Analysis: What would it take for America to confront its ugliest and most complicated attitudes toward race, gender and sex?
By Janell Ross
Feb. 28, 2019
For Kenyette Barnes, last week was, in a word, strange. After years of rumors and allegations, police in Chicago arrested the singer and producer R. Kelly on charges that he sexually abused four women, three of whom were teenagers at the time.
Barnes is a co-founder of the #MuteRKelly campaign that pushed the music industry, law enforcement and Kelly’s own fans to hold Kelly accountable for what they say is decades of crime against black women and girls, which Kelly denies. The questions started pouring in from news outlets across the country: Wasn’t Kelly’s arrest a victory? How was she celebrating?
But celebrating was the last thing on Barnes’ mind. As details of the allegations against Kelly continue to emerge, and with the ultimate outcome unclear, Barnes wondered: What would it take for America to confront its ugliest and most complicated attitudes toward race, gender and sex, so that the #MeToo movement could finally extend more fully to black women and girls?
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