Ice Cube melting under the heat

Alyssa Endres, Contributing Writer

An uproar of controversy revolving around U.S. President Donald Trump and his supporters has sparked yet again. One person that many people were not exactly expecting to catch headlines was the famous rapper Ice Cube.

After news came out that the musician was working on a project with Trump, rapper Ice Cube stated, “I’m not playing politics. We make up 13% of the country, and we’re only getting 0.5% of the wealth in this country.” Ice Cube stated this on the Chris Wallace show while talking about the “Platinum Plan” he is currently working on with the Trump administration; the plan hopes to invest around $500 billion into Black communities to provide resources for further development. Ice Cube did not disclose whether or not he will be voting for former Vice President Joe Biden or Trump in the upcoming election, but this association alone was enough to make people view this as an endorsement for the current president. Outrage erupted on Twitter and other social media platforms, calling Ice Cube a “sell-out”. I think what Ice Cube is doing is a good thing, and puts aside the “identity politics” in order to address important issues.

Ice Cube was not the only rapper to take heat for his support of Trump; in an interview with journalist Chelsea Handler, the rapper 50 Cent was chewed out for his past remarks on the president. Many people think that Handler publicly shamed 50 Cent, and I have to agree. It bothers me when people bully others online for “clout” or to seem “woke.” Performative activism is rampant in celebrity culture and it annoys me to no end.

This whole controversy in itself is very interesting. It is not the celebrities’ duty to speak out about every public or political issue. Sometimes, it can even come off as tone-deaf and hypocritical. This can be taken back to the extremely cringe-worthy video that celebrities made singing the John Lennon song “Imagine” when COVID-19 first shut down the United States. What was the point of that video? To humor and encourage people who aren’t equipped in their mansions or who have to work during a global pandemic? I think it is tacky and frustrating to watch happen time and time again.

Chris Pratt is another example of a celebrity who has been under fire for his public political beliefs (or, rather, lack thereof). Just because Chris Pratt may be a conservative does not mean that he should be attacked online, or that his career should be over. Different political parties exist in America, and not everyone happens to be a liberal Democrat. That is just the way the party system works – whatever else Hollywood would like you to believe.

Another thing that bothers me about celebrities getting involved in politics is when they get the opportunity to interview political figures. I understand that it is more than likely because they have a large following themselves; however, I still do not think it is fair that these celebrities, including Miley Cyrus and Cardi B, are the ones getting to interview political leaders when there are actual working-class people and students who most likely know far more, and will be impacted by the policy platform these figures hold.

I do think that everything has become hypersensitive and toxic in today’s Internet and celebrity-based culture. People should not get permanently “canceled” for not having the same views on every single political or public issue. Celebrities are not any more qualified to speak about pressing domestic and world issues than anyone else. They should not be seriously relied on for political advice and opinions just because they have a large following, especially when so much of their image is dependent on what they post. 

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