“Juneteenth; the anniversary of the end of slavery, but certainly not the end of the effects of slavery.” That’s how Joey begins his IGTV clip addressing this date.
He starts trying to recall a tweet from a while ago, to express one more time how he feels, the love and joy he shared with the African American community throughout his life and says “I am a better, bigger, fuller person because of it.”
He also mentions having shared four years ago (after the elections) his thoughts on Instagram about Black Lives Matters and being misunderstood; “some people just want me to sing songs (…) and I understand that; (…) however, I’m not gonna stop,” he says.
Regarding that post, Joey recognizes “I didn’t know at the time it was an organization; I still don’t know enough about the capital B, capital L, capital M, or the organization, but I know that (…) Black Lives Matters is important and I’m glad that we are hearing that…”
This clip really shook me up, enlightened me about how little I know and understand about this devastating struggle in the United States; growing up in Argentina, growing up as an army’s child with classmates from everywhere (even other countries), I learned about discrimination but not racism… I simply don’t understand why people – who I truly believe they are mentally ill – could think less of another human being for the color of their skin.
Amid my ignorance, I watched a new YouTube show the other day called “Uncomfortable conversations with a Black Man” (by Emmanuel Echo) and I thought “Why uncomfortable? Why not using a more positive title to encourage a welcoming environment for the dialog?” But then I heard Joey, in this clip, saying:
“A lot of people don’t wanna feel the feelings; and they have their lives, and they have their jobs and their families; and they don’t wanna have to deal with the history of this country; and it’s uncomfortable. And I’m hopeful because I think people are now willing to get uncomfortable about it; and feel the feelings, and feel the disappointment.”
… I didn’t know – some – white people are ready (and want) to feel uncomfortable.
So, I’m sorry that I made this post personal today… some BHs don’t like it when I do this; but I needed to say outloud that whoever thinks a celebrity should be nothing but a puppet for our amusement is drowned in denial and ignorance. Celebrities work on their craft to share a message, not just to entertain us! And this, this is one of Joey’s messages.
If you are a true fan, you’ll watch and, above all, you’ll listen.