Celebrities are role models to millions and their voices are heard loudly and clearly by all. They play an important role when they raise their voices, condemning both the police shootings and the shooting of police officers. All of these have to stop.
In this past week, two innocent men, Alton Sterling, 37, and Philando Castile, 32, were shot by police officers and their deaths were recorded on videos seen across America. Then on July 7, five Dallas police officers were assassinated by a lone gunman, Micah Xavier Johnson, who was on a sick mission to “kill white police officers.”
This has to stop. All of this has to stop. Madmen like Omar Mateen have to be prevented from getting their hands on military assault weapons so they can murder 49 innocent people at an Orlando nightclub.
In each of these recent, horrifying incidents, celebrities have stepped up and spoken out against the tragic loss of innocent lives. And that’s important because their voices are loud and they have influence.
Mothers of children of color, people of color – especially men – should not have to live in fear of the police – the very people who are supposed to be our greatest protectors.
“I want my children to grow up knowing that their lives matter. I do not ever want to have to teach my son to be scared of the police, or to tell him that he has †o watch his back because the people we are told to trust – the people who ‘protect and serve’ – may not be protecting him because of the color of his skin,” she poignantly wrote.
Everyone who watched the Facebook Live video posted by Diamond Reynolds after a Minnesota police officer pumped four bullets into her fiancé, Philando Castile, can understand the fear Kim’s expressing.
Philando was stopped for a possible tail light violation — a routine traffic stop. He did nothing wrong. And he ended up dead. He was a kitchen supervisor at a Montessori School. He wasn’t a criminal. And even if he had had other traffic violations in the past, did he deserve to be shot to death in his car by a police officer who lost his cool?
Drake, one of the biggest music stars in the world and a biracial man, admitted that he is now afraid after Alton Sterling, 37, was held down by Baton Rouge police and shot to death. “This is real and I’m concerned. Concerned for the safety of my family, my friends and any human being that could fall victim to this pattern,” he wrote, after pointing out that — “It’s impossible to ignore that the relationship between black and brown communities and law enforcement remains as strained as it was decades ago.”
Beyonce added her powerful voice to the protests against the shooting of black men by police officers. “We are sick and tired of the killings of young men and women in our communities. It is up to us to take a stand and demand that they stop killing us,” she wrote on her website.
All Americans, black, white and every color in between need to speak out, like these celebrities and insist that all police departments be trained to treat all Americans equally and to give everyone equal treatment and protection.
We can’t live in a country where virtually every African-American man fears being stopped by a police officer.
Even CNN anchor, Don Lemon, admitted on air this week that he fears for his life when he encounters police. “I am one who always says you should comply with police officers, especially as a man of color. When I am stopped by a police officer, ‘Officer, why are you stopping me? Yes. Yes, officer…’ I shouldn’t have to be all ‘yes, sir’-ing anybody, right? I’m a grown you-know-what man. But I do it because I want to stay alive,” he confessed.
Wow, he doesn’t want to end up like Philando Castile or Alton Sterling. He wants to stay alive.
This is not the way that millions of African-American men and their parents should have to live. Neither, is this a country where police officers should be shot to death, simply because they are white.
Five innocent white officers protecting peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters were assassinated by an African American army reservist, Micah Xavier Johnson, 25. Sadly, hate is not color blind.
Celebrities like LeBron James, John Legend, and Demi Lovato were also quick to speak out against these senseless murderers. “We are all hurting tonight. More violence is not the answer. #StopTheViolence,” tweeted LeBron.
We are all hurting tonight. More violence is not the answer. #StoptheViolence
— LeBron James (@KingJames) July 8, 2016
I’m glad that celebrities see that they have a role in spreading the message that all this violence must stop. We face big, long-term problems, but solutions will only be found if pressure is put on our elected representatives and police departments. Celebrities are helping to do that and so can you, HollywoodLifers. Let me know your thoughts.