Armstrong Williams

Apparently, R Kelly had called the CBC wives and begged them to help resuscitate his flagging career. They did him - and by the looks of it, themselves - a favor by throwing him a bone.

Of course, not everyone was so enthused about hiring an alleged child rapist to play at an event dedicated to celebrating positive strides in the black community. "The CBC wives don't need to lend their credibility to a pedophile," demanded one angry audience member.

Rightly so. The CBC weekend is supposed to be about highlighting progress in the black community. Does R Kelly really fit the bill? Has he presented a positive image of a person of color? Has his behavior shed a positive light on black American culture? Are these the qualities best embodied by our brothers and sisters? Of course not. And therein lies the real problem. By hiring R Kelly for the CBC weekend, the wives nourished one of the most damaging stereotypes about black leadership - that we're so busy moralizing about brotherhood, that we cannot find fault with our own - even the child rapists among us.

This stereotype makes the black leadership seem like hypocrites. Since it is generally assumed that the leadership speaks for the people, giving cover to punks like R Kelly makes the blacks seem naive at best, and completely immoral at worst. What's wrong with the black leadership that they don't get this? Given that R Kelly is alleged to have raped children, how could the CBC wives invite him to their event? Don't they understand that giving credibility to an alleged child rapist completely obscures the strong moral current that runs throughout the black community?

Thankfully, the leadership doesn't always speak for the people. Half the attendees at the CBC weekend concert walked out the moment R Kelly came on stage. That unfortunate silence you hear is no one talking about it.

Armstrong Williams

Armstrong Williams is a widely-syndicated columnist, CEO of the Graham Williams Group, and hosts the Armstrong Williams Show. He is the author of Reawakening Virtues.
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