Ferguson Isn’t A Black Issue

Dish Staff —  Aug 20 2014 @ 9:29am
by Dish Staff

Amy Zimmerman addresses the outcry over hip-hop stars not weighing in enough:

When a celebrity speaks out about an important issue, it increases visibility—this is a good thing. Nevertheless, the expectation that every African-American star or hip-hop hero must weigh in on Ferguson is a problematic one. Demanding that every beloved black celebrity respond to this issue would be like asking every white celebrity to take to social media whenever a white person, be they a criminal or a victim, makes the nightly news. The next time a mentally unstable white man opens fire on the public, you can be sure that the judgment of the world will fall firmly on that individual, not on Lena Dunham for failing to release a cogent and heartfelt press release.

Expecting every black celebrity with a hit single or an extensive Twitter following to address Ferguson implies that Michael Brown’s murder is a minority issue instead of a human rights one. Furthermore, demanding that any one person who is not directly implicated in the atrocity weigh in on it anyway distracts from the brave protestors, articulate journalists, and passionate public figures who are voluntarily taking on the responsibility of ensuring that Michael Brown’s prematurely silenced voice is heard.