Entertainment

Celebrities Missed the Chance for Unity in Charlottesville

Prominent influencers within the culture would be so much better off urging peace, thoughtfulness and calm

That any American would espouse Nazism in 2017 is shameful and horrible, and public violence done in the name of one’s political beliefs is indicative of a divisive culture that only appears to be getting worse right now.

When violent protests broke out in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend, celebrities and artists had the opportunity to call for unity and sanity in a world in which people are digging their heels into extremist beliefs.

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Yet instead of taking the high road, the majority of celebrities did what they tend to do at the slightest opportunity: They spread more division and used a tragic event as an opportunity to push their political agendas.

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Vice President Mike Pence, first lady Melania Trump, and the president’s own daughter, Ivanka Trump, a senior adviser, all condemned the awful actions of white supremacists.

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The president did as well — but many celebrities pounced on social media because he did not specifically say the words “white supremacists” in his original statement. In a Monday press conference Trump did end up referencing “white supremacists” when he said, “Racism is evil and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups.”

Many of these are the same people who supported and defended former President Barack Obama, a man who refused to say “radical Islamic terrorists” in the wake of terrorist attacks — something musician and Trump supporter Frank Stallone was quick to point out on social media.

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Criticizing the president for not specifically calling out “white supremacists” in his original statement is a fair argument. However, when it comes from people who defended Obama’s political correctness when referring to Islamic terrorists, the criticism is empty and partisan.

The Trump hysteria that has taken hold of so many leftists and Hollywood personalities is baffling and dismaying. Disagreeing with the president and arguing with him on various policy points is one thing — but literally blaming the man for every negative action one sees in the news or in the public square is insanity and borderline obsession.

These celebs could throw petty political arguments to the side and help promote a culture that is not so divided.

What happened in Charlottesville over the weekend was a horrible and tragic act of political violence that provided an opportunity for celebrities to look at and rethink the cultural division they stoke every day by insulting voters who think differently than they do.

These voters include some of their own Hollywood peers, such as Dean Cain, Kevin Sorbo, and Joy Villa — people who are most definitely not racist or bigoted or in any way close to the personalities pushed by leftist celebrities as their idea of “Trump voters.”

Calling Trump’s entire voter block racist and suggesting the whole administration is composed of white supremacists — these are extremely divisive actions that feed into a culture gap that is widening.

Celebrities and artists with public platforms have a unique opportunity right now. In response to tragic events like those in Charlottesville, they could call for unity and healing. They could throw petty political arguments to the side and help promote a culture that is not so divided and broken.

That’s what we need right now from the world’s artists in this fractured culture. We need to be reminded of what connects us and of a future that includes everyone — no matter what side of the political aisle people fall on, or for whom they may have voted in 2016.

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