Required Reading: Are You Boycotting R. Kelly?
Full disclosure. I covered the R. Kelly trial during my days at the Chicago Tribune RedEye. I sat in the courtroom with all the other local and national reporters and, yes, I watched the stomach-turning, degrading video of a man that looked like Kelly having sex with a girl that definitely appeared underage. I was also there when the singer– whose face had been a mask of concern throughout the trial– was acquitted of the charges.
In the years to come, with the success of his “Trapped in the Closet” series up to his odd, dry-humping performance with Lady Gaga on Saturday Night Live, I have wondered why he has not been the subject of more public derision. Like other embattled stars accused of heinous acts– from Chris Brown to Sean Penn– he seemed able to rise above the fray, as long as he did not talk directly to the media.
I was surprised when he received the roasting and reading of life during his #BlackPanties Q&A a week or so ago. I thought perhaps the populace had decided to look the other way, particularly with more “Closet” coming our way in 2014. The treatment on Twitter proved that was not the case, and this time, his team could not blame “The Media.” These were regular folks who came for him.
But then I read this Village Voice piece. It’s a re-examination of Kelly’s crimes. I imagine it will bring about outcry from his diehard “he was cleared” supporters and further galvanize his detractors. You have to check it out for yourself. There are many disturbing remarks, but of them, the words of the man who I credit with helping to launch my music journalism career hit the hardest. Jim DeRogatis, formerly of the Sun-Times, is the reporter/columnist who received the alleged R. Kelly sex tapes in the mail and unwittingly became a crusader against the self-proclaimed Pied Piper.
Of continued support of R. Kelly, DeRogatis said: “The saddest fact I’ve learned is nobody matters less to our society than young black women. Nobody.”
Read the rest HERE, and let us know the answer to the following.
Updated: 12/16 Also, does THIS RESPONSE change your mind.