Stop Telling Celebrities To "Just Do Their Job"

Stop Telling Celebrities To "Just Do Their Job"

This is their America too!
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Whenever an actor moves the audience with a stunning monologue everyone applauds because they are doing their job. Whenever an athlete makes the game-winning touchdown or shots a 3 pointer with 10 seconds on the clock, everyone jumps to their feet with cheer... because it's their job. Whenever a singer or musician sing/play a note that touches the listener's core, that listener will be overcome with positive emotion because that singer/musician was doing "their job".

However, when a celebrity in any category speaks out about the racism, sexism, police brutality, unfair treatment of the LGBTQIA community, or *cough, cough* unfit presidents... They are told to stick to what they know or stay in their place.

Newsflash... being a celebrity does not take away a person's humanity, citizenship or voice. Just because they are in the limelight doesn't mean they are now somehow only allowed to speak when you tell them to and to say what's written for them. They are just like every other American citizen who sees the state that this country is in and wants to speak up. America is their place, just as much as it is yours.

Celebrities have every right to voice their opinions or silently protest. Why is it that a hate group can protest and the "president" reminds us that some of them are good; but when athletes kneel in solidarity and silently protest they are considered un-American. I think the real problem is everyone has their own opinion of what it means to be an American and it usually has to fit in with their own actions and if it does not, well the person opposing them must be bad and unpatriotic.

But what can be unpatriotic about protesting? About challenging the system because you feel something is wrong with it? About calling out people who are unfair and one-sided and vain, and saying you will not stand for the injustice... so instead you'll kneel. What is unpatriotic about that? This country was formed out of protest. Out of wanting to be free from a tyrannous dictator who treated his subjects unfairly. The first amendment of the Constitution gives every citizen, even the celebrities, the right to free speech, free press and yes to protest. People love to whine about free speech when they are yelling "Send them back to Mexico" or "GOD hates gays"; whenever it's a bad, evil, or negative thing that people want to scream and they are shut down, they complain about how they have the right to free speech. But let a Meryl Streep speak out about corrupt politics at an award ceremony, she wakes up to tweets about how she isn't even a great actress. Or let a Colin Kaepernick kneel for the national anthem not because he hates America, but because he is tired of the ill-treatment of individuals of color in America. People who can be shot and killed while their murderer walks and then are called criminals after their death. And yet he ostracized made to feel like he is in the wrong.

This treatment of celebrities has to stop (I mean along with all the injustices in America today). They are not monkeys that are gonna dance when you tell them to, to the song you choose, for as long as you care to watch. They are individuals with a talent and a platform. In fact, any celebrity that uses their platform to speak up and out is actually doing their "job". If you have an influence on people and you don't use it, what good is it for? Some celebrities use their influence in negative ways, they promote violence, drugs, and abuse towards women and sometimes these are not even the lifestyles they live. But a athlete who isn't afraid to make a statement. An actor who isn't afraid to take a stand. A celebrity who uses their elevated voice to help evoke change and movement towards a better America... Well I can't think of anything more patriotic than that.

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Today's food for thought:

Think about someone other than yourself today...
Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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Austin Alexander Burridge, Volunteer Advocate, Shares 3 Great Reasons to Volunteer and Help Others

Austin Alexander Burridge is an avid academic who studies Environmental Science at Winona State University and believes that work in the service of others is a key pillar to personal development.

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Sometimes it's easy for someone to adopt a "me, me, me" attitude. While focusing on oneself, a person may feel nice in the moment, but serving and helping others will bring lasting benefits. While there are many great reasons to serve and help others, there are three universal truths that resonate with volunteers around the globe.

Austin Alexander Burridge's 3 Reasons to Volunteer:

1. Accomplishment

Often, people fall into a trap of focusing on themselves when they are feeling down. Maybe someone did not get a job they wanted. Or perhaps a person gets dumped by an expected lifelong companion. Maybe someone feels they have underachieved after looking at Facebook and seeing great things a high school classmate has accomplished. When feeling down, helping others is a proven way to improve one's mood and attitude, and it can provide a sense of pride and accomplishment. The act of giving to those in need is an inherently good action and leaves people with a wonderful feeling of joy.

