Raz-B’s Molestation Publicity Blitz

Former B2K member Raz-B has taken to YouTube to air accusations that his associates molested him as a child. Is he making a spectacle out of a serious issue?

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

In an effort to validate his stories, he’s released several videos of his recorded conversations with everyone from Houston’s sister to Quindon Tarver, a former label mate who previously shared his own allegations of molestation at the hands of Stokes in a 2008 interview with Vibe magazine. Many of these conversations were recorded and released without consent, drawing the ire of various unwilling participants in Raz-B’s viral campaign.

Despite my own sneaking suspicions, it is not my place to state whether or not Raz-B’s accusations are true. I do, however, have a problem with Raz-B’s methodology.

Days ago, Raz-B released another video — this time of him holding a conversation with Ray-J. In the video, Raz continues the celebrity-patented pattern of mixing serious discussions with topics pertaining to his career. In previous videos, Raz-B has mentioned movies and new singles. In the latest, he seeks R&B singer and VH1 “celebreality” star Ray J’s advice on how to salvage his career. Ray J suggests a reality show — because we don’t already have enough of those.

Raz-B can talk iTunes, TV-show ideas and serious allegations of molestion in his videos, but he won’t discuss legal action or psychological treatment. In an interview with Vibe.com, Raz-B dismissed the court as a “demonic” system, which is why he hasn’t taken Houston and Stokes to task in court. And when asked if he’s sought the aid of a psychologist, Raz-B said, “The only help that I will ever need is Jesus Christ.”

What a pity that so few realize that God loves us so much that he gave us therapists and medicine.

Even more damaging than Raz-B’s responses to questions about seeking legal or medical help for his problems is his insistence on linking pedophilia and homosexuality. When asked (irresponsibly) if Houston was “a gay man with a problem,” Raz told Vibe: “I don’t know Marques like that to say. But any person trying to mess with kids and have sex like that … that’s gay to me, homie.” No, that’s pedophilia, and the last thing gay men need is another nitwit equating the two in front of a world full of other nitwits.

I want to feel sympathy for Raz-B because no matter what the truth is about what happened to him years ago, this is a person in pain. However, by discussing molestation in the context of trite stereotypes of perversion and choosing reality TV instead of therapy as a path to emotional recovery, Raz is doing little to elevate the conversation about molestation above the surface. And although he says he’s doing all of this to help other people, his antics have turned an issue of severity into one of spectacle — only to his benefit.

Michael Arceneaux is a Houston-bred, Howard-educated writer currently based in Los Angeles. You can read more of his work on his site. Follow him on Twitter.

Like The Root on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.