"Yes girl last week I went to see R-Kelly at Roy Wilkins. He killed it, didnt think I could like him after peeing on that 13 year old. But I guess its time we forgive him. That man sang his heart out." My lips parted as if to offer my words, but disappointment planted itself between us and grew on my face.. I couldn't believe I was hearing this from an elder. From a woman who I should look to for advice. A woman of grace, of poise, decked out in ankhs and adorn in jewls cascading up her arms.
I stood next to my sister on a rooftop, as the ancestors entered my friends and music came to life. as we turned to gaze at the many fireworks she said something that I will never forget. "Popularity excuses artist from their abuse. That guy raped so many girls, and no one has said anything. He raped me, invited me somewhere to apologize, than told everyone I was lying." I turned over my shoulder to see the only ancestor in him , a demon.
It became clear that the music was an antagonizing portrayal of death dancing on our ears. Popularity had almost made me question her, but I knew it all too well, the good guy, the community Jesus. Savior of the culture. An indie artist whose abuse was neglected behind the beauty of their disposition.
More commonly our silence, the fear that once exposed you will be reflected. So you transmit the dead weight in your womb. Secretly flinching when someone rest their hands on your shoulder. Or when a kiss on the cheek leaves you scrubbing your skin in the bathroom. The scent of incense you can't purchase because his room is etched in your nostrils. I overstand why the second part of healing is followed by isolation.
"He's an artist," still surrounds her with grief. Those three triggering words, that denounce all that can be said about his hands on your shoulder pushing you into walls, or his body slithering between your legs. And it all became clear that a woman's voice , the woman we all refer to as God, could find herself crippled with silence.
We've seen it so many times, the leaders sworn to protect you, chatisizing women for their sexuality, questioning their abuse, their attacks. Women being ostracized for their contribution to the truth. 9 Million people in New York and a scene that is ever flowing with newcomers, unsuspecting women. and men.
Accountability is nothing short of a reminder, that we must assure the safety of everyone we love. Accountability is checking your understanding and not being blinded by gifts. Accountability is support. Don't be afraid of overstepping your boundaries. Our community is always our responsibility to each other.