R. Kelly: Sexual Predator or Scapegoat?

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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.

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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.

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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

Bill Cosby: What’s real and what’s not

This is a good video by Dr Rick Wallace. He gives a great breakdown of the Bill Cosby rape allegations. He makes some very solid points about the allegations that many people might not think about. He also speaks on rape and incest in the black community.

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The ongoing saga surrounding Bill Cosby has created some interesting dialogue across America and the world; however, I will argue that the discussions and debates that should be sparked by this story are, for the most part, going unaddressed. While I believe that we need to discuss the veracity of the accusations that have been launched against Bill Cosby, and with the latest bit of information that has been released, there is definitely a dark shadow hovering over him; however, I believe a significant portion of the energy directed at this story will be better served engaging the enigmatic issues that are at the core of the story — rape, incest and molestation in the black community.

It is extremely difficult to decipher the statistics that are presented on these issues due to specific biases; however, on any level, we are dealing with an epidemic, and it is causing devastating effects. Based on academic studies and experiential observation, I would argue that no group of females on the face of the earth has been the more victimized when it comes to incest, molestation and family rape than the black woman. This is not to marginalize the struggles of any other group, but those who know me understand that my focus is always on improving the condition of my people, before engaging the needs and struggles of any other group.

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Until we seriously engage the questions and challenges that are presented through the perpetuation of this type of behavior and the neglect in properly engaging these issues, we will continue to struggle as a collective group. Ignoring incest, rape and molestation, or marginalizing it does not eliminate or mitigate its nefarious impact on our culture. The massive gulf that exists between the black man and the black woman is, at least partially, the result of these unaddressed issues. Every time that a black female experiences this type of psychological, physical and emotional trauma, and it goes unaddressed, she becomes fractured and dysfunctional. She may be able to overcompensate in certain areas to develop an appearance of having it all together; however, a closer anatomization of her mental and emotional state will reveal that she has become her own worst enemy, and you will probably find a trail of failed relationships that have manifested the horrific results of what she once believed she had left behind her.

There are black women who are struggling to maintain any semblance of a normal life, especially when it comes to maintaining a romantic relationship with a man. Her issues not only impact her ability to engage a serious and committed relationship in a healthy manner, but it also impacts her ability to effectively parent her children, which she will almost certainly have. To exacerbate the matter, one or more of her children may be the progeny of her abuser.

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This black woman will struggle to trust men, making any type of healthy relationship with a man virtually impossible. When the psychological and emotional dynamics associated with child molestation and incest are considered, it is no wonder why so many of our women are fighting just to stay afloat. First of all there is the element of introducing and child to sexual activity long before they are mature enough to handle the repercussions that are associated with it. There is a general consensus that having sex too early in life presents multitudinous dangers. Although there is a difference in opinion as far as what age constitutes too early, most would agree that the age at which most molestation within the family environment, incest, begins, is far too young for a child to appropriately process what is taking place. This is the first phase of trauma and devastation, but it is not the only thing that they will have to deal with. Another dynamic, which may be even more injurious than the damage caused by the early introduction to sexual activity, is the fact that the assault is being perpetrated by someone that the victim loves and trusts. In fact, the perpetrator is often the very one that should be protecting the child from such dangers. This betrayal of trust is highly pernicious and its destructive impact can literally damage a person for life.

It is also important to understand that this type of trauma is not exclusive to black women. Young black boys are assaulted at an alarming rate, primarily by men — putting to bed a common myth that pedophilia is a white issue. The postulation that black men are not pedophiles is due to the fact that this type of behavior is often covered up in the family, and the perpetrator is often protected from prosecution, further placing children in the family at risk. Almost all of us have the uncle or cousin, or maybe father or brother that everyone in the family keeps their kids from. There is a reason for that.

What is even more alarming is abused people who do not get treatment are likely to abuse others. While females will generally manifest their issues through verbal and physical abuse toward their children, young males are more likely to offend in the very same way that they were violated. The perversion of such a natural act can cause immeasurable damage.

While this entire issue with Bill Cosby has brought out the ugly side of many people, I see it as an opportunity to properly engage these issues in an in-depth manner. Not only do we need to discuss these issues through open dialogue, but we need to develop a strategy to attack the issues in a manner that will produce efficacious results. We can’t simply sit around and talk about it, and finger pointing will get us nowhere. We need to create programs for victims of child molestation and incest within the black community. We must also be willing to provide the help that is needed by those who perpetrate these crimes — keeping in mind that they were once victims themselves.

While the Bill Cosby Saga may be intriguing to some, and an opportunity to strike out for others, we should be focused on the bigger issue here — lifting, protecting and healing our women and young men who are the victims of these merciless crimes. ~ Dr. Rick Wallace