I miss Terry flex-his-pecs Crews and the Old Kanye
Celebrities are voters, too, but some need to stay out of the lane of social justice movements
It’s problematic to me when I read social media users telling their followers that “black celebrities are trash” — especially when the Twitter bio says they’re “pro-black.” (No link needed. I won’t give her that kind of attention.) It’s unnecessary to me to see people ranting and raving about why black celebrities need to do more, especially from account holders who haven’t left their couch nor donated a dime to any cause. And it’s ridiculous to me when I read posts about why celebrities shouldn’t weigh in on politics — as if these people weren’t legal voters and citizens before they were famous (give or take the few child stars who sanely made it to adulthood).
But Trump-loving, late-presidential-running Kanye West is making it super hard to debate with the crew above. I toggle between wanting him to be quiet and hoping he’ll talk more within a matter of minutes. Somehow he went from challenging former president George W. Bush and speaking up about Hurricane Katrina to creating goofy wars with a country singer, deciding Trump was a father figure and declaring slavery was a choice. Still though, this is one artist among many.
I refuse to act like I don’t see what everyday people and celebrities are doing to fight against one of a long list of horrendous things happening in 2020 — in this case, police brutality. Even Kanye West, in the middle of being an absolute basket case (and no, that is not a shot at people who have bipolarism, I’m talking about Kanye West’s overall track record in hip-hop and social justice), still tried to sneak into a Black Lives Matter (BLM) protest; created a college fund for George Floyd’s daughter, Gianna; and donated $2 million to BLM organizations. Would that make me vote for the hip-hop lyricist now that he claims he’s running for president? Absolutely not. In my opinion, the only people who would vote for him are people who already didn’t plan on voting for former Vice President Joe Biden anyway (i.e. Bernie Bros).
But there are plenty of celebrities who are absolutely in full support of equality and anti-racism causes, whether it’s boots on the ground (ex. J. Cole, Jamie Foxx, Issa Rae) and/or financially (ex. Chrissy Teigen, Beyonce, Jay Z, Drake). So there is hope.
Unlike others, who rant about celebrities’ every move, I’m far more interested in knowing what people in my social circle are doing rather than what the guy (woman) on Spotify is doing. Is it a beautiful sight to see when Rapsody, MC Lyte and Jada Pinkett Smith join forces to stand up for Breonna Taylor? Absolutely. But I’m not ranting on social media if I don’t see it. If they get active, they get active. If they play the background, that’s their right, too.
Then here comes Terry Crews. Now I am ranting — because I’m tired of his loud-mouthed, misguided views on Black Lives Matter. It is one thing to choose to not participate. It’s another to try to discredit and reverse the progress that has been made.
Can we go back to Terry Crews annoyingly moving his pecs?
By now, you may have (unfortunately) seen Terry Crews’ new tirade about #AllBlackLivesMatter, going on and on about black-on-black crime. You may have wasted your time hearing him debate with CNN anchor Don Lemon over the purpose of the Black Lives Matter movement — completely ignoring the Trayvon Martin story that initiated it. And you probably have heard him try to discredit actress Gabrielle Union’s concerns regarding “America’s Got Talent.”
To be honest, I pay less attention to him than I do Kanye West. I get absolutely no entertainment out of Terry Crews, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to erase the laundry list of Kanye West songs from my Spotify playlist. In the middle of New Kanye being ridiculous, I still get memories of Old Kanye on “New Slaves” and “Black Skinhead.” Or, for the hard-working employees who have had it up to here, “Spaceship.” There are those moments when he is so unapologetically Chicago, and I love it.
Then here comes Terry Crews to talk about a city he’s not even from, and this is when I step back and let the anti-celebrity slander go full throttle. These are the tactics of conservative, white, Trump supporters with those idiotic MAGA caps. Today, Terry Crews tweeted, “9 black CHILDREN killed by violence in Chicago since June 20, 2020” with the #AllBlackLivesMatter hashtag. This is the kind of logic that got my entire timeline flushed out and my Twitter account frozen on Sunday. I will always bark back at people who are neither from Chicago, never lived in Chicago, and know nothing of the City of Chicago besides downtown tourist sites and the suburbs.
Chicago is my stomping grounds 365 days a year — born, raised, live and probably will die here (of natural causes hopefully). And what Terry Crews is doing is the same shiny-object tactic that too many MAGA supporters do: He’s getting off the subject of a black man who was killed by a white guy who is paid to protect and serve all Americans — including the black ones.
Nine children dying in Chicago is a horrendous thing. It’s the kind of concern that Chicago groups like Ceasefire would try to deter — before former Republican Governor Bruce Rauner issued an executive order freezing spending. The same MAGA-wearing red hatters are too often unfamiliar with or don’t care about anti-violence organizations in Chicago that went from a budgeted $4.7 million in fiscal 2015 to a 60 percent cut of $1.9 million in fiscal 2016. The narrative sounds so much better when they can believe that Chicagoans and Chicago groups simply don’t give a damn about violence in Chicago.
It’s easier to detract from the reduction in funds than to acknowledge them. It’s easier to ignore that George Floyd was viciously killed by former Officer Derek Chauvin on film (with three others watching or holding him) but point out people who don’t receive a shred of income to protect anybody.
It’s easier to focus on black-on-black crime as if there are absolutely no white people in prison killing each other (where are the tweets about white-on-white crime?) and us — in church, in schools and even just sleeping off the liquor in a Wendy’s parking lot. It’s much easier to focus on this yet-to-be-proven scenario in which black people gain equal footing in the economy, education and civil rights, and then tear up the entire community and become “the oppressors.”
That’s the same mindset that resulted in the Tulsa bombing — people who just cannot fathom the idea that black folks just want to be treated equally as opposed to controlling everybody. It’s guilt. Plain and simple. And somehow Terry Crews has decided that he’s too uncomfortable with the idea of equal rights for black women, black men and black children.
And right about now, I really want this particular celebrity to kindly have a nice, cold glass of STFU. You are not helping anyone but those who already support Chauvin. You are not helping anyone who is trying to fight for equal rights. You are not helping anyone who wants the kind of anti-violence you talk about but only from one lens. Most importantly, you’re trying to prove a point that Black Lives Matter already agrees to.
At no point and time has BLM ever stated it was cool for black folks to kill each other. We’re not trying to die from violence at all, but we’re definitely not trying to die from violence from the same people who are getting paid daily until retirement and troll our streets to guard against violence — only to kill us themselves. Go back to talking about muscles, Terry Crews. That’s where you excel; stay in that lane. Equality, social justice and racism? Pull over to the highway shoulder and let those who know do what they do best — fight for the rights of black folks who look like you but damn sure have more respect for their skinfolk than you do.
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