ACTIVISM/JUSTICE/OPINION

The Tragedy Of
The R. Kelly Acquittal

R. Kelly said he believes he can fly in one of his hit records, and he has done just that. After six long years, he was found not guilty of 14 counts of child pornography in a Chicago courtroom on Friday.

In my opinion, Kelly is the latest in a long line of celebrities to fly off to freedom and escape without being brought to true justice. From O.J. Simpson to actor Robert Blake, celebrities can kill their wives and get away with it. We live in a star struck celebrity judicial system were jurors are swayed by wealth and power.

This verdict was personally devastating to me. I, along with others who have been the victims of child molestation by adults we trusted, truly believed that Kelly would be brought to justice. I was almost too emotionally overcome to even write about this verdict. But, I know that it is important that those who have been abused not allow ourselves to be victimized with shame and guilt our entire lives. Someone has to step out the shadows with some courage and conviction and be a voice for those who have been abused as children.

Kelly was acquitted of all child pornography charges, despite several witnesses who testified that he was the man on the videotape.

Kelly, who married the late singer Aaliyah when she was only 15 years old, has had to settle several out-of-court law suit settlements involving young girls and their families in Chicago. The prosecution based this latest case on a videotape in which a man who appears to be Kelly has sex with a young child and then urinates in her face.

Several witnesses and family members also came forward and testified in court that they knew the victim, who they stated was only 13 years-old at time the tape was made. I was not in the courtroom for the trial, so I did not personally see or hear all the evidence. However, in my mind Kelly was guilty and should have been taken down for what many people believe he did to that child. This verdict sends a horrible message to young black women that their lives, welfare, and protection from pedophiles are not a priority in society.

I want to personally thank Minister Bamani Obadele of Chicago, Donald Baker, Pearl Jr., Jasmyne Cannick of Los Angeles and other activists across the nation for their coverage of this issue. During the past six years we lead protests against Kelly all over the nation, and I believe it was worth it. If black parents and leaders can’t take a stand to send a message to our children that their lives are precious and valuable, who will do it for us?

This blog is dedicated to all youth who have been sexually taken advantage of by adults they trusted and loved. I pray and hope that God gives us justice one day, because the R. Kelly jury certainly didn’t.

Najee Ali is Executive Director of Project Islamic H.O.P.E, a national civil rights organization that advocates for the human rights of oppressed people regardless of race, gender or religion. He was selected by Wave Newspapers and Our Weekly Newspaper as one of the 25 most influential black leaders in Los Angeles. More information is available at: www.islamichope.org.


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Comments

June 14th, 2008 at 2:09 am JamieSez says:

Keep on fighting, Brother Najee. Keep on tapping into your courage & staying true to your convictions.

June 14th, 2008 at 2:37 am kamalp says:

Much respect my man.

June 14th, 2008 at 2:43 am Binta Rohan says:

I can feel the pain in your writing. Thank you for what you do and understand that it is valued by many like me.

June 14th, 2008 at 3:08 am SweetSis says:

Thank you for your honesty and bravery, Najee.

June 14th, 2008 at 8:34 am CeaseNYC says:

You a strong man, bro. Stay up.

June 14th, 2008 at 11:18 am ReNina Minter says:

Najee, I applaud you for your courage and conviction. I was truly touched reading your blog. I was also shocked and disappointed beyond words at the verdict. I have counseled many children and adolescents who have been sexually abused and I know the lifelong emotional struggle that they face. I also pray that one day there will be justice in this country.

June 14th, 2008 at 12:25 pm Friendlee says:

I’ve been there too Najee. We rise above.

June 14th, 2008 at 12:57 pm Regina Holloway says:

This breaks my heart to read. I am so sorry for your trials, Najee, but they have made you the strong warrior you are today. I stand with you in your fight against pedophilia and child sexual abuse. Please always let us know here what we can do to help with your causes because you know how to pick them so well. I saw the success that you and the other activist had with Ashanti this week. It showcases the power of the people and the power of what is right. You won that one. And R Kelly - like Cease said, will get his when God deems the time to be right. Don’t you doubt that.

June 14th, 2008 at 2:16 pm higherlove says:

how brave of you to tell your story… I’m inspired to do more than just observe. god bless you

June 14th, 2008 at 2:22 pm Elsa Harkins says:

The verdict was devastating to many. It is wrong. He will have to answer to God on all his dirt and drama one day.

June 14th, 2008 at 7:19 pm Mo'Kelly says:

It goes without saying, I stand with you and continue to do so. The reality is that he will make another misstep in the future. He will be compelled to do so and we will be victorious then.

