If you have been on the internet in the past 5 days, I’m sure you have seen that R Kelly has been a trending topic. I know that a lot of you have watched the 6-part documentary about the R&B singer. The documentary talks about how over the past 20 years, R Kelly has been sexually, physically and mentally abusing underage girls. Specifically, he has been abusing underage black girls. I watched the series and by episode 5, I was starting to have nightmares about R Kelly. The man is a monster. There were a few points that stuck out in my head from watching the documentary and I would like to address them.
- The beginning of the documentary talks about how R Kelly was molested by a family member between the ages of 7-12. He has talked about these events in previous interviews. However, he has never reported who the family member was because “he didn’t want to throw his family member under the bus.”
Let me say this. Just because one was abused that does not give them a pass to abuse others. The psychologists on the documentary explained what happens to one’s brain when they have suffered sexual abuse. It’s sad and I cannot imagine the trauma. I can only say that is so important to seek help, report the incident and go to therapy.
- The part of the documentary that had me flabbergasted was how many adults were complicit in R Kelly’s abuse of so many girls. He had his personal assistants, security and other staff members who would scout young ladies at the mall, his concerts, even outside of his trial (the infamous trial where he urinated on a 14 year-old girl, yeah that trial) and bring them to his place of residence for sex. On of his staff members was the one who forged Aaliyah’s age on the marriage certificate between her and R Kelly. Aaliyah was actually 15 and allegedly pregnant by the singer so his personal assistant wrote that she was 18. It was horrifying. It would have been different if R Kelly had acted by himself. However, this man had an entire community of people helping. I do not care that these people were on his payroll. A cheque should not be worth your soul. I do not know how these people sleep at night knowing that they have been active in ruining so many women’s lives. I wonder if they would have felt comfortable in introducing their daughters, nieces or cousins to R Kelly?
- Another despicable aspect of the documentary was how intentionally quiet the music industry was throughout the past 20 years regarding R Kelly. Honestly, R Kelly should have been shut down after the Aaliyah incident. However, this man has been able to prosper and flourish. He continued to have radio plays, called to sing at several award shows and honoured at the Soul Train awards. This man has been allowed to work with some of the biggest names in music. From Michael & Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Jay-Z etc. The deafening silence of the industry has allowed R Kelly to become untouchable. This man has been emboldened to the point he has been calling himself “Pied Piper of R&B!” If you are unfamiliar with the fable of The Pied Piper, he was man summoned by a village that had a rat infestation. After he lured out the rats, the towns people refused to pay him. So the Pied Piper used music to lure all the children of town into caves and they were never seen again by their families. Coincidence? I think not.R Kelly has been telling us who he is for many years and we ignored him because his music was good. His pedophilic tendencies have instead become a part of pop culture. The Dave Chappelle skit and R Kelly episode of The Boondocks are just a few examples how we have all known what R Kelly was into but did not take seriously to demand change.
I do not want to talk too much on this subject because it is sickening. I will say this though. Let’s stop defending this man’s inhuman actions based on his talent. No one is denying that he is a fantastic musician. We have danced to The Remix to Ignition, cried to I Believe I Can Fly or Stepped In The Name Of Love. However, we need to open our minds up to the fact that talented people can do terrible things. Hilter was an amazing painter, that does not mean that we deny or ignore the fact that he orchestrated the Holocaust.
At this point, R Kelly does not need to be in prison, he needs to be lying UNDERNEATH the prison. His reign of terror on the bodies of black women needs to come to a swift and abrupt end. We need to believe Black women when they say they have been abused. When women get abused, they are not ‘fast,’ they did not ask for it and nothing they wore warrants someone raping or abusing them. Especially when they are minors. That is not up for debate. The culture of protecting abusers over victims need to come to an end.
Mute R Kelly already.