By the year 2020 the humankind has traversed a long way, but it appears we are not yet civilized enough to eliminate discrimination (and even murders!) based on people’s skin color.
A wide range of diverse outbreaks of racism, recently spurred on by tragic occurrences involving Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery, deaths that gave rise to Black Lives Matter protests sweeping over the globe.
To follow up on these atrocities, some of our famous personalities came out with stories they have to illustrate racist injustice and put forward claims oft he righteous attitude all around.
Unfortunately, many celebrities have experienced racism themselves and below are some of their sad stories.
Michelle Obama’s experiences
The woman to whom it fell to be the country’s first black First Lady has a lot to say on that sad matter. While inspiring women to stand up for their dutiful rights, Michelle had to bear personal attacks from government potentates who didn’t mince their words. Three years ago in Denver, at the Women’s Foundation of Colorado’s 30th anniversary celebration, the White House lady revealed she was known to be referred to as a “gorilla face” and an “ape in heels.”
As reported in the Denver Post, Michelle explained that for the eight years in the office there were always those who refused to see beyond the color of the skin – and they kept inflicting hurts. When people intend to cut, she said, it hurts most. And these cuts are endless. “Women, we endure those cuts in so many ways that we don’t even notice we’re cut. We are living with small tiny cuts, and we are bleeding every single day. And we’re still getting up,” was her summing up.
John Legend’s experience
To about the same time dates back the story of a racist thrust by Grammy-winning John Legend and his wife Chrissy Teigen. The full particulars of the incident appeared on Teigen‘s Twitter page which is regularly updated. According to the post, she was asked at JFK by some paparazzi „if we evolved from monkeys, why is John Legend still around?“ – just one of the reasons why celebrities and paparazzi never hit it off.
At a later date Legend came round to expose his feelings over the unseemly jab, saying that throughout American history colored people were subjugated via dehumanisation; while we should have left this period behind, the artist states, it still persists.
Naomi Campbell’s experience
When the British supermodel Naomi Campbell published the eponymous book about her life in 2016, it turned out she also had something to say about racism. Supermodels have to face it, too, and there were some fashion shows she was denied participation in for the sole reason of her origin.
Talking to The Guardian, she said that her complexion prevented her from booking for a number of shows.
“I didn’t let it rattle me. From attending auditions and performing at an early age, I understood what it meant to be black. You had to put in the extra effort. You had to be twice as good.”
And, although it is years since she started out, the situation in which black models find themselves sadly hasn’t changed much since then – as Campbell revealed in her Teen Vogue interview. She joined ranks with other colored models who complain that stylists and makeup experts are not always ready to provide excellent service to models whose skin is darker and whose hair is of different texture.
One often has to deal with makeup artists who are not qualified enough to do work on black professionals.
“It’s disappointing to hear that models of colour are still encountering these same issues all these years later,” commented Campbell, explaining that she has to mind to bring along to shoots her own beauty and makeup products.
Jessica Mauboy’s experience
Jessica Mauboy, 30-year-old RnB singer and actress, is of joint KuKu Yalanji and Indonesian descent, and for that reason didn’t escape racist bullying starting from her high school days.
Back in 2015, when she was in her first year and her sister a finalist, they went out for lunch, her story goes. When they sat down to enjoy their meal, out of nowhere came along a bunch of white guys who spotted them and came up, telling them they were occupying their particular chair.
“And from that point, I was like ‘This is not good’. I looked at my sister, and I was like ‘This is not going to be good, Cathy’. And all of a sudden, the words came pouring out of his mouth and I remember him saying ‘Get up of off my chair, you black bitch’.
Meghan Markle’s experiences
There was a time when Markle was very much outspoken on the subject of racism, and she means to return to it; meanwhile, her old video dating back to the year 2012 draws renewed attention. In it the actress poses in a white T-shirt sporting the slogan „I won’t stand for racism.“ She accentuated this as she went on describing her love for her native city and her concern for a better future fort he coming generation.
“I’m bi-racial, most people can’t tell what I’m mixed with and so much of my life has felt like being a fly on the wall. And so some of the slurs I’ve heard or the really offensive jokes, or the names, it’s just hit me in a really strong way.“
Moreover, her mother came in for her share of slurs, and it fell to Markle to hear her abused. Those are ample reasons for her to want the world to be racism-free and see a brighter „landscape“ of her country.
Idris Elba’s experience
The Thor star came in for a great deal of rejection when speculation rose about the possibility of his portraying James Bond instead of Daniel Craig. He believes that people who put up objections to such an idea never minding that they discourage others demonstrate a generational viewpoint. „And it really turns out to be the colour of my skin.”
Nadiya Hussain’s experiences
The British Bangladeshi born TV presenter says that now and then she “hates [herself] for breathing the same air” with those who hold that, being a Muslim, she shouldn’t live and work in the UK.
When the popular TV chef won the BBC’s sixth series in 2015 it meant for her an increase of abuse she had been getting anyway. Her Tweet post runs: “I get abuse for merely existing. Too brown to be English. Too Muslim to be British. Too Bengali to eat fish fingers.”
“There is no end! I exist, we all do! Sometimes I hate myself for simply breathing the same air that I am so often told, I am not entitled to. Tear away your flesh, you are skeleton underneath like me, like everybody! So let’s just breathe our air, let’s exist, because what else are we supposed to do?”
Chrissy Teigen’s experience
Chrissy Teigen, a model and television personality, is of Thai and Norwegian origin, and got her share of racist slurs. One that took place in 2015 was described in her Tweet. Strolling about Santa Monica blvd one morning Teigen happened to let her sunglasses drop, and some seemingly normal looking person who was standing around commented rudely about careless chinks.
“We were the only ones on the block, and he screamed it from five feet away. Then when I acknowledged it, he said ‘Oh now the oriental can hear.'”
Teigen is not a person to be let down that easily, and in her post she made fun oft he man’s stereotypic, low-grade racist behavior.
Solange Knowles‘ experiences
Singer and actor Solange Knowles was moved by a racist incident at a concert in 2016 into producing a racism-aimed essay And Do You Belong? I do which can be found on her website and via Twitter.
It so happened that some women, on spotting her and her family, started throwing leftovers of their food at them. Having described the episode, Knowles concluded that when one writes about such events, the feeling persists that some readers are willing to concur with the offending women.
Thrown in were other racial lashings out, like jabs she received from her grade three classmates or when she was subjected to badmouth profiling riding a train in Italy.
Serena Williams‘ experiences
The kudos Serena Williams enjoys as a renowned tennis player doesn’t save her from being a periodic target to racial offenders through every step of her glorious career.
Probably the most memorable of those happened back in 2001 when Williams was still in her teens. At the competition at Indian Wells occurred one of the sorriest racist outbreaks in the history of tennis when, just as she appeared on the court for her match against Kim Clijsters, all the spectators burst out in invectives aimed at her and her relatives.
“I remember the whole stadium—it was 99% white people—and they were all booing. It was racial slurs used, it was loud, it was like this echo, it was so loud I could feel it in my chest,” was her description of the disreputable event.
At her tender age, she couldn’t fully take in what was happening and what she had done to deserve it. She cried all the way back home – yet she had it in her to carry off the trophy of the winner in spite oft he ignominious welcome!