blackgirlsmatter

R.Kelly Should Not Have Support In 2017

At this point, I'm sure you've read or should have read the report released by Buzzfeed detailing the abusive cult led by none other than R. Kelly.

*sigh* I'm tired of hearing about a 50-year-old black man who has preyed on black girls for years but because they are black they are deemed invaluable so nothing has been done. This is the same man who was taken to trial when video evidence was released of him urinating on a 14-year-old girl and when documentation was also released of him filming other young girls in sexual acts as well. So when I read the Buzzfeed report, I see red, because this situation – parents losing their children and girls being sexually abused on an almost constant basis – could have been avoided years ago. While the report of R. Kelly's abuse, mental, emotional and physical is sickening to read in detail, reading black men and women defending him is even worse. I am exhausted from black people defending problematic entertainers and artists because they feel like they do it for the "culture" or in this case because R. Kelly is viewed as an R&B connoisseur. R. Kelly is not an R&B connoisseur, he's a grown man preying on black girls. Period. People who are still supporting R. Kelly after having the information given to them single handily, after countless trials are choosing not to care. Black people supporting entertainers who are known to be abusive, rapists, or sexual predators is nothing new, but every single person who still listens to R. Kelly, buys his music, any music executive or venue who stages his shows, and the music artists that continue to collaborate with him enable his behavior. The support he continues to receive makes him think that this is okay and that nothing will be done.

Photograph from PicNoi

R. Kelly is not an R&B connoisseur, he's a grown man preying on black girls.

The adultification of black girls is a problem, that countless reports and studies have shown is a problem in how black girls are perceived in society and the problems it creates daily for black women, such as receiving medical care and in schools. But this is not only with how white people view black girls but also how black people, especially black men view black girls as well. In the black community, if a young black girl does not adhere to the "good girl" stereotype they are viewed as "fast." Being "fast" means that this girl is now no longer viewed as a child, but as a grown woman as she was not acting a child in the eyes of that adult. For example, if you spoke up or disagreed with something in your household to either your momma or grandmother you would not only get popped but you would be viewed as acting grown. In the black community, we are quick to strip black girls of their innocence and vilify them if they do not adhere to our expectations. Black girls are expected to live up to the racial stereotypes that have been placed upon them by society of being loud, angry, and sexually experienced. Black girls are viewed as being sexually experienced by the time they are 12 years old because of the adultification of black girls, they are not able to be children. They are not able to grow into their own and learn.

Photographer: William Stitt

Black girls are viewed as being sexually experienced by the time they are 12 years old because of the adultification of black girls, they are not able to be children. They are not able to grow into their own and learn.

The support of R. Kelly is the same support black families give the family member that is also sexually assaulting our children. It is the same support given to sexual predators at the family cookout when you force the same child that uncle or cousin was inappropriately touching to get close to them or sit on their lap. That child still has to be around that person and relive these experiences and the most we give these families, either from the church or the grandmother, a deacon of the church in most families, is, "go to church and pray it away." We as a community have to do better of holding these people accountable who prey on our communities. In the case of R.Kelly, he has been preying on young black girls for decades, there is no reason he should still be receiving the support of anyone, let alone the black community. We have to start valuing black girls and black women, their lives, their contributions, and who they are as people to stop these things from happening. If R. Kelly was treating and hurting white girls or white women like this, he would have been in jail and probably received a life sentence. But because these are black women, because these are black girls being treated this way they are viewed as less than, no one to save. We as the black community have to work to change this narrative and show that black girls and black women matter. 

I am honestly hoping that more people will read this report and the articles that have been written by black women on the impact of his actions on black women and the black community that R. Kelly will lose his support and earnings, but I won't hold my breath.