R. Kelly Is A Coward » VSB

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R. Kelly Is A Coward

HuffPost Live screenshot


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.

  • Siante

    The interviewer was everything: “you don’t have to give me any of your love sir..” “you don’t have to comment on my appearance sir..” She is CLEARLY not a stan.


    • miss t-lee

      She was not for any of the sh*t.

      • Siante

        Yup, she was not about to be manipulated by his flattery. She saw the objectification coming a mile a way & she wasn’t. having. any. of. it.

    • Yeah…. so….. she unequivocally won

      • Siante

        Pretty much. He was clearly not on the level to deal w/ a grown a s s woman who knows her own mind.

  • I’d love to get mad at the people rolling with him. I really would. The problem is that there are a lot of people riding for loved ones who are molesters. Heck, there are even victimized people riding for the people who molested them. I’m a jacked up way, the fact that R Kelly still has a large number of fans makes sense. It’s hard to condemn someone when they’re doing something you’re OK with in your own fam.

    There is this tendency to hang around anyone who does anything popular. As a result, we give the popular a lot of leeway. It can be minor like giving them breaks with being on time to things. However, it can extend to some serious crimes. All because we’re so much social animals that we’d rather suffer together than be right and risk being alone.

    So yeah, R Kelly is a r@pist. R Kelly also has a huge fan club. The two fact enable each other.

    • I think this argument is fundamentally wrong and gives further testament to my argument that completely disregarding R.Kelly would be better than having conversations about him. Rationalizing hatred doesn’t hurt R.Kelly, it hurts society…and leads to the same form of politicalization of trivialities and faux symbolism that actually keeps him around.

      Most of us use mobile devices that can easily be proven to have driven or continue to drive the political chaos that has existed in Congo for ages, due to the resource known as Silicon. Now this information is public and is well known, yet are people expected to stop using these products because they directly or indirectly help fund wars and genocide? Or should people be expected to stop using Apple and Android devices because they are both funded by child and slave labor?

      I don’t like Kels, and I don’t pay attention to him. I do more harm to him not paying attention to him, than his biggest critics who write articles about him, while indirectly helping his SEO and marketing strategy. But then again that’s how the media, either social or mainstream works: if you care, someone is cashing in. And it’s not only that, it’s the tremendous amount of contradicting arguments people say to themselves, to defend their hatred, that if they applied to themselves they would easily see if they thought for a second and said, “As aggravating as this person might be to me, is what I say or believe true about him, others and equally applicable to myself?”

      • RagesAgainstMachines

        R. Kelly and his disgusting antics aren’t a trigger for you. You’ve never been a young black girl preyed upon by dirty old men. So it’s easy for you to just “not pay attention” to R. Kelly in the same way I can just not pay attention to child slaves while I’m typing this response to you on my iPhone. If what you’re saying is that it all boils down to personal experience, I get that. But I won’t feel ashamed for calling this child predator out just because others can’t relate.

        He is not “aggravating”. He is a child predator and rapist. Attempts to minimalize this as an “aggravation” are really just steps to continue living in your comfort zone.

        • I spent 5 years as a counselor in a mental health institution working with people who were ballooning up to 100 lbs every 2 years on meds and trying to slice their necks with broken glass because they didn’t just get triggered, they got traumatized, broken and had to be institutionalized so they didn’t end up a name in the Obituary section.

          I’ve been in the hospitals helping to actually cure and offer therapy to those people who’ve suffered from these things and have the scars to prove it…so please don’t come at me like that. What we’re talking about has little to anything to do about triggers, or shame.

          In addition it doesn’t change how or the context of the conversation and the way the outrage being expressed (the way you came at me is a perfect example of what I’m talking about). You’re arguing about R.Kelly, because you’re being exploited by the same people who decided to interview him “about his album – and not his r@pe history”

          • RagesAgainstMachines

            I’ve been a victim of child predators. This isn’t a contest. You don’t get to tell me what I can be outraged about, despite the fact that you think what you’ve observed makes you some kind of authority on why you think you know why I’m outraged. Couple my experiences with the fact that he used to “hang out” at my half sisters high school? That some of those victims I witnessed graduating with her? Your response is a classic case of misogynoir. You, the observer, can’t dictate or make relevant what I’m outraged about, just like racists don’t get to tell black people what they are outraged about.

            • Your talking about him though, right?

              I don’t mean to discount your experience in the slightest. However, the opposite of hate isn’t love but indifference. In the sick way of R Kelly and his fan base, people like you getting mad gives them a reason to live. It’s sick, but since when someone who molests children is healthy? It might be wiser to feel that pain, ride it out and don’t give him the one thing he craves…. emotions.

              • Siante

                Indifference is a predators dream.

                Predators like R. Kelly pray for our indifference. They pray that we turn a blind eye to their criminal actions and never bring them up again so that they can comfortably slither back into the limelight (once the dust has settled) to promote their new album.

                • The indifference I’m asking for also includes whatever promotion he has at a given moment. It’s kind of hard for him to be a predator if no one plays his songs, nor buys his records or concert tickets. Simply freeze him out. Don’t make a big show of it either. Without emotions, there’s nothing for him to latch on.

                  • Sigma_Since 93

                    The music and the fame are the platform that aids his sick agenda. If we stop aiding his platform through patronage of his music, folks will stop giving him a pass on his b.s. and air him out real quick.

                  • RagesAgainstMachines

                    Destroying people publicly has been the best defense against many racists. I don’t see why it won’t work on pedophiles either.

                  • Me

                    “if no one plays his songs, nor buys his records or concert tickets”

                    That’s not indifference, that’s punishment. And you have to care to punish. Everyone SHOULD care and should stay committed to caring because what he did deserves to be cared a whole helluvalot about. This ain’t like blocking your ex’s FB feed and moving on with life without him. He’s an ongoing threat who embodies other real life threats being experienced everyday in our communities. We need to care deeply and perpetually.

                    • That’s not true.

                      If you never listened to R.Kelly, you never cared…hatred is an investment. People who sell and buy on Wall Street are trading, just like people who tweet or blog their love or hatred about R.Kelly are giving him attention, which leads to dollars when we’re talking social media (google: The Kardashians).

                      The medium in which people are attacking R.Kelly is a medium in which simply having a decent PR agent, he can manipulate and easily profit from. He won’t profit like Huffington Post will, but he will definitely profit more than his victims and those who are talking ill of him.

                      Not to be cold, but look at what this ninja posted 1 hr ago on his instagram page:

                      He understands the game, we need to understand it too, if we actually want to get what we want.

                    • Me

                      “If you never listened to R.Kelly, you never cared”

                      But no one is talking about people who never listened to R. Kelly. They likely are also unaware of his transgressions.

                      “hatred is an investment”

                      So is spreading awareness of a pervasive problem. Pretending the problem doesn’t exist won’t solve the problem (e.g. Bill Cosby’s stronghold on America’s heart for decades while simultaneously being a #serialrapist)

                      “The medium in which people are attacking R.Kellly… ”

                      HuffPo’s profits are strawman. Regardless of HuffPo’s position on R. Kelly, they would be making a profit. The purpose of discussing him in this way is to remind people that buying his album is the equivalent of #financingrape. It’s an important reminder to make every time he tries to resurface from oblivion, lest we forget the damage he’s done already. HuffPo didn’t solicit an album from R. Kelly so they could have a story to tell. R. Kelly had the nerve to solicit listeners and HuffPo took it as an opportunity to highlight the unresolved problem with his celebrity. Ignoring him in this instance would fall under “silence as acceptance” because then his marketing would have no opposition to contend with, which is far easier to manage than spinning bad publicity.

                    • But you’re only having this conversation because Huffington Post shaped it.

                      – You’re not really reminding anyone about anything though…people were already not buying the album, because he’s irrelevant. They weren’t paying attention – now they are. That attention can be manipulated by both R.Kelly and Huffington (Huffington just won more – they indirectly helped him boost his sales, and also managed to look credible to their audience)

                      – The fact that I’m saying you should ignore R.Kelly (in the media: talk to people individually vs. doing it on the internet or blogs, where he can manipulate for profit) is not the same as saying you should ignore r@pe (this is why I’m against the politicalization of this issue -it’s extremely counterproductive). R.Kelly is being talked about because he garners attention. Whether he does or doesn’t get attention doesn’t change r@pe; but if he doesn’t get attention it guarantees that he no longer has a career or platform anymore.

                    • Me

                      “But you’re only having this conversation because Huffington Post shaped it”

                      No, we’re having this conversation because R. Kelly is peddling music at us like we owe him something.

                      “They weren’t paying attention ”

                      Somebody paid enough attention to get him on a national stage and that’s where our problems started. Not with the HuffPo interview.

                      “The fact that I’m saying you should ignore R.Kelly (in the media: talk to people individually vs. doing it on the internet or blogs, where he can manipulate for profit) is not the same as saying you should ignore r@pe”

                      Ignoring R. Kelly IS #ignoringrape because #RKellyIsARapist. It makes no sense to say ignore a man who is actively working his way back to relevance. That strategy just won’t work.

                    • And they’re peddling it, because you’re going to get mad…that’s the point!

                      They’re peddling Babyface’s new album too, but I doubt he will match R.Kelly numbers.

