R. Kelly Is A Coward » VSB

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R. Kelly Is A Coward

Last week, I was asked by HuffPo Live to appear with three other people on a segment about the moral quandary of supporting an artist or an athlete with an unsavory past. The half hour-long conversation was supposed to touch on a few different instances of this happening in pop culture, but ended up focusing solely on R. Kelly. While it was structured in a way to place people against R. Kelly and people for R. Kelly in the same conversation, at this point, the pro R-uh argument is so weak that the “opposing sides” lasted for maybe four minutes. The rest of the time was spent with the anti camp pointing out the absurdity of things like R. Kelly calling himself the Pied Piper, and the pro camp basically saying “Yeah, I guess you all are right. I should probably stop stepping in the name of love too.”

Whenever I write about R. Kelly, most people — well, most people who read and respond to what I write — agree with what I’m saying. But, invariably, there are always a few who question my intent. They don’t even bother challenging what I’m saying. Instead, they ask why I’m even saying what I’m saying; with the implication being “Why are you hating on this man?” And, on some level, I get it. There’s nothing I can say at this point that would have a tangible effect on the lives of those sexually assaulted by him. Nor is there anything I can say that will make him face some sort of legal justice. That ship seems to have sailed, anyway.

Anyway, to answer that question, I write about R. Kelly so people will continue to have those types of conversations — and, hopefully, eventual epiphanies — about him. So people who continue to support him financially and creatively are fully aware of who they’re supporting and what that support means. So that, if you are one of these people, you have to admit and accept that you value the pleasure you receive from listening to his music more than you care about divesting support from a person who’s been accused of multiple sex crimes against multiple young Black girls. And, I’d even go as far to say that today, in 2015, R. Kelly is a proxy. The current criticisms of him are more directed towards his fans and the type of mindset that excuses, willfully ignores, and even supports this type of criminality. We talk and write about R. Kelly today to help prevent more R. Kelly’s from existing tomorrow.

Also, if you happen to still be an R. Kelly supporter and you happen to be reading this, you should also be aware that your savior is a fucking coward too. This, his pervasive cowardice, is as essential to R. Kelly’s persona as anything else. It’s just as much a part of him as “I Believe I Can Fly” is. Only a coward would intentionally stalk, lure, and sexually assault the people in his community with the least amount of power and status. Only a coward would choose those who need the most protection as his prey. Only a coward would, for years (decades!), refuse to even acknowledge any of these allegations in a meaningful way. Or offer any type of contrition. Because that would take some guts. Cowards don’t have guts. And so it’s fitting that R. Kelly, that singing-ass coward from Chicago, would walk off the set of the HuffPost Live today when faced with difficult questions during an interview he agreed to do. 

Because, again, that’s who R. Kelly is. Prolific and influential musician. Rapist. And coward.

And that’s who you are supporting.

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for GQ.com And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at damon@verysmartbrothas.com. Or don't. Whatever.

  • Jasmine

    With a straight face, this man asked “Do you get drunk and fall out?” like it had some sort of relevance. This whole interview was just so ridiculous and I don’t understand who told him that the HuffPost would be a good platform to promote his album……………….

    • Jennifer

      The same person who told him it would be a good idea to get on Twitter and do an “Ask Me Anything.”

    • RagesAgainstMachines

      And don’t forget the creepy way he kept calling her beautiful.

  • LadyIbaka

    So, my question to you is, you’ve stated your position on how you feel about this devil, severally. Why do you continue giving him press time?

    • Perhaps because ignoring the monsters like him in our community allows them to continue to kill the spirits of innocent children. Children who grow up to be untrusting adults who think that this type of sexual advance on them is not only allowable but normal.

      • Wild Cougar

        Maybe some of those people should quit ignoring the monsters in their living rooms, wearing their own clothes, instead of looking for a celebrity to point at.

        • DeebaCee

          Why not both?

          • Wild Cougar

            I don’t have a problem with both. I have a problem with hypocrites screaming hypocrisy because someone listens to a song. Get the beam out your eye first. If were gonna judge other people’s morality based on whether you’ll listen to a song made by pedophilic and abusive artists, then most of the people on the morality high horse need to turn their radio’s all the way off and throw out their music collections. Get. The. Beam. Out. Your. Eye

            “you may be young but you ready”

            https://youtu.be/atwnQ-wPQJ4

            • RagesAgainstMachines

              This is almost literally the equivalent of the “what about black on black crime?” answer to Black Lives Matter.

              • Wild Cougar

                NO, Its what about Keith Sweat singing about seducing children. There’s false equivalence and real equivalence. This is the real version.

              • Word. While a scary amount of music from, like, 1968-1994 mentions statutory r@pe, only one was caught on film doing that.

                • Wild Cougar

                  Oh, so its cuz it was recorded. Mmkay. All kinda rationalizations on board.

                  • Freebird

                    this is all it is. without video there is no conversation or outrage. people wouldn’t give half a fcuk and i bet a predator like r kelly knows this.

                • RagesAgainstMachines

                  Yeah and from our enslavement up until now, racist whites and/or the police have been killing us with no repercussions. Now that it’s being caught on tape, we shouldn’t say anything? That’s bull.

                • BRUH!!! From “Do Me” by BBD:
                  “Backstage, under age, adolescent
                  How ya doin? Fine, she replied
                  I sighed, I like to do the wild thing
                  Action took place”

                  • Hey, remember Hi Five’s Just Can’t Handle It? Homeboy straight up sang “I was 16, she was 25!”

                    • DebKII

                      I feel like thats still a more common accepted dialogue tho, almost a bragging story for many men. They were, by any other accounts, abused, sexually assaulted by a demented older woman yet go “oh i lost my V card at 13 and she was 18…” sir…thats abuse.

