Aug 9, 2012

Harry Belafonte is one of those stars who doesn't minces words when it comes to expressing his opinion.  The 85 year old social activist likes to call it the way he sees it.  He didn't mince words when it came to expressing his disappoint in music superstars Beyonce and Jay-Z.

The Hollywood legend set down for a very candid interview with The Hollywood Reporter in which he discussed capitalism and the state of minorities in the entertainment industry:

THR: Has the world changed for activists like you?

Belafonte: Definitely. Back then, the enemies were very clear, very precise. It is easy to fight oppression if it comes in [the form of] a swastika and a boot, and as a dictator, and you can see it and feel it and touch it. It is easy when there is a sign that says "No N-----s“ or "No Jews.“ Where it becomes the most insidious is when it buries itself and you can no longer touch it but can taste that yet it is there, fully blown, doing insane mischief. That is why I think the period now is the most challenging I’ve ever lived in. The power in many societies has become almost absolute. Those who have the power in the free-enterprise system start to crush societies and create wars that are unholy. What we did during the Bush period, what we still continue to do, even with Barack Obama, is the continuency of not changing the paradigm, of not changing the view. We still have laws that encourage torture, we did not change Guantanamo, we have laws that allow the police to arrest you at any time, not having to tell you why, and take you wherever they want. This kind of capitalism is taking us to the doorstep of [a] Fourth Reich, I think.

THR: Back to the occasion of the award for your acting career. Are you happy with the image of members of minorities in Hollywood today?

Belafonte: Not at all. They have not told the history of our people, nothing of who we are. We are still looking. We are not determinated. We are not driven by some technology that says you can kill Afghans, the Iraqis or the Spanish. It is all -- excuse my French -- shit. It is sad. And I think one of the great abuses of this modern time is that we should have had such high-profile artists, powerful celebrities. But they have turned their back on social responsibility. That goes for Jay-Z and Beyonce, for example. Give me Bruce Springsteen, and now you’re talking. I really think he is black.
I'm sure the younguns are going to jump all over Mr. Belafonte just like they did with Bill Cosby when he made similiar statements.  For some reason people today can't handle any form of criticism from their elders.  I'll just sit back and wait for all the venom I'm sure is headed Mr. Belafonte's way.  These people are going to be the same people that criticized Gabby Douglas' hair.  I bet you.

I'll put money on the fact that the people who are going to criticize Mr. Belafonte about his comments are not going to have a clue as to who is and the many things he's done.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with what he's saying. A lot of Black celebrities don't have any sense of social responsibility as to the image and messages they're putting out there. You would think with all the violence, STDs and single parent homes that still take over our community more actors, singers, etc would step up and decide that 'hey, I'm going to put out media that sends a positive message of unity, being responsible and fighting for change.'