But, sometimes I have to take a break from complaining about the ways the white man holds us down and point out the ways black folks, or rather some black folks, eff things up themselves.
Today is one of those days.
My senior year in college a video hit the streets that had every dorm room buzzing and cats holding carefully organized viewing parties. The video was guaranteed to shock and titillate, and depending on who you watched it with (the person would have to be a stone cold freak) it might even lead to some horizontal slam dancing.
That video was the R. Kelly sex tape.
Don't look at me like that because some of y'all were holding viewing parties too. I was actually introduced to the tape by a young lady I was trying to get next to senior year. She had obtained a copy from somewhere and offered to bring it up to my dorm room so we could view it together.
For about an hour, we watched a portly man with braids who greatly resembled one Robert Kelly engage in various sex acts with women until he ended the tape by pissing on one prone girl. We rewound the tape several times to determine if the girl looked underage before concluding that she seemed to have the body of an adult, but might look a little young in the face. The young lady then prepared to leave my room, but not before making one last comment about the size of the Pied Piper's penis.
It was not my finest hour.
When that tape surfaced, I, and many of my friends, had several debates about whether the King of the Remix was a pervert or a poor sap who got caught up. Judging by the young lady's body we agreed that it would be easy to mistake her for an adult, but given Kelly's previous suspect behavior with Aaliyah, we weren't so sure that he was unaware of the girl's age. After all, as men, we all knew cats who sought out young girls to have sex with for a variety of reasons. Plus, several cats from the Chi swore that The Fool with the Mask was known to visit high school campuses looking for fresh meat.
Whatever our thoughts on Kelly's guilt or innocence, we all agreed that his ass was headed to jail. There was a tape of him having sex with a young chick that everybody in the hood had access to, so we were certain that it wouldn't be long before the law was picking his crooning ass up. Sure enough, not long after the tape dropped, Kelly was arrested and held a bizarre interview on BET where he found Jesus.
Now, given the tape, I think most of Black America assumed it wouldn't be long before Kelly was singing in the shower with a bunch of naked men, but we were very, very wrong. In fact, it has taken R. Kelly more than five years to ever see the inside of a courtroom on these charges. During that time he's released several albums, fallen out with Jay-Z and come to represent everything that is wrong with R&B today.
He's been busy.
However, his sabbatical is over and his trial began on Tuesday. And I for one think that it's about damn time.
When I read that story it really shocked me to see exactly how long it had been since Kelly was first accused, and also to see the perverse machinations the defense was expected to employ to generate the right mood in the courtroom. I understand that every defendant deserves the best defense, but the portion of the story where they talk about exactly how Kelly should react when he sees the sex tape was a bit much. I guess it does makes sense that the defense would prep Kelly because given his massive stupidity he might decide to break out in song when the prosecution cues up the tape:
I don't see nothing wrooooooooong, with a little bump and grind.......
Anyway, what's really sad about this whole debacle is how Kelly has managed to maintain his popularity while being accused of child rape, even though the entire hood has seen the video. I think we all can admit that if R. Kelly was poor ass Leroy from around the way, nobody would be picketing at his trial in support of his cause and he would have never been able to blame these accusations on the nefarious schemes of "The Man."
This is one of the cases where a rich and crazy black person has decided to royally eff up, and then jump on the abused black people's bandwagon to escape persecution. Other examples of this phenomenon involved Orenthal, Michael and Pacman. In all of these cases, the individuals involved made decisions that can only be described as asinine, and then decided that the terrible consequences of their choices could only be due to the fact that they were black. And there have always been poor saps willing to buy this reasoning.
Look, we all know that black folks can get screwed, but we as black people cannot support scumbags like R. Kelly. I know that Woody Allen is just as despicable, but we can't worry about what kind of weirdos white folks want to do business with; we have to take care of our own houses. We must demand equal and fair treatment, but that also means that we accept equal and fair punishment.
And for God's sake, please destroy all of your R. Kelly CDs, dude is just nasty.