By Robert Stitt
The Weeknd has not been shy about his feelings when it comes to police brutality and white conservatism in America. The Canadian singer has expressed his outrage on Twitter and even gone so far as to cancel appearances to protest Donald Trump. In response to the police shooting and killing of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, the artist tweeted, “Enough is enough. it’s time to stand up for this. we can either sit and watch, or do something about it. the time is now. #blacklivesmatter.” Soon after, he added, “#BLUELIVESMURDER.”
According to Bossip, the 26-year-old singer, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, is now going one step further and “putting his money where his mouth is… he’s tossing hundreds of thousands toward assisting the Black Lives Matter movement.” Specifically, the artist donated $250,000 to the Black Lives Matter Network, a self-described “chapter-based national organization working for the validity of Black life.”
CNN Money notes that “The Black Lives Matter Network was founded in 2012 after the death of Trayvon Martin. The creators of the hashtag, #BlackLivesMatter, subsequently created the organization. They now have over 30 chapters across the United States.” There is also a chapter in grammy winner’s hometown of Toronto.
Surprisingly, not everybody is as excited about the donation as the news media. In fact, an overwhelming cynicism flooded the comment sections of the Internet-based news articles reporting the story. Consider these few examples of the comments:
“And where exactly does that money go? What do the BLM board members do with that? Spreading the cause is free and the money doesn’t end the brutality, so honestly, out of curiosity, what the hell is the money for?”
“The board members of the BLM getting rich and they probably all white folks using this cause for that very reason. I’m all for the movement in general but if you really care about black lives money should be going to actually help black lives not make posters. Like buy them homes, help education, feed some of us that can’t feed their families. black lives mattering consist of more than just them being taken in the street.”
“I’m tempted to join this BLM movement, quick way to get rich. This movement has had millions and millions in donations, what actually have they done with the money? It’s not like the protesters are being paid, no schools built, no lawyers being paid…..Where have the countless millions gone?”
Thank you, The Weeknd for the support, but, also, for giving us something to ponder.