Why we must hold predators such as R Kelly accountable for his actions against Black girls

When I was on Facebook, news of R Kelly’s performance at the Soul Train Music Awards was all over my newsfeed. I ignored it because I didn’t watch the Soul Train Music Awards and I don’t listen to R Kelly however I have been aware of his sheninghans with young Black girls for decades starting with the trial where he was acquitted of having sex with a teenage girl. A fellow Black feminist tagged me in a link about R Kelly on a mainstream Black feminist blog. I was horrified by the comments I read on that thread because many of these women were blaming the little girls R Kelly raped and defended R Kelly’s actions with words such as ”don’t judge him, let God judge him” or ”people make mistakes” to justify their stance. Hence the lack of protection Black women receive in society as well as the lack of accountability for Black men’s actions that harm Black girls will be the discussed.

Here is a picture of his performance at the 2015 Soul Train Music Awardsr-kelly-soultrain

 

R Kelly is a very talented man and has made music that many people in the Black American collective enjoy listening to. Many of them have even grown up on his music and identify with the messages in his music however R Kelly is also known for his predilection for preying on teenage Black girls. He was acquitted of sexual assault and rape of a fourteen year girl that he filmed himself urinating on. And he even had a controversial marriage to fifteen year old Aaliyah while he was twenty eight years old back in the 1990s yet Black America still insists on support him and his career.

Many Black people especially Black women defend R Kelly because of their liking of his music and the connections they have made to their life through his music. Others feel that by putting down R Kelly, you are ”putting down another brotha” or ”causing division”. Holding R Kelly accountable for his actions against little Black girls isn’t causing division or any of that sort, it is pointing out a wrong and trying to correct the way society and Black America sees Black girls. Worst of all, you have Black women defending R Kelly and putting down these little Black girls that he raped all in the guise of ”Black unity”.

Why do some Black women defend a child predator like R Kelly?

Many Black women are male(Black male) identified and believe that by throwing other Black women, they will gain favor from Black men. Many of these women have also been sexually assaulted or raped by men in their families or men that they know and defend him because they suffer from amnesia and Stockholm Syndrome. And others feel that Black girls are ”fast” and were ”asking for it” due to their internalized misogyny and disdain of Black girls.

Many of these women also believe that by standing by the Black man regardless of his indiscretions, they will gain favor and respect from them. So far, Black women’s pandering to Black men hasn’t gained any favor in the eyes of the Black man. In fact, Black men has gone out of his way to distance himself from Black women and anything to do with Blackness.

Here is a heartbreaking post from a Black woman who experienced sexual abuse as a child and how her family members covered for her abuser in the guise of Black unity and love.  In fact, there was a statistic that said that 60% of Black girls are sexually assaulted by their eighteenth birthday. This has been an open secret in the Black collective for decades. Many young, Black girls have been raped or sexually abused by men close to them or their families but they never reported these happenings to the police because they feared being and ousted by their family. The reason why they fear being ousted by their family is because they don’t want to be seen as ”bringing another brotha down” or a traitor to their race. Faux racial solidarity has really played a role in Black women’s disenfranchisement while protecting the Black man at all costs.

Reading this post makes me realize that some Black women are the biggest gatekeepers of patriarchy in Black America and it makes me sad.

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What does this have to do with how Black girls and women are viewed in society and in their own communities?

Black women are seen and viewed as disposable, incubators to breed more Black children. The stereotypes of Black women as welfare queens, single mothers with multiple children outside of wedlock or oversexualized Jezebels has been mainstream for years. There are people who actually believe such stereotypes and treat Black women accordingly. Worst of all, Black collective doesn’t protect or value Black women enough to protect them from predatory men who want to use them sexually and breed Black babies  with them. Hence many people purposely target and prey on Black women because they know that due to lack of protection, they will get away with such crimes.

What can we do to stop sexual predators from targeting Black girls?

First of all, I believe that Black women especially Black mothers must uncondition any misogyny that they have internalized from the media, subliminal messages in music and environment that tells them that they are less than women of other ethnicities. Once Black women uncondition themselves and starting loving themselves then they would see the value in protecting Black girls. Second of all, I believe that Black mothers shouldn’t bring any boyfriends or significant others around their children especially not their daughters. Keeping your significant others away from your daughters lowers the likelihood of him preying on her but it isn’t a given though. Third of all, Black women should prioritize their daughters and treat them as girls not mules, teach them ways to survive in the world and defend themselves. Way too many Black mothers work their daughters to death and not teach them anything about surviving out in the world.  Most of all, Black mothers should stop financially supporting, enabling and promoting child predators whether the person is famous or not. We need to show through our actions and deeds that we care about young, Black girls and that we are committed in protecting their livelihood in an anti Black, patriarchal society.

Therefore, it is important to hold child predators like R Kelly accountable for their actions because men like this have been targeting Black girls for decades.  And it is time to stop pandering to the needs of these men and protect young, Black girls instead.

 

 

10 thoughts on “Why we must hold predators such as R Kelly accountable for his actions against Black girls

  1. Spot on, sister! The same thing happened when Straight Outta Compton came out: Expecting us as black women to forget about their violent sexism and misogyny. No way. Period. The same onus is on Muslim women by the way. (I’m saying this as a woman who is both black and Muslim) We’re always supposed to be patient with and have solidarity with men who don’t have it with us. (No, not all, but many black and Muslim men)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Reading your comment is a huge relief for me. I am glad I am not the only Black woman who is fed up with the constant misogyny, colorism and violence committed against young, Black girls and women in our communities. I was disguised to read about the news of R Kelly performing at the Soul Train Music Awards because I am aware of his predilection to young, teenage girls and how he married fifteen year old Aaliyah back in 1994. Worst of all, I was even more disguised at many Black women defending this man and saying nonsense like ”only God can judge him” and ”those girls were fast” comments on online forums and even in person. It is sad that anti Black woman misogyny is prevalent among both Black women and Black men in our communities.

