Why it matters that musicians are sharing their thoughts on racial injustice
In moments of national crisis, pop stars usually take one of two roads: they remain silent, usually afraid of negative publicity; or, they find the courage to remain true to their convictions and speak up and speak out, publicity be damned.
In the wake of two grand jury decisions not to indict the police officers responsible for the deaths of Eric Garner and Mike Brown, I must say that I am a bit disappointed that the larger pop world has actually been remarkably silent. But those who have spoken out, from Katy Perry to Nicki Minaj, have poured out their hurt, anger, sadness, and hope for serious change, peace, and justice in the future to come.
In August, John Legend began voicing his frustrations on the situation in Ferguson on Twitter. A user tweeted at him, telling him to just focus on music. Legend’s brilliant response? He’s a human, a citizen, and a taxpayer, so social justice issues are every bit as relevant to him as making music. He, along with the stars below, have decided not to remain quiet. Just as celebrities like John Lennon or Jane Fonda used the power and influence of their voice as an agent for change during the Vietnam War, the importance of today’s stars speaking out is huge. Not only because they dare to speak against an injustice that might not always win them the best press, but because in doing so, they may help to educate and reach a part of their fanbase, on Twitter or Instagram, that otherwise wouldn’t be touched by the messages of understanding, positivity, and hope that they share.
Below, a few brave and honest celebrity reactions: