Jamilah Lemieux on R. Kelly indictment: "We've been asking for decades to pay attention to the stories of these Black girls"
Lemieux: Accountability took so long because "his accusers, have been Black girls, not class-mobile Black girls, not famous Black girls, Black girls from the South Side of Chicago, Black girls from communities like that across the country"
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From the February 22 edition of CNN's CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin:
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BROOKE BALDWIN (HOST): We've been talking about this docuseries, R. Kelly, and the news is that he has now been officially indicted. Jamilah Lemieux was in this phenomenal series. She's a former senior editor at Ebony magazine, and Joey Jackson with her, one of our all-star lawyers here at CNN, but I have been wanting to talk to you. Do you have words for this?
JAMILAH LEMIEUX (FORMER EBONY SENIOR EDITOR): You know, I, too, am a little bit speechless. We have waited for so long. I'm trying not to cry. I grew up in Chicago; some of those girls were my peers. We were in high school when that first tape was recorded and to have heard these stories for years, years. You know, and to juxtapose that with Jussie Smollett being charged in a matter of days, right. That it didn't take that long to figure out that maybe something wasn't right with this story allegedly. That we've been asking for decades to pay attention to the stories of these Black girls --
BALDWIN: Why do you think it took so long?
LEMIEUX: Because they were Black. His victims consistently, his accusers, have been Black girls, not class-mobile Black girls, not famous Black girls, Black girls from the South Side of Chicago, Black girls from communities like that across the country. And we have been told over and over again that his musical talent, his fame, his manhood mattered more than what he's been accused of doing to so many little girls -- 13, 14, 15, 16, 19. This man is over 50 years old. It's just -- it's devastating that it's taken this long, but I'm so glad that we're here today.