                    • Heck, that’s pretty much how we found out Chris Brown was abused. He told the story like he was bragging, and it took a few hours until people understood what he was admitting to.

                      My larger point is that we live in a world where $exual abuse of kids is somehow OK, and it’s reflected in our culture and our music. That said, there’s a difference between telling a messed up story and BEING a messed up story.

            • Oluseyi

              It’s not the listening to a song. It’s the continuing support, critical validation and fiscal reward despite knowing what he did. It’s like the people who defend Roman Polanski: yes, great artist, but a predator and a criminal.

              Everything from R. Kelly and the Public Announcement through The Chocolate Factory is indelibly etched into my brain, synonymous with memories from growing up. I’ve made my peace with continuing to enjoy them if I stumble across them, but I won’t seek out, purchase or otherwise reward new Robert Kelly music/efforts—and I acknowledge the selfish insufficiency of this action, and don’t think it’s hypocrisy for anyone to call me on it.

              I still re-watch Rosemary’s Baby, too. But I’m not checking for new Polanski work!

              It’s a personal decision, and a personal degree of compromise, but the heinousness of the crimes these men committed is very public, and it’s not wrong for someone to engage and challenge me on my rationalizations. At least, that’s how I feel.

              • Wild Cougar

                All I’m saying is if you’re going to make moral judgments about people based on what they buy, watch and listen to, then clean out your closet, first or keep your opinions to yourself.

                • Oluseyi

                  I get your point, but I think even moral relativism suggests that actively supporting a r@pist (defending from criticism, paying to hear him sing new r@pey jams) is worse than listening to some old r@pey jams.

                  • Wild Cougar

                    Moral Relativism or YOU? Don’t posit your morally relativistic judgments as universal truths as long as you actively support anyone who has ever abused anyone.

                    • Oluseyi

                      Thus the words “I think.” They kind of preclude an interpretation of “universal truth.”

                      But why you stanning so hard for people not to criticize R. Kelly, or support for him, exactly?

                    • Wild Cougar

                      Where in any of my words have you seen any such “stanning”? All I have said is I see a lot of hypocrites hypocritically judging others for listening to songs when they’ve probably either watched the child p orn, which is worse, given it to others, which is much worse, dated teenagers, which is exactly the same, or condoned, allowed or make allowances for other grown people to “date” teenagers. I have a problem with this holier than thou posturing for the public today when a good portion of these people were buying concert tickets and downloading/bootlegging R Kelly material prior to the current “backlash” many years after they KNEW what he was about. It’s quite quite convenient. That’s what I have a problem with. I’m not that big an R Kelly fan and I’ve never bought anything he’s made. I also did not watch the video. I just can’t stand groupthink hypocritical azz fake outrage.

                    • Oluseyi

                      Oh, I see.

                      How is that what was happening here, though?

                • Vanity in Peril

                  Why should anyone keep an opinion to themselves though? Nobody has to be perfect to be able to express the desire as a people we stop placating the abuse of blk children by ANYBODY. This sounds like telling a girl who has been raped that she needs to stop sleeping around before she presses charges. Sexual respectability politics. Pls say I misinterpreted.

                  • Wild Cougar

                    You definitely misinterpreted. If the people making noise about R Kelly were really about speaking out about the abuse of Black children on a regular basis, I’d have nothing to say. My point is many of them contribute to the abuse of children or support those who do. It’s not about speaking out. They don’t speak out until its a bandwagon to jump on. They don’t speak out when it’s someone they know, they don’t stop people from watching the video……etc. It’s about a holier than thou attitude with regard to people who listen to his music.

          • The argument that Nic Nac is making is that monsters see R.Kelly and then say to themselves, “Since it’s okay for him to do it, I can do it too.” This isn’t true and if it was, we’d have heard it…because people would let us know!

            The worse thing about saying things like that also, is that it is basically saying that the reason why monsters go after children, is due to the media/society (which are always the same thing, and are metaphors for “People who don’t see things from my perspective or hold opposing opinions”).

            Outsourcing crime or evil to the media or society, basically ignores the fact that these crimes are the product of individual choice. To put it simply, society/media is devalued, in order for her hatred to be justified. It doesn’t change anything, or persuade anyone, if anything it just devalues everyone else.

        • RagesAgainstMachines

          Because he’s already in the press, begging people to buy his music and still being put on platforms i.e. Soul Train music awards while people try to ignore the fact that he’s a rapey, child stalking monster. Articles like this continuously remind us that he’s disgusting. And as long as he won’t stay his nasty, pervy self out of the spotlight, clapback articles such as these are a great counter.

          • Wild Cougar

            Yeah, I can see how the dirt of somebody you see on TV can be much more prominent in the mind than what your neighbor, buddy, cousin does, or what you yourself do. It feels more satisfying to judge a person for listening to a song than looking at your own ish.

            • RagesAgainstMachines

              So you’re just completely ignoring the victims of these neighbors, buddies and cousins? And the historical stigma and resulting punishment associated with reporting rape and abuse? We should all shut up because this happens in our community daily? R. Kelly’s pedophilia was actively sanctioned and funded by his music. This is not even close to a good comparison.

              • Wild Cougar

                Rationalizations abound…..

                • RagesAgainstMachines

                  What’s “irrational” about calling this pedo a pedo every time he forces himself (pun intended) into the public eye?

              • Nahknee_nanee

                I don’t think the message is to shut up period. I think the message is to continue to talk about the issue, but leave him out of it. I could be wrong though.

                • RagesAgainstMachines

                  Yes you’re wrong, because this article is literally about R. Kelly and his shenanigans yesterday. Trying to dictate what I and others talk about or how we talk about it (leave R. Kelly out of it) is literally silencing people. He is literally the poster boy for men getting away with preying on and molesting and raping young women. So to say “leave him out of it” is telling people to shut up about it. How do you not understand that?

