The Difference Between R Kelly and Elvis Presley?

Did the radio station stop playing Elvis Presley's music when he married his 13 year old wife? Did anyone boycott Miami Vice when they found out that Don Johnson was living with a 14 year old? Did the picket signs raise in fury when Woody Allen was accused of sleeping with his adopted daughter? We can say NO to all those rhetorical questions. So why is R Kelly being persecuted as an artist?

I can tell you why the R & B/Hip Hop star is being ridiculed. The hypocrisy that colors this circumstance can be traced back to the racial overtones of slavery. White men created a hysteria that Black men were oversexed animals who could not be left alone with their "innocent" white women. As music can penetrate the suburbs, the virgin snow white life style that separates the Black urban reality from an elite White privilege. Music told the story and continues to tell the story of the Black man's reality and has raised a generation of White women and men that are more sympathetic to the Black community. They are no longer too content on buying that Blacks are nothing but animals. So there should not be a surprise that the White elite ruling class will create a hypocritical stance in terms of OUR R Kelly.

The media is nothing but polarized script writing. And Hollywood would like R Kelly to be the "LADIES MAN" -- envisioning the Black man's sexual prowess. Some radio stations have even tried to use his own songs to incriminate him. Certainly Elvis' "Aint nothing but a HOUND DOG" was not used against him as groupies flocked around him granting him his sexual desires. What is the difference between R Kelly and Elvis Presley? They both married underaged women? Allegedly they both had sexual encounters with underaged groupies. The Black and White contrast shows that racism continues to pardon White artists, all the while demonizing Black artists.

I cannot condone any young girl being taken advantage of by someone for sheer sexual pleasure. But let's be realistic are these girls entirely innocent? Is our society entirely innocent? Are the parents of these children entirely innocent? The question of sexuality must be addressed. Since we have so many radio disc jockeys who are commenting against R Kelly. If R Kelly is so bad, I challenge the radio stations to stop playing ALL music that treat women like pieces of meat. Ouch! I guess Record Labels and payola can allow for certain sexuality and exploitation of music, but do not condone the acts?

Let's face it most of the Music channels that stuffs sexuality down our youth's throats cater to the ages that R Kelly supposedly sexed: 13-18. This society has taken away age appropriate recreational activities and replaced it with sex. Re-creating one's SELF is an excellent activity. Yet this society does not empower the spirit of young girls to know when they should engage in an intimate activity. Young girls do not have enough self worth to even be discriminating in their sexual choices. Sex education is taught in such a mechanical fashion in our homes, in our children's school. It should not be called SEX EDUCATION. It should be called: DISEASE and BABY PREVENTION. The classes teach how to not get pregnant, and how to not get a disease, but the classes and our homes do not teach how to love ourselves. Young girls are not given the tools to love themselves, so they participate in sexual activities-yearning for some type of display of affection. We should not be so shocked when 13 year olds and 14 year olds are sexually active. This society displays and sells sex through out every avenue: television shows, videos, commercials, radio stations.

Assuming what the media claims to be true, let's ask: Why would R Kelly think that having sex with teenage girls to be an appropriate act? Let's look at the historical implication of sexual activity and Black men. Black men have been trained to be studs and connect on a sexual level. Surprising? Since slavery Blacks did not receive a seminar on how to overcome the brutal acts of slavery. We internalized the N word as a term of endearment, and it was a term of hate used against us. Black men have taken pride in sexual stereotypes that they are pimps, hoes and etc.. Because Black men are not able to compete against their oppressor in the global, economic and military sectors, they have resorted to conquering vaginas. This generation that wants to conquer has resorted to conquering Black women. That's all this society will "allow" them to safely conquer. The Hip Hop generation have managed to conquer the sexual elements, but have not conquered the political elements of society. White supremacists are aware of this. Yet they still want to display and show the level of control they have over OUR artists.

IF R Kelly is not innocent, we can certainly put parents on trial, high school on trial, this society on trial - Those young girls were not raped ladies and gentlemen. They got the impression from someone that it was ok to give their bodies up so willingly without a thought that this may be wrong, until they confessed to someone that had enough sense to discern that something was wrong. I do not know if R Kelly is guilty or not, I did not look at the tapes, or read the court documents. Yet we are an interdependent society, so there is not one individual to be blamed. This entire social structure (White supremacy) benefits from exploiting insecure young girls. Should R Kelly be the scape goat for a music industry that uses sex to sell billions of records? Radio disc jockeys who are proclaiming this "Holier than thou" attitude amaze me. After they make a commentary about R Kelly's perverted acts, they put on a song that is laced with sexual overtones. All I have to say to them is: If R Kelly's Ignition cannot be played, Why wasn't Elvis: I aint nothing but a Hound dog protested?

written by Shemia

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About the author:
Shemia Miller is a global consultant for Black businesses. MBA in Global Management and International affairs. She is the marketing director for Here After Records ( Her upcoming book that will hit stores such as Barnes and Nobles and entitled "What White Women Won't Tell Us" has scholars anticipating great dialogue. A column writer for Chuck D's uplifting site RAP STATION ( To contact her email

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