                      R.Kelly is indeed a r@pist, but the reason why we’re having this conversation is because he’s being viewed as a “symbol for r@pe.” That’s why it keeps getting reduced to a political issue (the strategy ref.). Because he’s not being viewed as another man who r@pes; he’s being viewed and treated as propaganda for r@pe. So he has to be taken down, because if he’s not, society or the media is basically saying that r@pe is okay and glorifying it. This isn’t true at all (it has never been), but truth doesn’t matter in a war about propaganda, thus why, when it’s all said and done, and the dust disappears, nothing actually changes.

                    • Me

                      “They” aren’t peddling anything but stories, which no one has a problem with. HE is peddling his pedophilia, which we do and should have a problem with. If he does sell more than Babyface, I’d need to see hard facts that prove his success is in any part a result of us discussing his crimes.

                      “he’s being viewed and treated as propaganda for r@pe. So he has to be taken down, because if he’s not, society or the media is basically saying that r@pe is okay and glorifying it.”

                      Let’s not act like there isn’t a gaping hole in #howrapeistreated socially and legally. It’s why these cases matter. The publicity of high profile cases helps the wheels of progress turn forward for underrepresented crimes and their victims. If even celebrities can be held accountable, it sends the message that this is not an invisible crime, and that matters.

                    • DebKII

                      Ugh ‘me’ why do i always agree with you *ehugs*

                    • Darelle Alan Ford

                      How are you privy to people’ s conversations outside of this forum to say we/they are only discussing this because of HuffPo the article starts off by saying that Damon was invited by the very organization you had not discussed Kelly’s transgressions to dicuss Kelly’s and others like him transgressions so obviously there is some interest in discussing this subject outside of this recent interview I personally posted about our community’s problematic relationship with that B.A.N after his Soul Train performance and I’ve posted the Village Voice article about the numerous allegations against without any impetus outside my own desire to share what despicable human being he is

                    • I’ve posted the Village Voice article about the numerous allegations against without any impetus outside my own desire to share what despicable human being he is


                    • Darelle Alan Ford

                      How can R Kelly manipulate a private citizen’s fb post for profit

                    • Darelle Alan Ford

                      This is a book not an answer. This is a discussion not a lecture, I don’t want to be assigned text. I want to engage in a dialogue

                    • The book is a good book, and it’s important book, because it addresses the nature of dialogue within social media. It’s the difference between texting and direct conversation, there’s certain things that can be done in one of those mediums of conversation that can’t be done elsewhere.

                      Everything that happens on social media, by the nature of the way it is set up can be used for advertising or data collection. You can simply buy up a keyword on google and get paid directly or indirectly by people using it or typing it in. So yeah, someone could go on their fb and talk about him, at the same time, every-time they are mentioning his name he can get paid as well.

                    • Darelle Alan Ford

                      I will look into this. However I still believe discussing the issue is of extreme importance and Kelly is just a proxy or portal into the conversation and to speculate that ppl only discuss these because of the media is ridiculous this is an issue I’m very passionate about outside of him . I have also worked in Mental Health facilities as well as mentoring youth so I think we have to be careful when say why someone has chosen to speak out

                    • The point is that work that’s actually done, the work that matters that leads to breakthroughs and progress, usually happens outside of what the media is talking about.

                  • 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.

                    • That’s an argument based in principle…

                      This R.Kelly thing isn’t which is why it’s a problem.

                    • troubleman

                      How we going to hate the parents who were complicit to? The ones who pimped out their babies and then took the hush money?

                    • Freebird

                      this is where I’m at.

                      i am 100 percent against what kelly did. but who deserves more of my rage…the culture of enablement that surrounds most celebs and elites, or the culture that makes it possible for family/families to sell out their relatives in the name of hush money and other considerations? I’ve got major problems with both but more of a problem with the latter.

              • RagesAgainstMachines

                Saying “I don’t mean to discount your experience… However…” Is the equivalent of “I’m not a racist, but **insert racism here**”

                People like me? Why are you trying to lecture me on the appropriate way to respond to a pedophile? Are you trying to help me with coping me mechanisms? I truly don’t understand your point. Especially since the only reason you seem to be making these statements appear to be an attempt to shut down dissenting voices. Your responses read “shut your mouth and it will go away” and we already know it’s not true… Because R. Kelly just did an interview to promote his new album.

                • That I found out about because people are upset. I stopped checking for this idiot a long time ago.

              • People forget the medium in which this entire conversation is taking place…which is why they think that hating Kels, rather than being indifferent to him is what will end his career. This is the reason why people don’t understand advertising either by the way…it’s sad, because if people did, we’d have much more productive conversations and get better results.

                The nature of the media, is whoever gets attention wins. Positive attention, negative attention, leads to the same thing: it’s traffic. Remember that song “Friday” by that white girl a couple years ago, she earned something like 11 million dollars off the fact that most people hated her, herself, and the fact that she was rich and untalented. It’s the same explanation for Trump’s success. There are a lot of people I know who could care less about Obama, but they support him, because they hate white supremacists, racists and republicans…it’s the same thing. That’s the nature of the medium.

                If this was in the context of a community, a club, a church, an actual place where real people are interacting and communicating, then shaming and hating would lead to ostracism. That’s what happens in reality, but not in stories created and generated by the media. The only thing that works in the media is no attention at all. If you don’t get no attention, if you don’t move people either way, no one cares, and unlike some bad press, you can’t spin, lack of attention. You can’t rewrite it as a redemption story.

              • LMNOP

                Do you really think R. Kelly is aware of, let alone getting anything from this discussion?

                But some people who have been victims of other predators ARE getting something from this discussion.

                So many victims are met with indifference and to see anger and outrage and disgust for someone who has committed these types of crimes can be very validating.

            • But you do realize that I’m not telling you what you can or can’t be outraged about? You do realize that I have not used any authority or power that I have over you? Yet, every accusation that you throw at me, comes through that lens? I told you that your own pain and experience is being exploited by the media, and yet, you are putting me in the same category of racists and misogynists.

              You’re mad at me, and not Huffington post for actually setting this whole thing up in the first place. You and I care about victims, I already said that, and I don’t think you would disagree, but Huffington Post does not, which is why they had R.Kelly on in the first place. You say R.Kelly is a sociopath, yet by simply putting his name out there and saying it, you’ve made him money by giving him attention(which I’m sure you don’t want to do)…but you don’t realize that, because you think that someone like me, or men as a group, or probably some form of patriarchy (the misogynoir reference) is attacking you…

              But hey this is the game the media plays. Society gets devalued; political impotence expands and nothing changes.

              • RagesAgainstMachines

                Wow, how passive aggressive of you. You’re attacking me personally, because I’m not responding the way you think I should?

              • RagesAgainstMachines

                And how can you say HuffPo doesn’t care about victims when they clearly tried to voice the concerns of victims and the coward walked out as soon as he saw the path it was going?

                It sounds to me like you’re trying to divert attention from this clear pedophile to the medium on which he was further exposed.

                • I don’t want the pedophile to have a chance to succeed, and Huffington Post gives him a platform by having him on air period.

                  And no Huffington Post doesn’t care about victims. If you care about victims, you help them in reality, not in the media. There are 24 hrs in a day, millions of people who are doing great or good things, who are helping and slaving to help victims and if they had the attention, they could get more funding for their causes, which would help people…but nah, hey, they got time for Kels.

                • mssporadic

                  I’m sorry, but I don’t buy that most of those concerns came from victims. That’s a little too sugar coaty and optimistic to me. Have you read the comment section of HP articles? It’s typical comment craziness. R. Kelly is polarizing and these type of interviews bring out a mix of trolls, fans/stans, and a minute group of actual people that care about a real discussion on abuse. I think you are fooling yourself, if you think that type of interview would generate a real discussion on celebrity abusers and their continued popularity.

                  • RagesAgainstMachines

                    You don’t have to buy it for it to be true. Yes, I’ve read those comment sections, both the live and the HuffPo article about it. In the live comment section, they were actively deleting “insulting” comments/questions before the interview, but in both places, there’s equal parts supporters and detractors. I think you’re being pessimistic because we’re clearly having a real discussion about here… and they are as well on the Huff Po sites as well as on Twitter and Facebook. Just because you declare it so, doesn’t make it true.

              • Nahknee_nanee

                You lost me for a second, but now I’m back still swooning.
                *back to lurking*

            • Lola


            • Val

              Sorry that happened to you.


            • LMNOP

              I’m so sorry you went through that, and I appreciate your outrage, it’s completely appropriate and it’s important. We NEED to be outraged about stuff like this, because girls are still being victimized, and it is horrible, just like it was horrible when it happened to you and to R. Kelly’s victims.

            • Jaris Cole

              “You, the observer, can’t dictate or make relevant what I’m outraged about, just like racists don’t get to tell black people what they are outraged about.”

              All of this! Thank you for sharing. Took courage.

            • NonyaB

              De-lurked to say sorry you experienced that.

              Great point about outrage – we all have to recognize that in such contexts, the marginalized party is the judge of what hurts, not the other side. Regardless of intent, delivery is what matters. So, @negroLibre if your speech is hitting negatively, then check the why and how of the structure of your content/delivery.

              I’m all for talking about rkelly, especially as he’s never paid for his crimes. Any traffic it sends is also tainted in that at least, current mentions of him continue reminding people of his misdeeds. Plus, you never know: nobody knew Cosby would eventually be brought to task for his transgressions (at least socially, if not legally).

