George Clooney Arrested Protesting Outside of Sudanese Embassy
Will black celebrities do the same for Africa?
George Clooney was arrested today in Washington D.C. while protesting against injustices in the African nation of Sudan.
Clooney was protesting along with his father in front of the Sudanese Embassy when cops cuffed him. The actor has been a prominent figure in the fight against alleged dictator Omar al-Bashir.
The protest was for the escalating emergency in Sudan as the country blocks humanitarian aid from reaching a volatile border region where hundreds of thousands of people are short of food.
Clooney, his father Nick and other anti-Sudan activists ignored three police warnings to leave the embassy grounds.
"We need humanitarian aid to be allowed into the Sudan before it becomes the worst humanitarian crisis in the world," Clooney told reporters just before his arrest.
"The second thing we are here to ask is for the government in Khartoum to stop randomly killing its own innocent men, women and children. Stop raping them and stop starving them. That's all we ask."
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Clooney has visited the area numerous times and spoke at a Senate hearing last week of the deteriorating conditions in the country where Sudanese troops are fighting rebels at the border. He spoke to the president as well about the U.S. policies in Sudan.
But when you see white celebrities such as Clooney fighting for African nations and getting arrested in the meanwhile, you look around and wonder, "Where are the black celebrities?"
While Martin Luther King III was arrested along with Clooney today, we wouldn't consider him a celebrity. We would expect him at protests like these.
Now, we've seen the likes of Jay-Z fight to have clean water in Africa, Oprah open schools and rapper 50 Cent donate proceeds from his Street King drink to poor African children. But when have we seen them on the frontlines? Fighting the fight that Dr. King and Malcolm X fought?
Black celebrities are starting to remind us of those who protest and fight the good fight on Twitter, but never get up from their seat and computer screen. Our culture has become too comfortable, especially black celebrity culture, with just writing a check. Millions have been donated to Africa throughout time but not much change has been seen. It's time we start moving away from the pen and the checkbook, and move on to the concrete, exchanging those pens for markers to create protest signs. A check will never be more powerful than a voice.