Mr. Kelly has a history of serious and interesting activity with at least 8 unrelated accusers, including his ex-wife, who have [pretty much] all been saying the same thing. Also, you have a criminal case that ended [in his favor] because the victim wouldn’t cooperate. Then there is that video, allegedly of him engaging in sexual acts with a minor. Not to mention, these reports of him holding women captive.

He is not a victim.

What Mr. Kelly needs to do is stop releasing songs, tweeting and posting on Instagram and let Jocelyn Savage have face-to-face contact with her family. Despite him saying this is about money, no one is suing him. The Savages just want to know that their daughter is doing OK.

HB: Despite more than two decades of damning accusations against Kelly, why would her parents trust their daughter with him in the first place?

GG: Sadly like many people in our community, the Savages believed these allegations were just that, allegations that weren’t true. Now here they are two-plus-years later and they haven’t seen their daughter.

HB: There are a lot of people even now, who still support R. Kelly. Any words for them?

GG: This is something that the African-American community needs to work on in order to reclaim our morality. We are so quick to redeem people who aren’t even asking for redemption.

Mr. Kelly is not admitting to any wrong doings or asking to be held accountable. He is not asking for forgiveness or turning himself into the police. He’s not even saying that he has a problem and needs help. And yet, here we are skipping all over the proper steps to seek redemption and redeeming him anyway.

HB: Speaking of what we need to do as a community, what else needs to happen in order for us to better protect and believe Black women and girls? 

GG: We need for more Black male allies to stand with the Black women who come forward with their stories. More of us need to say that this is not right; this is not appropriate.

While Mr. Kelly is saying that he is just a man, this is not what a man does. A man respects, supports and assists his sisters.

HB: Final thoughts on how we move forward and hold Kelly accountable?

GG: I want to stress to any of your readers who still stand with R. Kelly or want to downplay these charges, that we need to be more empathetic toward these women and their families. We tend to have this attitude that because it’s not happening to our daughters or us, that we can easily separate the man from the music.

I mean, just last month, we were crying, watching children being separated from their parents on the Mexican-American border. Yes that’s serious and tragic, but I also need for us to have that same level of concern and sadness when someone in our own community separates a child from their family. I need for all of us to demand that Mr. Kelly return Jocelyn Savage to her parents, right now.

Most importantly, brothers, let’s step up and protect our sisters and queens, Ase.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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Timeline Of R. Kelly’s Sexual Assault Accusations
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