              • I don’t mind it…

                When a person’s argument against yours is you haven’t experienced it so you can’t understand it, then you’re not going to get through to them through reasoning – they are demanding that you must be empathetic before they listen to you, which leads nowhere, and anyone who counsels or offers therapy knows this.

                As for the Cosby comment, that’s actually more proof of what I’m talking about. It’s pursuing symbolism, not the actual reality of the problems. Trauma is a real problem, and it doesn’t get settled by the pursuit or defeat of symbols. It does not solve the problem of impotence, or powerlessness, or ostracism. It’s the equivalent of giving drugs to a patient and them just getting a temporary feeling that doesn’t cure the problem.

                • Question

                  I realize that mental health may be your think, your area of expertise and your experience – what is wrong with you listening to someone who has been through it and considering a different viewpoint, rather than arguing why first her position and now her approach are wrong?

                  • But, I did listen…

                    It’s because I listened that I concluded her arguments were wrong as well as the approach. It’s not an experience vs experience issue…it’s a matter of will this approach lead to the result that is trying to be accomplished?

                    • Question

                      Wrong and unlikely to lead to a desired outcome are two different things…however you are judging the veracity of her response based on your intended outcome. C’mon, Mr. Mental Health Scholar – you don’t see the problem with that thinking?

                      “Don’t pay him any mind and he will eventually (hopefully) go away”. That doesn’t work and it doesn’t help victims heal. It is possible to assist victims in the process of healing and punish perpetrators at the same time. One should not and does not have to override the other.

                    • But the fact is that going after Kelly doesn’t not get people any healing…which, I presume is the point. How many people have been healed from the injuries of DV since Ray Rice pretty much got kicked out of the NFL?

                    • Question

                      Why folks aren’t getting healing has a lot to do with the many reasons why we silence discussion around these incidents (e.g. people saying that RK and RR are being victimized by the racist media, discussing this isn’t going to help victims is it etc.).

                      I’m assuming you’re a mental health professional – what is your profession doing collectively to utilize these incidents to assist with healing?

                • Gibbous

                  But trauma can be abated by symbolism, not cured, but addressed and even managed. The very instances of a few woman coming forward and calling out Cosby on what he did, allowed more women the courage to come forward as well. Whatever happens to Cosby, being listened to and believed can only be a positive in the lives of his victims and CAN help with their trauma. It can also help with the thousands of other women who’ve never told because their abuser was a police man, politician, celebrity or other person in power.

                  Every little bit makes a difference.

                  • I’m not so sure about that.

                    If a cure for cancer is available, but a person says, “I’ll just do chemo”, management is not making a difference.

                    Not to mention, it’s the nature of the media to trivialize important things, thus why every story covered in the media has a relatively short expiration date. Those women are still going through h@ll because of the Cosby issue, and they’ve also lost a certain sense of privacy and most of all they’re not even being paid attention to anymore (who checks up on these women anymore to see how they are doing after their stint in the media), because the media got what it needed from them: symbols, a status that is always short term in the media.

                    • Gibbous

                      I think these two things are separate and different. There is the media and public reactions, and individual women and the validation of their lived experiences.

                      The media tells their story, once or many times, it does not really matter. The women benefit from telling the story and having it heard and NOT from the media or the public. Catharsis doesn’t depend on the reaction of the public, but often soley in the telling of the story. For many of these women, healing begins when they realize that Cosby is recognized as an abuser AND that at least the lawyer they spoke to believes them. The general public be damned.

                    • But it’s quite easy to tell that the media doesn’t lead to healing.

                      Schadenfreude (what is actually is) isn’t healing. It never has been, and it can’t be. And it’s easy to prove it, especially in the media…simply wait for the next similar story to be released in the media in a couple of months, and observe the conversation, or the reaction – they will be identical.

                      The problem as I keep saying isn’t the conversation itself, but it’s the story. Compare the stories you hear when people independently talk about these kind of things in support groups, which actually do lead to healing, compared to how they “react” when the stories are covered in the media…and then you see, why it’s obvious that nothing of significant and long term value is achieved by coverage in the media.

            • Ashia Sims

              Yes, I’m so sorry this happened to you. Your feelings are valid and legitimate.

            • Moon and the Sky

              I second @Ashia Sims. Your feelings are valid, your experiences are your own to feel/name/process in the way that is true for you. Sending you love sis.

          • RagesAgainstMachines

            “You’re arguing about R. Kelly, because you’re being exploited by the same people who decided to interview him ‘about his album – and not his r@pe history'”

            So you’re completely ignoring the fact that he got all aggy and walked out of the interview BECAUSE she was asking about his disgusting history? How Sway?

            • His anger is irrelevant.

              He’s a r@pist, whose mere presence can trigger an attack on you and others who’ve suffered traumatic experiences like yourself, and yet the Huffington Post had him on to support his album? They didn’t invite him on because his history of child abuse, if they’d done that, he wouldn’t have showed up. They did this solely so they could eat their cake and have it too (which by having this conversation, we are letting them do.)

              I mean what’s the point of being angry at him for acting the way he did? He was already a POS before the video (Aaliyah happened 20 years ago!) What was the expectation? That he’d have a moment of clarity and start confessing his sins on Television?

              • RagesAgainstMachines

                But they didn’t support his album. They actively trolled him since last night, rescheduled the interview twice and he STILL got up and left after being shown how ridiculous he truly is. This wasn’t about R. Kelly, we already know he is disgusting. It was about putting his continued sociopathic ways on display and shaming the people who continue to support him. Why do you have a problem with that?

                • Context matters…

                  I go back to the quote I had from the Ryan Holiday book:

                  As Jonah Peretti, the virality expert behind the founding of both the Huf?ngton Post and BuzzFeed believes, “if something is a total bummer, people don’t share it.” A quick hint on what spreads: a Wharton School study on which New York Times articles spread the most concluded—“the most powerful predictor of virality is how much anger an article evokes.” Make people angry. It works. Better, make them angry and turned on. Why else do you think I run ads of naked American Apparel models all over conservative blogs?

                  As satisfying as it might be to see Kels squirm over being backed into a corner, Huffington Post did this purely for economic reasons, which is why they are worth billions. You don’t get that far in media of any kind, not being extremely purposeful. Furthermore, it doesn’t change anything…it’s m@sturbation. The people who already hate Kels, continue to hate him; whereas those who support him, continue to support him, because Huffington Post also gave them a narrative of being manipulated as well, and thus they have a BS argument as well.

                  That being said, R.Kelly also gets a win outside of this, despite the temporary embarrassment. By being in the media, he has something that can be spun and manipulated into his advantage. And that’s actually what is the even more disappointing than the hustle Huffington Post ran.

              • RagesAgainstMachines

                Also, this wasn’t television, something you and him both seem to confuse. It’s the Internet, just like our comments. I expected him to get skewered and my expectations were met.

                • You think the same rules that apply to social media or the internet are different from what applies to the mainstream media? They’re the same thing…the only difference is centralization.

                  • RagesAgainstMachines

                    There are no rules. That’s why he is still an unconvicted rapist. You think you can minimalize my point of view because of the media I choose to express it? This isn’t about the media, despite your efforts to distract. This is about R. Kelly being a pedophile and my right, in whatever method of media I choose, to shout it out strong and proud.

                    • If it wasn’t for the media, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Furthermore, the reason why you talk about your “right”, and make insinuations to power, is because the media shapes these things that way, because they lead to hits and viewers. In other words, they make a repugnant r@pist still having a career a matter of politics i.e. policy, which it isn’t and thus why arguing about it doesn’t lead to anything.

                      R.Kelly’s been a known pedophile since 1995…we’re talking about this because the media told us to do so.

                    • RagesAgainstMachines

                      This is starting to sound #hotep but I’ll go along for a minute.

                      The reason R. Kelly is even known is because of the media. You still won’t address R. Kelly and his transgressions directly. Why? The same platform that lifted up his musical talents also exposed his disgusting actions. Why do you feel the need to lecture me or try to shut me down about “the media” when the title of this article is “R. Kelly is a coward”? What kind of kinship do you feel for R. Kelly? And why does that make you feel the need to silence me on a pedo from way back in ’95?

                    • Smh, you still don’t see my point…

                      Every argument that I have made against yours, you consistently rephrase as me someway, somehow, trying to overpower you or oppress you. Basically, since I don’t support your arguments or your points, I’m as much in the same group of pedophiles and child abusers that you hate or despise. (WC is getting the same kind of responses too, so it’s not just gender)

                      You don’t have to listen, you don’t have to think about it, but the media is why you are rephrasing a non-political conversation, into a political conversation. But I know you don’t care, so I’ll just say this:

                      I’ve said several times that I don’t like R.Kelly, but it’s besides the point. R.Kelly got popular because people paid attention to him, the media just exploited that attention, which is what it always does. The reason why R.Kelly had to appear at Huffington Post in the first place is because people aren’t paying attention to him. Despite the fact that he was at the BET Awards, his album sales were pathetic, even lower than Soulja Boi numbers. Yet, Huffington Post has put his name out there, by making putting his name in the news. He gets attention…which is what made his name so big in the first place.

                      So what do you think is going to happen to his album sales and itunes downloads now? Are people going to return the albums they already bought? No, he’s going to make money and he’s going to profit, just not as much as the Huffington Post did.

