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R. Kelly spotlights black communities’ problems

September 5, 2007 by  
Filed under Entertainment, News, Weekly Columns

( Why do we constantly listen to music that insults our intelligence? Why do we watch television shows that degrade the human race? This generation, for some unforeseen reason, is interested in topics that are entertaining yet embarrassing to society.

I watched R. Kelly’s popular hip-hop soap opera “Trapped in the Closet” and was completely disgusted at his use of cynical entertainment.

For those of you who are not familiar with this disgrace to hip-hop culture, it revolves around the over-usage of adultery and deception. Since the recent release of Chapters 13 through 22 in the series, many people still watch the misfortunes of several people who are connected in the plot.

Since the entire story line is focused on adultery, the characters do not have to concentrate on real acting skills, because the attention is on the cheating and lying.

This wastes production time and money is because it makes African-American adults look like lying, cheating and unprosperous people.

There are already enormous amounts of stereotypes against us; we do not need a black artist to add to the confusion.

For instance, the series features a character named Sylvester (R. Kelly), who has a brother-in-law who went to jail and tried to shoot his former girlfriend. Why did he have to include jail to his past in the plot when black men are already disproportionately imprisoned compared to other ethnicities?

According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice, one in 20 black men is in prison or jail. Isn’t there a surplus of black men in prison already? He should try to incorporate this character more positively instead of adding one of the most common negative aspects of black culture. It seems the attention should be focused on the positive aspects of his future, instead of a murderous plot.

I am also completely against this absurd saga because of the portrayal of a pastor being bisexual or on the “down low.” Coincidentally, he was suspected to have contracted AIDS in the last chapter. There are heaps of black men who have been “trapped in the closet” and were caught or decided to come out of the closet.

Why did R. Kelly, another black man, have to add this plot element to his sadistic drama? My guess is he wanted to show how AIDS can travel and ruin lives from only a few encounters. Though he showed how AIDS in dominant in our society, he could have changed the way he showed the facts. Nonetheless, it glorifies the negative aspects of the black community and is not what I consider entertainment.

By Te’Andrea Flowers

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