You know times are hard when the Barbz are turning on Nicki Minaj.
Earlier this week, while promoting her new track with DJ Mustard and Jeremih (which sounds exactly like EVERY song DJ Mustard has created), one of Nicki’s fans called for her to speak out on the horrific weekend shooting at a gay Orlando nightclub that left 49 dead.
As you can imagine, Nicki’s silence didn’t go over well, especially considering her huge fan base in the LGBT community.
But honestly, does the LGBT REALLY want Nicki Minaj speaking for them? I mean, this is the same person who once claimed to be bisexual, then turned around and said “ohhh, I’m just playing.”
In fact, why would you want ANY celebrity speaking for you on hot-button political issues?
I certainly don’t. And it’s time we get more selective about whom we push to address key debates in our communities.
Now I realize the importance of celebrities and community activism. Harry Belafonte fought tirelessly in the quest for civil rights (even bailing Martin Luther King out of jail in my city of Birmingham); Alicia Keys has raises millions to provide medical care for AIDS patients in India and countries across Africa; Bono has established programs to fight poverty in third-world countries; most recently Beyonce quietly raised $82,000 for victims of the Flint, Mich., water crisis.
When celebrities use their influence and notoriety for good they can be effective change agents. But that should come from a place of passion, not obligation.
For every Jesse Williams who effectively addresses our country’s social injustices, you have Azealia Banks tap dancing on Twitter to stir up controversy.
Desiigner has the hottest song on the radio (for some reason). Do y’all REALLY want this guy speaking on your behalf when he can barely pronounce the lyrics to his own songs?
Look, I know in 2016, everyone with a smartphone and Twitter account feels the need to be Michael Eric Dyson. And I’m not against people adding their voice to vital conversations — listening to those diverse voices is the only way to address the needs of underserved communities.
But I’ve seen enough trash bag tweets to last a lifetime. I’d rather have meaningful discussions than wasteful soundbites.
In a perfect world, I’d want every celebrity to share my passion for equality, education, assisting the poor and repairing a broken justice system. But it’s more important that those celebrities — and their fans — speak using informed opinions. Do your research. Back up your claims.
Speak with passion. Not obligation.
Whether you’re performing at the Grammys or simply watching them on TV, if you choose to use your voice, simply use it well. A flawed response to a serious issues does much more harm than good.
I’m not mad at Nicki — or anyone else — for holding their tongue on a major issue if they have nothing significant to add to an important conversation.
In that case, silence is golden. Stupidity can be everlasting.