Thank you Jimmy Kimmel, J.Lo and NFL stars for stepping up as American leaders, saving affordable healthcare, aiding Puerto Rico and speaking out against police brutality against African Americans.
This past weekend about 200 NFL players and their team owners, took to their knees, locked arms and raised their fists or refused to come on the field during the playing of the National Anthem. They were protesting the repeated killings of unarmed African American men by police officers, as well as Donald Trump‘s attack on NFL player Colin Kaepernick who started the #TakeAKnee movement. Trump lobbed a grenade at Kaepernick and other NFL players who followed his example, last Friday night, Sept. 22, during a rally in Alabama. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you say ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired,” he roared to his followers.
Imagine — this is the President of the United States, #1, calling hugely successful American citizens — NFL players — ‘sons of bitches’ and, #2, demanding that they be fired. FYI it is prohibited for all government officials, including the president, to try and influence someone’s employment. Trump’s vicious tirade against Kaepernick, then his tweet disinviting NBA champ Stephen Curry to the White House the next morning fueled a determined demonstration of solidarity by NFL players, team owners and coaches to stand up against Trump and to express their rights of freedom of speech and expression.
Now, also this weekend it was Jennifer Lopez who sprang into action, along with ex-husband Marc Anthony, and boyfriend Alex Rodriguez , to deliver help to the desperate citizens of Puerto Rico. Donald Trump was too busy tweeting venom against courageous NFL and NBA players to notice that over 3.4 million American citizens were in life-threatening conditions in Puerto Rico. After Category 5 Hurricane Maria battered the island with winds and floods, Puerto Ricans were left entirely without electricity, fresh water, food and medicine. It was Jennifer, Marc Anthony, and New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo who brought much-needed attention and help to Puerto Rico.
J.Lo joined Governor Cuomo at a press conference,and urged Americans to support Puerto Rico and the Caribbean with donations, announcing that she herself had donated $1 million and already had 2 planes full of supplies headed for San Juan. Her ex-husband, Marc Anthony, whose parents are Puerto Ricans, took to Twitter on Sept. 24th, urging the islanders to ‘stay strong’, because help was on the way, before finally getting completely fed up by Donald Trump’s lack of action. “Mr. President shut the f**k up about NFL. Do something about our people in need in #PuertoRico. We are American citizens, too,”he tweeted.
Yes, Donald Trump, Puerto Ricans are American citizens. And so are NFL players. But instead of trying to heal the wounds left by 200 years of racism or by the catastrophic winds of a hurricane, you have spent your days fanning divisiveness and turning Americans against one another. Thankfully, Hollywood stars like Jennifer, Marc, A-Rod, and sports stars like Tom Brady, Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid are filling the moral vacuum you left wide open.
Then, there is talk show host Jimmy Kimmel who courageously stood up against Republican Senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, plus Donald Trump, calling out their latest healthcare bill for its failings to take care of all Americans. Jimmy Kimmel used his TV show four times to denounce the Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill as a replacement for Obamacare, because it didn’t guarantee affordable healthcare to families, especially those with children, who have pre-existing medical conditions.
Jimmy is well aware of the financial and emotional costs of landing in this dire situation. His baby son, Billy, 5 months, was born with a rare heart defect which required open heart surgery only hours after he was born. Billy still faces two more heart surgeries. Jimmy is adamant that no American parent should have a child die solely because their parents can’t afford their medical care. “I think that’s something that whether you’re a Republican, or a Democrat, or something else, we can all agree on,” he said.
Kimmel swiftly realized that the new Republican healthcare bill, which would repeal and replace Obamacare, would NOT protect all children , nor would it protect adults with preexisting conditions, nor would it fund Planned Parenthood. Thanks largely to Jimmy’s relentless and understandable attacks on Graham-Cassidy, as well as the courage of Senator John McCain, who is battling brain cancer, the bill has been withdrawn. For now, Obamacare lives.
In the absence of moral leadership from the president, celebrities are stepping up to demonstrate that humanity, empathy and unity are still hugely important values for Americans. And while Donald Trump works as hard as he can to divide Americans by race, by sex, by religion and by regions of the country, they stand up for standing together and taking care of one another. Don’t forget that it’s celebrities who organized the Hand-in-Hand Telethon, which raised $44 million for victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Kristen Bell spent time at a Florida shelter during Irma and sang songs from Frozen for families trapped there. Miranda Lambert rescued 100 dogs stranded in the Houston floods and LeBron James told off Donald Trump for disinviting Stephen Curry to the White House.
Explains King James: Trump “doesn’t understand how many kids, no matter the race look up to the President of the United States for guidance, for leadership, for words of encouragement…We are at a time when the most powerful position in the world has the opportunity to bring us close together as a people and inspire youth and put youth at ease by saying it’s OK for me to walk down the street and not be judged by the color of my skin or because of my race. … And he doesn’t even care.” Well thank you, LeBron, J.Lo, Jimmy Kimmel and so many more stars for recognizing that YOU can provide that moral leadership and the, doing it.
HollywoodLifers, do you agree that stars are providing moral leadership today? Which celeb do you admire most right now? Let me know.