Editorial courtesy of Steve 'Flash' Juon.
This is so appalling I almost don't know where to begin. To say these kind of remarks are unexpected doesn't even scratch the surface. Dating all the way back to the earliest days of the Goodie Mob, I've always thought of CeeLo as a voice of reason, an articulate and passionate orator, a man for whom there's no social injustice or inequality not worth fighting. Even when he transitioned from hip-hop poet to a crooner with impeccable style one thing remained the same - the feeling that Mr. Callaway presented a social consciousness in the music world. In fact his very flamboyant and theatrical outfits all but said "I dare you to judge me, because I don't judge anybody else, and in my world of creativity and wonder all walks of life are welcome." Even Liberace would be impressed by some of the bold choices CeeLo makes when it comes to fashion and style. Almost everything about CeeLo says "I refuse your limitations or what a hip-hop artist should be, what issues I'm willing to discuss, or how artists are supposed to look."
Right up until the very moment I read today's news about CeeLo, I thought of him as a "progressive" artist. That's a catch all term in hip-hop that often implies "underground" or "independent" but one that also describes a way of thinking or speaking that's "moving forward" in society. Legalizing marijuana is "progressive" because the general populace has become increasingly aware that criminalizing it wastes law enforcement's time, taxpayer's money, and fills prisons with low level offenders that were relatively harmless to society. District and federal courts overturning gay marriage bans is "progressive" because it recognizes that the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment is more than just words on a piece of paper. Some might say that this is liberal, some might say it's libertarian, but I'm not here to tell you which. The point is that CeeLo always seemed like a forward thinking progressive artist with a worldview that might bother a few people but would largely be championed as advocating the greater good for us all.
Sadly CeeLo is nowhere near the progressive hip-hop or soul artist I would have thought. In fact CeeLo has expressed a view of date rape that is outright reprehensible. Earlier this year CeeLo avoided a jail term by taking a no contest plea on a charge of slipping ecstasy into a date's drink in 2012. This is already a horrific thing for any human being to have done, but given that CeeLo is famous not just as an artist but as a former host of "The Voice," it's not hard to believe he was being set up by someone around him in a blackmail or extortion scheme. Actually it WAS believable - right up until the point he made the following tweets:
"People who have really been raped REMEMBER!!!" and "If someone is passed out they're not even WITH you consciously! so WITH Implies consent."
Mr. Callaway apparently realized how HORRID that sounded and tried to backtrack: "Let me 1st praise god for exoneration fairness & freedom! Secondly I sincerely apologize for my comments being taken so far out of context."
He later deleted all of the tweets but as we all know about the internet once you say it there's always going to be a record of it. Every rapper, actor, artist and celebrity out there should have learned by now that TWEETS DON'T DELETE and DON'T SAY ANYTHING YOU'LL REGRET LATER on social media. The issue here is two-fold - the first being that CeeLo didn't think these remarks were inappropriate in the first place; the second being that he thought he could cover it up and walk away. He's already getting a free pass on what sounds like an incredibly immoral and stupid thing to do if the allegations are true. Pleading "no contest" is the equivalent of saying "I neither agree nor deny that I did a horrible thing but will accept probation and community service as though I was actually convicted of said thing." It's guilty without the stigma of admitting to it in court.
In other words CeeLo's not admitting he date raped anybody... but he's not denying it either... and now he's trying to say it's cool because (let's boil it down here) "CONSENT IS ONLY BETWEEN TWO PEOPLE WHO ARE CONSCIOUS SO IF YOU DON'T REMEMBER HAVING SEX IT'S NOT RAPE."
That's unacceptable. That's not progressive, or enlightened, or even decent for any human being on the planet. That's barbaric and backward. CeeLo Green, FUNK YOU.
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