                    • RagesAgainstMachines

                      Because the bottomline of your argument is “shut up, you’re being manipulated by the media”. And then you proceed to criticize the structure of my arguments instead of the topic at hand: R. Kelly is a cowardly pedophile.

                      You can type all the paragraphs your thumbs will allow. You not “liking” R. Kelly and simultaneously trying to dismantle my rage at R. Kelly is just as much of a cop out as his entire pedophilia filled career.

                    • You can type all the paragraphs your thumbs will allow. You not “liking” R. Kelly and simultaneously trying to dismantle my rage at R. Kelly is just as much of a cop out as his entire pedophilia filled career.

                      How so?

                    • RagesAgainstMachines

                      Trying to silence victims, or those who can relate, and their feelings on the matter is pretty much R. Kelly’s whole steez. Diverting attention to “the media” and telling me my thoughts arent relevant takes the attention off of the actual rapist.

                      Correct me if I’m wrong, but your whole stance is for us to ignore him and it goes away. That’s never worked in racism and it won’t work with sexually abusive misogynists either.

                    • I tried to silence you? Please point out where I told actually tried to silence you or any victim for that matter?

                      And no, that’s not my stance. To get my stance, you have to understand two things. A. What would you like to happen to R.Kelly and B. What guarantees that such a thing will happen?

                    • RagesAgainstMachines

                      And you’ve ignored that the downward slope to him walking out is the interviewer pointing out that his low sales are directly attributed to more people thinking R. Kelly = Pedophile.

                    • And then one hour later, he posts a pic of his album cover on instagram…it’s a win for him.

                    • Me

                      What makes that a win? He was going to do that regardless of how the interview went, no?

                    • But he wouldn’t have all the extra stuff.

                      Do you know anything about Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

                    • Me

                      “All the extra stuff” meaning instead of seeing a page full of his promos when someone searches for him, they now have a page mixed with negative press to sift through? How is that winning?

                    • They weren’t looking before is the point…

                      Is it possible for you to understand that in social media, and even the media, that hatred, can lead to profit?

                    • Me

                      If they weren’t looking before what would his album art matter? My issue is that you keep phrasing this as if the interview is converting anti-Kelly readers when it’s not. R. Kelly launched his marketing strategy months ago. R. Kelly fans were going to see all of his promos regardless. R. Kelly promos were going to hit black spaces by virtue of his marketing strategy. R. Kelly was going to profit from his efforts regardless. All this interview did was muddy his waters. Where in all of that do you see a link between keeping his crimes in his face and increasing his album sales? Because all I’m seeing so far is you shifting focus from #therapist to the people reminding the world that he is #stillarapist because they’re making money by reminding everybody (even though they would still be making money if they weren’t reminding people).

                    • The therapist stuff is just another conversation that got intertwined with this one. It’s relevant, but only interesting if you care about that kind of stuff.

                      The money is secondary, the attention is primary. Most people aren’t listening to R.Kelly, not because they view him as a child abuser or a r@pist, but because his music sucks and is irrelevant. Yes he has followers, and yes he was on BET Soul train awards, but he’s not where he was a couple years ago when Trapped in the Closet came out.

                      And this isn’t about R.Kelly fans: if it was about Kelly fans, a media event wouldn’t be needed to have this conversation – it would happen randomly just like talks about weather and shoes. Kelly fans are Kelly fans all the time. It’s about using Kelly as platform for addressing grievances that have little to do with him, and more to do with other things – mostly societal in nature. And that’s the media’s creation, because the media turns people to symbols and symbols can be interpreted and translated to mean whatever you want them to mean – which means the conversations and dialogues can’t have an objective goal, because the grounds aren’t objective.

                      It’s also good to understand that most people know or are aware that R.Kelly is a r@pist or at least a child abuser/molester. But just like the media has told some people how to talk about R.Kelly, the justice system has told people also how to make moral judgments about R.Kelly. The only people who seem to be hurting Kels the most are the people who just exercise their limited time, pursuing other things worthy of value or interest.

                    • Me

                      “It’s about using Kelly as platform for addressing grievances that have little to do with him, and more to do with other things – mostly societal in nature. ”

                      This is the part that keeps stopping me in my tracks. There is no separation between R. Kelly and the grievances of the community. Yes he is the face of those grievances because he’s an egregious and widely identifiable culprit. He is the example being set for those who can relate through personal experience as well as those who can only imagine. He is a necessary part of the dialogue because until recently, it’s been too easy to dismiss the dialogue wholly. R. Kelly can’t be discussed in theory because he’s a literal problem who displays many of the telltale signs of the broader problems. Removing him from the discussion leaves us with random anecdotes that aren’t close enough to home for enough people to #giveadamn.

                    • Question

                      This isn’t necessarily true. If the chatter surrounding RK was overwhemlingly and consistently negative, sponsors wouldn’t want to be associated with him. The problem is that our chatter isn’t consistent or overwhelming – hence why SOME negative chatter stands to benefit him.

                      But what you’re advocating is that we silently discipline him which unfortunately doesn’t necessarily drive home the message of why he’s being punished in the first place.

                    • Wow, you’ve completely missed the point.

                      This isn’t a political issue…until you can see it from that perspective, you’re never going to get what I’m talking about.

                    • Question

                      What is your point in simple terms since most everyone, myself included, seems to be missing it?

                    • RagesAgainstMachines

                      His album has been his profile pic on Twitter for the longest. Before he posted that video under the cover of “support artists”. You count that as some kind of victory?

                    • Attention is always a win, that’s my point…but oh well, argument isn’t going to convince you…just pay attention over the next couple of weeks and see it for yourself.

                    • RagesAgainstMachines

                      I’ve been paying attention for years, I already know. Which is why I don’t understand your attempts to quiet me. How does that help you?

                    • Smh, we’re arguing:

                      But you keep saying I’m trying to quiet you or silence you.

                      You don’t know why, and have no interest in understanding why…thus why nothing has changed.

                    • RagesAgainstMachines

                      Your whole point is that I shouldn’t pay R. Kelly’s shenanigans any attention and instead worry about the media. You haven’t acknowledged black women or even my own personal experiences once. So help me out. What’s your point?

                    • “You haven’t acknowledged black women or even my own personal experiences once.”

                      I remember a couple years back, when I was working in a mental health hospital, we were restraining a young girl, who had been raped by her father. As one of the guys was grabbing unto her leg, she screamed, “That’s what my dad used to do to me.” So the guy released…and then he got kicked in the nose.

                      I bring that story up, which I’m sure you will hate and view as insensitive, to show that personal experience or identity doesn’t change the nature of a problem. When you brought up your personal experience, it was an ironically a way of telling me to shut up, because, a. I’m not a black woman, and b. I don’t have the personal experience to relate. It’s an evasion…it’s something you always run into when you’re giving therapy to people.

                      I’m not telling you to do anything, I’m just saying why I think what you’re saying is either wrong or counterproductive and giving my reasons why. That’s an argument. It’s not an act of oppression, unless you convince yourself that it is otherwise.

                    • RagesAgainstMachines

                      What does that singular experience have to do with R. Kelly being a perv? You’re right, it doesn’t change the nature of the problem, which is that R. Kelly is a child raping predator. Diverting attention and attempting to shut me down with condescension and insensitivity doesn’t prove you right, it just proves that you have no compassion. I get that people who work in your field must detach their emotions or get sucked under. The media is not to blame for R. Kelly being a perv, he is. I haven’t told you to shut up, but you’ve done so to me in a multitude of creative ways then turned yourself into the victim. I’m not your patient, R. Kelly is a perv and it’s not counterproductive to say so.

                    • RagesAgainstMachines

                      I’m assuming this is an argument you want to shut me down on. Which means you want me to be quiet. Your point isn’t clear. I shouldn’t be upset about R. Kelly, but instead the media?

                    • Nahknee_nanee

                      I don’t think he’s trying to silence you overall. Just about him, or any other public figure, for that matter. By placing attention (of any kind) on said public figure, you generate conversations about that person. As strongly as you feel negatively about him or someone else may be convinced to feel negatively about him, there could be just as many people who feel positively or can be persuaded to empathize with him. Thus creating more wealth and relevance for him.

                      For this particular individual it may be worth it to shut up talking about him, and get louder talking about the act. If one of the issues is that familial sexual abuse gets swept under the rug, attack that issue. If the issue is that he never had to face up to his crimes, attack that issue. In order to dead his career, we have to make him irrelevant. Don’t get me wrong, as a person he should be held accountable for his actions. Lots of jail time (by lots I mean life; because let’s be realistic about the psychological and physiological effects sexual abuse has on a young child) wouldn’t hurt either.

                    • RagesAgainstMachines

                      Telling me to ignore it is telling me not to talk about it which = silencing me. R. Kelly brought himself to our attention after two years of silence, and I want him to go crawl back into that hole he pulled himself out of. I would also like to be aware of the people who empathize with him because it identifies sick like minded people like him.

                      I don’t know why you think this creates wealth and relevance for him when he actually made a video begging people to buy his albums because his sales suck… not to mention the turning point of the interview is when the interviewer tries to get him to admit that his sales are likely down because of people’s perception of him.

                      But bottomline, you don’t get to tell me how to attack the issue. That’s just another creative way to try to silence me and those like me from beating back this rapist from the limelight he so desperately craves. And let’s be honest, if justice was served and he had gone to jail for his crimes, he wouldn’t be out here promoting his album anyway.

