When it’s time to speak for Black America, nine times out of 10 it’s a celebrity’s voice that becomes most prominent. This phenomenon seems to be limited to the Black community. White entertainers seem not to carry as much weight in the white community or maybe they just remain silent about issues.
Whatever the case is, should politicians reach out to Black celebrities to discuss social issues that plague the Black community?
Hip-hop artist and activist David Banner recently posted a video on social media urging Black America to stop letting entertainers speak on its behalf. Most entertainers don’t have the knowledge base to speak for us, or they actually don’t want systemic change, Banner said.
“Most of these people who you all look up made their money or built their empire based on us acting and being the way that we are right now. So why would they want truly want change? We are the fools to constantly allow them to speak for us…”
The Biden campaign has reached out to hip-hop mogul Ice Cube to discuss reparations even though Ice Cube is far from being considered an expert on the subject. Ice Cube and Diddy are among the celebrities who threatened to take the Black vote “hostage” unless the Black community is given something in return for its vote. Cube has been laying out his own version of a reparations plan on social media called “Contract with Black America.” Biden’s people have taken note.
There are no details on when the meeting will take place with Cube, but the Biden campaign has been trying to get the attention of the Black community.
The Biden campaign recently held a “Black Man’s Listening Party” with vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris. It featured D.L. Hughley, Killer Mike, Jeezy and Snoop Dogg, AURN reported.
Harris has been buddying up with celebrities on her own. Once referred to as a socialite before her bid for attorney general of California, Harris has gotten endorsements from Black and white entertainers. Taylor Swift, Mindy Kaling and the late Chadwick Boseman all celebrated Harris’ nomination, NME reported.
Pharrell, Justin Timberlake, Pink, Jordan Peele, Nick Jonas, Mandy Moore, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus are other celebs who tweeted their approval of her as the VP choice. Some tweets were accompanied by pics of them with Harris. John Legend tweeted, “Very happy for our friend and Senator and future Vice-President, @KamalaHarris, and very much looking forward to voting for the Biden-Harris ticket to begin the difficult work of recovering from this nightmare presidency and building an even better future.”
The Moguldom Nation founder Jamarlin Martin tweeted, “The problem w/ the Dem’s negotiating their standing w/ entertainers: It’s not just they are entertainers & there is too much concentration of political voice from them. This group needs white fans & mainstream support more than the average Black voter. Weak negotiation.”
So, why are entertainers considered the go-to people in the Black community?
“It is a curious paradigm that we find ourselves in when relying on the rich and famous to speak on issues of race, class, and gender equality during times of tumult and upheaval,” Ricardo A. Hazell reported for The Shadow League. “It has long been the practice of societal gatekeepers to invite famous individuals who’re representative of a demographic to carry the message of the elite. Prior to the United States’ existence, governmental bodies of all kinds have employed this method to placate to the people”
And it’s not only people from outside the Black community who turn to Black entertainers for the answers. Black people do it themselves. When there is a crisis, people in the Black community want to know what their celebrities are saying and doing.
“Today, whenever something happens in the Black community, we will inevitably hear the clarion call for Black celebrities to step forth to ‘save’ or ‘enlighten’ us. ‘Where’s Jay Z? Where’s Oprah? Where’s Gayle? Where’s Ava?’ Hazell asked.
For decades, Black people have been locked out of major industries — government, banking — so perhaps there was a lack of established experts. But today there are many Black people in high-profile positions and high-profile institutions who could be the so-called spokespeople.
Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 73: Jamarlin Martin Jamarlin makes the case for why this is a multi-factor rebellion vs. just protests about George Floyd. He discusses the Democratic Party’s sneaky relationship with the police in cities and states under Dem control, and why Joe Biden is a cop and the Steve Jobs of mass incarceration.
Biden isn’t the only candidate trying to gain favor from Black voters by wooing Black celebrities. Trump is guilty of doing the same.
“Trump was very successful in recruiting and dispatching African Americans who he felt would help him garner the Black vote,” Hazell reported. “What do Kanye West, Hershel Walker, Mike Tyson, Terrell Owens, Shawn Merriman, Jim Brown, and Dennis Rodman have in common? They’re all Black males who became rich by entertaining white folks.”