RKelly, the black family and ignoring abuse of black women.

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“This Rkelly thing has lingered for years and one wonders why hasn’t anyone sued him? Why hasn’t he been investigated, indicted and jailed if guilty? What hasn’t he sued anyone either? The whole jingly jangly thing makes the US look like one underdeveloped place in a remote village unknown”.

I mean, if this can be happening in this magnitude in the US and RKelly seems to continue to get away with it, what hope then do women have in places where there is no system at all let alone rule of law? I don’t get it. Can’t this be tackled once and for all and dealt with?

The above was my first reaction on hearing the rumours and ‘noise’ surface again this new year with the streaming of the #SurvivingRkelly documentary on Lifetime (from 3rd -5th January). I chose to call it noise because according to Anthony J. D’Angelo, “If we have time to whine and complain about something then we have the time to do something about it.”

There are so many questions one can continue to ask, but after reading through and watching some of the accounts of the victims, it’s no wonder this RKelly saga has dragged for over two decades without any accountability.

RKelly is a gifted,charming singer. Most of his songs are uplifting and positive. And… RKelly is a handsome looking man, almost a dream man for most girls/women. So it’s hard co-relate the rumours with this same charming man who sings such beautiful songs. That said, It still doesn’t make sense to me that a case of this magnitude will continue to linger for decades, a case involving not one woman but many, in droves.

You begin to question the system, the society, the feminist society, the human right activists, the families, the celebrities, and the music industry.  If these stories are true why hasn’t these people been talking for years? If these stories are not true, why haven’t these groups put it to sleep for years.  In all of this, I will take on the ‘black families’.

Dear black families and communities,

We can do better. I was wrong to assume no one has taken action to sue RKelly for all these atrocities. There has been and parents have decided to settle out of court, they get paid off and the predator is let off once again. Reading this did it totally for me. A parent takes whatever amount of money in place of justice for not just  their daughter but, an opportunity to save several other young victims who are already in captivity or may fall once more into the arms of this monster. You disappoint me, you disappoint your daughter and all black women. Money for house, car, to look good or for their this day, their daily bread?

I don’t get it. I don’t get how disconnected we often act when it has to do with us, with our own. We disconnect. The only time we come together is to make a collective noise, whine and complain with no meaningful action in place. We as a people like to play the victim without taking on the whatever issue is oppressing us. We wonder why the black human is an endangered human all over the world. Our children, boys and girls get killed, get shot at, get missing at random and the world moves on like any other day.  I mean, these ladies have – fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, aunties, uncles, entire extended families and friends, they have churches and a whole community of people around them. Yet, they’re gone for all this while, gone through such ordeal, yet, no one does anything. The families exchange money for their daughter’s justice and expect others to believe them?

Dear black families and communities, protecting the black female starts from home. It starts from you.  It starts from recognisig that your female child is not the family servant and deserves as much love, care and attention as her male siblings. It starts from letting your female child use her voice that needs to be heard, respected and believed. It starts from knowing that your female child has feelings and is not an unbreakable ‘strong black woman’.

Unfortunately I bet that this docu-series will do more than raising the dust for these women. I doubt it. I can only see corporations and media making money off their stories of struggle as usual. The noise will be pitched so high, then the dust settles and every one goes back to as usual.  Where is the fundraiser to back them in a legal fight? Where are the celebrities , the feminists, the women advocates? Where are they to make sure that his case doesn’t end as just another opportunity to raise the profile of filmmakers, generate content for media and it’s life as usual.

Faustina Anyanwu
Faustina Anyanwu
Faustina Anyanwu is a features writer focusing on people's stories, entrepreneurship, start-ups, social media marketing, and profiling. Follow her on Twitter - @fauntee Official Website: www.faunteebon.com Mantra: Real Women Think Legacy.