R. Kelly Fans, Please Stop Blaming the Victims

She Matters: Just because you want to keep listening to his music—despite all the sordid details—doesn’t mean you get to shame teenage girls.

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So what if R. Kelly made 12 Play, TP-2.com and Chocolate Factory? Having talent doesn’t give him a pass to have illegal sex with teenagers, and it’s not a valid excuse to turn a blind eye or blame the victims of an alleged predator. If you don’t care about black girls, then just say so, and we can discuss that. But stop trying to make a bad situation even worse by blaming teenagers for their own victimization.

The people who do this are overlooking the obvious queries, such as why is a grown man who isn’t a teacher hanging out in high school classrooms? Why is an adult man hanging out in high school parking lots when he’s not picking up his child or working security?

The girls weren’t being “fast” by being where they were supposed to be or for behaving like the naive girls they’re supposed to be at that age. Kelly counted on that, and he preyed on them. He’s the one being accused dozens of times of committing variations of the same crime. R. Kelly is the problem, not his victims.

Demetria L. Lucas is a contributing editor at The Root, a life coach and the author of the upcoming book Don’t Waste Your Pretty: The Go-to Guide for Making Smarter Decisions in Life & Love.

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