R. Kelly, The Pied Piper Of Prison, Is Dividing The Black Community

R. Kelly, The Pied Piper Of Prison, Is Dividing The Black Community

No matter how good a person's discography may be, it doesn't mean they shouldn't be condemned for their actions.

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Warning: This article deals with topics of rape, abuse, and assault.

On January 3, Lifetime presented the first episode in the "Surviving R. Kelly" series. The six-episode documentary-series featured interviews from those who were affected by Kelly's predatory behavior and those who worked closely with him in the music industry.

After the series aired, many women began to go on Twitter and discuss how they too were affected by men who raped, abused and preyed on them at a young age. The tale of Robert Kelly is a dark one and features some graphic and gut-wrenching things that most of the community knows about. It's just with this docu-series, we were finally able to hear and see the victims who were preyed upon.

When the series finished, it seemed as if the underbelly of social media and turned over.

Revealing the deep and chilling opinions of many people. Many people simply don't believe the 20 or so women who came on national television to discuss how they were victimized. Most of the women who were preyed on were in their late teens, the youngest being around fourteen when she encountered Kelly.

As the Black community struggled to make sense of these allegations, many women believed the victims while some couldn't see fathom it. People were throwing around the idea that these women had teamed up to bring R. Kelly down and destroy his legacy but let's be honest here. How important is R. Kelly's legacy to the black community?

Is his discography more important than the livelihoods of brown and black girls? Is his music so important that we, as a community, are just going to glaze over the fact that he married a 15-year-old Aaliyah or that he was caught having sex with a 14-year-old on tape and it was distributed throughout hoods all across America?

How badly do people want this man to be innocent just so they can enjoy his music and not feel like they're being complicit with his crimes?

It shouldn't take a six-part doc-series for us to believe a woman when she says she's been raped, assaulted and/or harassed. It shouldn't take a national event for us to finally consider the fact that maybe this man is actually bad. It should not take this much for the world to believe Black women when we come out and say something has happened to us.

The world watched as the Black community divided into those who believed the victims and those who didn't and for those who didn't, we're taking notice. For those who went on Facebook and publicly stood by R. Kelly, a man who doesn't even know about your existence, you should re-evaluate your stance.

Because once you publicly announced your support despite all the evidence, people took notice.

So please, do not feel left out if a friend, family member and/or co-worker is harassed and they do not confide in you. Because they're going to remember that post, that tweet, that reply.

As the aftermath unfolds, many men feel as if they now have to be on edge. So for the Black men, you shouldn't be on edge if you haven't done anything. You shouldn't be on edge if you haven't been complicit. It's imperative that as a community we have to shoot down the "Well, what about... ?" "Well, what about so-and-so?" "Well, what about [this white man who did the same thing here] he did the same thing! He should have a docu-series!"

Don't worry, the day is coming where everything will come to light.

It started with the movie industry, the news industry, and now it's in the music industry and for those who feel like we'll have to start the entire entertainment industry over because of this? Good. It's time we re-evaluated what we hold dear and true in our lives and it's time we start protecting Black women before things happen, not after.

So, for those who feel as if that series was all for a show, then I'm sorry. I'm sorry you don't get the bigger picture yet and you haven't realized how this is going to affect us for generations.

I'm sorry nobody can change your mind yet.

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Allegations Of Domestic Abuse Against Johnny Depp Turn Out To Be False

Johnny Depp was framed and it turns out that his now ex-wife was actually the abuser, not the other way around.

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You might have heard last year that Amber Heard, leading female actress in "Aquaman," made allegations over domestic abuse against her then-husband, Johnny Depp. This caused Twitter to "cancel" Johnny Depp, compelling people to boycott his movies, including the latest film from the Harry Potter universe, "Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them." He was even dropped from the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise following those allegations.

Recently, however, Johnny Depp has filed a lawsuit against Heard for a whopping 50 million dollars on the counts that the abuse allegations she made were false. In addition, an overwhelming amount of evidence has been presented, including 87 surveillance tapes and 17 sworn eyewitness statements, showing that Heard was the perpetrator of the abuse, not Depp. She even became a "darling of the MeToo movement", a Human Rights Champion of the United Nations Human Rights Office, was appointed ambassador on women's rights at the American Civil Liberties Union, and was hired by L'Oreal Paris as its global spokesperson, as a result of the false allegations, according to the lawsuit from Depp's legal team. Reports say that she even confessed that they were a hoax as well.

