A man who admits he cannot read and famously beat child-porn charges might not seem the most obvious honorary grand marshal of a children’s back-to-school parade.Look, I'm all for people getting second chances and whatnot. This country is built on redemption. Falling down, and getting back up again is the quintessential American dream. And of course, Kelly was never convicted of said crime.
But there was nothing but love for superstar R&B crooner R. Kelly at the Bud Billiken parade. Families cheered for Kelly — who has been recovering from throat surgery last month — the entire parade route. As his sexually charged tunes blared from a sound system, he smiled and waved back.
“You’re still my baby, no matter what you did!” yelled one fan, Leslie Kaizer, 36. Most parade-goers agreed, maintaining that charges that Kelly filmed himself having sex with and urinating on a 14-year-old should have been forgotten after 2008, when jurors couldn’t be sure it was him on the infamous tape.
“Isn’t that what justice is in the United States?” said Tiffany Levy, 38, a mother of two girls.
Kelly, 44, acknowledged his literacy problem in 2009, telling an audience, “I don’t even read really, and I’m not afraid to say that. My cousins and brothers used to tease me ‘You can’t even read right.’ ” But his supporters Saturday said that didn’t harm his role in the pro-education event.
Kelly asked to participate in the parade, said Beverly “Earth Momma” Reed-Scott of Chicago Defender Charities. And while most celebrities “wave from a float and go home,” Kelly visited with youths whose training in green technologies is supported by the parade, Reed-Scott said.
What the f*ck black, folks?!?!? Seriously?!?
Wasn't Jennifer Hudson available? Derrick Rose? RhymeFest? Was Kells really the best hometown hero with an open spot on his calendar? Did the word "irony" even register on the minds of the parade organizers? And BTW, this story seems to indicate that some of Kelly's "sexually charged tunes blared from a sound system" as the parade progressed. Really? Are the inmates running the asylum in Chi-Town? Jesus.
Naturally, I don't blame R. Kelly for this, just like I didn't blame him when Negroes went buckwild and forgave all (alleged) past sins when he dropped the "Ignition" remix. Good music can atone for many a sin. Crank that "Happy People", chali.
We're just fickle minded like that.
Question: Is there anything wrong with a man once accused of child-pRon charges leading a back-to-school parade, or am I just being my usual elitist, judgemental self?