As the topic of R. Kelly and the shenanigans of his alleged cult/sex dungeon revealed by Buzzfeed populate social media feeds, I can’t help but question the thought process of parents that perpetuate this behavior by continuously ushering their children in harm’s way. Truth be told, this isn’t even about Kelly - at least not for me. If we’re being honest, what can be said about him that hasn’t already been said over the (damn near) 20 years that his name has been associated with pedophilia?
Over the years, all of the scandals may have added a comedic blemish to his reputation, but it certainly hasn’t diminished his fame. Kelly is still highly sought after in the entertainment industry, not only as a performing artists but more notably as one of the most talented contemporary musicians today. It seems that as a people we tend to be extremely forgiving, particularly when fame, fortune and opportunity are attached to a name.
The parents in this case were apparently mesmerized by the fortune, fame and access Kelly claimed to be able to provide. So much so, that they sold their souls and sacrificed their own daughter chasing such pursuits. Now, two years later they want to put the whole system, one they helped perpetuate, on blast to expose Kelly for what EVERYONE already knew. You handed him your legacy, your child, and now you want to be saved? Too much, too little, too late!
Don’t misunderstand me. I am not trying to take any responsibility away from Mr. Robert Kelly. I’m just interested in digging a little deeper to explore the sick spirit which feeds the beast we are all feeding. The truth is this: if we truly cared and valued our daughters, we wouldn’t walk them into the lion’s den and then cry foul when they’ve been devoured. We have all seen this behavior before. We only acknowledge it by name when it’s the local crackhead selling her baby for the next hit.
Why are we so willing to give second chances to the predators? I don’t have the answer. These are questions that I even ask myself. Why don’t we call out "nasty-filthy” when "nasty-filthy” is wrapped in a successful package? Why do we turn a blind eye to pain being inflicted on our babies in the name of opportunity - particularly when the opportunist is a publicized victim of sexual assault themselves? Is this a generational side effect of slavery? Have we inherited this sick disease from the ancestors whose eyes and mouths were forced shut while massa penetrated their daughter, mothers and sisters? I won’t name names (cause if I did we'd be here all day) but I'm sure we can all think of at least three uber-successful men that society has continued to support after they have been publicly exposed with sexual assault allegations. In some instances, many have gone to extreme lengths to defend their behavior - as though they were anywhere near the victim or the violator when the alleged acts occurred. What the hell? Why the pass? Whatever happened to "where there's smoke there's fire?" I know that there isn't truth in every allegation, but at the very least there deserves to be a squint, a side-eye and a moment of pause until the facts are laid out on the table. Why do we give the predator the benefit of the doubt and shame the victim? I get it, the black man has been persecuted enough so we don’t want to contribute to that narrative. But damn, in the name of self-deprecation and hate, enough is enough! Particularly when the victims are our daughters.
While reading the many reactions surrounding the reports of Kelly hosting a cultist sex dungeon in his Chicago and Atlanta homes, one commenter @Shana Hayes replied:
“y'all surprised at parents sending kids to a sexual predator like R Kelly when people are still making their kids hug that suspect uncle or aunt at the cookout?...”
That comment sounded an alarm for me. She is absolutely right. The issues of Kelly have been brought to light to bring shame to his name and reputation as a mainstream celebrity. But what about those deep, dark family secrets that have earned one too many blind eyes? What about the pervy cousin that always wants to bounce the little girls in the family on his lap? Or the uncle that’s a little too kissy-rubby-touchy-feely? What about that aunt whose husband isn’t tapping it anymore so now she want to get her rocks off on the youngins' no matter the gender? Its time to speak-up! It’s time to call a spade a spade, a shame a shame and a sickness a sickness.
We must take action! If parents and guardians won't take action, our beloved daughters must feel empowered to do so. Our daughters need to know there are safe havens and strong support within our community. Places where they can be protected.#StopPimpingOurDaughters
To my young sisters who may be victims of this type of violation and manipulation, there is help. Don't wait for a family member to rescue you. You can save yourself by speaking up. If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you can seek help by calling the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673). For more resources on sexual assault visit the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.