Welp, good people, it has finally happened. After enjoying a decades-long career as an R&B icon—throughout which he was accused by dozens of Black girls and women of sexual abuse—the Pied Predator has finally been brought to justice.
As you know by now, R. Kelly, on Monday, was found guilty on all nine counts in his sex trafficking and racketeering trial, and while many of us who actually care about protecting Black women and girls are rejoicing, there are also those unfortunate souls who insist on making Aaron McGruder a prophet by turning 2005’s second episode of The Boondocks into a present-day reality.
While the verdict was being delivered that ensured Kelly would spend far more chapters trapped in a prison cell than he did trapped in the closet, a number of his supporters were gathered outside the courthouse playing his music in defiance of the long-overdue push to #MuteRKelly.
After the news broke that the jury returned with across-the-board guilty verdicts, one enthusiastic chile rapist supporter can be heard loudly and passionately declaring, “We’re not giving up on R Kelly!”
Imagine being this clueless.
First, let’s be clear on one thing: There is nothing pro-Black about protesting on behalf of R Kelly—not when his victims were primarily Black women, girls and, as it turns out, boys as well.
All Black people’s continued support of this man shows is that one Black celebrity matters more than the safety, innocence and physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of countless young Black people. You’re doing white supremacy work under the guise of activism.
You’re stepping in the name of heinous sex crimes, not love.
“No one deserves what they experienced at his hands or the threats and harassment they faced in telling the truth about what happened to them,” Jacquelyn M. Kasulis, the acting U.S. attorney in Brooklyn, told reporters after the verdict was announced, according to the New York Times. “We hope that today’s verdict brings some measure of comfort and closure.”
“This is the culmination of the movement of so many women who have been trying so long to have their voices heard,” said Oronike Odeleye, the co-founder of the #MuteRKelly campaign. “We have never had full ownership of our bodies. And we’re at a moment where Black women are no longer accepting that as the price of being Black and female in America.”
Of course, Kelly’s attorneys didn’t have the same energy in their responses to the verdict and said they are already considering an appeal.
“Of course we are disappointed in the verdict,” attorney Deveraux L. Cannick told reporters. “I am even more disappointed in the prosecution for bringing this case,” which he said was “replete with inconsistencies.”
So yeah, there are still those who will not give up on R Kelly—the rest of us are just happy we never gave up on justice.