Obama Speaks on Rape, Cosby’s Medal of Freedom


Earlier today during a press conference, President Obama addressed the demands of activists that Bill Cosby’s Presidential Medal of Freedom (given to him under President Bush in 2002) be revoked. Even some high-profile politicians, like New York Senator Kristen Gillibrand, have gotten on board with the effort.

“There’s no precedent for revoking a medal,” the President said. “We don’t have that mechanism.” and while he demurred from commenting on the specifics of the allegations against Cosby, “I’ll say this,” Obama continued. “If you give a woman — or a man for that matter — without his or her knowledge, a drug, and then have sex with that person without consent, that’s rape, And I think this country, any civilized country, should have no tolerance for rape.”

The President’s remarks exemplify the idea that we’ve come to a broader social understanding of rape, but that we haven’t fully had a chance to figure out how to broadly hold perpetrators accountable.

Watch and listen below: