In an effort to “spread awareness,” white celebrities have taken to the internet, sharing their own experiences with racism. The internet was not best pleased.
Proving that a lesson unlearned is a mistake repeated, a throng of all-white actors have recorded a series of monologues, empathetically sharing their own acts of racism, to increase learning. Or something. In partnership with the NAACP, Kristen Bell, Kesha, Aaron Paul, Stanley Tucci, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Debra Messing have launched a movement called #ITakeResponsibility. As we’re not too far removed from the disastrously gormless effort to fight the coronavirus with a Beatles cover, the internet’s response has been almost identical.
regret to inform you the celebs are at it again pic.twitter.com/pfORBiqvrX
— Marlow Stern (@MarlowNYC) June 11, 2020
For those who missed it, a clip of stars singing John Lennon’s “Imagine” went viral not long after the world got serious about COVID-19. Wonder Woman actor Gal Gadot rounded up a star-studded crew including Natalie Portman, Sarah Silverman, Will Ferrell, Cara Delevingne to record clips of themselves singing the lyrics of a song about a world without neither war nor possessions. They are neither vocal talents nor are they seemingly aware that they very much enjoy a life full of possessions, proving themselves both figuratively and literally tone-deaf.
As a genuine black person, allow me to be curt. Having white celebrities talk on my behalf, isn’t it. Talking into your phone for thirty seconds isn’t taking responsibility, nor is it enabling any sort of change. White people calling out racism within their circles is important, but I can’t imagine a man famous for saying the word “bitch” will change any minds made by discrimination.
Cynically, it could be viewed as an expansion of their own brand, an opportunity to market themselves. Talk, after all, is the cheapest commodity. If they’re truly serious in wanting to enforce change, I’ll expect to see them marching, with a petition in hand, and, above all, with their goddamn wallets open.
Need an example? Michael Jordan and Nike pledged to give $100 million over the next 10 years to institutions dedicated to racial equality, social justice, and education access. That’s change.