The challenge when considering R. Kelly’s many offenses has always been sorting the criminal from the merely sordid.
Now, a jury in New York has done a good deal of work on that for us — there was a whole lot of flat-out criminal misconduct — and Robert Sylvester Kelly is sure to go off to prison for a good long time.
Among the only big questions we might still have are whether radio stations and music streaming services will continue to offer his music — hell, no, if we’re the DJs — and why so many big-named stars continued to collaborate with him over these many years when his criminality was not officially confirmed but his awful sordidness was beyond dispute.
What were you thinking, Jay-Z, Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber?
Kelly’s conviction is a victory for the #MeToo movement, we suppose, but it’s sure sad to think that a new social movement was required to condemn and bring to justice a pedophile who preyed on, controlled and exploited 13-year-old girls. We’re pretty sure our grandparents’ generation had issues with that, too.
Kelly’s conviction is more pointedly a victory, or at least a small kind of progress, for the rights and safety and dignity of Black women, who so often are excluded from the conversation — and excluded from society’s sense of outrage — when we talk about male sexual predators.