It’s hard to ignore the racial tensions coming to a boil across the country. On Monday, a partial video surfaced showing police officers shooting and killing 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott, a black father of seven, in Charlotte, North Carolina. On Tuesday, 40-year-old Terence Crutcher, a 40-year-old black father of four, was shot and killed by police in Tulsa, Oklahoma. According to The Guardian, 142 unarmed black people have been killed by police since Michael Brown’s death in 2014.
Black people across the country are, understandably, frustrated, angry, and more than ever, exhausted. Exhausted of seeing yet another presumably innocent black man senselessly lose his life at the hands of the men and women sworn to protect him. Exhausted that yet another person has been turned into a hashtag. Exhausted with a system that refuses to implement any significant change. Exhausted by acquittal after acquittal. And exhausted by the resounding silence.
Well, there are a couple of celebrities using their platforms to amplify the news, spread their messages, and voice their opinions. One of which is singer Kelela, who took to Instagram yesterday with a message about white allyship. “Tired of white people telling me what I should and shouldn’t feel,” she writes. “People who are not black need to be listening (not talking or making suggestions) right now.” She goes on to explain that white people should be willing to learn from their mistakes, then go back to their white friends—not black ones—to talk about it. “I think it’s time for white people to own the about-face and complacency they are a part of every day,” she continues. “One of my mentors (that happens to be white) once said that racism isn’t POC’s problem to solve. That if we want white supremacy to be over, white people would have to give up the power/privilege.”
A photo posted by KELELA (@kelelam) on
A photo posted by KELELA (@kelelam) on
Of course, Kelela isn’t the only well-known name taking to social media to tackle this huge problem. Comedian D.L. Hughley is one of the more vocal celebrities on social media when it comes to activism. Most recently, he shared an image of Colin Kaepernick which relates his silent protest to the recent killings.
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And model Karrueche Tran mentions the despicable audio released regarding Crutcher’s murder in which one officer says “he looks like a bad dude.” She then compares Crutcher’s death to the bombing suspect who was taken into custody earlier this week.
They find a bomb suspect and put him on a stretcher while an innocent man who’s car broke down gets SHOT AND DIES?!! HOWW!! Plz tell me how!— Karrueche Tran (@karrueche) September 20, 2016
Singer Trey Songz also took to Instagram, stating: “My heart hurts man, sick of people negating the reality of blacks and many other minorities not being seen as humans.”
Tell me it isn’t true!!! The comments I read are outrageous. Finding any excuse for another black man murdered by police to be ok. Where is Shaq now? Mad at Colin but can’t say shit about lives being snatched without punishment! Where’s Ray Lewis now? “All people value all lives” is the safest political thing you can say when cops kill unarmed men day after day after day after day? If I lose fans for loving the color of my skin and speaking out on those who wish to kill us off, then I never had those fans to begin with. My heart hurts man, sick of people negating the reality of blacks and many other minorities not being seen as humans.
A photo posted by treysongz (@treysongz) on
Actor Jussie Smollett posted a powerful picture with the message: “I believe deep down inside my heart that the majority of people are profoundly good. God I just wish you would all show up and prove it.”
Good morning America. In case they’re still wondering why we say #BlackLivesMatter... Damn. How I wish that the outrage from a man taking a knee during a song would match the outrage of another life being ripped from under us. How I wish that you would love this country enough to actually acknowledge what’s wrong with it and help fix it. How I wish that the truly good people would show their faces. How I wish that the men and women in uniform who actually ARE good and are here to protect and serve would stand up and acknowledge these executions. Is this what you want to represent your firm of officers? I believe deep down inside my heart that the majority of people are profoundly good. God I just wish you would all show up and prove it. #TerenceCrutcher
A photo posted by Jussie Smollett (@jussiesmollett) on
Actress and singer Cynthia Erivo’s entire message is worth a read but the theme is evident: Enough is enough.
There comes a time when we have to say ENOUGH. This is no longer and never was excusable. He shouldn’t have struggled. He should have done as he was told. He shouldn’t have had a toy gun. He shouldn’t have been holding a real gun in an OPEN CARRY STATE. He shouldn’t have worn a hoodie. He shouldn’t have been running. He shouldn’t have been driving. He shouldn’t have been carrying a packet of skittles. He shouldn’t have been reading. He shouldn’t have been looking after his patient. SHE shouldn’t have been sleeping. He shouldn’t have reached for the ID he was asked for. NOT ONE OF THESE, IS A REASON FOR A LIFE TO BE SNATCHED OUT FROM UNDER SOMEONES FEET, and I defy you to tell me otherwise. There are CHILDREN being shot at and killed by people who should be protecting them. PARENTS are being killed by people who should care about their families. Men who simply need assistance, being assumed to be ‘big bad men’. Men and women and babies are being picked off one by one, for little or no reason, with no consequence and no resolution. The privileged few are still under the impression that ALL of these killings are justified. THEY ARE NOT. If you believe they are, then you are a part of this epidemic. I CANNOT STAND THIS ANYMORE. Every time ONE person is UNJUSTLY removed from this earth, MANY,if not ALL, of us with matching hues, weep and fear. WE are broken hearted for our lost and for the future to come. I’m so so tired of seeing human beings reduced to letters and hashtags, only to be eclipsed by something trivial the next day. I am tired of a background check, being the excuse for the present killing. Etta James says “All I could do was cry” and that is how I feel right now. #Blacklivesmatter does not diminish anyone, it simply says we should matter AS MUCH as EVERY other life. It is time for it to be more than an ideal, it needs to be a truth. I desperately pray that one day SOON this comes to an end. Until then RIP Keith Lamont Scott. Terence Crutcher. God help us ALL
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