Speaking out

William T. Robinson, Jr.

William T. Robinson, Jr.

Educating the public on matters thought of as significant to bringing about needed change is becoming common practice by high profile luminaries when they have national attention or a huge public spotlight. This practice is harboring mixed views among many people who feel that voicing political views is personal and should not be expressed when associated with one’s job or during venues where you are entertaining people or accepting awards.

However there are those who applaud and support those with the passion and courage to use their celebrity status while in the spotlight to air wrongs and injustices plaguing humanity. What better arena to reach multitudes of people to enlighten by hoping to invoke needed change.

Recently, attention has been put on entertainers and athletes using their celebrity status in public arenas to speak out against injustices and improprieties affecting our society. Many people seeking to be entertained feel that it is inappropriate and unwarranted to interject social and political concerns during a time when all they want is a temporary escape from the pressures of life facing them. Understandable as it may be, rebuking relevant social, political, or economic concerns at any time may be setting a precedent allowing discriminatory status quo practices to continue. Is there a wrong time to educate the public to the wrongs wreaking our society?

I can only imagine that the foxes guarding the hen houses are hoping that the majority of us remain ignorant to the injustices allowing them to serve their own personal agendas. We are alluding to agendas supporting power, greed, racism, and numerous injustices by many contributors—especially officials voted to represent the common man.

Why not use a highly visible venue where you have the attention of the masses to educate unaware people to concerns affecting their lives. Time and time again, it has been proven that injustices plaguing our society have been masked by offering venues of entertainment such as movies and sports to keep us from tackling the real nightmares confronting our lives.

Using entertainment as a smoke scream makes it easier to cover up and continue a modus operandi that many would say is racist and discriminatory in scope. Why not make the most of these entertaining venues by allowing the element of constructive and conscientious thought to be utilized from time to time.

Woe be to those who are enlightened enough to be conscientious thinkers and who demand change and reform from the iniquities plaguing our country and world. Those in a position to perpetuate positive and productive change should be encouraged to do so, not vilified.

Contrary to what many naysayers feel, there are those who feel celebrities in the public spotlight have a responsibility and obligation to use their acclaim to promote the best interests of humanity when possible. Whether one agrees with the messenger, at least the seeds to bring about change would have been sowed.

It is time for some of us to wake up from falsified states of contentment and acceptance. Refusing to adhere to the reality of the world is hurting us all by not confronting and working diligently and collectively to remedy these ills. When one feels passionate about a cause or concern, what venue is more appropriate than a venue offering a large audience?

It should be fair to say that all are not asleep and welcome any situation evoking empathy, call to action and love. Your personal views are a part of who you are and protected by the First Amendment. However, I would hope your message would not warrant harm and racist views toward others. Acceptance of ones views is not a given. As the old adage goes: “We can agree to disagree.”

Speaking out can be very intimidating with negative ramifications by opponents. Sometimes being demonized and vilified are seen as the trappings of the righteous. For those of us adamant about advocating for truth and positive change, we applaud those showing the courage and commitment to speak out during times when some may feel it is inappropriate. Is there ever an appropriate time not to speak out against injustice and advocate for change and love? Kudos to the courageous harbingers advocating for a better world!