"I see these 2 young girls and I think, “This is what it looks like. This is the very odd and sad picture of 2 teenagers who STILL believe in Santa Claus."
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, in a hole, 10,000 feet below the dirt, and in a bunker, then I’m sure you’ve been made aware of all of the recent allegations facing R&B star, Robert Kelly.
R. Kelly is (as of this writing) 52 years old, and very likely to spend a significant portion (or even the rest) of his natural life in jail.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve known two things about R. Kelly.
#1: With no concern for the genre, R. Kelly has an amazing ability to make great music.
His voice and written work has amplified concerts and choirs. Proms and picnics. Graduations and all “grown” points in between. His ability to craft hit records cannot be denied. In the realm music, R. Kelly is iconic.
However, I’ve also known another thing; another thing that also cannot be denied.
#2: He has all but been criminally convicted for being a sexual predator and abuser of woman and very young girls.
25 years ago, the world came to know that R. Kelly, at the then age of 27, married the late Aaliyah at the very young age of 15. This act, while criminal, was simply brushed under the rug. In the midst of several more allegations, in 2002 he was also indicted on 21 counts of Child Pornography.
To the surprise of many, he managed to beat this case and was able to go free. This freedom obviously didn’t humble him. In fact, if you were able to watch the Lifetime docu-series entitled “Surviving R. Kelly” you’d conclude that this freedom made more audacious and emboldened.
After many forward and progressive efforts on behalf of the survivors of sexual abuse, notably the #MeToo and #MuteRKelly movements, R. Kelly is now charged with a 10-count indictment of sexual misconduct and abuse, each count carrying a maximum of 10 years in prison.
To make matters worse (or just, depending on where you’re seated), not even a day after his very troubling interview with Gayle King aired, he was back in police custody. This time for failing to pay over $160,000 in back child support. This charge is a felony in his home state of Illinois.
The chances of R. Kelly maintaining his freedom this time, are beyond slim, they’re now emaciated.
As I considered this reality, I asked myself – what should I do? Aside from talking to our daughters, AND OUR SONS (that’s another post, NEEDED for another day), I pondered on how I should pray? And who should I pray for?
As I considered all things, it became very clear - I’m now praying for Joycelyn Savage and Azriel Clary.
Both Joycelyn and Azriel met R. Kelly at concerts, both did so as teenagers, and they’ve both spent the remainder of their adolescent years in the absolute control of an alleged and documented predator.
Denied access to their families, they met him as innocents. Joycelyn was 19 and Azriel was 17. Today, they are 23 and 21, completely disassociated from their parents, pledging their full allegiance to R. Kelly, and identifying all of his accusers and even their close relatives, as liars, con-artist, scammers, and character assassins.
I see these 2 young girls and I think, “This is what it looks like. This is the very odd and sad picture of 2 teenagers who STILL believe in Santa Claus. They maintain this belief because no one could ever be trusted to convenience them otherwise because a real liar, brainwashed them first. This is the visual of 2 young girls who are so inexperienced and naïve that they can’t even begin to see how impossible it is, for one man, to deliver the world’s toys, house-to-house, in 24 hours, all while riding a flying sleigh. Therefore, when you try to tell them otherwise, you’re the hater, liar, Grinch, and deceiver.”
It’s that thought that makes me sad for them.
For you see, they will (as all “kids” do) eventually see the light. Eventually, they will have to accept that it can’t be that the world is all lying, Santa Claus is exactly what we knew him to be, a fantasy.
Unfortunately for them, their revelation won’t involve Claus. Rather, it will highlight and illuminate a man that they loved and thought loved them back. They will see him for who he is, a predator. A man who has victimized and brutalized many young girls, to include them. It may be during the trial, cross examination, witness testimony, verdict, sentencing, or even his incarceration. At some point, the proverbial rug will be snatched from under their innocence, exposing their reality.
In that moment, many for the first time will see, what they’ve always seen, but somehow never saw.
They’ll have to accept that documents don’t lie. The witness pool is too deep. The camera doesn’t blink, and their minds weren’t playing tricks.
I pray that when that day comes, that they are covered, counseled, consoled, and connected to “real love.” I pray their loved ones will have prodigal arms. I pray they understand that as grown as they think they are, they’ve always been children, and mustn’t blame themselves. I pray that they see his actions for what they are: abusive, manipulative, and evil. I pray they find great therapists, an even better church, and my most Perfect God. I pray they find their footing and find their way.
Make no mistake about it, their worlds are eventually about to be rocked in a very traumatic way. I just pray that when it happens, that my God will give both young Azriel and young Joycelyn the Gift they’ll need the most, the “…peace of God, which surpasses all understanding.”
Your thoughts? Let us know in the comments.
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Kevin D. Jones, Sr.
Kevin D. Jones, Sr.