2. Gratitude

One can become more appreciative of life by serving others that have less. Whether volunteering at a soup kitchen, visiting the elderly at an assisted living center, or helping families after a natural disaster, service enables people to be grateful for what they have. Seeing people who have fewer advantages, especially those who are spirited and thankful for small things, allows one to realize just how fortunate he/she is in life.

3. Friendships

Volunteering is a great way to build meaningful friendships, not only with other volunteers but also with those who are served. One of the most profound and fascinating aspects of these relationships is how volunteers will learn from those served and vice versa. As these special bonds are built, they lead to impactful connections that last for years to come.

Of course, these are just a few reasons to volunteer and serve others. One can never go wrong by helping others as opposed to merely focusing on oneself. Volunteering invariably and inevitably contributes to personal growth, development, and satisfaction.

About Austin Alexander Burridge: Helping others has been of paramount importance to Austin, and as a part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Austin gave back to the community around him. He also has participated in annual peanut butter drives, The Minnesota Sandwich Project for the Homeless and collected canned goods for local food shelters. Additionally, Austin has a passion for the environment, which he pursued when visiting the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, and the Amazon Rain Forest while studying at the School of Environment Studies, which investigates ecological systems and their sustainability

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Saying You "Don't Take Political Stances" IS A Political Stance

All you're doing by saying this is revealing your privilege to not care politically, and here's why that's a problem.

bethkrat
bethkrat
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I'm sure all of us know at least one person who refuses to engage in political discussions - sure, you can make the argument that there is a time and a place to bring up the political happenings of our world today, but you can't possibly ignore it all the time. You bring up the last ridiculous tweet our president sent or you try to discuss your feelings on the new reproductive regulation bills that are rising throughout the states, and they find any excuse to dip out as quickly as possible. They say I don't talk about politics, or I'm apolitical. Well everyone, I'm here to tell you why that's complete bullsh*t.

Many people don't have the luxury and privilege of ignoring the political climate and sitting complacent while terrible things happen in our country. So many issues remain a constant battle for so many, be it the systematic racism that persists in nearly every aspect of our society, the fact that Flint still doesn't have clean water, the thousands of children that have been killed due to gun violence, those drowning in debt from unreasonable medical bills, kids fighting for their rights as citizens while their families are deported and separated from them... you get the point. So many people have to fight every single day because they don't have any other choice. If you have the ability to say that you just don't want to have anything to do with politics, it's because you aren't affected by any failing systems. You have a privilege and it is important to recognize it.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "history will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people."

We recognize that bad people exist in this world, and we recognize that they bring forth the systems that fail so many people every single day, but what is even more important to recognize are the silent majority - the people who, by engaging in neutrality, enable and purvey the side of the oppressors by doing nothing for their brothers and sisters on the front lines.

Maybe we think being neutral and not causing conflict is supposed to be about peacekeeping and in some way benefits the political discussion if we don't try to argue. But if we don't call out those who purvey failing systems, even if it's our best friend who says something homophobic, even if it's our representatives who support bills like the abortion ban in Alabama, even if it's our president who denies the fact that climate change is killing our planet faster than we can hope to reverse it, do we not, in essence, by all accounts of technicality side with those pushing the issues forward? If we let our best friend get away with saying something homophobic, will he ever start to change his ways, or will he ever be forced to realize that what he's said isn't something that we can just brush aside? If we let our representatives get away with ratifying abortion bans, how far will the laws go until women have no safe and reasonable control over their own bodily decisions? If we let our president continue to deny climate change, will we not lose our ability to live on this planet by choosing to do nothing?

We cannot pander to people who think that being neutral in times of injustice is a reasonable stance to take. We cannot have sympathy for people who decide they don't want to care about the political climate we're in today. Your attempts at avoiding conflict only make the conflict worse - your silence in this aspect is deafening. You've given ammunition for the oppressors who take your silence and apathy and continue to carry forth their oppression. If you want to be a good person, you need to suck it up and take a stand, or else nothing is going to change. We need to raise the voices of those who struggle to be heard by giving them the support they need to succeed against the opposition.

With all this in mind, just remember for the next time someone tells you that they're apolitical: you know exactly which side they're on.

bethkrat
bethkrat

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