By Kelsey Stone
2017 may not have been the year Chrisette Michele expected. After receiving backlash for performing at Trump’s Presidential inauguration, Michele has steered away from the spotlight. Recently, the R&B singer took to her Instagram to reveal personal issues she’s been struggling with including suicidal thoughts, getting dropped from her label, and having a miscarriage.
While her fans showed their support, many took to social media, blogs, and other outlets to express their side-eye and negative opinions on her social media post. Many people believed she was doing this for attention, some believed it was fake, and others thought she didn’t deserve support and love from the black community.
Now I must admit, I’m conflicted on this whole situation. I’ll admit, I was disappointed when Chrisette Michele performed at Trump’s inauguration, but I don’t believe she deserves the treatment she’s been getting lately.
For the past two to three years, we in the black community, especially millennials, have been big on mental health and the protection of black women. We will go toe to toe with someone when anyone says something triggering and push for the mental health of African Americans to be acknowledged, but when it comes to the Chrisette Michele, we become the white people of the black community, as Damon Young would say. It’s counterproductive to preach this ideology that we can’t ignore the mental health of people of color and we need to take mental health in the black community seriously, then turn around and shame Michele for going through her situation out of petty feelings.
As I mentioned earlier, I was disappointed in Chrisette Michele taking the offered to perform at the inauguration, but the girl has bills to pay, and so do you. The same people who are criticizing her, are most likely working for companies and people who ask them to modify their appearance and views for the job they are assigned. I’m also certain that the people who are chastising Chrisette Michele are fans of celebrities and music artist who supported Hilary Clinton, who helped privatized prison, incarcerate more black men in American history during her husband’s presidency, as well as ignore Black Lives Matters activist, and openly admit she panders the black community for votes. Either way, the African American community and the communities of color were going to get the short end of the stick, so can we really get continuously mad at Chrisette Michele and who she performed for?
Faux activism, in my opinion, is at an all-time high. We are so quick to call ourselves “pro-black” and call ourselves activist, but our actions say the complete opposite. We bash Chrisette Michele for performing for Trump, but we gave Jeremy Lin a pass for wearing locs, we still inviting white people to the cook-out for the most basic reasons.
We, as a community, can’t scream #BlackGirlMagic and #BlackLivesMatter, then act childish around someone’s mental health. So ask yourself, are you truly mad at Chrisette Michele, or are you riding the wave of social media pettiness?
If social media wanted to pull me down, I guess they succeeded as it pertains to Capitol & Caroline records. I complete an entire album and my label decides to walk away from me. Capitol records. I was quiet for a few days… I go into the studio and literally poured out my heart and soul and the label decides to walk away from me? It’s one thing to be a strong black woman, it’s another thing to be a strong black woman who has to fight against the worst odds. I went from someone being revered and loved to facing putting out an album in the worst climate of my musical career. No victims here. I get it…. But absolutely human here. How hard can you try to break someone? How hard can you try to ruin someone? How much hate do you need to spew to show me you want to see my demise? I won’t stop #StrongBlackWoman