R. Kelly is a rapist.

But you know that.

Thing is, you often don’t even dispute it. You just counter by pointing out that white male celebrities have raped women too. As if there should be equal opportunity to rape. Because the only thing I glean from argument is that is that you feel Kelly should be allowed to continue raping freely because white male celebrities have done so.

R. Kelly is a rapist.

But you know that.

You’re just more interested in pointing out that some of his victims accepted settlement money. As if Kelly didn’t consciously select poor girls from poor families who were most vulnerable and less likely to have the social and political resources needed to fight him in court. You also like to forget that the aftermath of rape for victims costs money. Therapy is expensive. Depression is costly.

R. Kelly is a rapist.

But you know that.

You just feel like his victim’s parents are equally at fault. Because maybe you’re not aware that the process of grooming victims often includes grooming family members. See that whole part I just said about Kelly picking vulnerable families.

R. Kelly is a rapist.

But you know that.

You’re just inclined to dismiss that the quest for Black liberation must necessarily include the many Black girls and women victimized by Kelly.

R. Kelly is a rapist.

But you know that.

You just choose to ignore that he married a 15 year-old girl after falsifying her age on documents.

R. Kelly is a rapist.

But you know that.

You just want believe that you can separate the man from his art. As if your presence at his concerts doesn’t show victims how unsupported they are in this rape culture world. As if your stanning for Kelly doesn’t send a message to rape survivors everywhere that we don’t matter.

R. Kelly is a rapist.

But you know that.

You just think you need all the facts before we can call him what he is. You say that no one knows what happened behind closed doors. Except we do know, because Kelly’s victims have told us countless times. Another victim told us today.

R. Kelly is a rapist.

But you know that.

You just believe that “the man” is trying to take him down. Because somehow you believe “the man” would waste time on someone who actually supports the patriarchy’s declaration of war on girls and women.

R. Kelly is a rapist.

But you know that.

Because you were at the barbershop when the tapes were being sold and passed around. You saw the look in her eyes. You know that she’s underage. You know it’s clear Kelly had to know it too.

R. Kelly is a rapist.

But you know that.

You used to see him outside of your high school. Hanging out with all the freshmen through senior girls.

 

R. Kelly is a rapist.

But you know that.

You just choose Kelly over his victims because none of them gave you hits like “Bump n’ Grind,” “Ignition” or “Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number,” (the last one sang by the 15 year-old girl he married).

R. Kelly is a rapist.

But you know that.

You just don’t care.

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