Tuesday, August 31, 2010

R. Kelly: When A Woman Loves

When a Woman Loves, is R. Kelly's latest video from his upcoming album "Love Letters" Nope, I am not promoting his work, but I thought that it would be interesting to look at.

Lyrics:

When a woman loves
She, she loves for real
When a woman loves
She, she, she loves for real
She took me back
After I broke her heart
About a thousand times
She gave her life to me
With no regrets, she followed me
And she, and she, the girl she raised me
And I'm forever indebted, I'm forever indebted, I'm forever indebted to her cause
When a woman loves
She, she, she loves for real
When a woman loves
She, she, she loves for real
She filled my soul
With the very touch of her hand
She really did
And she’s got more, more faith in me than a beach got sand
And I like to tell ha, I like to tell ha, that I’m forever indebted,, that I’m forever indebted, forever indebted
Cause when a woman loves
She, she, she loves for real
Yea, yea
See a woman loves
It would never die young
Even when I’m dead and gone, I’m gonna love her from the sky
 Cause she’s given me something that no other woman has given me (Whooooo)
When I think about you girl it makes me think
When, when, when, when a woman
When a
Woman
Loves
She loves for real (oh)
When a woman loves, loves, loves
I’m tellin you when she loves
She, she loves for real
Yea, yea, yea
When she loves (When she loves) (6X)
She (When she loves) (3x)
She loves for real

Emphasis mine



Did  you notice that repeatedly throughout the song, R. Kelly refers to a woman -- and what I want to know, is when did he become concerned with women?  I thought that judging from the sex tape and his relationship with the now deceased Aaliyah, that children were more of his specialty. I am not wrong for saying that  either. I am going to be very plain spoken, because men like Kelly don't deserve the benefit of soft words and sugar coating of past actions. And don't even talk to me about how he was found not guilty.

I decided to write this post, because on the few Black blogs where I have seen this video, it has either been posted without comment, or the author has written that it is great to see Kelly go back to his roots.  Again, what roots?  Kelly is singing about women, not the little girls he has been known to spend time with. It is interesting how quickly the community has forgotten what happened.  The slut shaming of a woman can go on for decades, but the alleged abuse by a man is forgotten when he drops a new CD.  Oh, I know you Kelly fans thought that you could blame the girl, because apparently "she was acting grown"; however, all this does is absolve this man of his actions that have hurt Black girls/women.

Does anyone remember this interview, where he clarified that he liked young girls 19 and above?


Whether it is R Kelly or Baby Wipes Terrence Howard, when we reform these men, we are reinforcing the Black male patriarchy and saying unequivocally that Black women don't matter.  It is bad enough that in Kelly's case, many chose to call the victim a gold digger, while shaming her without mercy.  It did not matter that she was 14 and he was a man in his 30's.  To now go out and support this man by purchasing his CD, in full awareness of his past activities (notice how I didn't say relationships) is not only shameful, it is harmful to Black women.  If we must spend our disposable income with anything related to R. Kelly, it should be as a donation to help those who have suffered abuse.  The cycle of abuse that permeates our community will not change until we stop supporting the abuser.

The same Black men who cry foul at books like "The Colour Purple,"  "The Bluest Eye," and "Push" want silence on the issue of abuse in the Black community. They do not recognize the ways in which silence emboldens the abuser.  We want to call these issues family business, because Blacks already deal with so much because of racism.  Racism and White Supremacy lead to high levels of incarceration, high drop out rates, poverty etc. As a community the perversion that is sexual assault seems like just another negative face of Blackness, but the truth is that the stain can only attach itself to us, if we deny the voice of the victims to support the oppressor. Uplifting the oppressor whether through moral or financial support, means that we have communally decided to wear the ugliness and horror that is sexual abuse.  How can we reject the stereotypes that White supremacy places upon us, and then turn around and support a woman abusing thug of our own free will?

Family Business cannot be a shield to avoid shedding light on the pain that many Black girls and women live with every day.  Blaming the victim only creates more victims and increases the malaise within our community. The softness in R. Kelly's voice as he sings about women and love is deceptive -- and with each dollar we spend to support his music career, we tell others that there is a profit to made in the defilement of women. If Black men want to continue to have the unconditional support of Black women, it is long since time that they begin to strive to be worthy of our faith and trust.