We’re into Week Two of the “Everyone versus The NFL And Everyone Else” kneeling controversy, and we are truly living in a golden age of stupid attempts to willfully misunderstand a situation in order to have angry takes.
It is a record-breakingly stupid time in America right now, and I wouldn’t dare presume I was likely to change the opinion of anyone within the Colin Kaepernick Facebook comment cesspools that’ve globbed together over the past week. Plus, if you can’t tell from my doofy little avatar pic up there, I don’t exactly deem myself America’s preeminent spokesperson on ethnic issues.( I might not even be in the top five .) Nonetheless, I do have a lot of suffer with people on the internet saying stupid shit, and there’s one specific ultra-stupid criticism that preserves popping up again and again that I want to focus on: The theory that any wealthy luminary who speaks out is automatically some out-of-touch, ungrateful elitist.
Last week, during Obamacare Repeal 5: Activity Miami Beach , Jimmy Kimmel spoke out against the Graham-Cassidy Healthcare Bill, and get detonation for being a “Hollywood elite” — a catch-all distinction that apparently disqualifies his Ivory Tower delusions of craving poor children to be kept alive. Period later on Fox, Newt Gingrich assaulted Colin Kaepernick and any other complaining athletes, calling them “arrogant young millionaires” who need “therapy” if they think they’re crushed. Joe Walsh, the former congressman became guy who’s constantly hate-retweeted into your Twitter feed, likewise called Stevie Wonder “another ungrateful black multi-millionaire” for protest-kneeling. It’s a similar criticism as the Kimmel-bashing, with some hideous racist undertones to boot. Or not “undertones” so much as, y’know, “tones.” Loud, clear atmospheres. It’s basically that jarring noise when everyone’s telephones blare an amber alert all at the same time, but racist.
This specific critique — “celebrities and players are such spoiled rich ‘elites’ that any belief they have is automatically nullified” — is so thunderously, nakedly stupid that we need to preemptively delete it from these exchanges before the stupid people shaping these stupid debates can proceed to their subsequent also-stupid-but-for-different-reasons arguments.
First off, Americans — and reactionaries like Gingrich and Walsh in particular — clearly don’t is argued that “rich elites” is impossible to exerting judgment. Jimmy Kimmel’s salary is estimated to be in the 12-15 million dollar assortment. Colin Kaepernick has shaped $43 million in his six-year career. They’re emphatically financially “elite, ” there’s no question. But Rex Tillerson, our secretary of State, was an ExxonMobil CEO who received a $180 million severance parcel . Betsy DeVos, our Education secretary, has a father-in-law merit $5.4 < em> billion , and who is the 88th-richest person in the whole country. These people are orderings of amount more “elite” than professional jocks and talk demonstrate hosts, and we’ve appointed them to positions of far greater influence. Should we all pile on these two anytime they open their mouths to offer any ruling other than “I am so gracious for being wealthy”?
Here’s the real reason this argument is unlockable-level stupid. Of COURSE there are out-of-touch celebrities whose wealth has insulated them from everyday life. We merely wrote about five of them here. Celebrities like Robert De Niro and Jim Carrey have championed the “vaccines cause autism” horseshittery. Kylie Jenner tweeted about the hazards of the chemtrails. Gwyneth Paltrow has built an entire label around affording working mamas advice and peddling expensive and un-self-consciously vague “wellness” products. That’s out-of-touch millionaire bullshit.
But when celebrities use their platforms to champion a cause for underrepresented people who don’t share their money or social endure, to no personal gain( and in Kaepernick’s case, considerable personal loss ), that is, by definition, the opposite of elitism. Kimmel has repeatedly emphasized how his money and excellent health insurance have spared him the life of maiming debt that his child’s ordeal would have caused a poorer, uninsured household( if they received care at all ). Smashing his “elitism” is the opposite of the level. He’s specifically advocating for the non-elite, even if it means he’ll finish up lending a disproportionately high amount of money and diluting his own access to healthcare services to some degree. Classic Hollywood bigwig behavior. Have another PRIME RIB at the BROWN DERBY during a Meet, ya freakin’ Hollywood Man.
Kaepernick’s outspokenness unquestionably cost him a shot at a backup QB undertaking this offseason. He’s lost out on millions of potential dollars, and his career could be over prematurely at age 29. And all for the selfish, spoiled privilege of being the most death-threatened and racially-slurred human on the face of the Racial Slur Death Threat Factory( aka the internet ). A less selfish athlete would’ve merely stopped softly giving millions of dollars instead of greedily forfeiting his chore to crawl through a shit-pipe of backlash for a make he believed in.
Again, Kaepernick’s message — raising awareness about police violence toward black people in America — has nothing to do with his own fiscal stand. He’s not coming out and saying “I believe profoundly in two things: justice and not being grateful for having lots of money. Those are my two causes.” There’s not some imaginary fiscal line after which person loses their ability to placard and point out things. And “theres” legions of non-millionaires stirring the same occurrence for ethnic justice, and many of them are — shockingly — maligned by the same people who detest Kaepernick. It’s clear on every level that his finances are ideologically irrelevant to the people complaining about them; it’s simply a rapid and easy way to complain about something else and intent the conversation.
Furthermore, that old-fashioned refrain “You’re rich, exactly what we YOU complaining about” has been hurled at every successful black luminary who’s ever communicated out about anything, from Louis Armstrong to Jackie Robinson. The same press that championed Robinson’s “gracious” rise said the exact same shit when he started preaching for race-related makes. It’s such shattered logic — “You can’t complain because you’re rich.” “What about the people who aren’t rich, who I’m specifically preaching for? ” “We reject them too. But unrelatedly.”
Can we just immediately dispense with this irrelevant “elitist spoiled millionaire” rhetoric whenever a celebrity acts in a demonstrably non-elitist course? It’s so altogether beside the point, and even the people applying the statement know this. There’s a friggin’ Marvel vs. Capcom select screen’s worth of other stupid, shitty controversies out there. Pick another one.
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