Years ago, when my daughter was around 11, we were walking down North Avenue when a young man in his late teens to early 20s made a flirting remark towards her. I can still recall giving him a piece of my mind and telling him that she was just a child and he ought to be ashamed of himself and to find someone his own age.

I was always a protective mother. My children’s well-being was my first priority. I never brought strange men around them or exposed them to any boyfriends unless the relationship was serious and even then it took months for the guy to be around my kids and then only in my presence.

I thought of that as I was reading the news accounts regarding the current
R. Kelly trial. I have never seen the infamous sex tape, but the details that have been reported are sickening to say the least. As I read the newspaper accounts of what was on that tape, the mother in me got very angry. What mother wouldn’t? Yet I cannot find any evidence that the mother of the girl (then 13-14 years old) who is allegedly on the video has spoken out in her daughter’s defense.

Now, the mother didn’t have to go on camera and show her face. She could have had her face hidden. But how come there hasn’t been any action taken by her to stand up and defend her daughter’s name and reputation from being stigmatized? What I was looking for, and hoping to find, was one of those scenes we see far too often when a crime has been committed by a young person and their mother defends her child who has done wrong and claims that the child is a “good child.” Yet I can’t find anything where the mother of the alleged victim has even come forward to state emphatically that her child is not the one in the video. All I’ve heard so far is absolute silence. How and why is that?

In reading several news reports, the sex tape for which R. Kelly is currently on trial has been around and available to people for at least the past eight years. One mother testified she found the tape in her daughter’s room in 2000, and after watching a few minutes of it, threw the copy away. No call to the police or to the child’s mother. No public outrage or rage against a man who would sleep with a child. Just silence, silence, silence.

For years the emphasis in the black community has been on castigating men while giving black women a pass for being the “strong black woman” and being a “single mother.” But when black women are willing to look the other way when a young child is being sexually molested by an older predator, even if he has money and fame, then we as a race have truly lost our minds.

To read on the Internet the number of people who posted their e-mail addresses and asked to be sent a copy of the current R. Kelly sex tape-which is child pornography-is sick, sick, sick! Those who “had to see” and ran out and bought the video to see if it is R. Kelly on the tape-that’s also sick, sick, sick.

Where is the black moral compass? Someone somewhere definitely has one because that person didn’t throw the tape away. They sent it to the Sun-Times and that reporter turned it in. Someone out there cared enough about the abuse of a young black girl to do what they could to get the tape in the hands of law enforcement before another young girl ends up on another homemade sex tape. So while some folks are cheering for the predator, there are still many like myself who are in total support of the victim.

The African proverb says, “It takes a village to raise a child.” I want to amend it by adding, “It also takes one adult to rape a child!”