Ak (and she imagines, Yani) has been procrastinating about writing about the R. Kelly not-guilty verdict. Ak’s only excuse: Sometimes she has to willfully avoid things until they’re not so acute. Otherwise, she’ll lose her shit.
Back in 1919 when the tape hit the streets, Ak wrote a column about this in The Source and went on BET Tonight with Ed Gordon (‘member that?) to talk about R. and whatever else. Her stance: Robert Kelly, father of two girls, needed some serious mental help and possibly some prison time to make it clear that sex with preteens was not OK.
One of her fellow guests kept saying that it was morally wrong to pass judgment on The Pied Piper before he had his day in court, as if the American legal system had ever been a fair and balanced arbiter of truth. (Dred Scott? Scottsboro? Emmett Till? Assata Shakur? 2000 Election? Abner Louima? OJ? Michael? Sean Bell? Darryl Hunt, anyone?)
Ak wonders what that person is saying now. In ’08, R. has his piss-on-a-Black-girl free card because that **videotape** wasn’t enough to prove to a Chicago jury that this despicable motherfucker, who **married** Aliyaah when she was damn near in vitro, didn’t do illegal, scandalous things to another little girl who didn’t even have breasts yet.
So what can we do about this? Call the drop squad? Say that this case is fresh evidence that the antebellum, systematic rape and dehumanization of Black women and girls has just taken a more nuanced and often intra-racial form? Should she just personally thank William Jelani Cobb and Marc Lamont Hill for saying something meaningful on this? Break up all of our R. Kelly CDs and flood every urban radio station and video channel with furious calls and emails whenever we hear his music?
In all sincerity, what’s productive, actionable and effective here?