Angry "Fans" Made Pete Wentz Delete His Tweets About Racism And George Floyd
The Fall Out Boy rocker has been accused of not doing enough while also discussing the situation as a "white man."
Among those celebrities is Pete Wentz. You probably know him as the bassist and main lyricist of Fall Out Boy.
For those who don't know, Wentz is biracial. His father Peter is white, while his mother Dale is half-Jamaican.
As a child, Wentz's non-white status was a little more obvious.
However, as an adult, Wentz often passes as white. And, as a result, has experienced backlash for embracing his heritage in the past.
Earlier this week, Pete took to Instagram to share some important messages about racism in light of George Floyd's murder and the resulting protests in the United States and worldwide.
Then later on Monday night, Wentz took instead to his Twitter account to share a more personal, emotional response.
He began with recognizing that there are "so many takes" and "so much information" that it can be hard to "take [everything] in."
Followed by acknowledging people's "different understandings of individual racism vs. systemic and institutionalized racism."
He implored his followers to watch the video, for which his "fucking heart breaks."
Before ending with a statement on empathy, clarity, and humanity as the "only ways forward."
Wentz followed up with an apology for it being "a bit jumbled" because it came "from [his] heart."
He then added a link for his followers with ways to support the Black Lives Matter movement.
Shortly after the tweets were made, all besides the final link had been deleted when fans began to attack Wentz for speaking about this and not doing more as a "white man."
I was unable to capture any screenshots of the backlash before the tweets were deleted. People also ridiculed him for not threading the tweets together, instead making separate tweets for all besides the apology.
Upon learning that Wentz is biracial, some people have backpedaled and justified themselves by stating that it "doesn't affect him THAT much" because he "looks pretty white."
In some respects, Wentz might experience white privilege by passing for white in the same way I sometimes experience cis male privilege when I pass for cisgender. As a celebrity with money and influence, he would experience privilege that working class people of colour do not. But none of that can erase the fact that he is a member of an oppressed racial class, nor does it mean that this does not personally affect him.
However, this brings to our attention an important point that needs to be made: STOP. TELLING. PEOPLE. OF. COLOUR. HOW. TO. FEEL. AND. RESPOND. TO. RACIAL. INJUSTICE.
You don't get to tell people of colour how to feel about the injustices - the oppression, the racism - that affect them directly, that affect their friends and family, that affect their pasts, present, and futures.
What you DO get to do is LISTEN.
As a white person, it is your responsibility to use your privilege to protect and support those more vulnerable. But it is also your responsibility to listen to those people and not to speak FOR them.