R. Kelly: Sexual Predator or Scapegoat?


I anticipate that this post will be unpopular. I acknowledge the contention that my assertions will certainly prompt and welcome the scathing comments in the section below. With that being said, I still very must feel that my perspective is worthy of articulation and exposure to those that care to listen.

Singer and R&B legend R.Kelly made headlines this week for allegedly assembling a sex cult consisting of underaged girls. These allegations bear a disturbing connection to R. Kelly’s previous trouble with the law, portraying Kelly as a an OJ-like figure–a haughty  recidivist who finagled through the loopholes of the American legal system.
I feel obliged to state that I have no respect for R. Kelly as a man. I do however, respect his talent. I perceive the ‘Pied Piper’ as an enslaved black who used America’s need to hyper sexualize the black man as a means to foment his career. While Kelly defiantly made family friendly songs like “Step in The Name of Love” and inspirational songs like “I Believe I Can Fly” and “The World’s Greatest” most of Kelly’s hits are sexualized slow jams to which I’m sure proved background music to the conception of many post millennials. His sexualized image fueled a career spanning over two decades with a plethora of adoring black female fans.

These fans remained loyal to Kelly even after a video surfaced of the singer issuing a golden shower to a then-fifteen year old girl. The charges were eventually dropped and buried in the past of a musician who was still able to maintain his mogul stature despite dramatic changes in the music industry.
While my argument is not to pardon R. Kelly from blame, it is that he is not the primary cause of the hyper-sexualized black female body that faces violation without consequence. R. Kelly was relieved of any legal responsibility in previous allegations of sexually violating a black female teen simply because the black female body bears no significance to the Western world outside of monetary gain. Consider how quickly the western world kills and incarcerates the black body.  The reason why Kelly was not susceptible to these consequences is not because of his riches, but because his “crimes” served an integral purpose in maintaining white supremacy. Moreover, the world was and is more interested in portraying Kelly and his victim as sexual beasts than to upholding the integrity of those they do not see as a human let alone bearing the presumed innocence of femininity or childhood.
To the western gaze, the hyper sexuality of the young black female body violently seduces Kelly. To this same gaze, Kelly is a sexualized being unable to resist the callings of his bestial urges. Together, these caricatured images of black sexuality function assemble the historical narrative of blacks as primitive and underdeveloped beings worthy of the death and incarceration that befalls them.


Kelly, a melanated individual who believes his conventional success consummates his transition to whiteness, feels as entitled to young bodies as the white man did and does to young black females. Kelly, is a symbol of what happens when a morally impoverished black youth offsets a journey to acquire physical wealth and not a collective consciousness. As members of an oppressed collective, it is essential that we proceed with consciousness. To proceed without it, is to inevitably mirror our oppressors in thought and action.

There is also a large possibility that this ordeal is entirely fictional, and yet another means to lynch a black man by the rope of hyper sexuality. But the verity of these accusations does little to supersede its societal function. The scenario depicts how the black man and women are commonly pitted against one another and how the black male is villanized for implementing what he was nurtured to idolize—white male ideology.

The teachings of white supremacy are second nature to anyone not possessing a conscious gaze. I read The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, a few years back and was mortified at what Pecola’s father does to her on the kitchen floor. I resented Morrison for years, holding her in contempt for depicting the black man as indifferently robbing his child of her innocence.

It took me several strides into consciousness to realize that the father was a man systemized and nurtured to become an animal, a subjugate human who performs the dirty work of his master in his oppressed state. This is not an excuse, as his actions are detestable and hard to read, yet even more difficult to process as a factual fate rendered to so many blacks throughout the diaspora silent in the shame of their systemic violation.


Kelly symbolically stands in the same image of this fictional black man who encompasses the factual narrative of so many other black males castrated by earthly demons who program the black body to inflict white evil onto their own people.

Kelly’s actions function to lure black women from blackness into the arms of feminism–yet example of society’s dedication to turning racist issues into sexist issues to further the cyclical disenfranchisement of blacks by hurling our struggle into oblivion. A second offense by a black praised for his prodigious talent, serves another blow to our collective identity alongside similar allegations afforded to other black greats like the late Michael Jackson, Bill Cosby, Kobe Bryant, amongst others. These allegations function to fuel white esteem and denigrate black collective worth in staining the black psyche with portraits of themselves that seemingly lack a moral compass.

