The news just about broke the internet: music’s most famous couple, Jay-Z and Beyonce, reportedly bailed out numerous individuals arrested during this month’s Baltimore Uprising. Many of the people jailed were youth: Allen Bullock, a teen who turned himself in after smashing a police car window, was being held on $500,000 bail and facing a possible life sentence. This caused an uproar, especially since his bail was set much higher than the police officers responsible for the death of Freddie Grey, an unarmed black man whose violent arrest and subsequent death led to the protests.
A significant portion of the black community called out prominent black celebrities for not speaking out about the injustices being carried out against African-Americans by the police while reaping the benefits of black dollars. Upon seeing the Flawless singer and her mogul husband being maligned throughout social media, Dream Hampton, the coauthor of Jay-Z’s autobiography Decoded, revealed the couple’s contribution to the cause in a series of tweets that were swiftly deleted:
Unfortunately, for many public figures it is often damned if you do and damned if you don’t. After the news hit, many people, including those who most likely donated to Darren Wilson’s GoFundMe page, raising more than $500,000 for the Ferguson police officer who killed unarmed black teen Mike Brown, were enraged. They accused Beyonce and Jay-Z of supporting “thugs”, violence, and anti-white racists. Pause.
The outcry at the fact that two black superstars chose to assist their community is extremely amusing and ironic. It is interesting to realize that many people do not like powerful Blacks who do not completely forget where they came from. Although I still have my reservations about some of the questionable things Jay-Z and Beyonce have done in the past, I am proud that they took a stand. I hope other black celebrities follow their lead.