My first post of the year was meant to be about learning from 2018 to be better in 2019 but then I got caught up in this Surviving R. Kelly docu series. I wasn’t going to watch, but after reading FB and IG comments, I became intrigued. I started and just couldn’t stop. It was like roadkill...not the prettiest, but too difficult to turn away.
On Sunday afternoon, I called a family meeting to announce that "mommy will be watching inappropriate television, so please stay out of the room unless there’s an emergency. However, if your interested in helping me fold laundry let me know and I’ll gladly press pause." Over the next few hours, I was able to dive into this story. I took a few breaks - Maya NEEDED her nails painted, Marley wanted to talk about band practice and Mac just wanted to snuggle because "I love you so much mommy." But before the night was over I was able to watch the entire series and all I can say is wow!
Back in the day, I wasn’t mature enough to realize the magnitude of the situation. I don’t remember the tape and wasn’t paying attention to the Aliyah relationship. There was no social media, so I had to read the paper to know what was going on in the world. I was picking it up but not for news. I was just trying to get free Great Adventure tickets. I remember, as a teenager, being at someone’s basement party dancing (by myself) to Honey Love and Bump and Grind. Singing along with the words but not taking the time to understand the lyrics.
As a result of my ignorance, I started the series with a lot of judgment. I was a teenage girl once. I would have known better...right? When I was 19, I was in love with Q-Tip. I watched him from afar at a few parties, during my hazel contacts phase. He even wished me Happy Birthday one New Years Eve. If he’d have slipped me his number, I would have called. I watched these girls and realized that it could have easily been me or one of my friends. We were young, dumb and naive.
I went through a range of emotions as I watched and listened in horror. I was truly drained in the end.
It kind of blows my mind that this dude was hiding in plain sight. Basically saying ‘Fuck you!’ to EVERYONE. The girls, their parents, the fans and the law. His anthology is a confession.
He was a strategic monster who manipulated and took advantage of these girls. He used their dreams, their vulnerabilities and their pain against them. As someone who had been victimized himself, he should have felt empathy for these young women, but instead he saw them as easy targets for his sick mind games and abuse.
I don’t know the survivors but I’m praying for y'all. I pray that this doesn’t break you. There’s some shit that you just can’t take away or forget. However, trust that through this craziness you have the support and encouragement of people you don’t even know. We want you to succeed despite what this monster has taken from you.
To the people that still support this dude. Y’all don’t know him personally, so your loyalty doesn’t mean much. But, unfortunately, your dollars do. Do the right thing and show our girls that their voices matter. Don’t ignore them because you want to Step in the Name of Love. The stories are consistent. Too similar to disregard. There’s a pattern. It will continue if he doesn’t face some serious consequences.
To the parents. Some of y’all are trifling. You straight up sold your soul and that of your daughter’s to the devil. To the rest of y'all fighting to get you girls back, Y’all could have done better. I get it though, to an extent. I think my kids are cute. I think they could be superstars. They go on auditions. But they’re never alone and I have real conversations with them about the different types of uncomfortable situations they need to run from and tell mom and dad about. With this dude’s history, he should have never been a part of the equation. No, he didn’t get convicted but if there are that many counts against him, I’m going to say that at least one of them is true or kind of true and that’s more than enough to stay away. With that said, my heartbreaks for you. I'm sure the guilt weighs heavy. As I watched one mom throw rocks at a window, knowing her daughter was in that building, I wanted to help her tear it down, brick by brick. I’m praying for y’all too. I pray that you get your babies away from this animal. I pray that they remember what true love is, because what they’re getting ain’t it. I pray for your strength.
As I binged, the girls walked in a few times. I fumbled with the remote trying to quickly press pause.
Maya: what are you watching and why can’t we be in here?
Me: a documentary
Maya: why is it inappropriate
Me: it’s about R. Kelly and the fact that he’s been abusing young girls for years.
So I begin the whole, nobody is to ever make you uncomfortable or touch you in your private areas etc. speech. The one they’ve heard many times before.
Maya: Mom, if anyone ever tried to hurt me like that I’d kick them in the balls. Man or woman.
Marley: Maya, women don’t have balls.
Maya: well, I’d kick them in the same area. It’ll still hurt.
Normally, I wouldn’t condone such language but I need them to be aware of the seriousness of that type of situation.
Me: yes, that’s exactly what I want you to do. Kick them in the balls and run. Get away alive and safe. Then tell mommy and daddy so we can kick them in the balls too.
Maya: Marley, lets show mommy how we’d kick them in the balls.
Me: Ok, enough with saying the word balls. I get it. Now can you take this karate session into the hallway so that I can continue watching my inappropriate documentary?
I don’t know this man or these women personally but I’m passionate about this subject matter because I have three daughters. Period.