Did R Kelly Recruit Ethiopian Girls At Concert – The 2010s was a decade of cultural reckoning: we challenged problematic norms that went previously unquestioned and created social movements overnight. With the advent of “cancel culture” and the prominence of Twitter, the #MeToo movement sent a ripple effect of ramifications that brought down some of our most important icons.
Beyond that, we contended with cultural appropriation and held public figures accountable for their disrespect: who can forget the dramatic undoing of Rachel Dolezal, the white “transracial” President of the NAACP, who became one of the most polarizing figures of the 2010s?
Below is a list of the top 10 “Do Better” moments of the past decade— times when celebrities and everyday folk didn’t catch on to the speed and direction of where our culture was headed— and simply got it all wrong.
R. Kelly sends all the signals (2011)
R. Kelly, formerly beloved R&B singer, literally tried to recruit young women into his sex trafficking network during a concert in Ethiopia. The lyrics of his improvised and blatantly predatory song included the questions “did you get your passport?” and “did you get your shots?,” implying that he was ready to take girls back with him to the U.S.
In a way, this “Do Better” moment applies to all of us- what the hell were we thinking? Why didn’t we cancel this man earlier? Unfortunately, a serious and widespread conversation did not happen until 2019, with the release of the Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly.”
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R. Kelly is now facing charges in several states and his downfall brought up questions around dealing with the cultural legacy of celebrities who turned out to be terrible people.