Rihanna has never shied away from getting political, and her latest interview for the cover story in Vogue was a prime example of her willingness to speak truth to power (even though her interviewer was disturbingly underprepared).
...I ask if it’s true that she turned down the Super Bowl halftime show in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick. “Absolutely,” she says. “I couldn’t dare do that. For what? Who gains from that? Not my people. I just couldn’t be a sellout. I couldn’t be an enabler. There’s things within that organization that I do not agree with at all, and I was not about to go and be of service to them in any way.”
Rihanna also expressed anger about the back-to-back mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, OH, in which 31 people were killed and 51 others were injured total, and the double standards from President Donald Trump about guns. From Vogue again:
“It is devastating,” she says. “People are being murdered by war weapons that they legally purchase. This is just not normal. That should never, ever be normal. And the fact that it’s classified as something different because of the color of their skin? It’s a slap in the face. It’s completely racist.” She goes on: “Put an Arab man with that same weapon in that same Walmart and there is no way that Trump would sit there and address it publicly as a mental health problem. The most mentally ill human being in America right now seems to be the president.”
Rihanna is an immigrant, and she played the reporter the entire clip of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services head Ken Cuccinelli reinterpreting the poem etched on the State of Liberty as being only about immigrants from Europe. She was asked this deeply phoned-in question about immigrants getting through this ~trying time~ but still hit it out of the park:
Thinking of a certain T-shirt from Fenty’s second drop—it says IMMIGRANT across the back, and Rihanna wore it on the Fourth of July—I ask if she has anything to say to young immigrants living through this time.
“What do you say? What can you say? It’s gonna get better? I almost feel sick to my stomach. I don’t even believe this is happening in real life. In front of my eyes. In front of the world. It’s not even hidden. This is blatant. The worst part of it all—you know what, I have to show you this. . . .”
[...] She stops the video. “Think about this. What does America stand for? A bunch of immigrants.”
We watch the clip to the end. “The fact that his defense was talking about Europeans coming into America?” Rihanna says. “I mean, not only were you immigrants, you were the worst kind. You came in and murdered the real Americans.”
Rihanna: perhaps the only good celebrity to exist in these trying times.