                  • Nahknee_nanee

                    When I said I could be wrong, I meant I could be wrong about the massage of not talking about R. Kelly. Maybe someone who is speaking from that point of view can tell me if I am right or wrong in my understanding of what they are saying. Because I’m not saying shut up about it. I’m saying the argument is just as valid with or without mentioning him, but mentioning it online does give him more attention than he needs ( and not all of that attention is attention because he is a pedophile). What kind of message does it send to those same girls that this man can be seen doing lewd things to girls and still be in the public eye as if nothing happened?

                    I agree that he should be held responsible, but I also agree that any publicity is good publicity in his line of work. As much as we talk about him in a public forum, where just the mention of his name makes him more relevant, we are doing him just as much justice as punishment.

                    I think that everyone has a right to speak their own truth. If that’s how you feel, then by all means speak on it. If you hold your tongue because of my opinion or anyone else’s opinion, some part of it resonated with you. I’m not telling you to jump behind my thinking, or that my thinking is the only way of thinking. I’m only telling you that it is my thinking.

                    • RagesAgainstMachines

                      Soooo in others words, you’re riding the fence? Gotcha, no problem.

                    • Nahknee_nanee

                      I’m not sure if you’re implying that there is something wrong with riding the fence? I agree with points from both sides. It’s ok to qualify.

                    • RagesAgainstMachines

                      I’m not saying anything is wrong with it, just that there is nothing left to discuss. I feel strongly about one side and you don’t, so you don’t really have an opinion about it at all. I assume you commented to try to clarify someone else’s comments and/or tell me that I’m wrong in their interpretation, but you don’t have a clear opinion one way or the other.

                    • Nahknee_nanee

                      Well you’re not really assuming, my original post was to clarify. Hence the ” I think it means”. I would like to say that by attempting to clarify someone else’s opinions, I voiced my own. Which may be me agreeing with points of both, thus choosing a position. One in which I agree with both sides.
                      Edit: furthermore aren’t you silencing me by telling me I don’t have an opinion because I didn’t pick a side? Just a thought.

            • DeebaCee

              You keep speaking this either/or mess. It’s not either/or! Maybe there are some people that turn a blind eye to their neighbors/family’s misdeeds, but I wound’t argue that it’s the majority. Yet, you’re over here making it seem like it’s the only situation. As if your options are A) Say something about R Kelly B) Say something about your neighbor.

              And I’m not condoning the people that turn a blind eye to their neighbor, but calling out a wrong is calling out a wrong. I don’t care who it is. If you are going to actively speak out against a child predator, even just one child predator, then scream it from the mountaintop with a bullhorn.

            • KNeale

              Who are you talking about? You referring to the author, the other commenters or just speaking generally? I’m a little confused at where the anger is directed.

              And also, its not all or nothing. This conversation is so weird. People keep referencing pedophiles in the family. Did you ever think its not always safe to call out abusive people in the family? I worked as a domestic violence advocate and several of the men in my family beat their wives/girlfriends and do you know what will happen if I say anything too out of line-My family will turn on me and one of my cousins is so out of control he might try to fight me (and then I’ll have to kill him and I don’t want to do that to my auntie). And I’m still going to call out R. Kelly. And I’m still going to call out Chris Brown. And I’m still not hypocrite.

              And also, someone having a public platform to cause damage on a large scale is worthy of a call out even if I’m not able to do that to every single abusive individual I come across in my life. It’s not all or nothing. R. Kelly reaches millions. R. Kelly has a tape of him sexually abusing a little girl and still to this day makes sexually explicit music. R. Kelly used his power and fame to lure middle school aged girl(s!!!!) into his trap. And he was able to do that continuously because of the social power he had. And so yes we need to continue to come for him and continuously try to take away his power. And we’re still not hypocrites.

              Also, thank you for pointing out songs with pedophile/abusive messages. Keep doing it. You wanna know why, because in 1994 (or whenever time ago) I wasn’t smart enough or mature enough to know there was anything wrong with them. And therefore said nothing. Still not a hypocrite. Lived in a culture and a time period where people condoned this type of language so yeah 20 years ago it probably went over my head. And not only my little girl head but my grown mama’s head, etc. And we’re still not hypocrites. We’re getting smarter now. We have tools to have this discourse now and with that, means some of my old faves bout to get they heads chopped off. And I would have never and could have never been that critical then. Still not a hypocrite.

              • Wild Cougar

                Oh. OK. I think I get it now. The most a person can do to fight child abuse is call out the celebrities they don’t like when it’s popular to do so. That’s a perfectly sufficient way to check off that morally superior box.

                • KNeale

                  I still can’t figure out who you’re talking to. Because you didn’t respond to anything I wrote.

                  “the most a person can do to fight child abuse”…?
                  “celebrities they don’t like”…?
                  “when its popular to do so”…?

                  Where? How? Huh? Maybe you meant to hit reply on someone else’s comment and hit mine by accident? Can you tell me what your response has anything to do with my comment? Help me out.

                  You really didn’t read the comment did you? Your reply made me realize the kind of person I was arguing with. You didn’t even bother addressing anything I said in the actual comment. It was like you were replying to the community at large to some vague ideas that you think people are arguing (even though they’re really not).

                  Best wishes.

              • mssporadic

                I hate to be this person and it might get me banned from VSB, but your comment is an clear example of my overall issue with these R. Kelly discussions.

                “I worked as a domestic violence advocate and several of the men in my family beat their wives/girlfriends and do you know what will happen if I say anything too out of line-My family will turn on me and one of my cousins is so out of control he might try to fight me (and then I’ll have to kill him and I don’t want to do that to my auntie).” – How does engaging in this endless discussion cycle about R. Kelly or Chris Brown, stop this from happening? Do you think it will encourage you to effect change in your family? Do you hope that it will encourage your family members to do something?

