Again. And again. And yes, it's going to happen again, as long as people want to continue to turn a blind eye to this monster's established modus operandi. I mean, didn't I just write on this last month? People from Chicago can tell you about R-uh's predilection for hanging around Kenwood high school to prey on young girls easily dazzled by his fame, money and promises. Most folks can tell you how his creepy ass secretly married Aaliyah when she was 15 and he was twenty-Old-As-Fuck-seven, though the marriage was later annulled due to its illegality. Everyone can tell you about him raping and peeing on underage girls on video. These are facts that no one, besides R. Kelly and his lawyers, even bothers to dispute. Yet somehow, plenty of these same people try to reason that "You Remind Me of My Jeep" is so awesome we need to separate the art from the artist, or twist themselves into pretzels to argue that it's a young girl's fault when she falls prey to a rich older man who, at this point, can surely list a master's degree in manipulation of youth on his C.V. In the latest iteration of this story, where a young woman known to be a Kelly Superfan is breaking her nondisclosure agreement and putting herself at legal risk to talk about how she first had sex with Kelly at the age of 15, the first comment under the article said something to the effect of "I guess the money wasn't enough."
There is something so soul destroying about watching this happen again and again. Women, Black women--vilifying their sisters in defense of the indefensible. And once again, keyboard warriors are rightfully up in arms about the dozens of black and brown girls that have gone missing in cities across the U.S., but when we have a documented predator targeting our girls for literally decades, all some of y'all can do is talk about his music? Y'all really want to cape for this? For this? For fuck's sake, -- the man actually calls himself the goddamn Pied Piper of R&B! How fucking loaded is it that a man known for going after underage girls gave himself a name that purposefully evokes a fable about a man guilty of luring a town full of young children for his own purposes.
Then on the flip side you have the most nauseating of his defenders, the ones who immediately victim blame, placing the onus for this man's longstanding and documented predilection for young girls on the girls themselves. These are the ones that searched out and watched every frame of that sexual assault video -- no, it's not a "sex tape," it's a fucking rape on film -- their eyes pouring over every inch of the girl's frame so that they could decide that she was "too developed" to be underage, or that the things she was doing somehow proved her lack of innocence. This isn't a man that routinely uses his wealth, fame and the skills he has honed in decades spent manipulating young minds to his own ends, this is all the fault of a "fast" girl. After all, these things never happen to "good girls."
Another novel defense is the one that says that the girls should "know better." What's interesting about this, is that these folks tacitly admit that there is something to know about him, something to beware... but then somehow twists that into an indictment of the victims. Dafuq? Now, I agree that we should all know better by this time when it comes to R. Kelly, and I wish we did. I would love it if the younger generation thought that "R" stood for Rapist. But with the older generation still venerating this pervert and throwing out all manner of excuses for his actions, how can we expect our girls to know what's up? How can we expect them to "know better" when we don't expect him to do better? And how exactly does "knowing better" serve to excuse the rapist for raping?
I literally said this before, in my previous post on Kelly, and I'll keep on saying it until it's no longer true: "Women in general are not being protected from predatory men. Black girls in particular are not just being sacrificed, but when they try to speak out, they are then blamed for being victims. When we do this, we are adopting as our own the White supremacist myth that Black women are rabidly sexual creatures that lure men by their female wiles and animalistic natures. No. We must do better by our girls. But how can we do this if we can't even turn the dial when R. Kelly comes on?"