So, to those quick to compartmentalize a black man as a sexual villain— I would like to redirect your attention to the words of the late and great Malcolm X:

“If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”

To what contempt will you hold a system that upholds the systemic soiling of black female bodies?

To reiterate I am in no way excusing Kelly, but evoking a sense of nationalism to assert that we as a collective have been wronged by a system that lures us to incessantly blame ourselves but seldom confront the  true villain and sole benefactor of global racism.

In closing, the power of blackness lies largely in realizing if and when we are being played. So while we may not be playing chess, our systemized state as blacks bears a close resemblance to a king being used to seize the most powerful piece of the game–his queen.

Article by CC Saunders

21 thoughts on “R. Kelly: Sexual Predator or Scapegoat?

  1. Hmmmm…..

    It would seem that every time a black man commits a heinous crime against a black woman, white supremacy is *always* the culprit.

    How about we hold these rapists and women beaters accountable for their own actions and accept the harsh fact that there are black males in the black community that simply despise black women?

    As I grow Spiritually, I accept things that were previously unacceptable to me. It’s painful but a necessary path I’ve walked. Nice article by the way, but it’s time to see things as they are.

    • @ diaryofanegress
      I strongly agree with your statement, every time black women are being attack by black men in our community it goes unnoticed. Furthermore, the black woman is always blame for the reason why she’s being sexual or physical abuse. I do have sympathy for R.Kelly being rape as a child but he has no right of doing harm to other children. This child molester have destroyed many children lives. R. Kelly is a soul that can’t be save.

    • Kelly is a polarizing figure. Many of our people love his music. I’ve stated many times before I believe Kelly is pedophile. Ever since n he married Aaliyah when she was only sixteen. But he had a sexual relationship with her long before they were married. Rock star Jerry Lee Lewis married a 13 year old girl. Elvis Presley met Priscilla when she was only 14. I never made excuses for them. So I’m not making any for R. Kelly either. It’s clear he has a fetish for young girls. But since many black people are fans of his music we can’t accept what he’s truly about. Thanks for the comment.

      • I don’t. Rejection is a trauma. Now I might killed for this but I remember listening to I believe the first R Kelly CD. I think it was 12 Play. He had a song where he sung about the “Girls use to say ROBERT helllll NOOO” rejecting him. You know that Ted Bundy flipped out over some White whore who rejected him when he was a kid. I think R Kelly is stuck at that age of rejections from his female peers…Jay Z ” Girls use to laugh and call me ugly, then I pulled up in a yadda yadda” I just think many men never get over childhood reject and spend their lives overcompensating i just think Kelly likes very young women and dont want to grow up…

      • He has shown an obvious pattern for young women and girls. The man is damn near 50 years old and he married a 19 year old. That’s crazy! He obviously lacks maturity to say the least. I know there are women who get with him because of his money and fame. But this guy needs to use better judgment. I remember he was naming all the cute girls he liked. He mentioned Aaliyah’s name. The CD came out in 1991 I believe. Aaliyah was 11 at the time. Which means he had his eye on her when she wasn’t even a teenager yet. He had sexual feelings for a child??? Totally disgusting! His pattern speaks for itself.

  2. Interesting. This is one of those subjects that needs to be handle per individual case. I remember there was this guy in Detroit who was said to be pretty conscious but believed to have molested his stepdaughter.

    On the other hand, I have a cousin whose stepdaughter accused him of molesting her but later recanted. Right now, he is still in prison despite the fact that this girl has provided a written statement attesting to the fact that she lied.

    So, it is delicate. I agree rapists and molesters need to be punished. However, do we punish them the white man’s way by not solving the problem and just incarcerating the perpetrator? Do we throw every man accused of sexual misconduct in jail? What about the girls/women who make the accusation? If found to be lying what is their punishment?

    I agree but disagree with you Shanequa, I sympathize with R. Kelly for being sexually abused as a child as well, but spiritually speaking. That trauma is embedded into his subconscious, which means even if he consciously knows it is wrong. He is prone perpetrate this same behavior, which is as automatic as walking until he can get some psycho-spiritual help. We have a lot of repairing to do to both Black men and women.
    Unfortunately, all too often issues like these in our community goes unnoticed, unchecked, un-diagnosed and remains uncured. Hope they get some help for all involved.

