Wednesday, October 27, 2021

In R. Kelly’s decision, black women see long-pending justice

NEW YORK — For years, decades, allegations swirled that R&B superstar R. Kelly was abusing young women and girls with impunity.

They were mostly young black women. and black girls.

And that, say the accusers and others who have called on her to face accountability, is part of what took so long to turn the wheels of the criminal justice system, finally on Monday about her sex trafficking. He was convicted in the trial. It did exactly this, he says, because of the efforts of black women who are unwilling to be forgotten.

Speaking out against sexual harassment and violence is dangerous for anyone who tries to do it. Those who work in the field say the barriers faced by black women and girls are raised even higher by a society that hypersexualizes them from an early age, treating them as separate Stereotypes and judges their physique, and in a country that has a history of racism and sexism. Long denied his autonomy over his body.

“Black women have been in this country for a long time and … our bodies were never with us,” said Kalima Johnson, executive director of the Sasha Center in Detroit.

“No one allows us to deserve protection,” she said. “A human being who needs love and purity.” It’s as if, she said, “there is nothing sacred about a black woman’s body.”

In a 2017 study from the Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality, adults were asked about their perceptions of black girls compared to white girls of the same age in terms of their upbringing and protection needs, as well as their knowledge of adult subjects. was asked about. like sex.

At every age, black girls were considered more adults than white girls, needed less protection and were more aware of sex. The difference between black and white was highest for girls aged 10 to 14, followed by girls aged 5 to 9.

Rebecca Epstein, the center’s executive director, said: “We don’t value black girls, they are dehumanized, and they are also blamed for the sexual violence they experienced to a greater extent than white girls. ” Author.

Over the years, R. The girls who suffered at the hands of Kelly were treated more as a punchline than a ridicule, even during a trial on child pornography charges, where a video, purportedly showing a girl being abused Giving was shown, was shown. He was acquitted in 2008.

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