Melz On The MIC: Your Continued Defense Of R. Kelly Is Trash
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Last night the first 2 parts of a 6 part docuseries on Lifetime called "Surviving R. Kelly" which recounts the stories of alleged victims of R. Kelly through interviews with his accusers and former members of his inner circle. Incredibly, social media is divided over these allegations and they've been divided for what seems be approaching 20 years now. R. Kelly has maintained all along that allegations against him are false and he has not been charged with any crime connected with these allegations.
Personally, I've cancelled any recognition of R. Kelly for a multitude reasons even before this documentary aired. Let's not sit here and pretend like these allegations are "new". In an era where we are encouraging women and girls to speak out against their accusers to bring an end to sexual abuse, what the "Surviving R. Kelly" docuseries has shown me is that no matter what, even in the face of overwhelming evidence, people will still defend him. This is why your defense of him is TRASH.
Let's start with a common defense: "He wasn't convicted in a court of law". You are absolutely correct, Kelly did go to trial and won his case without a doubt. It is this very reason why we continue to play his music. But I want you as an African American to read this and think about it carefully: Are you giving R. Kelly a pass because he wasn't convicted by the same justice system that has treated us unfairly in an overwhelming amount of times and cases? THE SAME JUSTICE SYSTEM YOU CLAIM TO NOT TRUST THAT HAS FAILED TO FIND JUSTICE FOR COPS WHO KILLED UNARMED BLACK FOLKS AND LET OTHER CRIMINALS GO WITH JUST A SLAP ON THE WRIST? So make sure, you keep that same energy and consistency when a jury ACQUITS someone you know to be guilty.
Next, "Where are the parents?". Stop what you are doing and ask yourself "Do I have eyes on my child 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?". Now ask yourself that question again in regards to TEENAGERS. Who hasn't LIED to their parents about their whereabouts and actions as a teen? If you didn't, then this doesn't apply to you, but if you have then you know that the parents can't hold ALL the blame. But Yes, I do BLAME THE PARENTS in some of the instances involving Kelly because they willingly offered up their child to someone with all these allegations against them in exchange for celebrity and riches.
Ah, the old tried and true "What took them so long to speak out?" defense. Take under consideration the following: MULTIPLE accusers dating back to 2002 have spoken out against R. Kelly. The New York Times this year published a laundry list of a nearly 20 year track record of accusations and allegations against Kelly. This is not new. The timing comes in correspondence with the #MeToo movement where women are bringing to light the abuse they went through.
Real quick, miss me with the "What about 'insert other person name here'" defenses because we are talking about R. Kelly and R. Kelly ONLY. We'll tackle each of your comparisons to others on a case by case basis. For now stay focused.
Take under consideration the WIDELY REPORTED marriage to a then FIFTEEN YEAR OLD Aaliyah.The marriage certificate was published and made PUBLIC. Witnesses testify to being at said "wedding". The infamous "sex tape", which still floats around on the internet, you do know that said tape has been proven in a court of law that the person Kelly is having sex with is A MINOR. Take under consideration the COUNTLESS FINANCIAL PAYOUTS Kelly has made to keep folks quiet. No, that still doesn't convince you? Okay. Maybe this will.
Like many other countless instances, when it comes to stories of abuse from women and girls ESPECIALLY BLACK WOMEN AND GIRLS, we IGNORE them, or say "THEY JUST TRYING TO GET A CHECK" and TURN the music up to drown them out.
THIS is why children have problems reporting abuse and why it continues to be a prevalent problem in our communities. THIS is why RIGHT now there are adult women who have suffered in SILENCE at the hands of an abuser and why they have problems having loving relationships.
We don't validate their stories because it shatters whatever "peaceful" innocence we are having. That needs to stop NOW because these victims are living in HELL and they need to be SUPPORTED not shouted down because you "made love" to his songs and its an inconvenient truth for you to deal with.
I know this won't stop any of you from listening to his music because it was the soundtrack of the 90's. I know it won't change your mind because you don't want to separate the talent of the artist from the actions of the man. I get that, but be CONSISTENT.
Let's be clear, from his enablers who protected him to protect THEIR check to the parents who willingly offered up their children in exchange for the hope of instant celebrity and riches, to the entertainment industry that sat silently while all of this went on, LOTS of blame can passed and ALL these people failed the many victims of Kelly's alleged abuse but in the end it all comes back to one person: Robert Kelly.
Do not move the goal posts for R. Kelly.