Saturday, Selena Gomez posted a message to Instagram defending DACA’s Dreamers, the children of immigrants given protection from deportation and licenses to work and live in the United States, and we’re really glad she did.
Our country has seen a long list of celebrities using their public platforms to comment on the current events. And probably over half of that list has been met with the same backlash that makes me want to scream and also retweet Kanye‘s “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” clip every day until I’m an old woman.
Gomez is one of the most famous mainstream celebrities today of Hispanic descent (on her father’s side), and she’s a natural-born citizen. The latter gives her the right to criticize the government, and the former gives her almost an expectation to do so. And yet, people like Jai Brooks (who?) slammed her for being a “Hollywood princess pretending to give a shit.” Alllllright, dude.
Celebrities, they’re just like us: American citizens! They can have the jobs they have and have opinions on the state of our country at the same time. We shouldn’t tell them when to be silent, and we shouldn’t tell them when to step into the light and speak up.
Selena joins other public figures who’ve recently taken to the mic or their keypads to criticize an executive action by the current administration or to just cry for empathy.
Chloe Moretz spoke directly to millennials at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, urging them to take advantage of a “power of a lifetime” and cast their vote in November. Our girl Gina Rodriguez has publicly spoken out for the Latino community numerous times and never shied away from her support of Hillary Clinton.
And we can’t forget the passionate persistence of Shailene Woodley, who recently spoke about her nearly traumatizing arrest at the Standing Rock reservation protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline.
These women are just a fraction of the actors and actresses who are often accused of taking on second public roles as “activists,” even those who utter just one cry for empathy from Trump supporters (looking at you, Meryl Streep.)
They ask for compassion for immigrants, transgender Americans who fight for our country and others who are shunned by Trump’s administration, and they’re told to “stay in their lane.”
What? We’re not given one lane as American citizens. When we recognize oppression, we can shout about it. Yes, not all of us have the Golden Globes stage to do so, but those who do have the platform have every right to use it.
Thousands of Dreamers who might adore Selena Gomez were grateful Saturday afternoon. Let’s think about them. And let’s appreciate the voices of many who call out the disappointing and dehumanizing decisions coming out of this presidency, Teen Choice Award-nominated or not.