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More than ever before businesses, celebrities and other people with platforms are using them to speak out about injustice. And while people argue that celebrities should use their voices to uplift folk, over the past week and some change, more than a few of them have proven that they probably shouldn’t. Because sometimes their voices can amplify counterproductive or harmful messages. See what I’m talking about on the following pages.

Traffik Thursdays

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B. Simone

I don’t know if you all have noticed by White people have a history of utilizing Christianity as a way to control and pacify their Black slaves and even now Black victims. The Bible was used to rationalize slavery. And even now when a Black person is killed unjustly by the state, or a White person committing a clear hate crime, people immediately want to know if Black people are ready and willing to extend forgiveness. It’s sad. But what’s even more sad, is the way Black people have adopted this tactic.

Sadly, we saw it when comedian and entrepreneur B. Simone tweeted that she didn’t want to be an “angry Black woman.”

I guess she forgot that part where Jesus flipped the tables in the synagogue to express his displeasure at the corruption in a place of worship.

Netflix Let It Snow Los Angeles Premiere

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Shameik Moore

Baayyybeee. If there was a king of this list, it would be Mr. Shameik Moore. As someone who was a huge fan of all of the projects I’ve seen him in, it was extremely disappointing to watch Moore sell his people down the river, regurgitating a lot of the same rhetoric White people use to rationalize our murders at the hands of police.

He suggested that we need to learn how to deal with police. As if so many of our deaths at the hands of cops have not been completely unwarranted. Moore tweeted some wild things. But it all began like this.

 

 

Black on Black crime.

 

Trying to leave the past in the past–not acknowledging that it’s still affecting the present.

 

Using his personal experience and privilege of no t having dealt with the police to speak to systematic racism.

And the disrespect of our historical heroes.

Netflix Presents Rhythm+Flow

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Desi Banks

Before he had to be schooled by social media, Instagram comedian Desi Banks shared a post condemning the protests and the current uprising. He erroneously compared the marches led by Dr. King to today’s. He called King’s marches “a protest” and the current riots, “a crime.”

Clearly, the meme was shared without proper context or education. Dr. King spoke on the validity of riots as a way for people to make their voices heard. Furthermore, Banks’ meme fed heavy into respectability politics. Regardless of what you wear or how you protest, history has shown that Black people haven’t been respected regardless. And he needed to know that.

Banks apologized afterward in a video that has since been deleted. Before that he offered this tweet.

 

Global Citizen Together At Home

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LL Cool J

There are a lot of interesting discussions that can come out from this George Floyd situation. Rapper, turned actor LL Cool J took it in a very random direction by asking what raising biracial children must feel like in a time like this. It was not only a bit strange but many argued that wondering about the well-being of interracial families right now still finds a way to center White feelings of uncomfortable-ness ahead of very real Black pain. Perhaps he meant to speak to the balancing of those feelings or whatever but it was odd.

Furthermore, when he was confronted about the tweet, his reaction was waaaayyy too strong, only drawing more attention to the tweet in the first place.

Hot 97's Hot For The Holidays 2019

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Wale

Y’all know Wale be deep in his feelings…about a lot of things. And while there are more men who could stand to be more closely in touch with their emotions, Wale needs to learn which emotions need to be checked and analyzed before he shares them with the public.

When someone commented on the fact that his “friend,” fellow rapper J. Cole was out protesting, following the death of George Floyd, it was clear that Wale didn’t take too kindly. When someone said that J. Cole was outside representing in North Carolina and asked that Wale make them proud in the DMV area, he offered a pretty nasty reply that only illuminated his own insecurities.

https://twitter.com/theStrapped/status/1267117562799808517

"Tiny And Shekinah: Weave Trip" Private Screening

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Shekinah Anderson

As we reported earlier, reality tv star Shekinah, hopped on Instagram, in the midst of a protest to shed tears about protestors destroying Gucci. With tears in her eyes, Shekinah said: “Y’all done been in them folks’ store taking they sh-t. Them people got a family. That sh-t not right. They ain’t did nothing to you. Gucci ain’t did sh-t to y’all,” said the former reality star. “Y’all can say whatever y’all want to say. They racist, I don’t wanna hear none of that sh-t. They ain’t did sh-t to y’all. Saks ain’t did nothing to you. They ain’t did nothing to you. Lenox Mall ain’t did nothing to you.”

Mind you, Gucci is the same corporation that released those Blackface sweaters.  And it seems that Shekinah remembered this. But didn’t care. Still, she wanted to stand up for insured property. Thankfully, singer Tory Lanez got her together.

Saving Our Selves: A BET COVID-19 Effort

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Lil Wayne

For those who don’t know, a police officer saved Lil Wayne’s life after he accidentally shot himself at 12-years-old. Because of that single encounter of a White man doing the right thing and saving a child’s life, Lil Wayne said that he doesn’t believe in racism.

