Kelly has a major legal advantage over Bill Cosby, who is now a
convicted felon, that has everything to do with the race and age of
Kelly’s alleged victims. Black girls. Black girls who have been
sexually objectified are deemed worthless in our society.
Kelly’s lust for young girls first surfaced in 1996 with his
marriage to 15-year-old Aaliyah, an up-and-coming recording star. Her
parents quickly had the marriage annulled. Aaliyah Haughton’s
career was snuffed out at the age of 22 when her plane crashed in
faced no charges until a sex tape allegedly involving an underage
girl was sent to the Chicago
Sun Times in
2002. The Sun
investigation led to 21 counts of child pornography, but the
recording artist managed to slip through the jaws of justice with a
1996, the accusations of statutory rape, rape, drugging, child
pornography and assault have been non-stop. There have even been
allegations of a sex cult ran by Kelly where girls are trained as sex
pets. Some alleged victims filed lawsuits, and public records show
that some of those were settled, but the women were forced to sign
talented songwriter and producer had a lot going for him that keeps
him shielded from the law. The two-time Grammy winner has sold 33
million albums worldwide, which means that RCA (his record company)
has no moral interest in holding Kelly accountable. His loyal fans
are tone-deaf to the years of allegations. Friends in the
entertainment business looked the other way. One BET Award, 11 Soul
Train Awards and four NAACP Image Awards were bestowed upon the
musical genius while sexual perversion charges swirled around him.
The #MuteRKelly campaign was launched last year by Kenyette Barnes and
Oronike Odeleye. Their goal is reflected by the hashtag: a “complete
and total mute” of Kelly’s career – none of his
music on the radio, no streaming, no concerts. These sisters stepped
up to speak for the girls who have been silenced. Yet, he continues
to go about his business.
and Odeleye received harassment and threats from angry Kelly
supporters. The campaign has since converged with the #MeToo and
#TimesUp movements to form a powerful fist that is going to make R
Kelly wish he was “Locked in a Closet,” the title of one
of his hit songs. We must fight for justice for our black girls even
if the courts refuse to charge Kelly. We can make financial justice
just as painful.
BBC Three documentary, R
Kelly: Sex, Girls and Videotapes,
was released this Spring, throwing fuel on the fires surrounding him.
The Lifetime Network has announced that its plans to probe the lurid
life of Kelly in two projects, a documentary series and a
feature-length movie. Survivors of his alleged abuse may get to share
is seeing some success. Recently, Kelly was booted off the line-up of
the Love Jam Concert in Chi-Town amidst protests. The Detroit City
Council endorsed the campaign. High profile people like Ava DuVernay
and John Legend have thrown their support to the campaign, which
demands a criminal investigation into the sexual allegations.
date, Kelly’s tour consists of one concert. It looks like
there’ll be a different kind of welcoming committee waiting for
him this weekend in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Kelly’s lawyer, publicist, and personal assistant have all
reportedly resigned with the latest round of allegations. Hopefully,
more people in his entourage are distancing themselves from this
thing we must stop these negroes from doing every time they get
busted for sex crimes is to cry public lynching. Kelly mimics men
such as Bill Cosby and Clarence Thomas in exploiting the word to get
sympathy. Lynching has a unique place in this country’s ugly,
racist history. It is not an image to conjure up to save one’s
past time to put Kelly on mute. It’s time to look our black
girls in the eye and tell them they’re worth fighting for.
This commentary was originally published by The Saint Louis American