On Saturday, August 12th, a “Unite the Right” rally was planned to protest the removal of a Confederate statue from the University of Viriginia. The protest resulted in violent clashes between white nationalists and counter demonstrators leading to one death of a counter demonstrator and several other casualties. As America watched in terror, Lady Gaga took to Twitter to express her deep disgust with the situation that unfolded in Charlottesville:
I pray a true leader will rise to expel hatred from America. This is not US! This is Anti-American #ThisIsNotUS #Charlottesville #BeKind
Urging the use of the hashtags “#ThisIsNotUs” and “BeKind”, Gaga wanted to send out one central message: kindness will overcome violence and hatred. Kindness has always been at the forefront of her foundation, The Born This Way Foundation which has recently launched campaigns promoting the spread of kindness in schools.
I know we are not created to hate each other, but to help & love. Use hashtag #BeKind #ThisIsNotUS to tweet positive messages. #Charlotte
How do you think it’s best to solve the worlds problems? #ItsNotUS #Charlottesville #BeKind
US President Donald Trump did not give comments or an official statement regarding the violent demonstrations. Gaga tweeted out urging that he makes a statement and further accusing his reluctance to do so and condemn the violence was because he is scared he will lose votes.
@realDonaldTrump too afraid to do the right thing cuz you will lose votes? Doesn’t matter, younger generation has the answer to #BeKind.
Tweet @realDonaldTrump & tell him how you think he could #BeKind and be a better leader. #ThisIsNotUS #BeKind #Charlottesville #POTUS
Gaga, also sought to become a better ally of the black community in America; to much controversy she tweeted asking for advice on how she can become a better ally.
For the Black Community, tell us ways the non-racist white community who loves u can do better to help influence the country? #HowWeDoBetter
Gaga also addressed the need for equality in America at her show in San Francisco on Sunday, the day after the riots. “I know, I’m a white woman, standing up here and saying that to you”, she said and continued, “but I promise you that I will speak love into this world, everyday and I will remind myself every single day to speak love to every colour, to every background, to every religion, no matter what”. She concluded, “and I dare you to do the same and I dare you, even when you don’t want to; to receive some kindness from somebody next to you, we’re all we’ve got”. She then proceeded to sing her unity anthem: Come to Mama.
After considerable backlash and calls from both sides for him to address the issue, President Trump finally did and declared “Racism is evil”, adding that “those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the K.K.K., neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.” Trump still met considerable backlash for his statements by many groups saying it was both too late and inadequate. Gaga herself found it inadequate tweeting out a poll asking if “the president’s speech was adequate and showed good leadership”.
@POTUS did you feel the presidents speech just now was adequate and showed good leadership in response to racism?
After making his speech, Donald Trump appeared to have doubled back on his previous statements by saying, “You had a group on one side that was bad. You had a group on the other side that was also very violent. Nobody wants to say that. I’ll say it right now.” Gaga claimed Trump’s response makes him “a racist supporter” in her tweet asking her fans and Twitter if they feel the same:
Lady Gaga has joined the groups of Americans: celebrities and regular folks alike in the fight against the uprising of racist groups and ideology in the United States following the controversial election of Donald Trump last fall. She was a fervent supporter of Hillary Clinton and took to Trump Tower on Election Night 2016 to protest the then President Elect Trump’s election to office and ideologies.