My heart rate has consistently been on the fast end of normal so my doctor sent me to the cardiologist. The cardiologist checked out my EKG and told me nothing is wrong with my heart, I just need to address my anxiety.
I knew this.
Both my primary doctor and cardiologist are white women so I didn’t feel that explaining to them my heart is beating too rapidly because of how the society I live in treats Black/Woman/Queer bodies would be fruitful. They wouldn’t get it. Maybe I should’ve given them a chance, but with this heart, I can’t afford to give out too many of those.
For nearly 30 years, I’ve been living in a society that not only doesn’t protect me, but will justify why I deserved whatever happens to me. If someone grabs my collar at work, my attitude is bad, if I’m a victim of sexual abuse as a teen, I’m ‘too fast’.
There is no question social media has turned a mirror on us. Korryn Gaines was one of the first times I realized that we (Black people) weren’t willing to rally around Black-woman victims of police brutality like we are for Black men. The silence and shrugs around Marissa Alexander, Sandra Bland, R. Kelly’s victims and countless Black-woman/girl-victims is telling. The silence is loud.
Why is my heart beating so fast?
America doesn’t care about women.
America doesn’t care about Black people.
America doesn’t care about Black women.
Not enough Black people don’t care about Black women.
As Black women, we’ve rallied around Black men, white women (and everyone in between) without question because we know exactly what it feels like to have NOBODY advocate for you. We’ve done the work because we know that nobody else. We stood up for Stephon Clark despite his misogyny because regardless of the victim’s transgressions, murdering someone because of their race is wrong. The question now is, who is going to have the courage to stand up for us?
I think I’ve found peace (as much as I can) with the fact white people dgaf about us, but my own people? I’m never going to be able to tolerate it. Judging by my Facebook feed, my heart rate is not going back to normal any time soon. I long for a time before social media, where I had no insight into people’s innermost thoughts and feelings. Ignorance truly is bliss.
The documentary #SurvivingRKelly came on last night. I knew I wouldn’t be able to watch it with everybody. It was the worst day of my period, I had a sinus headache and seasonal depression was winning. Besides, that documentary wasn’t going to tell us anything about R. Kelly we don’t already know. He is a serial rapist. He is a pedophile. R. Kelly is a sick son of a bitch. But, his music sounds good and his victims are Black girls so we aren’t going to do anything about it.
My friends in the group chat were talking about it, I would just experience it vicariously until I was ready to watch for myself. I was NOT ready for the storm on social media. I had fallen asleep last night and completely forgot about the documentary. I just wasn’t thinking about it this morning.
Then I signed on Facebook and my heart rate sped up.
Here we are in 2019 and niggas are still playing logic olympics, to justify R. Kelly (and his enablers) decades of abuse. There is just no music good enough to support somebody who has for YEARS sexually abused and manipulated and paid off multiple Black girls and women.
The problem is men can never be accountable, only victims; and girls can never be victims, only accountable. No child should be ‘too grown’ or ‘too fast’ for an adult not to be able to shut it down. I’m closer to 30 than 20. There have been occasions throughout my 20s, I had teenagers (boys AND girls) pushing up on me, I shut it down because I am an adult. R. Kelly and adults like him are not and cannot be victims of children. They are the ones seeking them out.
Furthermore, lets shut down the legal argument. Sure, he’s never been convicted, but neither was George Zimmerman, but he’s still guilty right? What if Black women kept that ‘never convicted, we don’t know what really happened’ energy the next time a Black man becomes a hashtag? Maybe you all would begin to understand the fear and hopelessness that comes with watching an R. Kelly fan dig their heels into the ground defending rape.
I was so angry this morning, I didn’t know what to do. I prayed and was told ‘talk about it’. We cannot solve what we do not address. So many Black girls were victimized by R.Kelly because of cowards who would not say anything. So, I’m saying something. I’m sharing what yall are saying and I’m not blocking out names. If you are bold enough to defend it, I’m bold enough to show it.
I decided to collect screenshots of the all the comments/posts from people in my network justifying and victim blaming abuse and rape of Black girls. I posted a status letting people know that I would be collecting, and people started sharing screen shots they saw as well. Feel free to contribute your own. I’m going to post a collection on my page as well.
If it is exposed, we cannot ignore it and maybe then we’ll rally around the victims like they deserve.
I just hope my heart beat will slow down, eventually.