It’s Time To Stop Silencing Celebrities; We Have One In The White House

Donald Trump is our President. Your argument is invalid.

Ashton Kutcher spoke today in front of a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing. He was there seeking Government backing for Thorn, which, in Ashton’s words is, “an organization that builds software to fight human trafficking in the sexual exploitation of children”. He is the chairman and the co-founder of Thorn.

via CNN’s Facebook Page

He discussed the software, namely Spotlight, which as Ashton explains is, “a tool that can be used by law enforcement to prioritize their case load”.

He claims that not only is it working, but it improves over time as people use it.

In 6 months, with 25% of our users reporting, we’ve identified over 6,000 trafficking victims, 2,000 of which are minors. This tool is in the hands of 4,000 law enforcement officials in over 900 agencies and we’re reducing the investigation time by over 60%. — Ashton Kutcher

These statistics are incredibly impressive. Mind you, only 25% of Spotlight’s users are reporting. This is only a quarter of what Ashton’s organization has done.

So if there is anyone out there who should be speaking on this issue, Ashton Kutcher certainly is one of the most qualified to be doing so.

Yet, the internet trolls were lurking.

The host of Celebrity Apprentice is the President of the United States. Let me repeat, THE HOST OF CELEBRITY APPRENTICE IS THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

A man with no political or military experience. A man without experience in foreign affairs or intelligence. We expect more training from our host at Applebee’s than we do from our POTUS.

Yet somehow, we disqualify Ashton Kutcher from having an opinion on an issue like child trafficking because he is an actor. Despite the words that he spoke from his mouth, the passion that poured from his heart, or the background he has on this issue, there are still people willing to cast him aside as nothing more than a “puppet script reader”.

As if somehow, what they do for a living qualifies them. As a matter of fact, what title DOES qualify you to have an opinion on something? What are the parameters? Is there a title you must hold? How about experience? How much experience must you have to form an opinion on a topic and what do we count as an opinion?

When you attempt to dismiss someone’s opinion based on anything but the soundness of their argument and the topic at hand, you reveal yourself as lazy and insecure. Unable to withstand a challenging and conflicting point of view, you resort to name calling and belittlement because that person is this or that.

  • Colin Kaepernick was too privileged to care about what happened to those who weren't as fortunate.
  • Ashton Kutcher is nothing more than a script reader, a clown that makes us laugh, apparently. How dare he have a take on serious social and/or political issues?
  • How dare those NBA players make a stand for what they believe in? All they know is basketball!

Those are real sentiments from real people who couldn’t bear the thought of opposing viewpoints so instead of healthy debate and conversation and learning they opt to try to silence these voices of change.

Free speech is a right that every citizen in this country has. If you love this country like you say you do then don’t you dare attempt to restrict someone else’s right to free speech simply because you:

  1. Don’t like their message.
  2. Can’t deal with the topic of discussion.
  3. Don’t think they’re qualified.

Otherwise, why don’t you examine yourself and think long and hard about what you’re actually qualified to speak on because, like most people, 98% of what comes out of your mouth is rooted in pure opinionated rhetoric devoid of any “experience”.

Let’s applaud Ashton Kutcher for using his platform of celebrity, money, and power to do something important that is helping to make this world a better, safer place. Let’s applaud him for not burying his head in the sand and lounging on a beach somewhere enjoying his success, as he is well in his right to do, but people would STILL give him flak for.

We need to meet celebrities with positivity and support when they take action on a social or political issue like this. We need to create an environment that makes these celebrities feel appreciated for going out of their way and using their platform to effect change.

Otherwise, if we do the opposite and criticize them for just trying to step out of their role of athlete, actor, or musician, we run the risk of creating an environment that encourages these people with massive amounts of money, fame, and power to simply “stay out of it” and thereby leaving massive amounts of potential change on the table.

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About The Author: I’m Zach Newman. I’m an ACE Certified Personal Trainer. Conversation is insanely important to me. Its why I love creating things because creation sparks discussion and discussion is the best way to learn from each other. Whether its about fitness and health, what books to read, or what’s going on in the world today, my goal is to build the best community around conversations that better the lives of everyone involved.

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