Boycott R. Kelly

By Cheryl Mattox Berry

Here we go again. New allegations of sexual abuse have surfaced against R&B crooner R. Kelly. This time, Kelly is accused of holding several young women – all of them legally adults –  in a cult-like environment at homes in Atlanta and Chicago.

The parents of these young women claim Kelly was supposed to be helping them launch musical careers. Instead, he reportedly has brainwashed them to be his sex slaves, and they’re not allowed to contact family members.

In 2008, Kelly was acquitted of 14 counts of child pornography. The charges stemmed from a video that showed him having sex with a teenage girl and urinating in her mouth. Detail accounts of his sexual relationships with underage girls were reported by Chicago journalist Jim DeRogatis and available for all to see on the internet.

Also, stories have been written about Kelly settling lawsuits filed by the families of his alleged teenage victims, who were targeted because they were unattractive and no one would care about what happened to them.

So, why would any parent think that Kelly is a changed man and hand their daughter over to him? Did they forget that he married the late singer Aaliyah when she was 15, and he was 27?

It amazes me that Kelly’s female fans, predominantly black, ignore his lurid past and buy his CDs and concert tickets. They call radio stations to request his music. He should be shunned by listeners. Female fans need to rise up and let stations know that playing Kelly’s music is an affront to women.

Staying silent means that you believe – like so many others – that a young black woman’s life is worth nothing. Is that how you feel about your daughters, sisters, nieces and cousins?

Two years ago, I went to the Chosen Few Old School Reunion Picnic in Chicago, where Kelly was one of the acts. I enjoyed the other performers but left before he took the stage. One of my friends didn’t understand why I didn’t want to see him. She called him a “musical genius.” My mouth flew open. “No, he’s a pedophile,” I replied.

Some folks (women) need to stop being so forgiving and money hungry (parents,) and use common sense. R. Kelly has shown us who he is. Open your eyes, and close your wallet.

Read more about the R. Kelly case and timeline:

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