Monthly Archives: December 2013

Reviving R Kelly’s Rape Allegations

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I am reading a couple of articles about R. Kelly’s (statutory) rape of under aged girls. Interesting take on how he was able to molest so many young girls over the years.

But I’m left wandering why are there so many articles coming out now about his criminal history? Is it because he just released a new album he’s dropped several other albums without drawing such criticism of his past?  My fear is that the greater scrutiny is because of his fading star power – he’s starting to be seen as a ridiculous has been and without that aura of success and talent people are able to look beyond the man and see more clearly his past transgressions.  I fear this may be true.

I found the article which was a timeline of RKelly’s career, life, and legal troubles to be particularly informative. At one point I was …. disheartened to learn how long sheesh, R Kelly’s preference for young girls was a well known “secret.” So many people, continued to want to work for the man, to praise him. Very few people came out and spoke negatively about R Kelly’s transgressions, and the few who did seem to do so only after they had been personally affected by Kelly.  Was SOME of this general apathy due to the fact that Kelly was not formally convicted? Did the allegations just not seem real or serious enough to people over time?

And there are a niche of supporters and fans who I had never even considered – the ones who love R Kelly because they know about his pedophiliac proclivities.

some percentage of fans are liking Kelly’s music because they know. And that’s really troublesome to me. There is some sort of — and this is tied up to complicated questions of racism and sexism — there is some sort of vicarious thrill to seeing this guy play this character in these songs and knowing that it’s not just a character!

If another wave of allegations were to happen today would the public at large behave any differently? So, I have no reason to think so.

Reading further, I decided that silence, complicit silence, continued popularity and approval is not due to apathy but that people genuinely do not judge him in a negative light for his supposedly past deeds. 

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Origins of Taboos: Part II

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H/T to Black Girl wit Short Hair for photo.

I haven’t been able to find the origins of the taboo of how never the two components of dark skin and bright colors should meet.

BUT I do think I have interesting insight into why this ‘rule’ exists. I read the novel ‘Plum Bun: A Novel Without a Moral’ by Jesse Fauset. Published in 1928, the book follows the life of a young Black women whose light skin affords her the opportunity to pass for white. End synopsis. I brought up this novel that I read years ago, because while the story itself has faded – greatly – in my memory, I do still recall the description of one scene, where the protagonist explained that dark and or darker skinned teachers?/students? were encouraged not to wear white shirts. Instead it was recommended that they wear shirts with darker hues – black, navy blue, etc. The reason? The darker colors were meant to blend into or rather complement the dark skin of the clothes’ wearer. According to this line of thinking, darker skin was not meant to be set off or featured, instead such skin should be hidden, or the next best thing was to “help” such skin be overlooked.

AND THIS line of thinking, is partly why brightly colored lipsticks are not recommended – and even vehemently argued against – for dark skinned make up wearers.

However, I am still stumped as to why this ‘ruling’ has lasted in regards for make up but not clothes. Seriously, I never hear such warnings against dark skinned people shouldn’t wear brightly colored clothes. May be because make up is still considered such a feminine accoutrement and females have always been held to a more constricting beauty standard?

If anyone who happens to wander by this blog has a theory, please feel free to share your opinion. Thanks!