I, like many of you are operating under a political correctness microscope. Our opinions have been stifled by the “PC Mob”. This mob is a group of individuals, usually found in social media comment sections, waiting to pounce on the first person to disagree with the masses. This group of individuals are so politically correct that you’d think they were paid to comment on a post just to bait you into a never ending battle about whose opinion is right or wrong.
The news stories currently dominating the headlines right now are the Jussie Smollett case and the R. Kelly sexual abuse scandal. If you’ve been living under a rock, Jussie Smollett is a well known actor from the hit Fox television show Empire. He’s also the brother to Jurnee Smollett, famous from her childhood role, along side Megan Good, in Eve’s Bayou. He has allegedly filed a false police report in Chicago, Illinois alleging that he was viciously attacked by racist Trump supporters who, during the attack, yelled out racial slurs, poured bleach (or gasoline) on him, and tied a noose around his neck. Since the initial report was filed earlier this month, evidence has since pointed to this “hate crime” as a hoax and that Jussie reportedly hired his attackers in hopes of getting more money for his role on Empire.
This information was given to the public during a press conference with the Chicago Police Department on February 21, 2019. Jussie has since posted bail and is scheduled appear before a grand jury in Chicago regarding these allegations. If convicted Smollett faces 1 to 3 years in jail.
Robert Kelly, also known as, R. Kelly is probably the most successful male R&B acts of my generation. He’s famous for songs like I Believe I Can Fly, Bump & Grind, and Step in the Name of Love, just to name a few. All of my life I’ve listened to and admired R. Kelly, but I’ve always heard stories of him being a sexual predator. However, none of his sexual misconduct allegations have stopped most of us from listening to his music until the recent Surviving R.Kelly documentary that aired on Lifetime in early 2019. This documentary sparked a national, if not international, protest to #MuteRKelly. This has prompted companies like Spotify to remove his music from their streaming platform.
To see the hurt, pain, and anger on so many faces during the documentary, how could one not believe that R. Kelly used his power and influence to manipulate, abuse, and take advantage of these women and many others? As children, like myself, listening to his music through our parents and at family barbecues, it would never occur to you that there has always been rape allegations and sexual misconduct with minors because most of us were too young to understand.
In 2003, I was 11, R. Kelly arrested on child porn charges. These charges stemmed from a sex tape that circulated during that time in which he was allegedly engaged in sexual acts with a minor. The girl was never identified in the tape, her family denied that it was her, and R. Kelly walked away a free man in 2008, five years after his arrest. This all took place AFTER it was proven that he’d married R&B singer Aaliyah when she was only 15 years old.
As of February 22, 2019, Robert Kelly has been indicted in Cook County Illinois on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. According to reports, the charges are based on events that span from 1998 – 2010. He has since turned himself in to Chicago police awaiting his first court appearance on March 8th.
Social media has made it extremely difficult for anyone to maintain their innocence. The presumption of innocence has been stripped away from many due to the court of public opinion. Our society has turned to sites like Instagram and Facebook for updates on news. No longer are sites like CNN, Fox News, or local affiliates used for accurate news consumption. Hot headlines and gossip blogs like The Shaderoom, Baller Alert, and The Wendy Williams Show have become popular forms of entertainment news and gossip on our favorite celebrities and politicians.
I will admit that I do indulge in these types of sites, but I am usually there for the headlines and the comment section. Youtube’s comment section is one of my favorites, however, I will never understand how someone’s opinion is quickly criticized and dismissed if they do not agree with the majority. The stories mentioned above are great examples of polarized comment sections. As mentioned before, R. Kelly has always been known as a sexual deviant, whether we wanted to accept it or not, however, we’ve never lived in a time where we had access to the inner/outward opinions of our peers.
Jussie Smollet’s case exploded on social media with an overflow of support for him and his becoming a victim of a hate crime. Jussie described several racial and sexual orientation slurs like “Maga,” a buzzword used in reference to President Trump’s 2016 Presidential campaign, Make America Great Again, “Nigger,” a historical slur used toward people of African descent, and “Fa–ot,” a slur used toward homosexual men. These terms were allegedly used during his attack. He even said that the attackers placed a noose around his neck.
A noose, according to the Webster dictionary, is a loop with a running knot, tightening as the rope or wire is pulled and typically used to hang people or trap animals. This device was a popular tool used in the murders of African Americans, mostly in the South, and is still being used today. Hearing these accusations would undoubtedly create a sense of solidarity for Smollett, but those of us who chose to wait for the facts or down right said he was lying were “dragged” in comment sections for being “homophobic,” “racist” and the like. The same has happened to individuals who choose to continue to support R. Kelly.
We are all entitled to our opinions, and like the saying goes, they’re like assholes, we all have them. I would just like to see healthier discussions in our comment sections about why people choose to support, disagree, or move from the norm without being attacked. Because these attacks are no longer staying behind computer screens and on social media apps. People are receiving death threats and are being harassed in public, i.e. Beehive, Barbs & Carbs (Cardi B fans).
Let us remember to love on one another even if we disagree. Because ain’t none of these folks paying our bills at the end of the day.