The outrage reverberating off the internet echo chamber is audible in the aftermath of the airing of Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly docu-series.
For many entertainment journalists who have been rattling away at the keyboards since before Aaliyah’s death in 2001, none of the allegations being levied against R. Kelly are new.
He gave us so many hints in his music and in interviews. He really did, but folks were too busy shaking their butts to listen.
Last week, his former backup singer Jovante Cunningham told reporters of a salacious moment in which she walked in and found him having sex with the then 15-year-old Aaliyah. Aaliyah and R. Kelly were married when she was only 15 years old.
Cunningham’s claims were vehemently disputed by Aaliyah’s mother, Diane Houghton. Cunningham was resolute in her accusation following Houghton’s denials. While the information contained in Surviving R. Kelly is damning and disgusting, it is frustrating to see individuals behave as if this type of behavior isn’t something that goes in poor communities in general, poor black communities in particular.
The age-old narrative of “fast little girls” seducing grown-ass men is a bullshit one.
Additionally, the “where were their parents” narrative is equally basura considering that it all but absolves a grown man of engaging in predatory behavior toward minors.
The previously uninformed being aghast, juxtaposed with the sycophant mania of those who refuse to see the truth, are an equally aggrieving sight and a nauseating kaleidoscope to behold altogether. This shit ain’t new and is far bigger than Robert Kelly.
In certain states like Florida, where 16,400 children were married in the past 17 years, child marriage is damn near an institution.
I used to wonder why the high school guys would hang out at my junior high school, and why the college-age guys would hang out at my high school.
To most adult men, women are objects in orbit around male desires and sensibilities. Things to be conquered, protected, captured, dominated, soiled, sacrificed and slutted. While, of course, there are many degrees on the misogyny scale, most straight American men harbor some cultural idea as to male dominance over women, whether knowingly or not.
I envision them ranging from wanting to “protect” to wanting to virtually enslave, at exponentially intensifying degrees. Think about it, child marriage laws and women’s reproductive laws were both created by men.
I remember a time when almost every rap song that played on the radio had some reference to pimping in the title, and pimping was also a staple of many black films in the ’70s and early ’80s.
Images of big body Cadillacs, fishbowl shoes and far out polyester suits tickle us through time, but we forget how each of these mediums degraded black women in particular. But we excuse that part almost as if we didn’t know what pimping was REALLY all about. Pimping and pedophilia are bosom buddies.
Every year 300,000 children are prostituted in the United States.
For some, the support of R. Kelly is a knee-jerk reaction garnered from their own appetites, whether hidden or fully realized, while others still aren’t able to find a balance between his art and is psychosis. But I don’t have the time nor the patience for anyone who can see what this has always been.
But our society still meanders on. And what of its ongoing desire to control the minds, bodies, sexual organs and actions of girls and women alike?
In poor communities, people are commodities to be bought, sold, used and discarded as the buyer see fit. Many of these same communities, for various cultural reasons, still cling to antiquated and long since proven toxic versions of male dominion over bodies.
All too often, black girls are the first to be used and discarded, and most of the time the cannibalizing individual is a black man.
Today, the decades-old pedophile practices of the Roman Catholic priests are all over the news, yet black people are still running around blaming children for the actions of adults as if they couldn’t fathom such thing.
According to some figures, adults were the offender in 60 percent of sexual assault of youth under 12 years old. So, what, we’re going to say the 12-year-old’s are asking it for too, huh?
Child sexual offenders are overwhelmingly male, one third are juveniles, and 40 to 80 percent of sex offenders were themselves molested as children.
In a 1981 study published in the psychology textbook Child Abuse & Neglect, of 200 juvenile and adult street prostitutes involved in the study, nearly two-thirds of participants said they were sexually exploited by an average of two people each over a period of 20 months.
Two-thirds were abused by a father figure, 70 percent of the women involved in the study said being molested or “sexually exploited” by said father figure influenced their decision to become prostitutes.
We’ve gone from R. Kelly to pimping to legal child marriages to the lifelong psychological effects of child molestation to say this, it is NEVER the child’s fault when they’re tricked into sexual circumstances by an adult. It’s ALWAYS the adult’s fault. ALWAYS!