Stop Forgiving Celebrity Abusers
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April 19, 2017
March 29, 2017
In this world, if we are benefiting from something, we are completely willing to overlook the faults or flaws that thing has, simply because without it, we would be at an inconvenience.
Translation: even if something is awful, if we like it, it’s okay.
That theory applies to musical artists and even athletes in today’s celebrity-worshiping culture. Just a month ago, rapper Xxxtentacion was put behind bars for allegedly beating his pregnant girlfriend so badly that she was blinded. Xxxtentacion is a relatively new artist with a few hype songs, and had garnered some attention with his single. For some reason though, when I logged into Twitter, I was appalled to find that there were people genuinely trying to defend this man. After scrolling for a few minutes, I had to log off because I could not believe that this was what our society had fallen victim to.
Think about Brock Turner, remember him? The world rightfully condemned him for sexually assaulting a young woman while she was passed out behind a dumpster. The internet was flooded with open letters, YouTube rants, and articles defaming the once well liked Stanford swimmer. I remember feeling pride in seeing how many people were defending this young woman and expressing their anger that the media was so willing to paint Turner in a good light. Fast forward a few months later and people are defending this barely talented rapper for a crime just as disgusting. The difference? Xxxtentacion provides us with a service that Turner didn’t. Turner did not affect our personal lives in any way besides infuriating us so it’s painless to hang him out to dry. Xxxtentacion gives us music, and to acknowledge his wrongdoing would mean we would have to take a harder look at ourselves and our morals.
Sadly, Xxxtentacion isn’t the first to have his crimes overlooked because of his status. Kodak Black was arrested for allegedly raping a fan at one of his concerts in February 2016, and days after, #FreeKodak was trending worldwide on Twitter. Chris Brown is still topping music charts despite being exposed for beating Rihanna in 2009, making fun of Kehlani’s suicide attempt, and even threatening ex-girlfriend Karreuche. For some reason all of these artists have found grace within the public eye, but why?
Because we are selfish.
It would be too much work to stop listening to our favorite artists because of their wrongdoings.
Separate the artist from their art right? Wrong.
Every time you play a Chris Brown song, you are putting money into the pockets of an abusive man. Every time you rap out to Kodak Black, you are giving him the notion that so long as he keeps putting out bangers, he can do as he pleases. Every Soundcloud play that Xxxtentacion gets says his music speaks louder than his actions. By supporting these artists, we are telling them they play by a different set of rules than the rest of the world because they provide us with something we want.
In reality, though, it’s not.
Both Kodak Black and Xxxtentacion are so new that they are easily replaceable with any other new and upcoming rapper. By forgiving them, we are telling them that their celebrity status makes them an exception to the rule.
So the next time you’re listening to “Party” on the radio, think of Rihanna’s beaten in face. Think of the fear Karruche feels that her ex-boyfriend publicly brags about wanting to kill her. Then pretend that that woman is your mother. Or your sister. Or your future daughter.
Then try to tell me that that song is worth the listen.