I’m not pissed at Chrisette for performing for one of Trumps Inaugural Balls (phrasing) but I am disappointed. I’m not going to be petty like some and downplay her talents or level of stardom, she can sang and this doesn’t change that. I’m also well aware that just because you’re not in the mainstream doesn’t mean you’re not successful.
Chrisette has never really been in the main light but is known well enough. Off a quick google, she’s worth $1 million. Of course that’s not Beyonce or Rhianna money, but most folks aren’t even worth a tenth of that so I’d say she’s been doing pretty good.
Which is partly why I’m giving the benefit of the doubt that she wasn’t that hard up for money or attention to do this. I would imagine she realized $250k isn’t worth the loss of reputation and future earnings. Can’t say if she actually voted and for who, but I assume at the very least she was against letting President Snow from Hunger Games in the Oval Office. I could be wrong, but these are my assumptions from what I gathered until she says/does otherwise.
Flawed as it was, I get where she was going with the move. Did she actually get there? No. Execution and follow through were horrible. But at the very least I understand what her good intentions were, but the road to hell right?
I’ve heard talk about ignoring the All-White-Again House for the next four years as to not show support. But I personally feel we cannot ignore this administration and let them do whatever. We have a real life Captain Planet villain in charge. Hasn’t even been a week and he already approved the pipelines that will likely contaminate Native American’s water supply. (Like seriously, this all used to be their land, can we leave them be in the studio apartment this country left them?) This in addition to many other moves like the hiring freeze, the wall, etc. Now is the time to be involved even more.
We need people at the White House representing our best interests. Which is why I’m fine with black folk meeting with Trump, granted there are waaay more qualified people than Steve Harvey and other entertainers.
I even get the concern to make sure we have our faces and voices seen/heard on the national platform in other aspects and let it be know we’re not going away because Barack is out of office. But there are stipulations to that.
I see Chrisette’s reasoning to sing a gospel song (she may have sung more but that’s all I saw). Throughout all the bull our people have been through in country, we’ve always sung spirituals to uplift and keep us fighting on. So it makes sense that she would think “we need to make sure my people are still seen and heard in this white space and while doing that, I’m going to sing a song to signify to us that we will still prevail.” Makes sense, but it wasn’t enough for this situation. She could have sung that in a black space for us as opposed to the mostly white Trump supporters audience because you know none of us were watching. I know I just said we need to be involved, but not supporting the inauguration itself is different than being present afterwards.
I needed her to take a bolder stance. Wear a Black Power or Black Lives Matter shirt. Take a note from Rebecca Ferguson and pick a more in-your-face song like “Strange Fruit”. Say a few words in protest. Something! Because her execution was weak and makes it look like she was simply there to celebrate this man’s unsettling victory.
I’m not that upset because I’m still giving her the benefit of the doubt that she just made a huge, misguided mistake. And to be honest, I’m not too concerned with the inauguration and who performed period. Lately, my anger has been directed with those who voted for Trump while supposedly disagreeing with his ideals and comments but thought “he’ll change for the better once he’s elected.” And also all those, “Trump is a despicable, evil, unqualified man but I don’t like Hillary because she’s a politician/emails so I’m just going to not vote” folks.
Chrisette’s first album holds some significance because it was one of those rare R&B albums that I actually bought and listened to back then. “Good Girl” still knocks and “Mr. Radio” can still serenade me to sleep on the same playlist as Anita Baker’s “Sweet Love” and Teedra Moses and Raphael Saadiq’s “Take Me”. You could be upset with me for still liking the songs, but I’m sure many still support artists that have done worse. (I’ll leave that be for now.)
But you’re not completely off the hook Ms. Michele, I may have seen what you tried to do, but that doesn’t excuse what you actually did. It looked real bad so you definitely owe us an apology and a statement about your intentions. And a clear statement, none of these cryptic spoken word letters you’ve been putting out.
And quit trying to make yourself out to be this martyr we needed because 1) we didn’t and in fact were very vocal about not wanting any views/participation to be mistaken for support the incoming administration, 2) you did not do anything that benefited us and 3) Michele Obama’s side eye was all the representation we needed that day.
So if you did it for yourself then say so, don’t bring us into this mess, we good over here. I suggest you step off your pedestal right quick and make things right with your people. And while you’re at it, fire any of your people who let you go through with that terrible decision.