Weekly Round Up With Lara Livingstone
#SURVIVING R KELLY
The anger about #SurvivingRKelly is continuing to grow – first at the fact that this proven deviant has ‘got away with it for the best part of 30 years’, but also at the circle of enablers – family members, music executives, promoters, staffers, security details and hangers-on who allowed him to continue his circle of abuse, because they were being paid to be part of his entourage.
My biggest question was where were the parents. Hearing the ages of the young girls placed in the pathway of RKelly, by parents who were, for the most part, looking for a come up and or fame vicariously through their children, starting from the age of 14 onwards.
Those young girls were targeted for their vulnerability – their palpable desperation to land their shot, or opportunity to connect with those who could make their dreams come true.
The sad reality is that some of their parents were ‘willing’ to do anything for it, including sacrificing their own children, as they did by letting R Kelly work with them unchaperoned in or out of the studio and saying it was ok, despite what they had heard about him – particularly after his marriage to Aaliyah and collapsed sex tape trial.
Saying it was ok….like parents said and R Kelly’s calculated abuse of power, in plain sight of everyone, the sex tape, his marriage to underage Aaliyah.
The tragedy of the fragmented lives of the victims and hearing about their painful experiences was monumentally terrible, but the aftermath of their treatment after they got their stories out was worst.
There was no escaping the reality that the victims had been treated poorly by authorities because they were black. That the police, judges, legal system dropped the ball both intentionally and just plain stupidity, complicated by a web of non-disclosure agreements and money being thrown around whenever things got messy.
I hope that the disturbing upswing in people downloading R Kelly music during the run of the six-part documentary is not a signal that the public’s perception of him has softened and that 2019 is the year when R Kelly is muted both vocally and physically.
#BORN IN THE UK
For many years I wanted to be American when I was growing up. Everything about it from the people, music, clothes, makeup – through to the culture, had me wishing I’d wake up to find myself in the US of A, married to LL Cool J or if I couldn’t pull that miracle off, as the proud holder of a green card.
Fast forward to today and particularly in the two years, since Trump rolled in on his stud of lies, ignorance and racism and I’m sorry, despite our Brexit mess-up, my wish to be American has faded.
Maybe it’s the fact that getting through immigration is now a major pain in the ass a non-American, that I always seem. Listening day to day about the shutdown and the impact is having on working-class Americans is painful and shocking. The deadlock between the Republicans and the Democrats is bitter, unsightly and so childish, bearing in mind the gravity and implications of it.
On Tuesday Trump talked to the nation, hopeful of convincing them that he needs five billion for his border wall and tried to position it as an essential security measure, to protect the USA from invaders. It remains to be seen with whether his devoted ‘base’ will stick with him.
Maybe it’s the fact that it takes me twice as long to go through immigration, that I randomly get stopped a lot or maybe it’s just that the carefree America that I loved and remembered seems to be being taken apart one brick at a time.