Black celebrities must stop gaslighting black issues

Illustration by Monte | The Signal

As heartbreaking as George Floyd’s death is, he isn’t the first man that has been rallied for. Since the 2013 acquittal of George Zimmerman, I have watched black men, women and children be senselessly slaughtered.

A hoodie, a forged check, argument with police, compliance of police orders, a wrong address, a toy gun and loud music are a few reasons why so many Black lives have been taken. Each murder is plastered over social media, trapping us in tragedy. 

At a time where every other post is someone struggling to live, you would think public figures would choose their words wisely on the subject. Shemeik Moore proves us wrong. 

In a Twitter thread, Moore stated that he would not blame everything on “racism” and that we still have “Black-on-Black crime that needs to be addressed.” Like other ill-informed celebrities, Moore used his platform to negate the systemic racism in each facet of our society. 

Black-on-Black crime is propaganda to frame Black people as inherently more violent than other races. While statistics prove Black people are the primary assailants in crimes against other Black people, the statistics prove the same trend in all other racial groups. If you are assaulted, raped, murdered or robbed, the assailant usually looks like you, due to proximity, hence why the correct term is “proximity crime.” 

He went on to chastise Black people for “giving [police] the energy they want,” perpetuating a victim-blaming narrative that we see too often. Many of the victims of police brutality have been in compliance with police orders. Some were even asleep or eating ice cream at the time of their murder.

A badge and white skin don’t legally give a person the right to impose on others. So even if someone were to run from an ex-cop who followed him or a person was irritated with the officer who pulled them over, the officer who is trained to handle even the most volatile situations should have many options before turning to murder. 

If an officer is filled with hatred and racial bias, he or she shouldn’t join a force that is supposed to maintain law and order. A Black victim shouldn’t share the blame with their aggressor because they were born the color that the aggressor equates to inferiority and disregard.

Later in his rant, Moore claimed that “it’s not 1945,” therefore it is time for Black people to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps. Systemic racism didn’t begin or end in 1945. Racism is woven into each facet of our society and has never left.

Racism is a callous disregard for a man begging for his life, because “if you can talk, you can breathe.” Racism is documenting a 12-year-old as an 18-year-old suspect. Racism is looking up “four black teens” and seeing mugshots. Racism is microaggressions that are easy to downplay.

Before Moore or any other celebrities use their platforms to gaslight and reinforce the plight of their peers, they should first read a book. 

Instead of relying on populist Blacks to rally behind you, when your privilege expires, consider the detriment that they endure, because they aren’t in Soho or the Hills.