More specifically, these are questions I thought of after talking about the Lifetime documentary series “Surviving R. Kelly,” to a Black man who thinks protecting his 3 daughters is enough to stop a system of predatory behavior against Black girls and to counter his doing nothing—NOTHING, not protesting, not suggesting this is a bad idea, not leaving the room, nothing—in the early 2000s when the host of a Super Bowl party he attended popped an R. Kelly “sex tape” (I know it’s a rape tape, but that’s not what he said) into the VCR and it was clear from the faces of the girls in the video that they were indeed girls, not grown women. 

Yes, that’s one sentence.

Also note, this was not the infamous recording admitted as evidence against Kelly in 2008. It was a different one. One this man with 3 daughters watched long enough to know this recording wasn’t the first time the girls had been through this. It was choreographed, rehearsed. And watched.

And this man with 3 daughters who chose not to hold other men accountable because, “It was all men—of course we watched it,” and because, “You know, in somebody else’s house, you don’t want to start anything,” also thinks Kelly should leave the country before one of those “prosecutors who makes their careers on bringing famous black men down,” figures out a way to get him, like they did Bill Cosby. He said he’d never seen them go after anyone like they did Bill Cosby.

Since that conversation, I’ve thought of several questions. And a few statements. In mostly bright, mostly happy designs that will make all this easier to talk about!