American singer-songwriter Alicia Keys and her We Are Here movement have a message for her President and Congress: “We must right our historic wrongs and heal the wounds of systemic racism so that all Americans have the equal right to pursue happiness”
To promote We Are Here’s petition, Ms. Keys and media partner Mic.com have recruited high-powered celebrities A$AP Rocky, Adam Levine, Beyoncé, Bono, Chance the Rapper, Chris Rock, Common, Jada Pinkett Smith, Janelle Monae, Jennifer Hudson, Kevin Hart, Lenny Kravitz, Maxwell, Pharrell Williams, P!nk, Queen Latifah, Rihanna, Rosario Dawson, Swizz Beatz, Talib Kweli, Taraji P Henson,Tracee Ellis Ross, Van Jones, and Zoë Kravitz. Each of them provides an unreasonable “reason” real people have been killed in confrontations with the police:
The #23ways message is in response to increasing police violence towards Black Americans, which has reached a boiling point in the USA as retaliatory criminal violence against police has divided their national discourse, with #BlackLivesMatter, #BlueLivesMatter, and #AllLivesMatter burning up social media.
It’s the kind of “talking heads” celebrity PSA that I find conceptually unimaginative, but the message itself is so powerful that this seems like a very cynical criticism. I’m more curious if the inclusion of white (and in Bon’s case, non-American) celebrities is controversial within the African-American community.