Stop turning a blind eye to famous abusers

2018-07-29 12:03
Rhodé Marshall

Rhodé Marshall

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Artists such as R Kelly, Bill Cosby, Chris Brown and the late rapper XXXTentacion, all of whom are talented in their own right, have consistently been given a pass over their mistreatment of black women.

On Monday, R&B singer and dodger of the full might of the law
Kelly released a song that is 19 minutes long. Let the ridiculousness of that sink in. While this brazenness shouldn’t be shocking considering his character, the problem is that this 19-minute nonsense is a musical response to the negligible consequences the singer has had to face in the wake of numerous allegations of sexual abuse made against him over more than two decades.

Throughout this rant, titled I Admit, Kelly addresses some past “mistakes”, but continues to deny all allegations of sexual misconduct.

He rebukes his accusers, their parents, the people who believe them and a journalist who has written about their stories that detailed the harsh conditions of a “sex cult” that Kelly allegedly subjected multiple women to. If you listen to the song, it’s basically Kelly confessing his sins while also playing the victim.

For decades, despite the allegations raised against Kelly, the music industry has turned a blind eye to his predatory behaviour.

In I Admit, he cries about music streaming platform Spotify removing him from its playlist and calls social media “the devil in disguise”. He even goes so far as to say that his music has “nothing to do with his private life”.

Kelly calls the allegations that he was running a cult “silly”, while also saying that he likes women who are young and old.

I Admit is a pathetic attempt to pander to his dwindling audience and create some buzz.

Those who have publicly called out Cosby and Kelly are made to feel guilty about ruining great black legacies, as if celebrity and entertainment advancements are greater than the wellbeing of women’s bodies – particularly black women.

It can’t be ignored that their work in the entertainment industry is the soundtrack to most black people’s lives and a lot of value is attached to that, but it also can’t be ignored that Kelly’s actions are an indication of a larger cultural problem in which everything is more important than women and girls. And yes, even a darn song.

It’s as important to call out this culture that lets these men get away with their predatory behaviour.

Read more on:    gender violence

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