It is truly a shame, and I am utterly disgusted at the level of sheer hypocrisy being demonstrated here. Imagine trying to propel your career based upon a mountain of lies and not only that, lies about the abuse that you committed. I honestly don't know how Heard can live with herself, having knowingly ruined someone's life by spreading lies, let alone causing a person such high levels of physical harm on multiple occasions (and on top of that her performance in "Aquaman" was EXTREMELY subpar). What Amber Heard did is just going to be used in favor of those who oppose the MeToo movement, because now there is clear evidence of a female celebrity lying about the abuse. Heard's lies could be used to discredit every woman telling the truth, and especially now we want to and SHOULD believe women. Instead of making things better for women, she has just magnified the damage and has made it increasingly difficult for women in the future to report their abuse because now there will be more speculation.

However, I do also think that it is crucial to think about the double standards we often hold here. Just because women tend to be the victims of abuse more than men does not mean that men do not also suffer abuse. Women should not be blindly believed on every occasion because of that statistic as well. We want so desperately to believe women, yet when Amber Heard claimed to have been abused she was believed without intense further investigations and even put on pedestals for her bravery, despite the fact that Depp's ex-wives had never suffered abuse by him. Perhaps every claim of abuse really should be investigated equally, regardless of the gender of the victim.

I am extremely glad that Johnny Depp was not the abuser because I have always admired his incredible acting and talent. I am glad that my impression of him can remain as good as it was before and that I can give him my full respect again. However, Amber Heard must be treated the same way Depp was when he was accused - full "cancellation."

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You Don't Get To Tell Me To 'Get Over' Being Sexual Assaulted

What you should, and shouldn't say when your friend says they were sexually assaulted.

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The society we live in today, as unfortunate as it is. Is a rape culture society. A society where kids and adults use the word "rape" jokingly and don't take the topic seriously. One in four women and one and six men are sexually assaulted by the time their 18 years old. What many people don't understand, is just how hard it is to open up about it. When someone does, you may wonder, What do you do? How do you help? What do you say?

There will always be things that survivors are, or are not comfortable opening up about. Regardless, to anyone, there will always be "harmless" comments that are actually hurting these survivors.

I'll be the first to admit, I was that girl. When I was 16 years old. I never told my mother. After numerous people told me, "It was probably your fault," "You deserved it," "You're probably lying," you tend to go numb. Although I am stronger now and made it a platform to educate and help others-many others cannot say the same, and will be affected by it for their entire lives.

So, please, when your friend, neighbor, roommate, classmate or anyone else opens up to you about her assault, please, watch what you say.

1. Believe them.

Only 3% of rape accusations are fake according to some data. With courage and pride, it takes a lot to tell someone about a sexual assault or abuse — please. Believe the person.

2.Don't criticize the actions leading up to the assault.

Don't ask what they were wearing. Don't ask who it was. Don't judge them.

3. "You should have reported it!"

Sixty-eight percent of rapes go unreported according to some studies. Even when reported, it is rare that the rapist will serve prison time. For many, whether it be due to knowing therapist or not wanting to harm another person, after an assault, you're likely not.

4. Don't tell us to get over it-

Everyone heals differently. My healing process may be a week or two, yours may be a day, and that girls' from bio could be two years. Trauma heals differently. Let everyone heal how they need to.

5. Don't compare stories.

"At least you weren't raped at a party, it was your boyfriend/friend." Absolutely not. It's a given, don't be a bitch and one-up someone opening up to you.

6. Don't ask why I'm so "OK talking about it."

Again, everyone is different. One person's ability to calmly discuss and help others is not going to be everyone's case. Many will not heal quickly, some ever.

7. Don't ask me why I've put off hanging out with you for awhile.

I may have healed, and I may be okay and have had relationships since. But, that doesn't mean I won't be hesitant.

8. Don't catcall me.

This is traumatic for anyone. But for survivors who may have been raped or assaulted at a party or bar, this could bring up memories.

9. You were married/dating, it doesn't count.

It just doesn't work that way. Rape is rape. In any situation.

10. "You've done bad things too"

Yeah, you're right. I have. But nothing even close to sexually assaulting someone.

11. "You've slept with other people though? It must not be that bad..."

You have to heal, you're going to end up fine. This one is just bitchy.


So, what can you say? How can you help? It's easy. Here are some things you can, and frankly should say to a survivor

"This wasn't your fault."
"I believe you."
"What do you need? How can I help?"
"You can talk to me when you're ready"

Overall, nothing can help someone heal at a faster pace. Again, everyone is different. While some girls may never shed a tear about it and use their story to help others, some may never fully heal. So understand that there isn't a magic fix. Support from someone they know is there for them could be the best thing at this moment. Finally, remember that no matter how terrible you feel about it, just know the individual that experienced it feels much worse.

If you or someone you know is or has been affected by sexual abuse or assault and need help, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.

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