Steve Harvey And Whoever Else Can Hang With Trump, And We Can Call Them Out For It
Are some people truly that naïve?
We shared with you Jennifer Holliday’s appearance on The View yesterday. During her time at the table, she opened up about the backlash she received over news that she would perform at Donald Trump’s inauguration. She said that while members of the LGBTQ community were the ones who persuaded her to back out of the performance after voicing their angst, it was the pushback from Black folks that really disappointed her:
At first, I said, ‘Are these White people messing with me?’ And I would push the button to see who was calling me because your face is there. And I said, ‘Oh my God these are Black people calling me this.’ And they were saying I should kill myself or someone should kill me. All over singing a song! I said, ‘I just wanted to sang!’ I don’t really understand.
Steve Harvey felt that same sort of strong pushback from the community when he decided to take a meeting with the president-elect. The anger was so strong that according to TheJasmineBrand, he said his feelings were hurt:
On a personal note, a lot of y’all hurt me. I didn’t expect the backlash to be so fierce. I also understand if I’m going to keep getting stabbed at, at least while you’re stabbing me, you should understand my intent. I’m from the hood. I’ve been putting in the work for years. I care about these inner cities because that’s where I’m from.
And just today, Twitter had a field day dragging singer Chrisette Michele’s name. A report surfaced that said she is indeed performing at the inauguration, but wanted to keep it a secret to avoid backlash. Well, if it’s true, it’s no longer a secret.
According to the New York Daily News, her deal was put together a week ago:
Our insiders say that inauguration organizers first reached out to Michele’s team asking her to perform the song “Intentional” with singers Travis Greene, Jonathan McReynolds, and Tye Tribbett — the same trio with whom she did that tune on BET’s “Celebration of Gospel” broadcast one year ago. We’re told that plan fell apart when at least two of those three singers declined the offer. But, according to our sources, Michelle agreed to sing for the Prez so long as she could perform an R&B set.
Even Questlove had to get on Twitter and say that he would “pay Chrisette to NOT perform.”
It’s unclear what Michele’s response will be to the backlash, but if it’s anything like Harvey and Holliday’s, she will likely try and blame President Obama. Both individuals used as an excuse a popular line from POTUS’s farewell address. He encouraged people to get from behind the computer and try and have real conversations with those we may not agree with. As Holliday put it, “I thought that we had instructions from the Obamas and the Clintons that it was a go-ahead.” And according to Harvey, “When I listened to President Obama’s final speech in Chicago one of the things that stuck in my mind was when he told people to get out from behind our computers and get involved. I took that to mean, get from behind the microphone.”
But who are they kidding? This is all about money and making Donald Trump look good at all costs — including their credibility.
What conversation has Holliday actually had with Donald Trump about affecting change? The only talking she’s done has been with event organizers who were going to cut the check for her performance. And honestly, how much influence does Harvey really think he has on politics just because he received a call from the president-elect? Much respect to him for his work in the community, but no, just no.
As Marc Lamont Hill pointed out this week, why is it that the only people he wants to have a conversation with happen to be Black celebrities? Where are the Black members of Congress? Where are the activists? Where are the real change agents? Hell, where is another meeting with President Obama?
Whoops! I forgot that he respects celebrities more than he does our current commander in chief.
Parading around Harvey, Kanye, Jim Brown, Martin Luther King’s son (on MLK day to boot) and anyone else in front of cameras as if they truly represent the people in the cities and places he has such a negatively skewed viewpoint on is just patronizing at this point. It’s pure puppetry. Excuse the rest of us if we want no parts.
Still, all the aforementioned players, whether they’re performing for him on stage or at Trump Towers, have the right and freedom to do what they want. But we the (Black) people have every right to feel betrayed.
That is not to say that I condone anyone offering up death threats or being ugly. People can share their opinion without being insufferable. But then again, Donald Trump has been the leader of the insufferable, so until he owns up to his part in the harsh tone of discourse, the chances of it ceasing are little.
However, the idea that individuals think they can play us and make us believe they wanted to see Trump or sing for him to enact change instead of just making some, is ridiculous.
Not to mention that you can’t tell we the (Black) people that we should accept and give Trump a chance when he just called storied civil rights activist and congressman John Lewis “all talk” for saying Trump is an “illegitimate president.” This from the man who spent years questioning the legitimacy of Obama’s presidency, only to not even have the decency to apologize for helping to start the birther movement when called out about it.
He’s not any ol’ candidate that we should sing kumbaya around and move on. Hell, at this point, I would give anything for Mitt Romney and John McCain to have ran in his place. He’s genuinely a terrible person, and to perform for him comes off as aligning yourself with him. It gives the impression that you support his distressing behavior. He used White fear and racism to get elected and thinks that dealing with serious issues over coffee with musicians and athletes (but beefing with the intelligence community) is the way to go.
He is a hate monger who only sees us, “The Blacks,” in one way: as the downtrodden falling apart in crime infested “inner cities.” He knows nothing about us, cares nothing about us, and only acknowledges Black people through famous folks who share our skin. Anyone who meets with him and doesn’t call that out, only to say they don’t understand why they would receive backlash, just enjoys being naïve. If you meet with him and don’t bring along people who can truly affect change, you don’t get it. If you meet with him and stand and smirk in front of cameras like a Cheshire cat and then wonder why you’re feeling the heat, you really don’t get it. If you hide the fact that you signed up for inauguration commitments and then act as though you don’t understand why people would be disappointed in you, you truly don’t get it. Own up to your decisions.
So yes, everyone has the right to meet with Donald Trump if they want, just as we have the right to feel however we so choose to about it — including choosing to withdraw our support.