Standing for a Cause
Recently, now more than ever, there has been a tremendous surge of celebrities—such as Alyssa Milano, Amy Schumer, Colin Kaepernick and more—utilizing their platforms to speak up about the social injustices affecting our nation.
Quite extensively, this newfound notion has become a trend in the celebrity community which leaves the opposing viewers questioning why these prominent stars feel it necessary to relay their opinion? However, the “why” shouldn’t come as a shock due to those abundant amounts of people who, daily, are greatly affected by the corruption of words, actions, and treatment by people of any discriminatory nature within the U.S. To those oppressed by discriminating behavior, most of the time, their voice is lost among the average citizen and in good conscious celebrities like Schumer or Kaepernick are bravely voicing it for them.
For countless years, women, even long before they had gained rights to join the workforce full throttle, have been sexually assaulted, abused, threatened, used, and bullied time and time again without any proper justices in attempt to mend what has tragically occurred. In some cases, those very same women have bravely tried to come forward to stand trial against the sexual predators to ensure that no one else would be made a victim.
Unfortunately, all too often when a woman voices her story the matter is simply dismissed, shut down, or not morally justified and this is significantly problematic.
The year is 2018 and since the beginning of humankind, women have made remarkable strides from the suffrage movement in the late 19th century to producing proper health accommodations (such as birth control in the 1960s) and finally into contemporary women’s rights movements such as Me Too and Time’s Up. It seemed for a while that women’s voices started to matter, and progression would be the outcome. Then turmoil struck and once again our rights are being squandered by the very uncivilized sexist rhetoric of anti-equality leaders leaving us to defend it. Most people in society are made up of middle-class citizens in which more than half are women. Those middle-class women with also a great extent of lower-class women are more so the victims of sexual assault. So, what happens when these women are not only afraid and hauntingly traumatized but also do not have the funds or resources to come forward? Those women are not justified or worse, to possibly be made victims again. That critical reason is what set celebrities like Schumer and Milano in motion to act and to utilize their platform to be that voice where most women can’t.
The trial of Brett Kavanaugh verses Dr. Christine Blasey Ford was such a high-profile case mainly because Kavanaugh had been set to take a position in the supreme court of the highest judiciary station in the country and Dr. Ford had accused him of sexual misconduct. No matter how apparent and compellingly convincing Dr. Ford’s testimony, due to the regressive state of our democracy and wave of pompous patriarchy, the facts did not matter and so Kavanaugh was granted the renowned position anyways (dropped of all charges).
This unjustified action infuriated and deeply upset women all over the globe, not just in our country, and it brought celebrities such as Schumer to the front lines of protest. Ultimately, many women who stood to CIVILLY protest along with Schumer herself were arrested.
Another celebrity who was reprimanded for standing up against a social injustice is, professional quarterback currently a free agent after being released from the 49ners, Colin Kaepernick. A series of police brutality enforced on African Americans has branched back centuries in our nation, with recent headlines branding the front pages of every news article out there of the disgraceful occurrences. Quite disturbing enough, many of these killings involve children; one widely known case involved a 17-year-old boy by the name of Trayvon Martin who was unarmed yet shot and killed by a police officer. Other lives have been taken due to the color of their skin, just to name a few, Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray, Philando Castile, Samuel DuBose—all cases where the shooter was acquitted of any crime by the simple fact that their uniform gave them leeway and the privileges that came with their skin color.
Kaepernick, a fellow African American and U.S. citizen, did not agree with this behavior and so prior to game time when everyone stood in the stands and on the gridiron to place their hand on their heart and mouth the words to honor our national anthem, he instead kneeled and prayed.
Kaepernick took a huge risk in sacrificing half his fans, his stardom, his legacy, his secure compensation, and his reputation by critically deciding to honor the unjustified deaths of the innocent people who no longer had a voice at all.
When celebrities take a hard stance on a big issue, it allows the public to have a fair say and be heard by the majority. With famously warranted public figures in the corner of the muted minority, we are granted a platform in which we can break free of our silence while backed-up by resources and an action-course network. At this point, the right can accuse a celebrity of “not having creditability in voicing their opinion on politics,” but then again so can the latter.