      • Thanks C.C. Saunders. We have to recognize that we are not white ppl (wp) and the reason everything we have done mimicking wp fails, is b/c we keep doing things their way. We have to be proactive.

    • @Land of Kam
      I know what you mean. I did a post on pedophilia last year. It’s an issue we have to address. Whether the culprit is a man or woman. Or a woman that knows her boyfriend is abusing her child and says nothing. We have to expose these predators. These black predators are scarring children for life. It doesn’t matter if the person is famous or not in my opinion. They must be called out and punished. I have NO sympathy for people that harm children.

      • Yeah, it is a sickness. A lot of people don’t want to acknowledged that wp raped men, women and children. I hate to say this all has to do with slave behavior, which we perpetrate subconsciously but it does. Again, I am confident we can be healed b/c we are gods and goddesses.

      • We can be healed. But we have to face these fears. It gets very uncomfortable because we don’t want to address these issues. But if we don’t…we can never heal. And yes we are the true Gods of the planet. Once we accept who we truly are we can collectively move forward. But it takes a lot of courage to face your fears.

  3. Kushite Prince you are absolutely on point regarding what Malcolm X’s quote that,
    “If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”

    On a different subject, I remember being in high school thinking that all people who kill should be tried as an adult. I was all for “if you do the crime, pay the time” but this meant a lot of kids my age were going to get the death penalty. That’s when I began to see that there is no equality or equity in the United States. The assumption that we are all given the same oppty, so we should all be decent citizens is b.s.

    • Malcolm was correct. The reality is that white people own the newspapers and cable news programs. So they get to control the narrative. And there is no equity or equality in Amerikkka. There hasn’t been since it’s inception.

  4. U point out the obvious and couldn’t break 10 comments @the time I posted. Sad. Some amongst our blog/your blog community never say nothing when U bring up the “R.”

    • Yes I know. When I did a post about child abuse in the black community a few years ago,I didn’t get many comments. It’s like we are afraid of tackling this issue. People tell me we are “airing our dirty laundry”. But we can’t run away from this reality. Like I said,I make no excuses for R. Kelly. I was a fan 15 years ago. But I no longer buy his music. I think he’s a very talented artist but a sick individual. He loves young women and we all know it. It’s just that many of us love his music we want to ignore the obvious. When he secretly married Aaliyah we all should’ve know what was up then. But we still want to ignore it. A person musical talent,acting ability or athletic talents should NOT make us turn a blind eye when they do something wrong. If not…who will protect the children? And black men need to CALL OUT these predators among us. We can no longer be silent.

  5. Honestly, I don’t see how he is being called a Pedophile, all the women are 21 or over. These same people who are criticizing him love Elijah Muhammad. I am confused. But to each is on. I am going to trying to stop being so firey with African people and allow us to respectfully disagree on minor stuff. Even with Aaliyah he was 28 she was like 16. Black men use to marry women 12 years younger than them. Some Black dude 28 mentally like kids…I think Kelly has used his position of power to take advantage of women its morally wrong but I dont think hes a predator. I dont think he preys on weak women, I think he preys on opportunistics owmen.

    • I don’t really agree with that he took these women away when they were still teenagers, and even their own families stated he used them and treated those girls as sex slaves and pretty much brainwashed them, he is a predator, he took advantage of these women and manipulated them also not all of the women accusing him of this are currently 28 one of them is currently 17.

  6. “Call a spade a spade” for lack of a better term.

    It is very unfortunate, that in many black communities, regardless of social class, that there is a percentage of black males that ARE sexual deviants. But the problem, like R. Kelly’s is that many of us are “protecting the wrong areas.” And I’m sure that many here know what I mean. Granted, the brother has immense talent, but due to his own sexual problems, he should stand up, pay attention and then get professional counseling or help where needed. Is he “forgiven” by the masses because he has a spirit-given talent? You be the judge.

    Not only is there disrespect, but a lot of misogyny as well. I observe this both at work and away from work as well. Any for anyone that does not see that this is wrong, I would advise one to keep a person with this mind-set out of your circumference. Enough said. By history, in black culture, many people have averted their eyes (and minds) when it comes to mentally unstable black people. But these are still our people, and if we do not speak up about it, don’t be surprised when overall, the larger society will not speak out about it either. We are all already under attack, in different ways by this white supremist society.

    We are not totally powerless and we DO have an abundance of love to extend to one another.

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