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Will black people boycott R. Kelly?

Apparently, there’s some huge email list the black community uses when they need to mobilize around an issue.

You’ll recall that said list was instrumental in getting black people to feign outrage when Don Imus expressed an aesthetic preference for black women with lighter skin and straighter hair (that fucking racist!), and when some racist-ass judge down in Louisiana tried to charge the Jena Six with attempted murder just for stomping one of their white classmates unconscious. Pfft!

I wouldn’t know, because I’m not on the list. (I’m assuming it’s just one list, but who knows. There could be several of them.) Even though I’m black – black meaning the descendant of African slaves, i.e. the least significant form of blackness these days – and I spend pretty much all of my time on the Internets, I didn’t find out about either of the aforementioned “causes” until when most white people did. It just goes to show how out of touch I am with my brothers and sisters.

The latest such cause? Throwing R. Kelly under a bus. There’s an email going around urging black men to boycott R. Kelly’s music, and to sign an R. Kelly petition.

The blog Racialicious has the text of the email along with a link to the petition, which they got from a site that, as far as I can tell isn’t even a black site. It’s a hispanic site. But you know how these hispanics love to take part in black people’s bullshit protests. It’s like the LA Riots all over again. (Ahem, the LA Uprising, to use the politically correct term.) The name of the site is La Chola, which I’m assuming is the feminine version of a “cholo,” as seen in the best movie evar, Havoc.

The text of the email mostly consists of the text of the petition. I’m not gonna copy and paste it all here, because it’s kinda long and kinda gay, and you can read the entire thing yourself on the actual petition website, if you’re so interested.

Checkit: Black Men Against the Exploitation of Black Women

But then along with the text of the petion, there’s also a list of action items, bullet point-steez, as well as a list of books and films you might want to check out, should you be interested in pandering to a black woman’s sense of mostly imagined besiegement. One of them was the anti-rape documentary (such a courageous stance!) by my former colleague DJ Drama’s lesbian sister. Shout out to Mr. Thanksgiving.

I’m assuming the action items are more key than the petition itself, in the sense that it’s not like the petition actually means anything. I’ve started a number of them myself over the years using the same exact site, including my petitions to have Kanye West banned from the Grammys, and my petition that Johnny Carson be denied a proper burial. Because he was a racist, and racists don’t deserve proper burials.

Which makes you wonder why the action items weren’t included in the text of petition. As it is, by signing the petition, you aren’t really agreeing to anything other than being nominally against the exploitation of black women. I would’ve signed it myself, if it wasn’t for all of the shit about R. Kelly being guilty, despite the fact that a jury just proved it wasn’t him on that tape. Could it be that whoever came up with this bullshit in the first place isn’t that smart?

Anyhoo, here’s a list of the key action items:

o Make a personal pledge to never support R. Kelly again in any form or fashion, unless he publicly apologizes for his behavior and gets help for his long-standing sexual conduct, in his private life and in his music

o Make a commitment in your own life to never to hit, beat, molest, rape, or exploit Black females in any way and, if you have, to take ownership for your behavior, seek emotional and spiritual help, and, over time, become a voice against all forms of Black female exploitation

o Challenge other Black males, no matter their age, class or educational background, or status in life, if they engage in behavior and language that is exploitative and or disrespectful to Black females in any way. If you say nothing, you become just as guilty.

o Learn to listen to the voices, concerns, needs, criticisms, and challenges of Black females, because they are our equals, and because in listening we will learn a new and different kind of Black manhood

Those last three you can mostly disregard. (I’m not saying you should beat or rape any black women, but it’s not like you were going to anyway.) But I thought that first one was interesting.

I remember there was talk of an R. Kelly boycott back when the tape first hit the streets, but it never really got anywhere. I think a couple of different stations stopped playing R. Kelly for a while. But then he got on one of his hot streaks, and it was just like, “Um, nevermind. The “Ignition” remix was just too good to be trying to make some sort of bullshit moral stance.

And it may have been thought that Arruh deserved to be considered innocent until proven guilty; and that, if it really did turn out that he’s been peeing on middle school-age girls, he’d be tossed in jail, the public would turn against him, and this wouldn’t be an issue one way or another. But obviously the main issue was the fact that people still loved R. Kelly’s music, and a lot of people saw the tape and didn’t think what he did constituted that much of a crime.

Now that he’s actually been found not guilty by a jury of his peers, I can’t imagine the success of an R. Kelly boycott would be any more likely. And anyway, I’m not sure what good it would do. Not only do I doubt that a decrease in sales of R. Kelly albums would actually prevent any black women from being beaten, but it probably wouldn’t even stop R. Kelly from peeing on young girls. It’s not like he could ever be hurting for money. And a lull in his career would just give him that much more free time!

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