                    • Nahknee_nanee

                      I’m not telling you how to attack the issue. If I was telling you that, then you are essentially telling me the same thing by telling me that the way that I would handle the situation is silencing people like us. Do as you please. I just offered my opinion on the issue. I never said its the only way. Just a way.

                      This interview is making him relevant. It is making him money. It’s putting him back in the public eye. We are having a conversation about him. How is that not him being relevant? Many people are having conversations similar to this one, how is he not relevant?

                      Maybe we weren’t watching the same video, but this interview was bad from the getstart. The entire 4:04 of it.

                    • Question

                      The first thing they tell you about childhood discipline is to tell the child why they are being disciplined. The problem I have with the approach that you’re advocating is that its almost saying “we can’t talk about it, because that gives him power”. Is it not possible to talk about why he’s being disciplined and disciplining him?

                      The truth is, if we were really serious about disciplining R. Kelly, us talking about him wouldn’t matter because the chatter would be so overwhemlingly negative, the people who pay for negative press wouldn’t want to be associated with him. The problem is what you’re advocating doesn’t work because not of us agree that he deserves to be disciplined – hence why we’re having this discussion in the first place.

                    • DebKII

                      I agree. Not addressing something doesn’t make it go away. We saw that with our lack of reparations…

                    • Question

                      But all of this is an intellectual response. What you’re discounting is the emotional response that R. Kelly’s actions may conjure in people who are victims of the same type of abuse.

                      It is possible to call his deeds what they are (rape), acknowledge that we dont accept it, and therefore our response to him is to no longer support his career thereby silencing him (the media black out).

          • blogdiz

            Listen I get that you are an intellectual, but understand this the issue of sexual abuse can be visceral, gut wrenching ,personal and emotional

            Your attempts to intellectualize this issue (and condescendingly so ) coupled with your herosplaining i.e “ I helped/ observed people who were traumatized so I know more than people who were is just a whole lotta Honeybunches of Nope
            Please stop

            • I think the fact that you think I’m just trying to “intellectualize” this, shows that you’re just not listening to what I’m saying. When you’re more motivated by the rage, than the actual cure of it, then who is actually winning?

              • blogdiz

                Sigh In one ear and out the other

              • Question

                Bruh, you are trying to intellectualize this. You’re trying to get people to focus on broader reactions as a form of punishment and a message to R. Kelly because he’s in the midst of promoting a new album (remember, you brought that up?). That is an intellectual response, no?

          • LMNOP

            You’ve seen the devastation abuse causes up close. It is horrifying, anger is an appropriate reaction. And how much of that abuse occurred because we as a society can’t stand up and say this is horrible, we won’t tolerate it, we won’t look away, we won’t ignore it. And that’s on all of us. Children are vulnerable and helpless, and the more people saying or even screaming that abusing children is wrong the better.

            • Yes, I have, which is why it’s even more repulsive seeing people manipulate it.

              • LMNOP

                What do you mean? How are people manipulating it?

                Also, just being nosy, do you still work in mental health?

                • Nah I left, but I’ve talked about my experience in mental health for a long time on VSB. Me and esa have had lots of talks about mental health as well.

                  The R.Kelly thing is mostly being manipulated by the Huffington Post, and the proof of this is the conversations that are going on VSB at the moment. If I know certain people are going to have a strong reaction to something, and that it’s going to lead to clicks on my site, hashtags on twitter, and then I set it up, for maximum effect, before it even happens…is that not manipulation?

                  • Me

                    I feel like what you keep glossing over is the fact that we, the anti Kelly crowd, ALSO want people to have strong reactions to the audacity of this man asking the very community that he’s been victimizing to support his work. We ALSO want lots of foot traffic on any site that exposes his disgusting secret. How else do you expect to engender disgust if not by posting about the bile among us?

                    • So then methods don’t matter?

                      What’s the point of hating someone if you’re also benefiting them at the same time, by your actions?

                    • Me

                      What you’re saying amounts to the notion that R. Kelly would not have had sales or would not have made it all the way to 28,000 sales *if not for* the HuffPo interview. Essentially you’re stating that HuffPo created fans by discussing why fans aren’t buying his records. This logic just doesn’t fly.

                    • I’m not saying they created fans…I’m saying, they provided motivation for his fans and other people who like him to go buy his albums. They also provided motivation for people who need hatred to be motivated to take action…which is why he will ultimately benefit.

                      In a sense, Huffington Post did honor their side of the agreement, and also saved face as well.

                  • LMNOP

                    I remembered you talking about it but thought you were doing something else now, like I said, just being nosy. That sounds like it must have been an emotionally draining job.

                    I guess I understand what you’re saying about the manipulation, but why are people so quick to jump on this? S exual abuse is a topic that really deeply effects A LOT of people, but there are not many appropriate times to talk about it. It is important though, so the topic comes up and people have things that need to be said.

                    I’m not a mental health professional, but I’ve been on the other side of mental health and been heavily medicated and on a 72 hour hold after a suicide attempt, and I got to say hearing people speak clearly and forcefully against s exual violence does a he11 of a lot more for my mental health than depakote or seroquel ever did.

                    Also, you get how this stuff can make people literally crazy and you’re out here asking people to put away their feelings and try to be logical?

                    • The thing is that what you’re talking about happened on a person to person level – intimacy. This is completely different when you’re talking about the media. The media always rephrases these things as protagonists vs antagonists (and the convos that rotate around them assume the same approach), if you did that as an act of therapy, you would ensure that the person you’re dealing with maintains a victim-oriented mindset aka impotence.

                      When you’re dealing with someone who is stuck in an emotional loop due to a traumatic event, they’re reacting to things based off their fight or fright instinct. The purpose of therapy is to get them out of that loop and help them individually to think rationally, so they can gain back control of their mind and their body, which the trauma they had, convinced them that they had lost. You get nothing, outside of dependency, if you reinforce their fight and fright response…and that’s what the media is manipulating.

                    • esa

                      ~ S exual abuse is a topic that really deeply effects A LOT of people, but there are not many appropriate times to talk about it.

                      i’ve always been of the belief that you have to manifest your own needs or you might just miss out. and it is so fukkinnn hard talking about trauma, ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh. right. but, i took it on as a practice, first at my blog, then VSB, then ATRQ, and then i just figured out how to appropriately integrate it into conversations with people who could handle it.

                      it’s definitely been a grueling process but the practice of self mastery is incomparable. and i’m much obliged to see how many people gravitate towards truth, when it is handled with care. i remember after i had said some things about my experiences, a friend of mine took that on himself, and started speaking openly about abuse, and a few weeks later he told me he slept through the night for the first time without a nightmare. and that floored me, how much it was a matter of carefully, consciously, and consistently picking up the broken pieces in your bare hands .. i wish it weren’t this ghastly, but i grudgingly have to accept it is worth the pain.

                  • mssporadic

                    “The R.Kelly thing is mostly being manipulated by the Huffington Post, and the proof of this is the conversations that are going on VSB at the moment. If I know certain people are going to have a strong reaction to something, and that it’s going to lead to clicks on my site, hashtags on twitter, and then I set it up, for maximum effect, before it even happens…is that not manipulation?”

                    I don’t agree with you about therapy, but this right here is what got me about the interview. I’ve already discussed my feelings about R. Kelly, so I’m not going to repeat it. However, this interview is part manipulation for clickbait and attention. #AskRKelly on twitter was a complete disaster, so HP knew what was going to happen when they booked this interview. At this point, I’m not sure most of the media cares about his crimes or his music. He does these types of interviews and then people flip out either defending him or chastising those that do. Then someone like Damon comes along a right an article like this. Then we debate it all over again in the comments. Everything will quiet down until he’s booked for another award show or interview. It’s a cycle that all of us play a part in. I’m not a therapist or a journalist, so I don’t even know how to stop this. But it needs to stop.

                    • Lol…

                      Maybe they’ll listen to you then…

                    • DebKII

                      Did they know that was gonna happen with R. Kelly? I think many people have questions for R. Kelly like the ones she asked. Maybe they thought he’d answer like a grown man, maybe they thought he’d grown from the allegations years ago. Maybe they didn’t think he’d act like a giant d i c kwad and gave him a change to redeem a bit of respect.

                    • esa

                      ~ Did they know that was gonna happen with R. Kelly?

                      absolutely. you don’t produce a live video without knowing the score. this is moneyyy. i’m curious to know who is behind it, and how they sold it up the chain of command. folks rarely do exposes on the inner workings of the media but i really wouldn’t mind ..

                    • DebKII

                      i mean i work in the “inner workings of the media” people can only do this to themselves. The public has questions for R.Kelly, what HPost gets out of this is irrelevant. Its not their fault people wanna know stuff.

                      It is his fault that he handled it so crazy

                    • esa

                      A.J. Leibling said “Freedom of the press is only guaranteed to those who own one” and i like to keep this in mind. what HuffPo gets out of this intrigues me. i’m not looking for fault, just curious about the people on the other side of the camera.

                    • mssporadic

                      Who is “they”?

                      HP? Yeah, I don’t think that went into the decision to have him on there?

                      The handlers? R. Kelly has limited options to promote his record. They went where the interest lies. His previous history does not indicate that he would act appropriately. This whole post (and the previous ones) are that he acts anything but appropriately. HE IS A GIANT D ! CKWAD. That’s the whole point.

