I stumbled across a Fox News article entitled, “Dear Taylor Swift, thanks for NOT telling me about your politics.” I really need my news app on my phone to be more selective with what it suggests I read. The article was a defense of another article that was critical of Ms. Swift for her silence during the 2016 election. The author of this article holds the belief that we only need our celebrities to “entertain” us.
Here’s the thing, in a world with less on the line, I too could get behind the idea of simply being “entertained” and not caring whether or not the person entertaining me is an amoral monster. Sadly, the time of simple amusement and joyful ignorance is over.
If Ms. Swift, for instance, believes that a Muslim-ban is acceptable, or leaving Puerto Ricans to whither on the vine in their time of need, or voted for politicians who do, I don’t want my hard earned coins contributing to her personal enrichment.
If Ms. Swift, fort instance, used her vote in November 2016 to help a man in office who thinks it is acceptable to hunt for “elephant trophies,” I don’t want to offer her my support. This is a capitalist system and where our dollars go matters. As an aside, I may need to discuss the “elephant trophies” in another post. What is that? What type of boorish and barbaric people are into that? Oh, right, our President and his sons.
There is no shortage of issues happening in our country politically right now that I find objectionable at my very core. Not only do I want to know if my entertainers support or object to what is happening, but I want to know if my friends and family members do too.
If I had a relative who claims to love me, but objected to my marriage because it is with another man, I might have to re-think breaking bread with them over Thanksgiving. My marriage, the person I am spending my life with, is kind of a big deal. As a black man, surrounding myself around people who when they hear the phrase “Black Lives Matter” feel the need to reply with “Blue Lives Matter” just doesn’t work with me. It’s not an issue for me that I can shrug off and simply say, well let’s agree to disagree. Black men are dying without justice ever being rendered. It’s hard to shrug varying beliefs about that off as if we are discussing how one likes their steak prepared. By the way, it should not be well done – that’s unacceptable.
So I want to know your politics. The time for pleasantries has past. I want to know the politics of just about everyone in my life, including those who entertain me.Personally, I like my entertainers liberal and outspoken like me, which I guess in Hollywood is not too difficult to find. And yes, it is Ms. Swift’s right to remain silent on issues in such a contentious time, but it is also the right of people to give her the side-eye and object to her failure to use her platform to speak out on so many issues that effect a large swath of the American people.