In the early hours of this morning, around 3AM GMT, Sam Smith took to his Twitter account to tell fans and followers a story about what had happened to his friend in London.
Now, these tweets have sent the social media world (and some journalists) into a spin, with Sam being accused of whitesplaining and turning himself into the victim. Whilst he didn't need to give his own opinion and feelings about the matter, he chose to do so and said he felt "upset" by the situation. Understandable, seeing as though his friend had been attacked for their race, but turning oneself into the victim when they were simply party to the observation of the racial abuse doesn't sit well with many.
However, attacking Sam Smith for this and for various other reasons, including 'being late to the racism awareness party' doesn't help ANY cause at all. Being annoyed at him for making himself a victim and channeling that annoyance through nasty messages and articles is SO counter-productive and actually DOES make Sam a victim of a social outpouring of anger and aggression. It detracts from the real issue at hand - that horrific racial attacks continue to happen in London - instead making the whole story about him.
Sam has a large following with many, many young fans and amongst those may be people less aware than the majority of the population of the issues surrounding racism. It's quite likely that his friend who was racially abused does not have this huge outlet to express their situation and thoughts and so, hasn't awareness being raised no matter HOW you look at it? That SURELY has to be a good thing. If Sam's tweets helped to enlighten even one more person, then he's done something good. Sure, we shouldn't be living in a world where people are still ignorant to the facts, but we are and so it has to be dealt with.
It is true that some of Sam's tweets are poorly constructed but the attacks on the singer only further perpetuate a divide. Even if (and I highly doubt this is the case - rather, his tweets being a case of bad judgement) Sam is only waking up now to the fact that racism is still alive even in a place like London, that has got to be better than the alternative. Being 'in the know' far outweighs being oblivious.
Those making a mountain out of this situation are doing so because of what they deem Sam to have been ignorant to in the past. But, at this point, shouldn't the focus be on the present and the light he wants to shine on such issues? Then we can all as one cohesive unit look ahead to the future and continue to pave the way for equality.
It's likely now that celebrities will see this and be extremely careful in regards to what they tweet in the future about cases such as this, for fear of it blowing right back in their face. That in of itself is a dangerous thing. Idolised by millions of fans - many of whom won't watch the news but instead spend their time catching up on the latest celebrity gossip - wouldn't get this type of information anymore, and that's a scary thought.
Sam later took to his Instagram to share further thoughts on the matter.
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