        • LMNOP

          Too many people have already suffered too much because people chose “not paying attention” as the way to deal with rapists and child molesters.

      • I fully agree. My larger point is that he exists as he is, not as we wish. I’m just pointing out the larger background around him.

        • RagesAgainstMachines

          The largest background around him is that he is a predator and rapist. Like if it was his Facebook profile, that would be his profile pic. This whole article pointed out the larger background around him.

        • But the problem is the fact that it’s a wild goose chase.

          I know a couple of white guys who were protesting the Star Wars movie because they viewed it as SJW propaganda. Now there was a lot of evidence that this wasn’t true, but the people couldn’t be convinced, because, that’s what they wanted to see. Hate aside, the thing that’s interesting is why, couldn’t they see that this wasn’t propaganda.

          There is no greater picture, no greater background with what happens in the media. You see what you want to see – just pay attention. So R.Kelly can have less than 40K album sales, and yet, you can see a community of 40+ million people enabling him. Now, there’s a ton of evidence that that isn’t true, but why can’t it be seen and factored it in when making judgments?

          The media (as a source or avenue of communication) presents things as symbols, not reality…but it feels like it is. It’s the same thing that happened with Donald Sterling. People wanted him to get fired, and felt, getting rid of him, was a big shot at white supremacy. It wasn’t. He made an easy 2 billion out of that, he’s going to win some money from the Owners as well. He re-hooked up with his black gf after the noise settled down, and he still walks around in L.A. He did lose his team, but anyone who paid attention to the NBA, knew he never gave a d@m about his team in the first place. And oh, he’s Jewish (which is white, but isn’t white supremacy)

      • will_the_thrill

        Well, negro libre, I’ve been goin to therapy for about a year now. I’m no expert, but I do know one thing. Avoidance is not a coping mechanism. I was a Kels fan for years after I knew how crazy this stuff was, and it wasn’t until VSB started putting him on front street that I realized, Fuuuuuuuu that schit. We gotta call people out, consistently, to educate. We have to educate. We have to confront ignorance. We can’t just let it ride and twerk to Fiesta, which is my jam.

        • The issue isn’t calling people out…the problem is the source, or why you’re calling them out in the first place.

          The main reason why people go to therapy is because they feel a sense of impotence, whether it’s due to trauma, stress, depression etc. And therapy ends when the client or victim regains a sense of power, that they can go into the world and exercise their own power in shaping their destiny. A bad or lame therapist, encourages dependence on himself/institution to “empower” them, which makes them dependent on the therapist or institution and makes them a permanent cash cow (this is status quo in America when it comes to mental health)

          Anytime the media creates a story, it’s not reality that people are responding to, but the story itself – because it’s not rooted in reality, it has no influence on society as a whole. People don’t see that, and thus confuse what they’re arguing about to be real. The reason why we’re talking about R.Kelly is because Huffington Post, purposely created a story out of nothing. They manipulated their audience and they manipulated Kels, but people hate Kels so much, that they don’t even ask themselves, “Why the heck did Huffington Post have a r@pist on in the first place…and then try to slickly turn it into some kind of ethical issue?”

          If you want to educate, if you want to call out, you don’t wait for the media to put the spotlight, so you know what to do next, that’s the point. Anything that goes through the media, not due to intent, but because of the nature in which communication is taking place, guarantees that it is only the person who owns the medium or at least understands it, that gains anything out of it.

          • DebKII

            Also that’s a dangerous way to talk about therapy and will discourage our community (who needs it the most) from going. Therapy isn’t just when you’re depressed or traumatized, a lot of people can’t even admit to those things. Therapy is healthcare, it’s a check up just like every other organ. Mental health is important and anyone can fall off track.

            • We disagree here.

              Therapy is something you go to get from someone else. It isn’t supposed to be encouraged, if you already have the tools to do it for yourself, or within your family, friends or local family. The people in the institutions dedicated to offering therapy do not have your best interests at heart, because their profession exists due to the inability of people to “know thyself” in our society.

              There are some good therapists out there (you’re better off talking to your pastor), but in most cases, you’re playing russian roulette, kind of when you call the police when a crime has occurred, just that instead of getting shot, you might just end up being dependent on drugs.

              So yeah, we as black people have a lot of problems, but not everything from afar is a solution.

              • Moon and the Sky

                Your perspective on therapy is part of why Black folks in particular have issues with dealing with mental health. A good therapist is trying to work themselves out of a job by helping you develop the skills you need to not need therapy. “Better off talking to your pastor.” To become a pastor I need $9.99 to pay for postage to file the forms with the IRS and desire to start a church. Plus, what happens if your pastor is homophobic, or lightweight misogynistic, or you want to discuss the sexual abuse that another member of the church committed against you(like a family member)? A culturally competent therapist requires years of training, and part of the benefit is that they are *supposed* to be objective, or at least less biased..they don’t know you so all that “context” garbage doesn’t mean anything(Oh you’ve been with Ray Ray since HS and love him and there was that time he brought you soup when you were sick after your cat died? Cool, he still cheats on you with your sister, and beats yo a$$ anytime the cowboys lose, not a good dude). Like ANY medical professional you should do your research and search until you find one that fits and not just go with the one that has the title.

                • 1. A good therapist is trying to work themselves out of a job by helping you develop the skills you need to not need therapy

                  2. A culturally competent therapist requires years of training, and part of the benefit is that they are *supposed* to be objective, or at least less biased..they don’t know you so all that “context” garbage doesn’t mean anything

                  Therapists have bills to pay…

                  Not only that, but they are pushed into quick sessions and giving out drugs, because of the nature of the healthcare industry. Plus an average therapist will charge you close to a $150/hr for an hour session. And oh, there’s the problem of transference, or the fact that the DSM isn’t really a “scientific book”…but hey, yeah, culturally competent therapist are out there somewhere I suppose.

                  • Me

                    Wait, so are you anti healthcare or just anti psychologists/psychiatrists? Because your first three sentences apply to doctors of every discipline.

                    • Doctor’s aren’t always therapists…although they happen to be more so than others.

                      The issue isn’t being anti-healthcare, it’s about being anti-dependence. A certain understanding of the industry and the limits that the industry puts on patients of any sort, need to be understood to make great health decisions. Relying on benevolence or expertise of these people is not a good idea…just as black people know about the field of law enforcement.

                    • Me

                      Ok. I don’t think anyone is advocating blind therapy though. I think it becomes dangerous to say that if you can manage life by yourself you *shouldn’t seek therapy because I see that along the same line as if you’re not sick, you shouldn’t see a doctor. I don’t think everyone needs ongoing therapy but I do think everyone should seek out mental health checkups in the same way everyone should seek routine physical checkups. Early detection plays a major part in managing dementia and other later in life mental illnesses.

                    • Umm, in this country most people don’t. Which is why prices are high in the health care industry, they know there is always going to be demand. It’s the same thing with your car, if you know your car well, you can sense even the smallest thing wrong, but if you don’t know your car, you’re depending on getting a good mechanic to address your problems.

                      We should push people to pay attention to their health, mental and physical, so they can be better judgers of who can help them and who can’t. That puts a check on doctors and therapists as well, and the institutions in place to take advantage of ignorance.

                  • NOT-retarded

                    You don’t understand that psychiatrists and psychologists are two different things and rarely one and the same. One prescribes drugs… the other is more of an academic and focuses on the person rather than treating the symptoms. At this point, your perspective on therapy has become irrelevant because you failed to acknowledge the difference, and your jaded outlook on healthcare carries a clear bias to which you appear unable to consider the opposition. *meh* I forget, this is a forum…. even the falsely informed get a voice.

                    • The fact is that psychologists and psychiatrists both work in mental health institutions, and often work interchangeably. Furthermore psychologists aren’t always research oriented, since there is both the psy-d and the phd approaches towards getting a doctorate. Furthermore, the laws in certain states allows psychologists to give medication and in some states people with master degrees in social work or psychological fields can also be licensed to give out medication as well. This has more to do with reducing costs than anything else.

                      So trust, you have the wrong impression, on who you think is the wrongly informed. As I said before, these institutions do not work the way you think they do, and are often told, and if you do not pay attention to them, or the way legislation, policy and business practices affect these industries, you will be in for a huge surprise when you have to come and deal with them.

                    • NOT-retarded

                      You’re speaking in semantics. Psychologists who specifically obtained a masters in CLINICAL psychopharmacology (so they studied an area previously confined within the psychiatric field) may prescribe drugs… but even then, ONLY in certain states. You made a generalized statement before, therefore, I responded with a generalized statement. I was fully aware of the exceptions to the rule. I also stated that psychologists are more or less academics because through either path, whether the heavily research oriented PhD or the clinical Psy.D, both spend an extensive amount of time in the educational and informational side of the field, whereas the psychiatry is geared more for treating the physical side of mental disease.

                      I’ve actually got more than enough insight into how these institutions work as I have family and close friends that currently work in both clinical psychology, academia, AND psychiatry, as well as those in the public school system and counseling programs for drug abusers and victims of domestic abuse. I’ve heard it all.

                      You mentioned that you had 5 years of experience counseling…. might I ask for your credentials? (Ba in counseling, family counseling certificate, and probably one other right?). I only ask because it sounds like you no longer work in the field, and I wonder if your experience is limited to the location where you provided your services. I definitely don’t want to get into a pissing contest….but I saw a lot of replies to you that seemed more emotionally driven than informative or inquisitive, and I felt the urge to engage you in a different manner.

