nation of Islam minister Rev. Conrad Tillard to the list.
Tillard once helmed the NOI’s famed Harlem Mosque #7 and was considered the favored heir to NOI leader Louis Farrakhan. The pastor spoke out in a reply to a tweet by Marc Lamont Hill, a professor at Temple U. Professor and host of BET News.
Lamont Hill tweeted, “BILL COSBY IS NOT INNOCENT. HE HAS NOT BEEN EXONERATED. His release means that Cosby, a sexual predator, was incarcerated within a criminal legal system that has as little regard for its own rules and procedures as Cosby does for his victims.”
Tillard diagreed, tweeting, “You are simply wrong. The man’s conviction has been thrown out! The system has exonerated him. To persecute him further is to do the same thing that was done to you. Group think persecution. He proclaimed his innocence from the start. He was right, you are wrong!”
Lamont Hill tweeted back that his opinion was based on Cosby’s 2005 deposition admission to drugging women before the alleged sexual assaults, “I’m basing my claims about Cosby on his own admitted behaviors. I’m not making a judgement about his legal status.” Lamont Hill then compared Cosby’s case to that of vigilante George Zimmerman, who was found not guilty in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in 2012.
Tillard tweeted back, “You are persecuting him, you refuse to presents facts of ‘admitted behaviors’ you compare him to Zimmerman, Bill Cosby Zimmerman, really? You understand, civil settlements, you understand prosecutorial misconduct…jury verdicts don’t mean one is guilty…”
Twitter chimed in. “Conrad, he did it. Stop.” @DJPigLatin @Javier_Veguilla tweeted.
Tillard, who was known as the “Original Hip-Hop Minister” when he was with NOI, is now a Baptist minister. He hosts “Conversations with Conrad” on WHCR 90.3 FM in New York City and is the immediate past senior minister of the Nazarene Congregational Church, in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
In 1985, Tillard joined the NOI, rising to national youth minister in 1989. He was installed in 1991 as presiding minister of the organization’s legendary Mosque #7 in Harlem — which was once headed by Malcolm X. Tillard served for seven years, building a reputation for his ability to attract youth to the movement, a knack for dealing with gangs and beefing hip-hop artists. In 1998 he resigned, according to his bio on the APB Speakers Bureau website. Tillard’s departure was reportedly a major blow to the NOI.
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