                I’m sorry but you are expecting more out off his fans/stans, haters, and commenters than you are willing to do for yourself.

                This isn’t about hypocrisy, but more about conflating personal vs. social issues at play.

                • KNeale

                  Why would this get you banned?
                  ….
                  “How does engaging in this endless discussion cycle about R. Kelly or Chris Brown, stop this from happening?”

                  It doesn’t stop my family members, that takes a lot more work and intervention which I’m actually trying to do by working with my family to get more of a collective understanding of how to deal in these situations. But I never said that calling out R. Kelly fixed my family. But calling out people in power who have been enabled to abuse and get away with it does change the public acceptance over this type of behavior (over time). Social consequences to behavior are what dictate what a culture does and doesn’t accept. I’m still not getting everybody’s urgency to declare all or nothing. Why do we have to individually solve or address every single case of abuse in order to address one. I don’t understand why thats the choice. Can you explain to me why those are the only options. All or nothing?

                  I’m not expecting more out of his fans than I am for myself. (You didn’t read the comment in depth or weren’t able to understand.) Calling out a performer/not buying their album is not a huge ask. Addressing abuse in your family or community on a personal level is a lot more complicated and bigger task and with potentially a lot more consequences. We have to use different techniques. So to say we have to let people in the public eye off scott free from their abuse until we solve all the problems in our community is ridiculous. These are two different processes. And again, someone explain to me why it has to be all or nothing?

                  • mssporadic

                    I don’t get into emotional debates on blogs, so I’m breaking my own Code of Conduct discussing this.

                    You mixing your personal family issues and R. Kelly is the problem with this discussion. You are coming at this discussion from an emotional place because you didn’t act in your family. Not everyone is coming at it from this place.

                    You ARE expecting more out of his fans. You want them to do what you aren’t even doing. Why? How are you any different than his fans?

                    If you didn’t bring up your family, then I would respond differently. But you including them, means this is personal to you. It may not be personal to his fans.

                    • KNeale

                      I guess I should always add the signature “please read the comment in whole” because I said I am doing something about it in my family but it takes a different process. Nobody in my family is selling albums. If my cousin was selling albums I wouldn’t buy them. Does that make y’all feel better?

                      You keep saying you want his fans to do what I’m not even doing. What are you talking about? #1 I am doing something in my family. #2 What people do in their families and what fans do of a musical artist will be DIFFERENT PROCESSES. I said this clearly already. I am asking his fans not to buy his music. I am doing that. I’m not buying his music.

                      I don’t have the ability to kick my cousin out of my grandmother’s house at Thanksgiving nor do I have the ability to force my aunt to disown hr son. That’s not my house. That’s not my son. I can try to get them to understand what they do to enable him and help them stop. AND I AM TRYING THAT. But until then, I can’t talk about R.Kelly? Explain to me why. People in that scenario that can’t or haven’t said anything at all are not allowed to talk about R. Kelly either? Explain to me why.

                      I think you saying me mixing personal stuff is true but not answering the issue of reasoning or logic which you have an issue with (I think). My personal experience is not the “problem” with this conversation. If so then there should never be any conversation about it ever because almost everyone has had to deal with abuse in their family. That doesn’t make the conversation invalid. We are human beings.

                      But, if you have a problem with my reasoning or logic (based on your belief that I’m coming from an emotional place) then please tell me what the problem with my reasoning is. Actually address the argument. But you’re not. Thats what I’m not understanding from your comment. And you’re not reading what I wrote.

                    • mssporadic

                      Your original comment: “I worked as a domestic violence advocate and several of the men in my family beat their wives/girlfriends and do you know what will happen if I say anything too out of line-My family will turn on me and one of my cousins is so out of control he might try to fight me (and then I’ll have to kill him and I don’t want to do that to my auntie).”

                      In this comment and all of the subsequent ones, you sound hypocritical.

                      “If so then there should never be any conversation about it ever because almost everyone has had to deal with abuse in their family.” – Really? Do you have data on this? You are making a huge assumption.

                    • KNeale

                      You still have managed to avoid any of the actual arguments made as well as avoided explaining your own. I sound hypocritical? HOW?!?!?!? I’m asking you to actually address the question. How is it hypocritical of me specifically to ask people to not buy R. Kelly’s CD? HOW?!?!?! Explain it to me please. How?

                      You’re right I don’t have statistics on exactly how many people have had to deal with abuse int heir families. Bravo. Congratulations. Still… that still doesn’t answer any of my questions nor does it prove any of your points. At all. So can you please do that?

                    • mssporadic

                      You don’t get it girl and that’s okay. Doing better starts in the home, and that’s where the real discussion lies. It’s not about begging people to stop buying R. Kelly records. That’s just what you focus on to avoid the real discussion. That’s is my whole point which I’ve discussed all throughout these comments.

                    • KNeale

                      No you really haven’t. Because I’ve said repeatedly that not only am I doing work at home, but that if people are taking action at home it looks completely different that deciding not to support a musical artist. And my question following that is why does it have to be all or nothing.
                      You said I sound like a hypocrite. I said how and you didn’t answer. I asked why does it have to be all or nothing and you didn’t answer.
                      I’m only focusing on what you’re mentioning. And my question still unanswered. You haven;t discussed much of anything throughout these comments because you keep avoiding answering my questions as well as avoiding explaining your statements.

                      Which you still have not done. Please go back and read maybe? Maybe read your own responses too.

                      You don’t get it girl and thats also okay. Best wishes.

