2017 is about to be the year of expressing one's self through open letters.
India.Arie has defended Chrisette Michele’s right to perform at one of Donald Trump’s official inaugural balls, despite saying she would “NEVER” have done it herself. Arie, a longtime friend of Michele, wrote in an open letter that Michele is being “abused by strangers” for an understandable “misstep,” due to people’s “misplaced FEAR and Anger.” Arie wrote: “Chrisette is a trigger for our fear—not the cause nor should she be the focus of it.” In concluding the letter, she added, “If we can just focus our attention where it matters, we can affect change.” Read her full letter below. Scroll down to see Michele’s response tweets.
I got a call this morning from Anthony David - he’s so brilliant.
I pick up the phone and the first thing he says was, I STAND WITH CHRISETTE MICHELLE
That got me thinking.
So this is a letter from US.
I can’t say I STAND WITH HER
but ! I can say
I STAND UP FOR CHRISETTE MICHELE
First of all, let me speak for myself:
I LOVE Chrisette I’ve known her since she was singing at open mic’s at village underground, I’ve watched her journey and I haven’t agreed with it all, and still I love her, but that’s not why I write this open letter.
I write this because, I LOVE HUMANITY and I KNOW WE ARE BETTER THAN THIS. Social media is a powerful tool, that becomes a weapon, when people start treating each other as little more, than the little blue screen in front of them.
Basic truth: When we see people as less than human, it gives us permission to treat each other as less than human. THIS IS THE FUNDAMENTAL ISSUE FACING AMERICA AT THIS TIME.
SO, why do it to each other on an interpersonal level?
The culture is talking about being “WOKE” …. Woke from what?
To ME, Woke, means conscious - making conscious decisions about how you navigate life.
A basic spiritual philosophy is that, The highest consciousness understanding is that we are one interconnected humanity.
So WAKE UP THEN! Agree or disagree with Chrisette , she is A HUMAN BEING - nuanced and multi dimensional. Give her a chance to be everything that she is, and YOU take a chance to remember - you’ve made missteps too.
Which is how I SEE this thing with Chrisette - a misstep. I think there is a deeper reason she decided to be there - and I think it was a career misstep.
Wanna be “WOKE” respect your fellow HUMAN beings. You NEVER know another persons whole story, we all deserve our journey without being abused by strangers for it. Thats BULLSHIT.
You want to be “WOKE” remember, that YOU comprise the world you live in, and the most IMPORTANT thing you can do for the world, is be YOUR BEST.
Anthony David: “It’s EASIER for black twitter to attack one lone black woman, and “shut her down” rather than face the “proverbial enemy SHE met, face to face, and so I stand with her behind her and on any other side”
and I (mostly) agree.
He also says: “I would have performed lol”
I personally would not have LOL ~ Not EVEN.
But Do NOT feel she should be shouted down or abused for it. Not even.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t say ANYTHING!
I AM SAYING, LET LOOK AT HOW WE ARE SAYING WHAT WE SAY. Why the abuse? and the “Canceling Chrisette Michele in 2017?” and all of that? come on guys.
I think the WAY we are responding is a EXTREME - and I think the reason WHY is so extreme, is that it’s misplaced FEAR and Anger. Chrisette is a trigger for our fear - not the cause nor should she be the focus of it.
WHERE WE ARE IN OUR COLLECTIVE JOURNEY AS A HUMANITY, WITH EVERYTHING happening in the world, the WRONG thing to do is turn on each other out of our own fear and pain. BECAUSE THAT, is how we lose power!
We need all light workers and healers and high consciousness human beings, on deck now!
So, what I’m saying is, Choose your words, and actions wisely and with the intent to elevate, because WE NEED IT NOW!
Do I agree with her performing at the inauguration? NO. I would have NEVER done it. For any price, under any circumstance. but thats ME.
Do I agree with her having the CHOICE? YES
Do I think I understand the nuance that went into her decision? NO!!
when you are a person in the public eye, everything you do is seen as a “black and white” decision.
But all mature adults learn, NOTHING in life is black and white. She is a “celebrity” but first she is HUMAN.
Search your OWN life and recall ANYthing that has been a simple black and white journey? Doesn’t happen.
And the bigger your life is, the more grey area there is, because there are so MANY people watching and everyones eyes see color differently.
Life is NUANCED, and before you straight up attack someone who, heretofore had been a gifted, talented, respectful, at LEAST, entertaining part of your world, - give them a chance to be human, complex, sometimes contradictory, … you know.. HUMAN.
Anthony David: “What I also find interesting is that people who aren’t even trying to be a force for good, folks who are making misogynistic music for decades! for example, … can become black leaders with 1 tweet … WHY?”
and I AGREE WITH HIM!
Its a MUCH harder path, to be a stand up, decent woman or man in the public eye - and it’s so easy to wear black and hide all of the stains on your own clothes, while you say nice words that people agree with.
Let disagree - but love our sister.
someone i’ve worked with ALL MY CAREER, and love DEARLY, voted for Trump ( and against Obama - twice) and we have yelled at each other it, but we’re still together. TOGETHER, we are a force for good in the world. He is one of my favorite musicians in the world STILL. I don’t agree with him, but I empathize, and I love him still and always will.
which is further to the point!
All who have been asleep and are now “woke”
THE MOST “WOKE” THING WE CAN DO? IS LOVE,
Not fluffy, pink, new age love. LOVE as in, THE RADICAL VIBRATION THAT IS LOVE! LOVE IN ACTION.
Stop the petty talk - AND USE OUR ENERGY FOR THE HIGHEST GOOD. WE ARE MORE POWERFUL THAN WE KNOW when we are making “woke” or what I call, “high consciousness” choices.
IF WE CAN JUST FOCUS OUR ATTENTION WHERE IT MATTERS, WE CAN AFFECT CHANGE.
We are a PASSIONATE PEOPLE! and it’s beautiful, now lets use out power and passion consciously. SO, this, and things of the like, are your FUEL for your flight, if you so choose.
AND SO YES.
I (don’t have to AGREE with Chrirsette to) Stand up for Chrisette
I stand for Love
I stand for acceptance
I stand for social responsibility
I stand for peace
I stand for you
I stand for me
I stand for US
From my Windowsill
Chrisette responded on Twitter:
. @indiaarie Unlike your friend, I didn't vote for trump. But I refuse to HATE him or anyone else. Love is greater...
Arie is one of few artists to support Michele, but not the first. R&B singer Lil’ Mo used her 93.9 WKYS radio show to ask, “Why is everyone so mad?” She went on to compare the backlash against Michele to the persecution of Jesus, concluding, “If [the Trump administration] want you in, you have to be invited around.”
Michele recently defended her decision in an interview with Billboard, saying, “I thought that it was almost my responsibility to not just say yes but to say yes with purpose, so that was my reasoning. And no, I didn’t think twice about it.” She also expressed disappointment that Trump wouldn’t meet her: “My family has disowned me. If you decide to Google me, you’ll see that America is writing about me in their newspapers. I’m the black poster child for discord right now, and he’s not going to shake my hand?”