Tanesha: If Kells Is Innocent, George Zimmerman Is Too

Sounds crazy, right? But that’s how some of y’all sound with this ridiculous and insulting, “R. Kelly is innocent until proven guilty” argument. George Zimmerman was also found innocent by a court a law but we all know good and damn well he murdered Trayvon Martin.

So what’s the difference?

Over the past few days, I have vehemently scrolled past every R. Kelly article or post on social media. I’ve even deleted a few Facebook friends for caping for Robert. And sadly, a couple of family members caught that shade, too.

Real talk, I’m so tired of hearing about R. Kelly. I’m even more tired of talking about him. But not having these conversations essentially allows the cycle of abuse to continue–and, I had to get this off of my chest.

We’re Victim Shaming Black Girls While Protecting Black Boys

Let’s go back to the Kells and Zimmerman scenario.

We unanimously went HARD for Trayvon…and Laquan McDonald, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray and others who were thrown into the deep end of the stereotype pool where Black men have been drowning since the beginning of American history.

But, we haven’t done the same for our Black girls and women.

When it came to them being victimized by the Perv Piper, some people immediately decided that the young ladies were “fast”, and “hoes”. That they “wanted it” and it was their parents’ fault.

Y’all took to social media to shame, make jokes about and dismiss these women’s claims, notwithstanding the possibility that some of them who haven’t spoken out might be on your friend’s list.

People deflected. “Well, what about Elvis? Dig his ass up”. Yes, there are plenty of nasty, guilty white men, too, but we’re talking about R. Kelly right now.

I mean, some of y’all went so hard for this man that I wouldn’t be surprised if you threw your mother away for some 12 Play.

Bottom line, we talk about how Black women are the most disrespected and underprotected in America but in rejecting these victims’ claims, we’re encouraging that treatment. And, we’re giving the ok to continue to objectify Black women as sexual objects and property, regardless of manipulation, competency to consent, and previous emotional trauma.

Education Is Mentally and Physically Abusing Our Kids

No lie, it took me a while to come to terms with these accusations. I’m a Chicagoan–I grew up on and loved R. Kelly’s music. I and a million other kids sang “I Believe I Can Fly” at our graduations. And he and I went to the same high school.

I remember seeing him around Kenwood during our lunch periods. But at the time I thought nothing of it because we always had celebrities hanging around–Common and Kanye to name a few.

So I was legitimately shocked to later hear rumors that Kells was actually lurking around to pick up young girls.

But at the same time, it was common knowledge that even some of the school staff were dating or, at the very least, sexually involved with students.

As an adult, this infuriates me because it’s not okay–especially when kids are supposed to feel safe at school.

It’s bad enough that this system is already raping Black kids when it comes to giving them a good education. Telling Black families what they need instead of asking them first, suppressing diversity in the classroom and in leadership positions, and passing our kids through on the promise of the American Dream, only to have them fail in college because they weren’t prepared to succeed.

And to top it off, they have to go to school and worry about being preyed on by adults. These behaviors and overall mistreatment of Black youth have been normalized and it has to stop.

Times Up For Kells And Honestly, All Of Us

At the end of the day, R. Kelly is driving a wedge between our community at a time when it’s critical that we stick together. We’re catching hell from all sides and can’t afford to be beefin’.

So you can have a favorable opinion but you have to pick a side. Is it the side of a predator and the larger logic that Black women and youth’s lives don’t really matter? Or the side where we’re supporting survivors, uplifting Black women and ending this cycle?

 

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