      • LadyIbaka

        Who talked about ignorance? I understand where you coming from. But, this devil gets a lot of UNNECCEsSARY and undeserved press time in the name of dissecting pop culture.

        • Pinks

          I don’t think it unnecessary if it brings awareness to people that he is DISGUSTING and should not enjoy the level of fame he does. The fact that he thinks he should be giving interviews and asking us to support him shows that he’s not only NOT remorseful, but he’s also sickeningly arrogant.

          • RagesAgainstMachines

            He’s a sociopath.

          • LadyIbaka

            I hear you. I just don’t want him getting any air time.

          • mssporadic

            Is it really bring awareness to the issue though? I really starting to think it is not. It’s the same discussion repeated with the same people saying the same thing every time. In a few months, he be back in the news, people will be enraged, Damon will write another article, and we’ll make the same comments. If we really care about discussing sexual abuse in the black community, I’m not optimistic that this is every effective.

  • Wild Cougar

    If R Kelly is a morality proxy and merely listening to his music says something about you, then searching and watching enough of the video to identify what is going on and who is in the (child p orn) video is a much, much, much, MUCH bigger sign of what kind of person you are.

    • Skegeeaces

      Who said anyone watched the video? I got the synopsis and that was all I needed to know he was a raping liar.

      • Wild Cougar

        A whole lot of these people hopping on very high horses searched and watched the child p orn. Just like a whole lot of them “dated” teenagers, had friends or relatives who did it and have said zilch about it.

        • DebKII

          Or they read the court reports and passed moral judgement…cuz theres written testimonies online…

          • Epsilonicus

            Mmhmmm

            *church clap*

        • Skegeeaces

          Eh, I’m sure most self-aware people who think pedophilia is bad enough to decry a man on social media aren’t trying to look at the video. The only reason I can think of that any non-evil, sane person would try to do that is if they wanted to see with their own eyes if it in fact was R. Kelley in the video. (I think at some point he tried to deny it was even him, stupidly enough.)

          Bottom line- I ain’t worried about people being on a “high horse” about molesting children. I’m more worried about the molester/rapist.

  • Squish

    Tabernacle.

    The fact that people, BLACK PEOPLE, continue to support this man, is astoundingly sad. In the comments section of HuffPost Black Voices, there are WAY TOO MANY BLACK PEOPLE saying that the white media is villifying him and Black people are wrong for hating him, and way too many people agreeing with that sentiment.

    How are folks trying to make this man a martyr about something they would kill somebody for if it happened to their daughters? I don’t understand this logic.

    F* R. Kelly and the folk that vehemently support him. I literally can’t.

    Great article as usual. Lemme get my tambourine.

    • blogdiz

      “How are folks trying to make this man a martyr about something they would kill somebody for if it happened to their daughters?”

      Actually here is where you may have assumed a bit much , sadly many of them would blame their daughter for being fast/ careless/ got what she was looking for , ignore it , sweep it under the rug, shame her into silence cuz family , friends whatever/ dont want to cause a fuss, there are some of the types of people who support R. Kelly.

      • Squish

        Yeah, but those aren’t the people in talking about or addressing.

        No doubt, there are people who would much rather sweep stuff like this under the rug. That’s we have such a huge problem with incest and sexual assault in our community that nobody wants to talk about.

        However, there are people out there who are legitimately hypocritical about matters like this, and I know a few of them (although I no longer associate with them personally). My comment was part observation, part assumption, because I assumed that there are more than just the people I know that are out there that feel the same.

      • Stefanie Kelly

        absolutely. even use some of the same lines. i have heard this…

        whether those were some of the people being referenced or not.

    • Vickie

      Tacky journalism… I would sue them for this article. And that freedom of speech stuff is not going to cut it.

      • Squish

        ….but, where’s the lie, tho?

        What, in this article, could R. Kelly possibly sue for?

        Defamation of character? Well, lol, he did that in 2002 when he said “When you say underage, how young we talkin?” How about when he called himself The Pied Piper?

        Ma’am, seriously.

        He IS trash. *Bernie v*

    • LaRobert Barnwell

      Yeah he might have fucked a little girl but she wasn’t raped. Of course he used is celebrity status but jackass people like you put celebrity’s is the position of thinking they can do whatever when ever.

      • PrettyGeekz

        “Yeah he might have fucked a little girl but she wasn’t raped.”

        Have you read this aloud to yourself?

        • LaRobert Barnwell

          Can you read with understanding and not look to pick apart what you see as a chance to get likes… TALK ABOUT POWERFUL…

          Actually I did… because you some how forget that he wasn’t charged.

          Many years has passed but you don’t want to move on. Apparently it’s an old allegation that didn’t stand up in a court of law.

          But thanks for your concerns.

          • PrettyGeekz

            First, I can read very well thanks – so thanks for questioning my reading comprehension.
            R Kelly, is that you? Second, it sounds like you have an issue with Disqus and the ‘community likes’ capability so you may want to take up your issue with them, and not me. Lastly, how is it an old “allegation” when dude had a S E X TAPE . He. was. on. the. tape!

      • Pinks

        The fact that you think a LITTLE GIRL being fu cked in any capacity isn’t rape is beyond belief and very disturbing.

        • LaRobert Barnwell

          Good to know you find that disturbing but that’s clearly not the piont I was making. Some people using the fame and others how engage with famous people for there 15 minute’s is more disturbing. Not to mention how black celebrities get the biggest name tarnishment by other black people. Then the black women that claim black this and black that but don’t wear natural hair or defend black men but want to be held on a pedestal by black men if you want to talk about disturbing.

