Did I Survive Watching R. Kelly?

Lifetime Movies released a series titled “Surviving R. Kelly,” which allowed women (who he sexually assaulted), families, journalists, radio personalities, and people who were by his side the whole time, come forward and tell their truths about R. Kelly.

Each episode starts with a black screen and a disclaimer, stating that R. Kelly has denied all allegations against him; yet the reminder gave me an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach.

Five minutes into the episode I felt as if I couldn’t breath, and at that point, viewers were given a glimpse of the content of the series. I changed the channel and decided I would watch it another time.

The next night I made it through three out of the six episodes, which mostly covered R. Kelly’s rise to stardom and his relationship with R&B singer Aaliyah.

Demetrius Smith, who was R. Kelly’s Tour Manager and personal assistant, got Aaliyah fake papers saying she was 18 years old when she was actually only 15 years old, so that Aaliyah  and R. Kelly could get married. R. Kelly was 27. That is disgusting.

The more I watched the show, the more women told their stories, the more my heart broke and the angrier I became. Everyone around R. Kelly helped him hurt those young girls.

By everyone I’m mean the people that worked for him, his friends, and his musical colleagues. Did they do the worst of it? No. But they made phone calls, booked hotel rooms and looked away.

No one stood up for those girls. Those girls who were taken away from their families and treated like animals, to then be used for sex.

R. Kelly should’ve been sent to jail, when he went on trial in 2008 for the sex tape with a child, but somehow he managed to walk away freely.

Angelo Clary, father of Azriel Clary who is a victim of R. Kelly said, “If the kids were caucasian young women we would not be going through this.” Which is true. In today’s society you see that the lives of white individuals are held to a higher value than people of color.

You see this regardless if it’s these girls getting assaulted, or young black men being shot in their own backyards.

This series can and should be used in a court of law to put R. Kelly in jail for the rest of his sick and pathetic life.

His music and anything relating to him should be taken off of every platform. R. Kelly should be muted and imprisoned.

If you still listen to R. Kelly regardless of whether you support the man or not, your streams are giving him money. The only thing R. Kelly should be getting is jail time.

To answer the question that the headline is asking, I did survive watching “Surviving R. Kelly.” I was angry and crying the whole time, but I survived. Then again I did the least I could, I listened and now I’m talking about it. These women lived it and they are the true survivors.

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