Illustration by Amanda Schultz
Illustration by Amanda Schultz

OPINION: R. Kelly is not the victim

Robert Kelly is just one man and he had a whole team of people who allowed him to be foul

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Robert Kelly is just one man and he had a whole team of people who allowed him to be foul

Most of you by now have probably seen the meme of R. Kelly crying in front of Gayle King. The R. Kelly Gayle King interview has millions of views online. This has probably been the most ratings CBS morning has had in awhile, I now understand why the network agreed to take the interview. There’s also this nagging voice telling me, ‘At what point do we say R. Kelly has had his chance to talk and we can finally mute him?’

Even though Kelly was acquitted of all charges in his 2008 trial, it does not mean there wasn’t a video of him with an underage girl. Let’s also not forget him marrying Aaliyah when she was only 15. While not being successfully prosecuted (yet), I feel he has had his chance to make his imprint on the already vulnerable African American culture and community. When we stop trying to listen, hear and understand Robert Kelly we should only be focusing on the real victims he has caused pain to.

I think that anyone who helped Kelly in facilitating young women should be prosecuted too. Including the people who have been allegedly extorting Kelly for now three confirmed tapes with underage girls.

I think the saddest thing about this situation is that once again young black girls are being failed by everyone who was supposed to protect them. In some cases, victims were given to Kelly with the parents’ permission.

I think fame is one hell of a drug that many people are chasing. I think, while Kelly is a sick disturbed man, there were adults who allowed him to do what he wanted because of his status and perceived powers.

I am not going to lie about being happy to see a man who has gotten away with ruining lives for 30 plus years finally being taken down (hopefully for good). I am not happy however with how the mainstream media is handling an extremely sensitive situation. While to the world we see the Kelly situation as this week’s drama or meme, we all must remember there are real victims and real pain.

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One Comment

  1. Jenessa Lund Jenessa Lund Sunday, March 17, 2019

    Thank you Maia for your thoughtful response to this complex topic. I especially appreciate your point about holding more people accountable. RK’s alleged child abuse could not have happened to this extent without the people around him facilitating access to the children – similar to MJ’s situation. Money and fame can be evil if obtained at the cost of others’ health and safety.

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