          • Gibbous

            Rape is a CRIME, and in this case against a CHILD! No ifs, and’s, buts, similes, metaphors, or whatever. There is not much more disturbing than that, especially not a “tarnished reputation”

            • LaRobert Barnwell

              Wow… rape is a crime?
              Thanks I didn’t know that

          • Pinks

            I don’t know what the point you thought you were “clearly” making was, but it seemed like you were saying that girl wasn’t raped. Which she was. Period.

            And to the rest of your post, there are people who use celebrities to further their own agendas. I’m not denying that. That isn’t what happened with R. Kelly though. He preyed on young, vulnerable girls and exploited them because he had the power, money and means to do so. This isn’t some groupie deciding to call rape after she was pumped and dumped. That girl was a CHILD whom Kells had NO BUSINESS dealing with.

            Also, you don’t have to wear your natural hair to be a black woman in support of black people. That’s not how any of this works.

            • LaRobert Barnwell

              You don’t have any real proof but because it’s what everyone else is talking about your following the trend. Seriously how many times did you watch the video of what allegedly was him.
              Your missing the slander of the black male. I seen some else on here say children get molested by adults in every family but since this is a known star people are all of a sudden outraged.

              And natural hair is a given beauty that we don’t respect in today’s society. All you are concerned with it views. Your so modernized that your blind to what’s really going on

              • Pinks

                You’re* missing the point that this isn’t about his celebrity. It’s about holding him and everyone else who commits such acts accountable. No one here is slandering any black males (besides the creepy rapist ones) that I can see, but you’re* he ll-bent on proving that hollow, weak point that everything is a conspiracy to tear down the black man. Nah, whether it’s Uncle Charlie in Alabama or Charlie Sheen in Hollywood, people HERE IN THIS THREAD are saying they ALL need to be brought to the paint and have their as ses collectively handed to them.

                You’re* so concerned with playing the victim for all black men that you’re* making a mockery of the real ones. And please, don’t purport to know anything about me and my views. You’re* clearly missing the mark.

              • PrettyGeekz

                I don’t understand. How are you fighting the natural hair fight but not the sexual abuse and brutality fight against women?

                • LaRobert Barnwell

                  I would rather fight for the shift in power to have families come together and stop the division of this group needs more attention than the next. Yeah abuse/ brutality is important but people tend to lose focus of equality and follow trends of useless bickering than to see the promise land.

      • Freebird

        im side eyeing all the r kelly selective outrage and all but….you sound like one of his boys bruh. like someone not to let around little girls.

        this sh it sounded nasty.

        • PrettyGeekz

          It seriously sent chills down my spine.

          • Freebird

            you and me both and i don’t ice easily.

        • cakes_and_pies

          That ni gga couldn’t be around me, any children, adults, or live stock. Perverted to say the least…

    • troubleman

      Ok, am I the only one who can enjoy an artist’s art and not care about their personal lives/crimes? Should we all stop listening to Michael Jackson? Miles Davis? Ike & Tina? James Brown? I LOVE the Cosby Show and A Different World, and encourage my sons to watch both. I don’t have to agree with anyone’s morals or politics to like their stuff. And if we’re going to boycott artists and shame fans, let’s be consistent about it.

      • heyheyno

        Good question, I am a strong advocate against sexual assault and domestic violence. It hurt when I learned of the domestic violence caused by James Brown and David Ruffin.

        • troubleman

          But you’re not deleting all your JB and Temptations stuff right? What’s the difference?

          • esa

            death is sometimes the divide.

          • elle

            R. Kelly doesn’t allow you to separate his personal and musical lives.

      • Freebird

        you are trying to hold a conversation that holds us all over the fire. not going to happen.

        • troubleman

          All I’m saying is that there seems to be a lot of selective outrage going on here. Didn’t Steve Jobs abandoned his wife and children? We all out here buying Apple stuff though.

          • PrettyGeekz

            Don’t say all.

            • troubleman

              But that’s what this article is advocating. Why are some artists and their fans getting a pass, but R Kelly isn’t?

              • PrettyGeekz

                Because the article is advocating against R, Kelly and sexual abuse against women and little girls. I am side eyeing folk that are throwing in every other argument just for the sake of dismissing the topic that is going on here. I am fully against sexual abuse for ANY HUMAN BEING, but especially when it is committed against women and little girls. It is a very personal for me as I have a 12 year old niece with down’s syndrome — who, unfortunately, cannot speak — if something like that happened to her I would be devastated because she would not have known what happened to her.

                • troubleman

                  I admire the efforts you’re taking to protect your niece. I’m not saying R Kelly is getting a pass nor should he. I’m just saying we are being hypocritical by giving other artists a pass while we crucify R Kelly and anyone who dares support him.

          • Question

            Molesting little girls (and marrying teenagers) >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Abandoning wife and children

            • troubleman

              I agree but that’s not my point. My point is that he did something that is morally unacceptable. Shouldn’t we be boycotting him and apple also?

              • Question

                Well shoot, I took some cash payments for “contractor work” in 94 so I didn’t have to report the $$$ on my taxes. Should I be boycotting myself?

                • troubleman

                  That’s my point exactly. Look at the slippery slope where happily sliding down with my hands up high…

                  • Question

                    There is no slippery slope. Your point doesn’t stand.

                    There is a big huge WIDE difference between being an absent husband/father and raping girls and if you can’t see that, I don’t know what to tell you. And the fact that you’re trying to make a point about moral relativism is kinda sad TBH. Steve Jobs and Apple have nothing to do with R Kelly.

      • DebKII

        Look, growing up my mom loved michael jackson. It was always playing. My dad would walk in the room like “this pedophile again? okay.” I think as long as the conversations are had and you get your kids to think about both sides, they can make the decision to support (or not) on their own, but blind support is…not good.

