Recently Harry Belafonte called out Jay-Z and Beyonce for not doing enough to help out their former communities and “turning their backs on social responsibility” which was profound and ignorant all in one fell swoop. On one hand, it’s profound insight for a man such as Belafonte [who has dedicated much of his career and life to helping his community] to point out that celebrities of yesteryear seemed more intent on helping society, but it is also ignorant because he’s factually wrong about Jay-Z & Beyonce being aloof towards charity. This topic has been intensely debated on many forums, and although I agree with points on BOTH sides, the one comment I hate is “Rich and famous celebrities don’t owe ANYBODY, ANYTHING.” THAT’S absolute BULLSH*T.
I don’t care if you got rich being an athlete, a singer, a rapper, or a reality-tv star/socialite whose sex tape went triple platinum, if you are involved in an endeavour in which your compensation is directly correlated to the support of fans, giving back is literally the LEAST you SHOULD do. Understand that without OUR support, many of these millionaires would still be driving cars with the engine light on [like WE do], living paycheck to paycheck [like WE do], and living life WITHOUT Maybachs, mansions, personal shoppers and presidential suites [like WE do]. Our money has LITERALLY funded these people’s wealth, and you have the NERVE to say that they don’t OWE “anybody, anything?”
Have you lost your F*^KING mind?
Now let’s be clear: They DON’T owe us individual financial support, or their friendship, or insane amounts of time, but they DO owe the society one SIMPLE thing: Stewardship.
Stewardship is the belief that humans are responsible for the world, and should take care of it. Basically, you OWE the world to, at best, leave it BETTER than how you entered it, and at worst, leave it the SAME as how you entered it. This is the ideology that Belafonte was referencing in stating that celebs in his time FIERCELY fought against MAJOR issues, even if the position wasn’t the popular one, just to help the society. But many of today’s celebs sit in their mansions and will do sh*t-all to help even the neediest of people, even if it requires little to no effort at all. The problem with Belafonte’s statements is he left out one important fact: Stewardship is NOT a celebrity requirement – it is a HUMAN requirement.
I don’t give a DAMN if you’re a millionaire or a thousandaire or a hundredaire, the responsiblity of stewardship falls SQUARELY on YOUR shoulders too, just like it falls on any rich and famous A-Lister. We ALL owe each other, and the children [who are our future] something – and not just any ol’ frowsy something, we owe them a DAMN LOT. Because if the generations before us had that “we don’t owe nobody a damn thing” mentality, the world we grew up in would be a LOT more screwed up than it is now. So please MISS ME with that selfish, anti-intellectual bullish*t.
This Is Your Conscience