Unless you have been completely out of touch with the rest of the world, you know in the past few weeks our country has been at war with the nation Iraq. Although this decision was not a unanimous one amongst our people and government, it is reality. The United States of America is a country that was founded under one basic principle, freedom. Freedom of choice, religion, speech and life in general
In recent weeks with the invasion of Iraq, the United States has been in a tug of war with its very own citizens. With mixed opinions on our role in the world today, protests grow more hostile as both anti-war and troop supporters’ loose focus on the real issues. There have been hundreds of protest arrests nationwide, over 1,000 in San Francisco alone, not to mention other arrests around the globe.
With all the attention on the war, some celebrities have voiced their opinions and thoughts on the current situation of the world and more specifically the United States.
Bono, current front man of pop-sensation U2, has been one of the few active celebrities to recently speak out in favor of the war.
” I am all for President Bush scaring the sh- out of Sadaam Hussein, but you have to bring along the rest of the world,” he said.
What he’s referring to is the ultimatum that President Bush gave the Iraqi president, an ultimatum that defied the wishes of much of the world, including the U.N. Security Council. This decision led a large majority of the global community to condemn the United States brazen use of force.
Celebrities are poping up all over the place voicing opposition to the war effert, one of which is rap artist Sean “P-diddy” Combs.
“I’m totally against the war in Iraq,” Combs said. “I’ve been praying this day wouldn’t happen. My prayers go out to the innocent lives being lost in Iraq. We have it good; they’re not invading America.”
This statement rings all too true, for most individuals thinking how lucky they are with the ability to go on with life as normal.
“People should not be too scared and carry on with business as usual,” said rapper/actor Method Man.
One thing Bush’s administration has made abundantly clear is that this is an effort to liberate Iraq and not to occupy it.
Media mogul Russell Simmons said he hopes “President Bush will make good on his promise to liberate the people of Iraq.”
According to MTV.com, other musicians, like The Beastie Boys and System of a Down, are using their songs to get their opinions out and have no plans on slowing down.
“We have the opportunity of putting a song out there that people around the world are going to hear,” Mike D said. “And I think it’s important for people around the world to hear what the people’s views are, because I think right now they’re probably just mostly reading headlines and seeing in the newspapers what President Bush’s ideas are and what his mission is and what his agenda is without seeing where a lot of the opinion lies, which is quite different than that.”
Beastie Boys’s frontman Mike D said when asked on the groups new song “In a World Gone Mad” opposing Bush’s plans.
In many cases, such as with System of a Down, artists do not intend to write protest songs, they just come out. Musicians tend to write about personal things, and to songwriters like System’s Daron Malakian, who has family in Iraq, war is personal.
“We’re not trying to point fingers or anything, but there’s a lot of unjust feelings and sadness in the world, and personally, in my writing, a lot of that is coming out in a very frantic way,” the guitarist said. “I can’t explain it. It’s definitely influential times to live in, and that’s why it frustrates me to see some cheese balls coming out there and saying absolutely nothing with their music.”
Here at Sam Houston students also jumped to voice their opinions when asked what their thoughts are regarding celebrities using their profession to promote their political views.
“It’s expected,” said graduate student Jesse Saldana, “They’re hogs of the limelight and will use every opportunity to voice their opinions. It’s appropriate to a certain degree, it’s their job.”
Senior Sarah True was more understanding of the celebrities position.
“If I had status or an audience, I’d speak my mind.,” True said.
Still other studetns said they think many celebrities take unfair advantage of their star power.
“They (celebrities) are taking advantage of their influence just because they’re famous,” sophomore Paige Pollack said. “We’re being forced to hear them. I mean, they have that right too, I’m just sick of hearing what they think, who cares?”
Included with many others around campus senior Mona Avalos said she feels these celebrities are getting too much attention.
“We have free speech and they use it on formats that are viewed by impressionable minds,” Avalos said. “They should attempt a little more respect for our president. Like the Dixie Chicks, talking smack and then trying to retract their publicly stated opinion, what’s that?”
Perhaps senior Jerry ‘Wally’ Wallace summed it up best.
“I don’t think any of them would even have the opportunity, money or freedom to voice their opinion if it wasn’t for the United States.”