R. Kelly backlash too little too late

Famed singer needs to be held accountable

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R. Kelly backlash too little too late

Amaia Barajas

R. Kelly has been a star in the music industry for decades, even being nominated as one of the greatest R&B artists in history by Billboard. But after the release of the Lifetime docu-series “Surviving R. Kelly,” years of abuse have finally come to light.

R. Kelly’s history of abuse has been going on forever, and the reason it hadn’t been taken seriously until now was because of his individual power and the fact that he was abusing black women. It is finally time for R. Kelly’s career to die.

The allegations against R. Kelly have been public knowledge for years now. To start off, he married R&B singer Aaliyah in 1994 when she was only 15. The fact that he got away with illegally marrying a minor is appalling. There is absolutely no justification for R. Kelly to marry a 15 year old. I don’t care how mature he thought Aaliyah was, he should not have gotten away with this crime. The fact that he wasn’t immediately reprimanded for marrying a minor, shows how men in power can get away with anything. His marriage should have been an immediate red flag, yet people decided to turn a blind eye.

In 2002, R. Kelly was indicted for 14 counts of child pornography but was acquitted of all indictments by 2008. This is one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever heard, and once again proves the power R. Kelly held over many people.

We need to believe survivors because they are human and deserve to be safe—no matter the relation they have to you.”

I am sick of hearing about powerful men who use their influence to ruin people’s lives. This culture needs to stop. Not holding men accountable is toxic and needs to be stopped immediately or the people affected by it will never get justice.

We as a society need to start believing survivors and start holding abusers accountable for their actions. I don’t care how much power or money R. Kelly has, he’s a rapist and a pedophile. He could send out all the apologies in the world and that will never be enough, he will never change.

The system has failed black women on more than one occasion. The fact that it has taken this long for people to realize how sick R. Kelly is and how he has hurt the lives of so many black women is just the tip of the iceberg. If R. Kelly was raping and abusing white women, he would have been in jail years ago. If it were white women coming out against him, he would have been “cancelled” years ago. But he was still topping charts when he married Aaliyah. He was still selling out shows during his seven year trial and people were still defending him when the docuseries dropped. Enough is enough, we as a society need to start believing black women when they come forward.

In the situation of R. Kelly, it is unacceptable to remove the art from the artist. R. Kelly is a sick and twisted man who does not deserve the sympathy of anyone. I think the community of St. Louis Park needs to hear this story and learn from it. We need to start hearing and believing survivors of abuse more, because they are your neighbors and your friends. But more so, we need to believe survivors because they are human and deserve to be safe—no matter the relation they have to you.


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