For years now, going back to the 1990s singer, Robert Sylvester Kelly has been in the news for his sexual allegations and sexual abuse against women and girls. Due to the various cases brought against him, he has spent time in jail here and there, but was eventually released.
After many years of fighting for his freedom inside numerous courtrooms across the country, he was recently sentenced to 30 years in prison for using his celebrity status to sexually abuse women and minors. He is also facing additional charges in Chicago for child sex images and obstruction charges. He is also facing sex abuse charges in Minnesota. Has justice finally been served?
Robert Kelly has stated that as a child, he was sexually abused and was raped by a family member when he was just eight-years-old. This is not an excuse. There are others that have experienced the same or worse and have not acted as a predator as an adult. I know it has been said that hurting people hurt people, but there comes a time when we have to be accountable for our actions and that day has come for R. Kelly.
It came out in court that R. Kelly was illiterate, yet he was able to write numerous hit songs for himself and other artists like Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, and Whitney Houston. A sad fact is 32 million adults in the United States cannot read and write, which is a depressing commentary on our education system.
Would R. Kelly’s life been different if he knew how to read? Would his life have been different if he had someone who cared enough about him to tell him to stop his immoral and illegal behaviors?
Too often when the people who surround you are all making their living off your talent, they do not know how to speak truth to power. Someone should have said enough is enough, no more. Rather than counting his hits, they should have counted the hurts.
As an advocate for protecting and uplifting women and girls, as well as a survivor of abuse, I have no tolerance for those that sexually harm others, especially when it is against minors. The damage done to individuals that are forced or pressured into doing something against their will can have life-threatening consequences. When celebrities use their power to intimidate or coerce others, it is both disgusting and disgraceful.
We should hold ourselves accountable to not only stopping predators, but also to protect ourselves and the children in our lives. I know we cannot stop everything, but we can stop idolizing celebrities and powerful people who are not worthy of our adulation. We should not be blinded by their talent or success and judge them for what they do and how they conduct themselves.
Ladies do not confuse sex with love. Love does not shame, humiliate or demean you. Parents, know where your children are and with whom they are with.
I have daughters and granddaughters (sons and grandsons as well) and I pray for their safety daily. We must build up the confidence, self-esteem, and self-respect of our girls so they are strong enough to say no, or tell someone when they feel disrespected or physically, emotionally, or sexually abused. Never forget our voices have power.
Healing Without Hate: It’s a choice. It’s a lifestyle. Pass it on.
Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org to learn more. Wendy is a life strategist, coach, consultant, author, and speaker.