In 2016, the year so many Black men and women were murdered unjustly by police officers, Lil Wayne told The Associated Press, “I don’t know what racism is. I know a good nigga named Uncle Bob, though. He was white as snow. Them niggas that hopped over me were blacker than me. [He] stood there and waited until the doctor said, ‘He’s gonna make it.’”

Four years later, Wayne’s stance hasn’t changed much. In fact, now he seems determined to place some blame on Black folks. During an Instagram Live interview with fellow rapper Fat Joe, Wayne said,

“I think when we see these situations, I think we also have to understand that we have to get very specific, we have to get so specific. And what I mean by that is we have to stop viewing it with such a broad view, meaning we have to stop placing the blame on the whole force and the whole everybody of a certain race or everybody with a badge. We have to actually get into who that person is. And if we want to place the blame on anybody, it should be ourselves for not doing more than what we think we’re doing. Some people put a tweet out and they think they did something. Some people wear a shirt and they think they did something. What you gonna do after that? Did you actually help the person? Did you actually help the family? Did you actually go out there and do something? So, if I ain’t about to do all that, then I ain’t about to do nothing. I’ll pray for ya.”

 

Tokyo Jetz Performs At SOB's

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Tokyo Jetz

For rapper Tokyo Jetz, it wasn’t what she said but what she did that had people ready to cancel her before most of us even knew who she was. In a video, Jetz wraps her male friend in a headlock before saying, “I’ma George Floyd your muthafuckin’ ass.” It was entirely too soon to joke about this and it should have never been posted online. But it was.

Since, then Jetz published a another video, in which she tearfully apologized for her behavior saying that there was no excuse for it.  Thankfully, it does seem sincere.

https://www.instagram.com/tv/CA5rAcCpzlE/?utm_source=ig_embed

51st NAACP Image Awards - Show

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T.I.

After he was released from prison this last time, and showed the world that he took a slew of new vocabulary words as a parting gift, T.I. appointed himself what folks have called, “a Negro whisperer.” Essentially, he believes he can speak, with authority, on a variety of issues. The only thing wrong with this is that often times when it comes to T.I., some things are better left unsaid. We saw that again when, in an attempt to discourage people from looting, T.I. likened the city of Atlanta to the fictional African country and the setting of the Marvel film Black Panther. 

According to CBR.com, during a press conference, T.I. said, “This city don’t deserve this. However, I understand that a lot of others do. But, we can’t do this here. This is Wakanda. This is sacred, it’s supposed to be protected.”

I guess T.I. didn’t realize that Atlanta is in America. And all of America deserves this. Not to mention, his comments were made before two Black college students, Taniyah Pilgrim and Messiah Young, were forcefully pulled from their car, after police smashed their windows in and were tased.

Those officers have since been fired. But that doesn’t sound anything like Wakanda to me.

Celebrities Attend New Jersey Nets vs Atlanta Hawks

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The Dream

Super producer The Dream had been tweeting about George Floyd’s murder prior to the protests in Atlanta. But a lot of his thoughts seemed disjointed and incoherent. It was hard to piece together what he was really saying, although it was clear that he didn’t approve. But when it was time to speak about the property he owned in Atlanta, the message became crystal clear, partially through the usage of all-caps.

The fact that Dream alleged he wouldn’t be able to take care of his children because his property was damaged is ridiculous. And on a more personal level, people were quick to remind him that according to Nivea, he hasn’t been entirely present for his children. 

Bad Boy & Quality Control Takeover

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Lori Harvey

Lori Harvey is kind of known for her silence. So people were disappointed to see that when she did speak up, it was to condemn looters for destroying her friend’s consignment shop. In a post shared via her Instagram stories, Harvey wrote: “Atlanta y’all took it too far last night smh…My heart is so broken for my friends @nikkisworld and @niceybabyy. I know how hard you guys worked to build SacDelux from the ground up (2 young BLACK women) and I can’t even imagine the pain of watching it get destroyed like that for absolutely no reason. I’m so sorry this happened to you guys. The looting of @sacdelux_ was absolutely senseless and disgusting. I’m just glad you guys didn’t get hurt in the process.”

But in her haste to defend her friends’ physical property, she hadn’t said anything about Floyd, police brutality or racism at large–all of the elements have been allowed to go too far.

After she was dragged for her comments, she shared her thoughts on Floyd.

The Match: Champions For Charity

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Tiger Woods

Ever since Tiger told Oprah that he identified as Cablinasian, we knew he didn’t readily embrace his Black identity. Never, to my knowledge, has he spoken out on racial injustices. But for whatever reason, he decided to share his thoughts on the death of George Floyd. Sadly, Woods spent more time talking about the police than he did about the victim or the collective pain the Black community is facing right now.

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