      • anonymouslyunknown

        I think you can enjoy and not care – it is happening all the time,at this very moment. But if you are a person who is conscientious with your money you will vote with your dollars. That goes all the way around – musical artists, actors, producers, directors, corporations. I don’t shop at Walmart/ Sam’s Club because I don’t support how they treat their workers. I don’t purchase from Exxon/ Mobile because I don’t agree with the company’s history of destroying not only the environment but basically overthrowing governments so they can access oil. I also don’t purchase R. Kelly albums, have stopped watching the Cosby shows (all of them including Fat Albert), and etc. I know the kind of world I want to live in and my dollars make a difference in creating that world.

        • troubleman

          I guess my point is, does an artist have to be a saint for me to consume his art? And if so why are we so inconsistent about it? Why does MJ get a pass? Plus, it strikes me as a red herring. We are expending all this thought and energy on someone who doesn’t really affect us but won’t go out and vote against racists who affect our lives every day.

  • Simone_was_taken

    Was he this mouthy with Jay?

    • DebKII

      no

    • RagesAgainstMachines

      Jay’s people pepper sprayed him lol. I’d say that answer is no.

  • CrayolaGirl

    All the slow blinks to R Kelly. Why are you sitting down for interviews thinking people aren’t going to ask you about this?! Stop trying to be in front of cameras. Just go far far away.

  • Pinks

    I also hate the idea that in order to get some Black men to give a damn about Black women being abused, raped and murdered, we have to draw comparisons to their mothers, aunts, sisters, etc. Why does it have to be “You should care because this could be your____” instead of “You should care because these people are f ucking HUMAN”?!

    • Jennifer

      I hate that with every ounce of my being!

      • Pinks

        Ditto. Eeeeeeeeeevery other Black woman is a single, lonely, bitter, depressed, fat bi tch or hoe, but your mama, the ashy as s one with two Celie braids in her hair and dimples in her elbow, she’s exempt from scorn because she birthed your trifling a s s? Nah, bruh. We all matter.

        • I’d get mad at you, but that’s how so many people of all genders relate to people. *smh*

          • Pinks

            We tend To generalize Far Too Often

            • It’s not mere generalization…it’s politicalization.

              That’s the legacy of the baby boomers.

        • Jennifer

          “but your mama, the ashy as s one with two Celie braids in her hair and dimples in her elbow”

          You just joined the “lonely, bitter fat bi tch” club for talking about his mama. lol!

        • Stefanie Kelly

          lmbaoooooo #genius

        • heyheyno

          LMBO!! preach!

    • Sigma_Since 93

      “You should care because these people are f ucking HUMAN”?!

      A lot of our issues would go away if people practiced this.

    • Choccie

      Feminism is a swear word, to hear Twitter tell it.

      • Indy Syder

        Feminism is a horrendous, iniquitous ideology that’s as low as racism.

    • LMNOP

      One of the best domestic violence ads I’ve ever seen had the typical series of pictures of women with fat lips and black eyes, saying “She is someone’s mother, She is someone’s sister. etc” and then in the next one they crossed it off so it just said “She is someone.”

      • PrettyGeekz

        That’s powerful.

    • Indy Syder

      None of you all really wanna talk about sexual abuse or misogyny in the black community.

      • RagesAgainstMachines

        Its been mentioned multiple times throughout this comment section. How did you come to that assumption?

        • Indy Syder

          No it hasn’t.

        • Indy Syder

          So you want to know how could I have done up with such a deduction. After reading the comments on here and the internet, my deduction was elementary based on the predictable responses. The pattern of many of you vested in this topic involves that you all aren’t interested in genuinely resolving the issue of sexual abuse and misogyny in the black community. It’s about complaining with bias and convenience of what suits you, and what makes you feel comfortable. After all, you all aren’t willing to mentally step outside your comfort zone to hear another side to the issue that is ravaging the black community.

      • Pinks

        Oh, OK. The comments here and downthread say otherwise, but OK.

        • Indy Syder

          The comments here prove my point. Around black media, none of you wanna talk about sexual abuse and misogyny. Y’all are about complaining and pandering because I sure don’t see the entire picture being painted. Y’all don’t wanna really talk.

        • Indy Syder

          You want to challenge my assertion? You all want to talk about R. Kelly, or rather complain about him and his crimes. You all on here and with your feminist circles have ZERO interest in addressing sexual abuse and misogyny. And the commentary here and elsewhere proves that.

          • Pinks

            Ight, then. Bye.

            • Indy Syder

              Exactly why misogyny exists! So long!

      • Sigma_Since 93

        You mean in America in general right?????

        • Indy Syder

          Somewhat.

          • Sigma_Since 93

            You can’t have one without the other. If you were a frequent reader of this site, you would know that the topic has been broached multiple times. I’m not going to kid myself to believe that whites or any other race has their noses cleaner than the black community. I don’t see the asian community having open forums on the chex trade that exists or middle eastern countries dealing with chexual assaults, or the Woody Allen’s / Jerry Sanduski’s of the world.

            If we want to talk music, again let’s not kid ourselves. The chex, drugs, and rock and roll era produces racy lyrics too. The only thing that’s changed in white t&a has been replaced with black t&a.

            If we’re going to have the discussion, let’s have the discussion in its totality.

            • Indy Syder

              To respond to you in detail, I was really talking about black females (and spineless, puppet males) on here and the internet (and throughout the black community). I’m not worried about the rest of America, North America, and the other 6 continents. Since black females on here and other websites are constantly complaining about sexual abuse and misogyny, I’m purposely calling their bluff, and putting it out there that they are insincere and dishonest about addressing the issues. As you saw, none of the black females wanted to really talk about the subject in full detail unless you’re pandering to their emotions and ideas. They’re mentality and immaturity is an arch factor of what has screwed up black families for years, not just irresponsible and petulant black men. Many black females don’t have the mental threshold to have a versatile conversation. Many of them don’t possess the character and integrity to carry this through.

