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Soul Music Icon Aretha Franklin Honored During Her Funeral By Musicians And Dignitaries

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As woman, we are all too familiar with the awkwardness Ariana Grande felt while being inappropriately touched by Bishop Charles H Ellis III at Aretha Franklin’s funeral yesterday. Ariana had recently finished performing when the Bishop called her back to the podium to “apologize.” He thought, when he saw her name on the program, that she some sort of Taco Bell meal. Because, they were serving Taco Bell at Aretha Franklin’s funeral. *Insert Phaedra Parks eye-roll*

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Despite footage that shows the Bishop holding onto Ariana Grande and squeezing her like a soft drink, many feel unbothered by the act because how she was dressed. Sexual abuse in the church is rampant, so no one should be surprised by the Bishop’s brazen behavior or by his misogynistic apology. Yet still, they give him a pass.

“It would never be my intention to touch any woman’s breast. … I don’t know I guess I put my arm around her,” Ellis told the Associated Press.. “Maybe I crossed the border, maybe I was too friendly or familiar but again, I apologize.”

According to Ellis, he hugs men and women the same way. “I hug all the female artists and the male artists,” Ellis said. “Everybody that was up, I shook their hands and hugged them. That’s what we are all about in the church. We are all about love.”

Copping a feel is what we call it. The uncomfortable feeling when a man finds an opportune time to inappropriately touch you. And a lot of times, it’s in a setting with a lot of people, so their behavior can be disguised in plain sight. And because they do their deed out in the open, so their victims don’t have a chance to react or feel shamed against making a scene.

What’s even more disgusting are the loads of people who think Ariana deserved that treatment because her dress was so short and that she didn’t deserve to be there in the first place. The Black church thrives on respectability politics so we’re not surprised by their response. In fact, many thought it was a ploy to destroy another Black man of God. It’s not just Catholic priests caught sexually abusing children or other members of their church, who can forget the late Eddie Long?

The length of Ariana Grande’s dress or pale vocals does not make it OK for her to be treated like a sexual object and groped. Period. The sooner we stop making excuses for what we all know to be true about instances like this, we were put a dent in the incidents from occurring.


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Bishop Who Was Accused Of Groping Ariana Grande Apologizes: ‘Maybe I Was Too Friendly’  was originally published on