Robert Sylvester Kelly, better known to the world as R. Kelly, may have dodged prosecution on 14 child pornography charges after “allegedly” filming himself having sex and urinating on a 13-year-old girl; he may have even managed to hold on to die-hard fans after he married late “Age Ain’t Nothin’ But A Number” singer Aaliyah when she was just 15-years-old.
But Black women, at least those with any sense of solidarity and consciousness, have refused to forgive him—which is why Jezebel’s ode to the most famous statutory rapist since Roman Polanski is one huge, White feminist slap in the face and caused instantaneous and fierce online backlash.
Had Kelly’s young victims been White, Black feminists argued on Twitter, Jezebel would not dismiss their trauma in the name of “satire.” Had the victims been White, there would by no country for Kelly in any so-called feminist publication.
Mikki Kendall and Jamie Nesbitt Golden of @HoodFeminism, who tweet individually as @Karnythia and @thewayoftheid, launched the #FastTailGirls tag on Twitter, and the painful responses of Black women who recalled their own victimization and the accepted response —”You asked for it, you little fast-tail girl”—perfectly segued into Jezebel’s piece because that is the rationalization for Kelly’s continued popularity: The 13-year-old girl must have asked for it. She must have seduced him. You know how these little fast-tail girls are; they think they’re grown.
“Kelly’s ability to avoid consequences is unsurprising, Kendall wrote in a piece on RHRealityCheck.org. “Often it is easier for communities to focus on the girls in such cases than on potential predators.”