                      You had VERY strong opinions to offer a lot of the people in response to their comments, so I just want to know from where a lot of the angst, for lack of a better work, is derived.

                    • Lol, but this is kind of going in that direction of a pissing contest.

                      But my arguments aren’t really based on credentials as much as the actual work and product of it in the field, or in this case, the essence of working in direct care -. I was initially training to go into psychiatry (med-school + psychology) as a field and was a med student, before i had a change of heart working after working three different institutions (two milieu oriented and one behavioral oriented) and seeing the same reoccurring issues in the industry.

                      It had nothing to do with any of the clients or even most of the workers, but it was what I learned in IT that helped me understand what was wrong in the field of mental health and why the byproduct was more likely to produce institutionalization rather than cures – I don’t think I would have understood it, without understanding IT. It had to do with systems and social engineering much more than specialization within the field, and how that plays a role in outcomes when designing systems. Thus why my new job is in reforming healthcare.

                      It’s why I the core of my arguments against the mental health institution and health care institutions is people need to understand how these institutions and how they operate based on forces like economics, policy, pharmacy and the rest, because they are all intertwined. And you don’t just get a clear picture from the outside looking in.

                    • NOT-retarded

                      Awesome. And thanks for the explanation. I realized that I probably needed to take a step back and ask some questions rather than formulate my opinion based on a few comments. I understand what you’re saying, and I might be inclined to agree with most of it had I been personally on the inside. I can only ascertain what I am given second hand… so their take or views clearly shaped my ideas of the system as well. Still, I try to be realistic and validate anything I hear rather than take it as the truth and run with it.

                      With that said, you’re working in reform… so what do you think of the current state and where it’s headed? There are a lot of proponents for our current healthcare reform plan who still have doubts (myself being one of them… just because I feel there’s too much opposition from high up to let things work). I also think the term “affordable” was a misnomer because AVAILABLE would have been more accurate considering how many were flat out denied coverage at one point. Pre-existing conditions be damned, at least they can get coverage, albeit ungodly price. Personally, I my insurance rose substantially, and I haven’t needed to go to a doctor since I finished playing college athletics. I had a brief workup for a new life insurance policy this year and my blood work and vitals were all as good as when I was playing sports competitively almost 9 years ago. People like me are paying for something we don’t use…and it sucks, but it’s the law, so I comply.

                      Are you restricted solely to mental health fields or overall? And what sort of role are you playing in the grand scheme? Took this off topic, obviously, but since I have your ear…. why not?

                    • I can’t really talk much about the work I’m currently doing…legal stuff, but basically, we’re trying to reduce the cost of healthcare on companies. But basically, it has to do with the interconnectedness of stress with most modern western health problems.

                      Much of the socialized medicine programs in the rest of the world are subsidized by the United States. The pharmaceutical companies create drugs and then they get sold to other countries for pennies on the dollar. However, to make up for advertising, marketing and R&D cost (advertising alone, is very much like Hollywood’s budget), someone has to foot the bill. Our government decided to deal with this problem, by placing the burden of providing healthcare on companies, and thus many companies almost pay more in healthcare costs than they pay in wages per month. The other side effect of this, is that it puts limitations on small business, because once they make over a certain amount of money, they have to pay the healthcare costs…in other words less competition.

                      This is also why socialized medicine can’t happen in America, because too many people benefit, not just here, but elsewhere. If America had socialized medicine, who then would make up for the discounted prices in the third world countries for the same drugs? Furthermore, the issue is that there are certain markets that greatly benefit from these price increases (you have the usual suspects: the Health Insurance industry, but you also have the AMA as well, which is probably the most powerful union in America), and not to mention the huge amounts of money in medical tourism…thus the entanglement of interests, makes most attempts at reform nothing more than just rhetoric.

                      Thus the only way to reform, is to find a way to focus in on certain methodologies of dealing with healthcare problems, and the only way to do that is to appeal to the big corporations, and appeal to their interest to save money.

                    • Deeds

                      “Much of the socialized medicine programs in the rest of the world are subsidized by the United States.”

                      Whoa…say what now! You mean to tell me that other citizens in other countries are able to get access to “free” healthcare bc of the US, but not citizens in the US.

                    • It’s economics.

                      One of my family friends was working with a team at MIT that had just built a new machine that could greatly improve the chances of detecting cancer. The machine cost a $100 million. If it’s to be used by other hospitals, the people who initially built it are going to have to be paid somehow.

                      If you have free health care, and want everyone to have access to this new $100 million product, someone is going to have to foot the bill. Most of healthcare rotates around this, and since governments guarantee that healthcare industries will a. stay in business, and continue to get money and financing, you end up with the same problem with university education – no incentive to come up with efficient ways to reduce cost.

                      Now expand that in scope to the entire world, and then you have the richest country with many of the richest corporations (which if you’ve heard of sovereign wealth funds, are heavily invested in American corporations, sometimes even more than hedge funds), eventually funding the bill.

              • DebKII

                Yea we def disagree if you think you’re better off talking to your pastor. Pastors have only helped my family and friends stay in the closet or in harmful relationships…not exactly growth.

                • I’m sure that does happen. I’m not the most religious of people.

                  It’s just that you’re more likely to know something about your pastor compared to your therapist, at first. Many people seek out therapists, as another poster said, because they are “supposed” to be objective. That person doesn’t understand that a person whose hero in therapy is Karen Horney is going to offer them a completely different kind of therapy than someone whose hero was Sigmund Freud or Carl Jung…all of whom are psychoanalysts.

                  The reoccurring theme, especially in things that have to do with health, it’s in your interest to be greatly be informed before you go out seeking assistance. http://www.bu.edu/bostonia/web/overdiagnosis/

                  • DebKII

                    Lord. Yes, I will first check that my therapist has a degree from this century.
                    I tend to think science is medically advancing past those theories from last century, which is why the accredited therapist I check up with has a degree from a respected college. I like smart people, I trust smart people.

                    My pastor has other strengths, in theology. I go to specialists for things they specialize in…

                    • PrettyGeekz

                      Funny enough, my minister just spoke on this on Sunday. I’m paraphrasing but he basically said I could give you help spiritually, but sometimes you need to go to a professional. Spiritual help doesn’t solve everything.

                    • DebKII

                      You have a SMART preacher! is he in NYC? lol i wanna go

      • Kemse

        Talking about R. does give him traffic but it also keeps a common destructive pervasive problem at the forefront of people’s minds. You stop talking about him and that tangential and very necessary conversation likely dies too. I’m not saying that’s right but that’s been my experience. He is a prolific vehicle for a major problem….of course he’s going to come up.

        What’s the solution for that quandary? This problem needs to stay in conversation so that people remain engaged amd confronted with it. I’m trying to envision these conversations consistently coming up without the vehicle of a person perpetrating the problem and it’s hard to visualize.

        • But you’re phrasing this as a political issue…which is one of the things I’m trying to point out.

          The fact is look around the blog, look around VSB, the purpose of a conversation, especially of this kind, is to persuade people to your side of the argument. The fact is if you’re on VSB, you probably already think R.Kelly is a POS. Those who need to be conversed with, who need to be challenged, are those who aren’t here…and who is talking to them?

          It’s the people you disagree with who you have to converse with, when things are political, you don’t talk to them, you talk to those who already believe in what you’re saying, while trying to deny power to your opponents because you want to deny them the power to oppress you.

          • Kemse

            VSB is not the only online community talking about R. And if, in these online communities, ALL the voices engaging in conversation were in agreement, unequivocally, then the topic would not keep coming up.

            These articles are not just reaching those who agree, it’s drawing out those who disagree (Pro-kellers – PKs). Granted, PKs seem to be getting more and more sparse on every new article, but they’re still out here, illustrating in disturbing clarity the dysfunctional mental acrobatics they go through to defend this POS. It’s taken several exposures but I’m starting to see comments from former Pro-kellers along the sentiments of “I do love his music…but this is phucked up.” I think that’s the effect of the repeated exposure. They have to keep getting confronted with it.

            And this comes back to my question: how do the conversations about the myriad of problems that allow these situations to continue stay on the radar without a vehicle? I get and agree with what you’re saying about how the audience, for or against him, is a benefit for him. That’s frustrating. But if it’s not him there would be someone else. My experience has been that the spotlight has to shine on a perpetrator for the conversations to keep happening.

            If we can keep dialogue about the issues going without an example and get the same shift that some (a paltry some) former Pro-kellers are now making, that would be awesome.

        • Nahknee_nanee

          If we don’t “know” the people perpetrating the problem does the problem along with its victims disappear? Are they ( the problem and victims) not enough to keep the conversation relevant?

          • Kemse

            Unfortunately that’s all I’ve observed. The damage the victims suffer with, for the general public, is not worth the continued engagement in the issues. We have to have a villain, some figure to hate and defeat or see brought to justice. That seems to be the priority, on a large scale.

        • esa

          ~ What’s the solution for that quandary? This problem needs to stay in
          conversation so that people remain engaged amd confronted with it.

          political campaigns through media activism. but organized around a specific goal to be achieved, rather than an “awareness campaign” .. think about ACT UP and how they forced the government to deal with AIDS. they used the media as their tool, but they were centered around clear and achievable gains.

