You want to help R Kelly? Get him some counseling.

According to the Washington Post:

R. Kelly’s lawyer has responded to allegations in a BuzzFeed News story that the R&B singer was holding six women in an abusive “cult.”

“Mr. Robert Kelly is both alarmed and disturbed at the recent revelations attributed to him,” his lawyer, Linda Mensch, said in a statement to People magazine. “Mr. Kelly unequivocally denies such allegations and will work diligently and forcibly to pursue his accusers and clear his name.”

The widely circulated BuzzFeed story, posted Monday, details several parents’ attempts to contact and free their daughters from R. Kelly’s properties in Chicago and Duluth, Ga. Former members of Kelly’s inner circle — Cheryl Mack, Kitti Jones and Asante McGee — allege that he controls what the women can and cannot do. They told BuzzFeed that the women, ranging from two teenagers to a 31-year-old “den mother,” are required to refer to Kelly as “Daddy” and must ask for permission to leave the properties. Kelly, 50, reportedly confiscated their cellphones and, in addition to dictating their daily activities, films their sexual encounters.

Every time I hear about R Kelly, I immediately remember this:

Thanks, Huey.

An odd interpretation of ‘kid’

Let’s reflect on this for a while:

And while you’re reflecting on that. Think about this:

On the day Tatyana Hargrove rode her bike to try to buy her dad a Father’s Day gift, temperatures in Bakersfield, Calif., had reached triple digits, so she stopped on the way home to take a drink of water in the shade.

The 19-year-old girl turned around at the intersection where she had paused and noticed three police cars. One of the officers, she said, had already drawn his gun. …

On the day police stopped Hargrove, officers had been looking for a suspect — described as a 25- to 30-year-old, bald black man standing 5-foot-10 and weighing about 170 pounds — who had threatened several people with a machete at a nearby grocery store, according to a police report.

“She appeared to be a male and matched the description of the suspect that had brandished the machete and was also within the same complex the suspect had fled to,” Christopher Moore, the arresting officer, wrote in his report.

But Hargrove is none of those things.

For starters, she is female. She stands 5-foot-2 and weighs 115 pounds “soaking wet,” according to her father in a widely shared video of Hargrove’s account of the incident posted on the Facebook page for the Bakersfield chapter of the NAACP.

Do I really have to tell you the races of the people named here?

(And no, a 5’2″ 125 pound girl doesn’t look like a 5’10” 170 pound bald man.)

 

When police get away with murder

The right wing outrage machine doesn’t get fired up over certain things.

Like this, which happened yesterday:

The Minnesota police officer who fatally shot Philando Castile during a traffic stop was acquitted on all charges by a jury Friday, a decision that came nearly a year after the encounter was partially streamed online to a rapt nation in the midst of a painful reckoning over shootings by law enforcement.

Probably because it’s happy with this, which is happening all the time:

WHITE SUPREMACISTS AND other domestic extremists maintain an active presence in U.S. police departments and other law enforcement agencies. A striking reference to that conclusion, notable for its confidence and the policy prescriptions that accompany it, appears in a classified FBI Counterterrorism Policy Guide from April 2015, obtained by The Intercept. The guide, which details the process by which the FBI enters individuals on a terrorism watchlist, the Known or Suspected Terrorist File, notes that “domestic terrorism investigations focused on militia extremists, white supremacist extremists, and sovereign citizen extremists often have identified active links to law enforcement officers,” and explains in some detail how bureau policies have been crafted to take this infiltration into account.

Although these right-wing extremists have posed a growing threat for years, federal investigators have been reluctant to publicly address that threat or to point out the movement’s longstanding strategy of infiltrating the law enforcement community.

No centralized recruitment process or set of national standards exists for the 18,000 law enforcement agencies in the United States, many of which have deep historical connections to racist ideologies. As a result, state and local police as well as sheriff’s departments present ample opportunities for white supremacists and other right-wing extremists looking to expand their power base.

In a heavily redacted version of an October 2006 FBI internal intelligence assessment, the agency raised the alarm over white supremacist groups’ “historical” interest in “infiltrating law enforcement communities or recruiting law enforcement personnel.” The effort, the memo noted, “can lead to investigative breaches and can jeopardize the safety of law enforcement sources or personnel.” The memo also states that law enforcement had recently become aware of the term “ghost skins,” used among white supremacists to describe “those who avoid overt displays of their beliefs to blend into society and covertly advance white supremacist causes.” In at least one case, the FBI learned of a skinhead group encouraging ghost skins to seek employment with law enforcement agencies in order to warn crews of any investigations.

Why do I say it’s happening all the time? Because I remember what happened when the issue was brought up in President Barack Obama’s first year in office:

IN 2009, SHORTLY after the election of Barack Obama, a Department of Homeland Security intelligence study, written in coordination with the FBI, warned of the “resurgence” of right-wing extremism. “Right-wing extremists have capitalized on the election of the first African-American president, and are focusing their efforts to recruit new members, mobilize existing supporters, and broaden their scope and appeal through propaganda,” the report noted, singling out “disgruntled military veterans” as likely targets of recruitment. “Right-wing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat.”

The report concluded that “lone wolves and small terrorist cells embracing violent right-wing extremist ideology are the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the United States.” Released just ahead of nationwide Tea Party protests, the report caused an uproar among conservatives, who were particularly angered by the suggestion that veterans might be implicated, and by the broad brush with which the report seemed to paint a range of right-wing groups.

Faced with mounting criticism, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano disavowed the document and apologized to veterans.

So, yeah. American conservatives are just fine with police shootings. In fact, they encourage them.

Tearing down monuments to racism

Statues celebrating the Confederacy are being toppled like statues of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad. Certain people will lie and tell you the statues are about heritage and states rights.

Here’s Mayor Mitch Landrieu (D) of New Orleans with the best explanation of why these statues have to go:

This is probably one of the most significant speeches ever given by a Southern politician.

You’ll notice, though, that there’s a glitch in the video. A section of the speech was dropped. Here it is:

After the Civil War, these statues were a part of that terrorism as much as a burning cross on someone’s lawn; they were erected purposefully to send a strong message to all who walked in their shadows about who was still in charge in this city.

Should you have further doubt about the true goals of the Confederacy, in the very weeks before the war broke out, the Vice President of the Confederacy, Alexander Stephens, made it clear that the Confederate cause was about maintaining slavery and white supremacy.

He said in his now famous ‘Cornerstone speech’ that the Confederacy’s “cornerstone rests upon the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery — subordination to the superior race — is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”

Now, with these shocking words still ringing in your ears, I want to try to gently peel from your hands the grip on a false narrative of our history that I think weakens us and make straight a wrong turn we made many years ago so we can more closely connect with integrity to the founding principles of our nation and forge a clearer and straighter path toward a better city and more perfect union.

Last year, President Barack Obama echoed these sentiments about the need to contextualize and remember all of our history. He recalled a piece of stone, a slave auction block engraved with a marker commemorating a single moment in 1830 when Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay stood and spoke from it.

President Obama said, “Consider what this artifact tells us about history … on a stone where day after day for years, men and women … bound and bought and sold and bid like cattle on a stone worn down by the tragedy of over a thousand bare feet. For a long time the only thing we considered important, the singular thing we once chose to commemorate as history with a plaque were the unmemorable speeches of two powerful men.”

A piece of stone – one stone. Both stories were history. One story told. One story forgotten or maybe even purposefully ignored.