Opinion: we don’t have to choose between Solange and the Nigerian girls
The following post was written by Luvvie Ajayi, and originally appeared on The Grio under the title, “We can care about Solange and the Nigerian girls at the same time.” Luvvie can be found ranting about all things pop culture at AwesomelyLuvvie.com. She can also be found on Twitter (@Luvvie), Facebook and Instagram.
By: Luvvie Ajayi
I’m so tired and weary of the people who are currently guilting anyone who is sharing light news and celebrity scandal in the place of constant posts about #BringBackOurGirls.
Some people are all on Facebook and Twitter saying “WHY DO YOU CARE ABOUT SOLANGE WHEN 200 GIRLS ARE STILL MISSING IN NIGERIA?” and I am here to tell them to relax and go have a seat somewhere. It’s spring. Park benches are now available so people can go #OccupyaSeat.
Are we all so simple and basic that we only have the brain capacity to care about one thing at a time? We are not. Our brains are not Windows 95. We can keep more than one program going at once, and the assumption that our interest in the gist and gossip of Elevator-Gate makes us care less about the 300 girls who were kidnapped in Nigeria is pretty disrespectful.
We (well, *I*) haven’t forgotten about those girls. I’m still reading about new developments and hoping they make it home where they belong. I’m still scouring the interwebs for any new and reputable information I can find. Just because some of us are allowing ourselves to be distracted by fluff doesn’t mean we stopped giving a damn.
There’s a post that is being shared all over my Facebook newsfeed called “The 5 Shocking Jay Z & Solange Pictures You HAVE To See.” When you click through, it takes you to a story that uses the pics of the Boko Haram madness happening in Nigeria. Basically it’s the bait and switch technique, and it’s resting its laurels on the fact that we won’t click it if it had the particular subject matter.
It’s holier than thou and super wack. If someone doesn’t want to be exposed to the pics and information of the Boko Haram situation, this clickbait won’t force them to give a crap. The “A-HA I GOTCHU” technique of information-sharing is cheap because coercion is not a learning incentive.
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That post basically exists to make people feel bad for even giving the Solange-Jay-Z story any attention, as if we need to live in a world of absolutes. This ain’t dodgeball. Why do I have to pick a team?
What the people who are trying to make the rest of us feel some sort of way refuse to consider is that for some, the need to remove themselves from certain situations is a form of self-care. Especially when you feel helpless to fix or change whatever the crisis is. For others, we distance ourselves from it because of a need to laugh to cope with the desire to cry later. Either way, WE CAN CARE ABOUT TWO, FOUR, SIX THINGS AT ONCE! That’s why Jesus invented juggling. Get off our backs!
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