For a few weeks leading up the Badu show, a friend & I had been in conversation, wondering where Erykah Badu stood on Kelly. And as my friend said last night, “well, now we know”.
Badu’s comments on R. Kelly were by far the most disappointing part of last night’s show. I had so many thoughts of which one was to walk out. It took a minute for me to bounce back from her hyper focus on R. Kelly as the “victim” with little to no acknowledgement of the masses of women that he victimized, sexually assaulted, physically abused, emotionally abused & held hostage.
I didn’t take issue with here encouraging us to not crucify R. Kelly. Inflicting the same violence that Kelly inflicted upon so many women is revenge, not justice.
R. Kelly needs to be held accountable.
He needs help.
Young girls & women need to be protected from him.
He is a dangerous person.
So, it was incredibly disappointing to hear her say something to the affect: “if the incidents happened”. That sounds a lot like denial. That sounds a lot like she doesn’t believe the testimonies of these mostly black women. That is problematic from a cultural & societal perspective. And, it’s also personal, not just for me but for all the women that are & aren’t fans that are also survivors of “R. Kellys”. Kelly is not an anomaly, he’s in lots of relationships at various frequencies & forms.
As a women who has healed, overcome & survived a rang of abuses from sexual assault, physical, emotional & psychological traumas, both subtle & explicit, at various point throughout adulthood, I thought back on how her music was a faithful companion along my healing journey. With that reality in light of her remarks on the women that survived R. Kelly, I wondered if her response to my testimony would have ended with: if these incidents happened?
I am still processing.
I have lots more that I could say but for now, I am also reminded that Erykah is also still processing. I am not justifying what appears to be a lack of solidarity with women that survived K. Kelly. I am recognizing the complexity of emotions & thoughts that arise when someone that you love, trust, admire & know intimately becomes a monster. I know that place all to well. It more than sucks! I just don’t have a celebrity platform that demands that I have all my feelings & thoughts figured out so that when the headlines hit, I am ready with a clear statement.