      • esa

        ~ But then again that’s how the media, either social or mainstream works: if you care, someone is cashing in.

        but this is capitalism. and that’s why it’s long been held that the only bad press is no press at all.

        ~ Or should people be expected to stop using Apple and Android devices because they are both funded by child and slave labor?

        i used to watch 60 Minutes growing up, word to Ed Bradley, and i would like to believe that the media could be a tool of activism. that said, perhaps the game has changed, or maybe it never is what it appeared t be. but i do think there’s great power in ruling the court of public opinion.

        • Capitalism – yes and no. Trade predates capitalism, just as black markets do.

          This has more to do with the Marshall Mcluhan insight that “medium is the massage.” How the message is delivered, determines how it’s reacted to.

          • esa

            i’m talking about media as an act of capitalism. i suppose it could be an act of trade or black market work. but in reference to the idea that attention is profitable, i’m saying that’s how what finances the machine across the board.

            ~ This has more to do with the Marshall Mcluhan insight that “medium is the massage.”

            do go on. i’m not clear how that relates to “turn off the machine” ?

            • Marshall McLuhan argues that technologies — from clothing to the wheel to the book, and beyond — are the messages themselves, not the content of the medium. In essence, The Medium is the Massage is a graphical and creative representation of his “medium is the message” thesis seen in Understanding Media.

              By playing on words and utilizing the term “massage,” McLuhan is suggesting that modern audiences have found current media to be soothing, enjoyable, and relaxing; however, the pleasure we find in new media is deceiving, as the changes between society and technology are incongruent and are perpetuating an Age of Anxiety.

              All media work us over completely. They are so pervasive in their personal, political, economic, aesthetic, psychological, moral, ethical, and social consequences that they leave no part of us untouched, unaffected, unaltered. (p. 26)

              The Medium is the Massage demonstrates how modern media are extensions of human senses; they ground us in physicality, but expand our ability to perceive our world to an extent that would be impossible without the media. These extensions of perception contribute to McLuhan’s theory of the Global Village, which would bring humanity full circle to an industrial analogue of tribal mentality.


              • esa

                (smile) i know his work, i mean, how are you referencing this here ?

                • Lol, just the wiki page…but you already kind of know what I’m talking about. You can only operate outside the medium if you don’t want to fall into the traps that are part of it’s entire existence.

                  • esa

                    fair enough. that said i feel like there’s nowhere to go with this, and maybe that’s the fukkinn point. i gotta give it up to capitalism. it’s an instrument of chaos.

    • LeeLee

      “All because we’re so much social animals that we’d rather suffer together than be right and risk being alone.”

      This is sadly true. It sounds like behavior attributed to low-self esteem teenagers, but I see it in grown adults at work, in social settings, every day.

  • He clearly has no understanding of how disgusting he is or he would never do an interview again.

  • Lola

    all this.
    all day.

  • Julian Green

    The fact that R.Kelly can still have a public life and a career disturbs me on a deep level. Especially because I’m almost positive that the reason nobody has got this n*gga out the paint is due to who his victims were. Had he been out molesting anything other than poor girls of color- had even ONE of his victims been White- he’d never be on HuffPost Live. He’d be sitting in a cell with Jared.

    • DebKII

      Not many cape for little black girls, we barely cape for ourselves :(

      • cakes_and_pies

        I was part of a group that was making light of his situation. They were joking about how they were too old for R-uh. That hurt my heart and made me realize we don’t protect our Black girls.

    • NOLA_Shawn

      As a victim of abuse, the blatant dismissal of his crimes by our community is sickening. I can’t even hear his voice because my stomach turns. I turn the station when he comes on the radio. My husband jokes that I have been staging a one women protest for 20 years. IMO all sexual predators should be deaded because that’s a crime that should never happen! Fuck R. Kelly! ??????

      • elle

        It’s not a one-woman protest. I NEVER listen to R. Kelly.

  • AlexandriaShiryl AKA#47Records


    • DebKII

      lmao these CAPS

      • miss t-lee

        Big mad.

        • PrettyGeekz

          not yet.

          • miss t-lee


      • Jasmine

        Dear Lord that was intense.

        • DebKII

          call her.

          • Jasmine

            Her stare terrifies me and all these caps. If she talks as loud as she types, I’m not sure if I’ll have hearing after that conversation.

          • PrettyGeekz

            Someone should and report back the findings lol

            • Val


              • PrettyGeekz

                Haha. ijs, Val.

      • Ha! I just had a visual of the dude from the video singing “Who you fitna try? I bet it ain’t me, who b i t c h it ain’t me–CAPS CAPS CAPS!”

        • StillSuga

          I was about to go look for this, lmao!

        • Siante
    • Guest

      Gets popcorn….

    • PrettyGeekz

      The number though.

    • Val

      They’re missing you over at Bossip. Thanks for stopping by.

    • KNeale

      But ize confused doe. They do write about this stuff here. This isn’t a diary entry made public. Its a blog that has hundreds of articles and been around for years. So go read some of the other articles since you think they need to diversify topics and do something positive. I bet there is an article about everything you listed. Also, I weep for you my friend. He can buy me? Well since he rich I guess everybody should shut the f*** up then.

      And I implore you to stop listening to and buying from and watching all the people who you know for certain are abusers. I’m not sure what your point was. “Did you account for…” Would that have changed the calculation. Is the answer still not….STOP supporting abusers. Would the accounting of all the football players change that answer? If so then do that math for us please. Account for them and tell us what changes.

    • Michele Gilliam

      I tried to read this but I felt myself getting a seizure. Can I get the low-caps, Cliffnotes version?

      • PDL – Cape Girl


      • Nahknee_nanee

        My heart rate rose.a little at the mere sight of it.

    • Jaris Cole

      Looks like Meek Mill has been making the rounds again…

    • LMNOP

      Helpful hint: If you push the Caps Lock key again, it should go back to normal.

      The more you know.

    • NonyaB

      Ahahahaha!!! Stahp punishing your caps lock key, foo. And you realize the fastest way to make sure most people won’t read all of your comment is to blind them with all caps?

  • I’m glad this post exists and there’s a link to the video. Not gonna lie, I have some Kells tracks that I really dig and as I enjoyed them, I would disassociate the allegations from my ability to enjoy said songs b/c he never did time.

    But the allegations and his rotten spirit are enough. He isn’t worthy of any pass.

    The universe will balance itself and R. Kelly will get his comeuppance.

  • 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.

    But, maybe you should consider the fact, that these conversations are the reason why Kels still has a career?

    If you look at Martin Shkreli, he’s managed to acquire about 30K followers in over two months, not because he’s beloved by any means, but because the hatred towards him is so strong, that his name is always around. Fact is that haters have a way of indirectly “creating Stans” (who all things considered were probably to preoccupied with other ish to care, but since someone or some group they hated were making a political argument, they chose the exact opposite side, mostly out of spite), and in the media, as with all forms of publicity, attention is the form of currency: hate brings more attention than love.

    I don’t pay attention to R.Kelly. But simply by having this convo, he’s getting attention, hits, google searches, website visits, hashtags. Hit, after hit, after hit…and in social media, that all means $$$. It’s why the media loves Trump, and hopes to God he becomes president; rating would skyrocket, and MSNBC and CNN could actually reverse the drop in ratings trends that occurred and continues to occur during the Obama presidency.

    “As Jonah Peretti, the virality expert behind the founding of both the Huf?ngton Post and BuzzFeed believes, “if something is a total bummer, people don’t share it.” A quick hint on what spreads: a Wharton School study on which New York Times articles spread the most concluded—“the most powerful predictor of virality is how much anger an article evokes.” Make people angry. It works. Better, make them angry and turned on. Why else do you think I run ads of naked American Apparel models all over conservative blogs?”

    -Ryan Holiday “Trust Me, I’m Lying”

    • Polarization sells a lot. The bland and acceptable stands no chance against anything that pisses people off. By the way, love that book by Ryan Holiday.

      • Polarization sells, because the people who are polarized don’t care that they are being polarized. They care more about their hatred than achieving their goals. I saw it during administering therapy and saw that it’s not an easy thing to overcome (you’ll get attacked for it), but it has to be overcome, and is the only way out.

        That being said, we’re a country filled with people who hate each other, and the media exploits it for ratings, and people who have a talent for it can always manipulate it, even under the worse circumstances. Ryan Holiday points that out, which is why he even admitted in the quote that he purposely puts “indecent” pics of women on conservative sites, because to the conservatives: “indecent” = “liberal.” When you have a country or a people who react in such a way, it is inevitable that nothing of political significance (as in policy) will be accomplished.

    • AlwaysCC

      i’m not even going to watch the video of the interview because of this. i didn’t want to comment on this post because of this (but i’d rather comment than do my work so…)

      • You can’t win a battle if you’re playing by the rules of someone else.

  • miss t-lee

    Got a bit too hot in the kitchen for him, today.

  • will_the_thrill

    R. Kelly’s answer was spot on, yet so problematic in its implications. He has been extremely successful in spite of all the shtick he’s done. How many 50-year old R&B singers sell like him? I live I such a Black, liberal, feminist, pro-Bernie enclave, that I forget how jaded so much of our community actually is. This dude is touring across the world, y’all.

    • And that encapsulates my comment before. A large chunk of the world operates like this.

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