      Straight Outta Compton is another one that I discussed on my blog. Many Black women also supported this movie and I did read your other comment that you said you watched the movie as well. However I decided not to see the movie due to the violent and sexist lyrics against women in their music and the colorist casting call in the casting call of women on there.

      Honestly, I am done with the Black collective and I am done with Black males. I am only looking out for livelihood of Black women who want to be saved and Black children.

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      • You’re not the only one! There are more and more black women speaking out, like for instance Chrys Karazyn here against NWAs sexism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvGBJ0QQpTY (Why black women should boycot Straight Outta Compton)

        And here is a very interesting, intelligent brother taking a stand against NWAs sexism. His name is Lenon Honor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyFVsWHn4oo
        Even though I’m not African American, but Dutch, of Afro-Surinamese, Afro-Caribbean descent, many struggles of African-American women resonate with him.

        I’m also a Muslim, and I also heard many “stand by our men/omerta” crap from Muslims, black, white and of colour and I’m NOT doing it. If a man discriminates against me, he’s in trouble, weather he is a SUPPOSED Muslim “brother” or black “brother” or not. Also check the blogosphere. There are many lovely womanist/feminist African American blogs out there, like for instance Gradient Lair: http://www.gradientlair.com/

        And my all-time favorite: Amina Wadud, African-American emerita professor Islamic Studies, Islamic feminist and godmother to the Islamic feminist movement. (A form of religious feminism with progressive readings of the Quran at its core) I and many other Muslim women, black and non-black, stand on her brave shoulders. Check: http://aminawadud.com/

        Liked by 1 person

      • I am American born of Jamaican parents. I am first generation American born. African American culture is worldwide and many of the issues they face affects Black people from other cultures like ourselves. Plus I resonate with many of the issues African American women go through especially since I live in America.

        Yes, I did see that video where Christelyn Kazarin suggested her supporters and other Black women not to watch NWA movie due to the sexism and violence in the lyrics against women. She wrote an article where she spoke about the backlash she received posting the video. Sometimes, I think Black women don’t want to be saved. The man was correct in calling out NWA’s violence and sexism against women. We need more decent Black man calling out the behavior of the denigrate Black men who are committing crimes against Black women and children.

        I am familiar with Gradient Lair. I have read many of the posts on her site and I really like her writing style.

        Honestly, your experiences with sexism from Muslim men is one of the reasons why I am an Agnostic who leans towards Atheism. I believe that many religions out there promote and teach sexism and patriarchy to undermine women’s independence and ability to think and act for herself. However, I can relate to your experiences because I experienced similar incidents in the Christian schools and churches I attended when I was growing up. I was told to shut up when I expressed a different opinion or that men are somehow stronger and better than women. As I graduated from high school, I have distanced myself from organized religion and became engrossed in my own survival and well being instead. I am not necessarily against Islam or any religion but I think I am better off without religion my life due to my own experiences.

        I will check out the links you posted on here though.

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  2. And yes, I was also shocked and saddened in a debate on Facebook, when I saw so many black women defend NWA! Yes, there were also women who attacked their misogyny, but many did not….

    Liked by 1 person

    • If you think it is bad that Black women were defending the violence and sexism many members of the NWA have committed against Black women, look at how many Black women defended R Kelly. R Kelly is a pedophile and should be locked away in prison not performing at the Soul Train Music Awards. I was horrified by comments from Black woman that insist that we shouldn’t ”judge” him and that everyone makes mistakes. How is alluring underage girls for sex, a everyone makes mistakes line. Silliness.

      Internalized misogyny is an illness.

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    • Yes, we do need our own organization where we can uplift and protect other Black women such as ourselves. And I shared the Facebook post because it broke me to tears and made me realize how Black women are devalued in our own race

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  3. It’s a sad commentary that so many black men AND black women are immersed in denial and self-deception about predators who happen to be black, as well as the enormous harm they do to their victims. I have lost count of the instances in which the Bible has been evoked by people who say not to judge R. Kelly, while at the same time, they judge his then-underage victims as “fast.” This devaluation of his victims stems directly from misogynoir, which is a racialized misogyny against black women and girls. His defenders fall back on the fact that he was found not guilty, apparently overlooking the many instances in which people like George Zimmerman who murdered a black teen minding his own business was acquitted because of his father’s connections or because of flat-out anti-boack racism. They rightly see that the justice system is too often unfair to black folks, but somehow attribute a flawlessness to it when a not-guilty verdict suits THEIR wishes even when the defendant is clearly guilty, especially in rape cases involving black men who are defendants. The most offensive defending of the indefensible,though, comes from so-called “conscious” black folks, many of whom seem willing to sweep issues like this under the rug in the name of a faux black unity. They get defensive when black women bring up the great harm that misogynoir has done throughout history and call such women tools of white supremacy. The thing is, that a “unity” based on ignoring serious problems impacting more than half of black folks is just as shaky as building a house on a faulty, cracked foundation. Neither holds up very long.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So true. Many of R Kelly and Cosby’s defenders defend these sexual deviants all under the guise of “Black Unity” while espousing misogynistic views about Black Womanhood. It is disgusting.

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