Why choose R. Kelly for Bud Billiken marshal?

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I am writing to express my deep displeasure at your choice for Grand Marshal for the 2011 parade. I’m quite sure you don’t care, as you had to consider the choice would be criticized by some, but I am extremely surprised at your callousness an

I am writing to express my deep displeasure at your choice for Grand Marshal for the 2011 parade. I’m quite sure you don’t care, as you had to consider the choice would be criticized by some, but I am extremely surprised at your callousness and utter disregard for the message that it sends to our children.

You apparently have little regard for young teen girls or our community in general. Even if we were to set aside his real life behavior, Kelly is a poor choice as a role model or spokesman for anything non- adult. The overall message and theme of his music is completely contrary to what we should be teaching our youth. He’s a high school drop out, with a history of abusing underage girls, and a musical message of thuggery, drug and alcohol abuse, and sexual promiscuity. How is he a good spokesman for going back to school? Are our children not important enough to feed their minds positive messages and images? Are you completely unaware of the effects of positive and negative reinforcement? Is it any wonder our kids have such a complete disregard for themselves and others.

If this is the type of role models that we present to our kids then how can we cry when our neighborhoods become unsafe, and our brothers and sisters are murdered, and another generation is raised by pop culture? I wonder why we accept this in our community, and why we cry racism at any perceived slight, yet won’t take obvious steps to clean up our own house? I for one am appalled!

To those who made, cheered for, and supported this decision, sleep well at night knowing your kids are safe.

Cantrell Burks

Editor’s Note: The decision to have R. Kelly serve in that capacity was made by the Chicago Defender Charities, a separate entity from the Chicago Defender newspaper.

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