There is a lot going on in the world right now, especially in these not so United States of America. Wars and rumors of wars have everyone one edge, people are strapped for money and why, for the love of God, can we not get to the bottom of Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election? I mean, god damn, are they or are they not to blame for our current administration (based on the evidence, I think we all know the answer to that question)?
What I’m getting at here is that there is always something going on that greatly, and often times negatively, impacts a massive group of people. Without a doubt, black people have and continue to feel the brunt of many of the issues going on in this country. HOWEVER, while we are definitely going through something as a community, it is time that we stop giving passes to the black men amongst us that show their asses on the regular and are just all around messed up people. I am talking about you R. motha- (watch yo mouth) Kelly.
The recent news about him, pretty much, being an abusive and sadistic cult leader is beyond disturbing. If you don’t know the 411, women and the parents of some of the women have come forth accusing Kelly of brainwashing aspiring female singers into “sexual servitude” at two of his homes, one in Chicago and the other in Atlanta. His camp has denied the rumors of course, but we all know that doesn’t mean they aren’t true. The details of the situation are just the tip of the iceberg of what sources are saying he’s done. A former member of his entourage confirmed the reports by saying,
“You have to ask for food. You have to ask to go use the bathroom … [Kelly] is a master at mind control…”
Another former employee of the Chicago born artist, Asanta McGhee, said,
“R. Kelly is the sweetest person you will ever want to meet… But Robert is the devil.”
This man is a predator, but we already knew this. We have seen his antics play out over the years, with him marrying a teenage Aaliyah back in the mid 90’s, and his sex tape with an underage girl a few years back. Yet we, the black community, still show him all kinds of love. Why is this? He, unfortunately, is not the only one we love unconditionally.
As the details of this story unfolded and continue to do so, I think about the other black men that we have given passes to despite their abusive behaviors. Naturally Chris Brown comes to mind. It has been almost a decade since he whooped Rihanna’s ass in the passenger seat of his car and we still buy tickets to his concerts and blasts his music. Black women are still calling him “my baby daddy” and fawning over his voice and body. How do we give singers the okay to be trash and still make profits, but not men like Bill Cosby?
Don’t get me wrong. I am in no way, shape, form or fashion taking up for that man. He’s also trash. Nonetheless, we prosecute Cosby, who actually did something for the culture through his abilities and connections (and again he is still a womanizing SOB) but we don’t give a damn about Kelly and Brown’s transgressions. Is it because their brand of abuse is clocked under the shadow of their talents? Is it because their music makes us feel good? Is it “out of sight out of mind” because, ya know, it’s not my daughter, mother or sister they hurt? How can we not care? Cosby, Brown, Kelly, and I’m sure a host of others, are all men that should be dealt with as the abusers they are.
I know that there is a code in the black community that says we don’t come for our own in public, especially since white people and other groups do it enough already. But in cases like these, we would be remiss not to say anything. We become co-signers in a sense if we don’t act. We cannot keep supporting these men who do these kinds of these to women because it is just another way that this rape culture, this misogynistic way of life, this “grab her by the pussy” America shows women that they could not care less about our well-being.
If it turns out to be true that, as BuzzFeed.com puts it, Kelly is a “puppet master” and has been preying on young singing hopefuls as a means to fulfill his sick sexual desires, he must be cut off! There is no way around it.
We have been pardoning this man for the last 23 years, and it’s time to stop. Even if all of this turns out to be false, he’s already done enough to be placed on the list of men that we don’t f*@k with. He may have evaded the law, but when it comes to men and getting them where it really hurts, it always comes down to their pockets.
He gets no support from me and will never get a dime of my paycheck. If black people really want to start changing things, on any level, it starts with the money.
By turning a blind eye, once again, at R. Kelly’s transgressions, we are merely enablers willing to look the other way in exchange for a good time at his concerts.