To Whom It May Concern,
It has come to my attention that R. Kelly is scheduled to perform on July 29 at Pier Six Pavilion in Baltimore, Maryland. I am writing on behalf of countless black women and their supporters who see this as a problem despite decades upon decades of allegations of sexual misconduct.
I am writing to say that this is unacceptable.
I am writing to say that I don't condone the silencing of black girls, women and anyone else who are survivors and victims of various forms of abuse.
I am writing to say that I am standing up against institutional sexism, prejudice and discrimination that continues to thrive because the suffering of black women is profitable.
I am writing to say that I am committed to speaking out about those who have harmed black girls and women in a variety of spaces who have gotten away without being held accountable.
I fully understand the need for community healing to in order to resolve these issues, but I also know it's almost impossible to claim healing without first acknowledging what's actually happening. Nothing works like that.
I do not accept the notion that black women should forgive and forget for the sake of “good” music or liberation because there are so called "bigger" issues to worry about. I will not prioritize racism over sexism. This narrative is dead to me.
If we matter, show it. This goes for everybody - Including people who look like us.
Move beyond rhetoric. If you use social media to talk about listening to black women for likes and shares, but don't do that in real life, investigate that. If me speaking on these issues angers you, investigate that.
Believe Black women when we say rape jokes aren't funny. Believe black women when we say that we're not being heard. There is NO debate about this.
By ignoring these allegations, it sends a strong message that we don’t matter. It sends a strong message that it's business as usual. How can that be in a predominately black city like Baltimore?
I don't need the criminal justice system to understand that issues such as police brutality is a problem. Surely, I don't need the criminal justice system to determine if rape culture is a real issue either.
Whether the show happens or not, I do not support R. Kelly performing in Baltimore on July 29 and I know I am not alone.