On January 20, the nation said goodbye to President Obama and welcomed President-elect Trump into the White House. In response to one of the most shocking and controversial elections in the history of this country, musicians worldwide have come together using their influence to protest Trump and policies that he has already begun taking action towards in his first 100 days in office, as promised.
One of the most controversial issues that musicians have publicly protested against is Trump’s Immigration Ban. In a recent post, wrote an article reflecting on the global outrage that has come because of President Trump signing an executive order, closing the borders to all travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
Confusion and chaos surfaced on a global scale; however, many musicians have spoken out including Rihanna, Cher, Grimes, John Legend, Sia, and YG to name a few. However, what I would like to focus on is how these musicians are taking what they believe to be an administrative nightmare and focusing on what they can do to combat social and political issues in the wake of the past week.
Grimes and Sia have already announced that they will match all donations to up to $10,000 made towards organizations fighting the immigration ban and are encouraging their fans to donate. The stars are both using their networks to influence people over existing government policies.
From the night of the election until now, musicians and celebrities have turned to social media to share their thoughts on Donald Trump and his first days in office. One of the most influential musicians standing against Trump is Cher. As one of the main spokespeople for gay rights, the star has created a political firestorm with the content she has shared on Twitter from immigration to gay rights and has been recently nominated for the Shorty Awards for best content creators and producers on social media in the celebrity category.
While many musicians have been leaders in political protests, many of them have refused the President in different ways. Adele sent a letter that forbid the use of her music for any political campaigning and Belly canceled his performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live because Trump was going to be in the same episode. These approaches, though not as radical as others, I believe are the direction that social activists should be taking in response to the election rather than acts of violence.
What We Can Do
I understand that we are not all musicians and celebrities with a large digital footprint or have 7 million followers on Twitter to influence our political indifferences. However, that is not what matters. The focus of this blog post was not to focus on Donald Trump or to talk about politics; there is plenty of time for that. What is important is that these musicians used their music, social media and network of people to share their opinion and to make a change for the better.
People are focusing their energy on anger and violence and they are forgetting this: we are a nation; one person is not going to change that unless we let it. America is one of few countries that have freedom of the press and freedom of speech and we must use it.
Change does not happen overnight, but it does happen. We as consumers must concentrate on the good that can come out of a hard situation—like donating to charities and advocating for social, racial, and gender equality—will be the starting point to defend those facing injustice and unite as a community.