              • anonymouslyunknown

                I’m genuinely curious. What is the totality that is missing from the discussion? What’s missing that we should be talking about but aren’t?

                • Indy Syder

                  Everyone! Both black men and black women. Everyone wants to talk smack about what black men do to black children, black girls, and black women, but no one wants to talk about the sh– black women perpetrated. We only want to focus on R. Kelly only but don’t want to talk about his background that involves sexual abuse from both black men and black women. Ah, y’all didn’t know this part, or don’t want to talk about that part. No one wants to talk about the WHOLE reason misogyny exists. That doesn’t suit their agenda. Folks on here and the web are playing these games, acting as if it’s only black men who are the initiators of misogyny (or misogynoir) when black women are guilty of fanning the flames that fuel it. People on here act as if it’s ONLY black men who are sexual predators and black women sit around just being preyed upon. The same ole tired story is being told on here, in the comments, and the web.

                • Indy Syder

                  Everything and everyone. It’s not solely black men who are guilty of sexual abuse and who are the instigators of misogynoir.

                  • anonymouslyunknown

                    Perhaps you can do some research and write a piece for publication by VSB or one of the other on-line news/ opinion sites. It appears the writer focused on a particular issue/ person, R. Kelly, so the discussion has catered to the same. Your own piece would invite the discussion you crave. Certainly no one would disagree that men (not just Black men) and non-Black women have contributed to and furthered and participated in misgynoir. But I would advise you to be sure to have facts/ statistics in addition to anecdotes for people to understand whatever it is you wish to teach and convey.However, this article is about R.Kelly. It is very sad that he is a victim of sexual abuse. It is true that many predators were once victims. It is also true that the majority (most) victims do NOT become predators. R. Kelly and I are about the same age, so I say this including myself: At some point it is no longer about being a victim. At some point in your adult life, you have to take responsibility for your own healing and the injury you caused before and during the healing process. If you continue to engage in unhealthy behaviors after a certain age and are not moving to make a change, most certainly in your 40s, you have no one to blame but yourself. I don’t know what R. Kelly is doing to address his demons, including harms that he has caused along the way. I can say there is nothing to indicate that he is addressing them. Even Dr. Dre made some acknowledgement that his past attitudes and behavior toward women were not appropriate. He never referred to specific incidents or people, but what he said was enough to know that he has had some growth in that area.

    • fxd8424

      BP talk solidarity but I guess it doesn’t include BW.

    • DBoySlim

      Because that’s how humans are. We really don’t care unless it affects our lives directly.

      • Question

        While this may be true, the contradiction in the Black community reaches new heights. We gotta be honest with ourselves about that.

        • Freebird

          no it doesn’t. we are not pathological on levels not reached by other groups. every group of people do this.

          • Question

            You’re right. I should rephrase what I’m thinking – because you’re absolutely right. Most/All groups have people they protect despite misdeeds entirely. Shoot, look at Muslim support* of ISIS (supporting the creation of a celiphate, and turning a blind eye towards the means by which ISIS is going about that task).

    • Couldn’t agree more…

    • BrownKitty289

      Im late but PREACH…….. & TEACH!!!

  • Aprill

    Many of us won’t even acknowledge the pedophilia that has run rampant in our own families, much less that of R. Kelly. Some folks are gonna be sitting across from a Percy relative at Christmas dinner. All because we’ee uncomfortable talking about such a common occurrence. Glad to see continued coverage of his crimes.

    • tiggatae

      This right here is exactly the problem, imo! We get so used to ignoring, making excuses and overlooking the pedophiles in our own homes/communities that what RK did is no big deal… just more of the same…

      • Wild Cougar

        Or…… Calling out R Kelly is absolution for turning a blind eye.

    • Word. It’s much easier to hang with the in crowd then be right and end up spending your holidays henceforth with some Chinese food. That’s how predators get ahead.

    • heyheyno

      Girl girl girl you are speaking the truth. I always hear about incidents of abuse in families in my career. Yet when the mother or grandmother finds out about it it’s always swept under the rug.

  • PhlyyPhree

    I couldn’t understand why this interview happened. On ANY level. It was as if he thought if he blustered his way through and talked over the interview enough (who did an AWESOME job btw) then he’d be able to drown out any mention of his previous crimes.
    I really wanted to laugh, except it was sad. Meh.

    • mssporadic

      I read an article about him awhile ago, and his handlers appear to shield him from the online backlash. It’s known that he’s mostly illiterate, so he doesn’t articles about himself, and they don’t read them to him. I got the sense that he’s in a well protected bubble, so that he keeps what little career he has so that he can continue to pay his handlers and his lawyers. What I saw yesterday was that bubble being burst and him getting a glimpse what his public perception is today. He was talking like it was still 1995.

  • PrettyGeekz

    So, in the video, he questioned her intelligence, cut her off a NUMBER of times, and reduced her to her appearance….

    • Pinks

      He’s so arrogant. He may be a sociopath.

      • Oluseyi

        MAY?

        • Pinks

          I mean, I ain’t got a degree to be diagnosing folks or nothing, Jesus.

      • fxd8424

        He is a sociopath. No doubt in my mind.

    • DebKII

      Literally the most misogynist. The whole time I kept thinking would he act this way if the interviewer was a man?

      • I really wish they could’ve had another black man interview him.

        • PrettyGeekz

          I really wish he did not interview at all.

          • mssporadic

            This is how I feel. He doesn’t need any more interviews or invites to award shows. The media could ice him out, but chooses not to and that’s what really bothers me.

        • RagesAgainstMachines

          Damon would’ve been perfect! Lol

    • RagesAgainstMachines

      Don’t forget, told her he loved her before he walked out. Gross!

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