“Why do you care now when you didn’t care then?” is one of those kneejerk reactions that I wish I could drown in a toilet bowl and flush away to send off to join the rest of the sewage where it belongs. More times than not, when people ask this question it is not a legitimate inquiry; it is a loaded statement designed to insinuate that your newfound lack of interest on a given subject is phony, or at the very least, “too late” to be taken seriously. I’ll never understand why some feel as if another person’s level of concern should be discounted if not offered on their schedule and I promise to never try.
It’s one thing to be late to a date, another to some sort of spe
ecial ceremony, but how much should tardiness factor in when it comes to a more serious matter? Say, the realization that maybe, just maybe, we shouldn’t make it so easy for a long accused sexual predator to enjoy such wide scale success as he returns to waving his perversions in our faces?
Contrary to what his defenders argue, the information included in the Village Voice’s report on the sexual assault accusations leveled against R. Kelly may have been public record, but the disgusting details have not been common knowledge.
I had no idea that an underage girl claims Kelly ordered her to call him “Daddy” as he pissed in her mouth, which he considered a “blessing.” The same goes for him allegedly having underage girls perform group sex in front of him for his arousal. Or about the girl who made a suicide attempt after she says Kelly broke up with her. Or the time he apparently paid for one minor’s abortion. Or how he met a lot of these girls – i.e. a gospel choir class where he’d have sex with sophomore and give them some sneakers as a thank you.
I did not know that music journalist Jim DeRogatis, who first reported on R. Kelly’s accused sexual predation on teenage girls 15 years ago said, “I had Aaliyah’s mother cry on my shoulder and say her daughters life was ruined, Aaliyah’s life was never the same after that.”
There are other details included the report, which included the original court documents, but, that ought to be enough to settle the debate of why people “took so long to care.”
R. Kelly Village Voice piece just hit a million page views. In 25 hours. Thank you everybody. And holy shit.
— Jessica Hopper (@jesshopp) December 17, 2013
If the story merely regurgitated “what we all know anyway,” it wouldn’t have gone viral so quickly. People don’t go out of their way to seek out court documents. That tends to be the job of reporters, hence the damn story being published. To conveniently forget R. Kelly’s past, which is likely not so much as his past as it is his better-protected present, makes his music more palatable – a luxury no pervert deserves. Because if left to his own devices, R. Kelly will continue to do interviews in which he describes his new music as “sexual classy” and boasts about writing hits in McDonald’s parking lots – one of the very places he’s been accused of seeking underage girls to have sex with.
Hopper and DeRogatis wanted to remind us of just what a monster R. Kelly is and hand clap to both of them for their efforts.
In response to the story, some are now doing exactly what was the author’s intention: create a dialogue. One in which we question whether or not we should allow someone’s entertainment value negate their criminal activity, especially if they are directly related? And where we take to our respective forums to express remorse for support of R. Kelly in recent years while inviting others to do the same.
Then there are these other responses that make me want to kick keyboards and crack phone screens.
Whether R. Kelly fans like it or not, if you give a sexual deviant money for a sexually explicit album, it says at the very least, you are willing to compromise conviction for the sake of entertainment. After Sandusky, I shouldn’t be surprised that folks are so willing to look past a person’s crimes for the sake of their own interests, but I applaud those who still advocate that we strive to be better all the same.
And though it might’ve taken some a few years to finally realize that, so what? What is it the alternative? Complicity?
I don’t care how long it takes a person to realize that R. Kelly’s dick ought to go take a swim in a pool of fire. Better late than never so keep the discussion going.