Morris O’Kelly
The Mo’Kelly Report
http://www.mokellyreport.blogspot.com

June 14th, 2008 at 7:46 pm heatmizer says:

Totally agree Mokelly because we all reap what we sow and he will get his

June 14th, 2008 at 7:53 pm alicia banks says:

thank you for all you have done my dear brother king!!!

sadly, the court jesters rule the world

there is a court of karma that r kelly will never escape…

peace
alicia banks
OUTLOOK
aliciabanks.blogspot.com

June 14th, 2008 at 8:47 pm UncleD says:

Your protests were definitely worth it. They brought serious light to an issue that would otherwise have been another celebrity circus sideshow. I salute your tenacity, my man.

June 14th, 2008 at 9:13 pm Najee Ali says:

Just want to give a shout out to everybody for showing me some love. The one thing about blogs were not always going to agree on issues and thats O.K.
But the R Kelly verdict hit me hard.Im grown now no one can hurt or harm me.

But our children are at risk by pedophiles I hope that parents will watch their children closer.

I do believe that God is going to handle this eventually R Kelly cant escape from God.

Love all of you who read these words.
Peace

June 14th, 2008 at 10:37 pm Coretta Scott Queen says:

NEVER EVER EVER STOP SPEAKING THE TRUTH! GOD BLESS YOU!

June 15th, 2008 at 1:24 am chica22 says:

I can’t say it better than Regina did, Mr. Ali. Blessings to you.

June 15th, 2008 at 7:19 am Steven says:

we must have faith in the judical system or it all falls apart.

June 15th, 2008 at 10:30 am MissReina says:

To Najee Ali:
The truth will *always* come to light. Falsehoods may lay in wait but eventually they bubble to the surface.
Miss Reina Crawford

June 15th, 2008 at 2:14 pm Maya Rainwright says:

The Aaliyah part is the part that convinced me of his guilt. That is not normal behavior for a grown man - to want to marry a child. He has the tendencies. He has the means and the celebrity spoiledness (a word?). It just seems highly likely in my mind that he is guilt. But I wasn’t there so I don’t know for sure. Only thing I know for sure is I will never buy his music ever again.

June 15th, 2008 at 3:24 pm ratty says:

I applaud you.

June 15th, 2008 at 6:13 pm Kenneth Boston says:

Da Mayor: Doctor…
Mookie: C’mon, what. What?
Da Mayor: Always do the right thing.
Mookie: That’s it?
Da Mayor: That’s it.
Mookie: I got it, I’m gone.

Najee - Keep Doing The Right Thing, Man. One.

June 15th, 2008 at 7:19 pm rene perez says:

i was glad that the sad sad news of tim russert’s passing dominated the headlines on tv friday just as this disgusting verdict came out. kelly doesnt deserve an iota of any more airtime or newsprint.

June 15th, 2008 at 10:58 pm buttabrown says:

Keep fighting the fight good brother you will stay blessed

June 15th, 2008 at 11:46 pm culturepop says:

I still can’t get over this whole thing but we have got to let our young ladies know they are loved

June 16th, 2008 at 6:09 am Ashley says:

This is so sad to me. I still can not believe he got off. I know that the Lord will make right for all the girls he has molested because this is not the first.

June 16th, 2008 at 9:23 am hott2death says:

TRAVESTY OF JUSTICE

June 16th, 2008 at 10:01 am Chatty Cathy says:

I still can’t believe he got off. But like everyone here says: he’ll get his justice served right one day.

June 16th, 2008 at 11:06 am kissntell says:

I’m still sick over this. Even without the video tape, its clear this man has an addiction to victimizing young impressionable women. I agree with everyone on here that he will get his tho

June 16th, 2008 at 11:29 am skin i'm in says:

I was once a young woman, and I know how easy it is to charm and convince a young girl to do what you want them to do. She’s young and he’s a big star - not much coaxing involved. The jury should have saw through that and got to the truth of it all. But I am also upset at the prosecuters who should have had all bases covered and no room for 2nd guessing. They dropped the damn ball.

June 16th, 2008 at 12:07 pm thelma says:

The system is rigged.

June 16th, 2008 at 12:32 pm pmatters says:

Reading this brought a tear to my eyes.

June 16th, 2008 at 3:26 pm Tina says:

I’m not sure how he got off. I was in disbelief when I heard it. Those jurors don’t know what they have done. Thank you Mr. Ali for being so strong and fighting for all of our causes. We need leadership like you in our corner. You share our pain and our triumphs. Thank you!

June 16th, 2008 at 3:56 pm culturepop says:

I heard the jurors are chatting about the verdict. they out to be shamed AND keep their mouths shut

June 16th, 2008 at 5:23 pm Stephanie says:

When you put it in the context of Michael Vick it just makes me even angrier. Dogs get justice but when this man rapes a child they let him go free? I can’t believe this.

June 16th, 2008 at 7:36 pm Najee Ali says:

Now that that the shock and pain is fading away. Its a shame that Black women cant get justice but dogs can ! Michael Vick is in jail ( and he should be ) R-Kelly is free??? Im still trippin of this !

June 16th, 2008 at 8:17 pm Ginger says:

I think about the girl. How will she view this world now? It’s all very awful.