Wait, Madonna caused controversy? Are we in the 1980’s?
So if you didn’t know, the interwebz got their collective panties in a bunch when Madonna altered images of Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, and Bob Marley to match he upcoming album. Each of the pictures were updated to have a black cord wrapped around the faces of each of these icons. Of course, America is known for over-correction and people became upset. Reactions ranged from people crying “racism” to others saying it’s wrong to use their images to sell albums.
She did the same thing with Marilyn Monroe, Frida Khalo, and even Jesus. For some reason, not a peep was heard from social media.
Smell that? It’s a double standard.
As a guy who many people identify as Black (though I think I’m going to stop using colors to refer to people as it’s pretty antiquated, don’t you think?), I really don’t see why some pictures are a problem and others aren’t. I get it; some of us are riding that politically correct bus until the wheels fall off. Good for them. But even the best intentions can be misguided. I mean, it’s Madonna. Pretentious as she may be, I don’t think there was any malice or evil villain-style hand wringing prior to the release of these photos.
You know, incidents like this have brought me to a couple conclusions:
- Collectively, people are not naturally good at processing a possible other point of view. Sure, I’m basing this on limited information, but I’m waiting to be proven wrong. This is a skill that needs to be developed and some folks are more adept at it than others. The downside is, actions often get painted as right or wrong in a person’s mind, but things are rarely that simple. Perhaps this is just cultural.
- The righteousness of social media is dubious at best. Social media always seems to have an ample number of opinions, but how many of them actually hold any weight? I have opinions too, but do they even matter as long as I’m not hurting anyone? What really matters are the actions we take. Therefore, social media’s opinions are nothing to me. If anyone’s opinions only motivate them to post something about it online from the safety of their home, I’m taking it with a grain of salt. I’m also fully aware of how this sounds in a post titled “Daily Opinion.” The thing is, I know my opinion is meaningless.
Whatever. I’m going to go out on a limb here and just say everyone needs to relax and pick their battles. There are much bigger and more powerful people who are doing more bigoted and self-serving things. Madonna is just an easier and more accessible target. I guess some people will settle for shooting fish in a barrel instead of going out to capture that white whale.
Peace out, party people.
Previously: It’s Okay to Let Friendships Run Their Course