Music artists refuse to perform at Trump’s inauguration furthering political divide

Jasper Green

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Welsh music artist Charlotte Church blatantly refused to perform at Donald Trump’s Presidential Inauguration in a tweet on Jan. 10. In response, an online battle arose between people giving her backlash and people backing her up.

The opportunity to perform at the presidential inauguration is normally a great honor which high profile artists graciously accept, however in reaction to some of the controversial things President Donald Trump has said this year, a fair amount of music artists have turned down the offer or since backed out, including Elton John, Celine Dion, and Garth Brooks. In past years, there have been enough singers willing to perform no matter the presidential result. But this year, the American public has elected a president who artists either disapprove of themselves or are afraid to associate with for fear of backlash from half of the American population. In the Saint Paul Academy and Summit School community, the political split is not down the middle, but there are still people who are for and who are against Trump. This political divide may become more prevalent as he begins his presidency, and while standing up for what one believes in is an incredibly powerful and just thing to do, SPA must remain a space free of personal attacks, no matter one’s political affiliation.

“I sincerely apologize for my lapse of judgement, for being uneducated on the issues that affect every American at this crucial time in history and for causing such dismay and heartbreak to my fans.

— Jennifer

For an association with the president of the United States to be seen as career suicide for music artists, political tension must be very high. For instance, when Dreamgirls star Jennifer Holliday announced that she was pulling out of the presidential inauguration she made her political views clear, “I sincerely apologize for my lapse of judgement, for being uneducated on the issues that affect every American at this crucial time in history and for causing such dismay and heartbreak to my fans,” Holliday said. She chose to stand with the LGBT Community who she said were responsible for the success of her career and not perform during any of the inauguration festivities.

When Welsh artist Charlotte Church was asked to perform at the inauguration, she responded with, “@realDonaldTrump Your staff have asked me to sing at your inauguration, a simple Internet search would show I think you’re a tyrant. Bye,” Church tweeted. Church was met with thousands of responses of people arguing about her decision which turned into social media warfare with people targeting each other for their identity, their political affiliation, and their beliefs.

The heated arguments across social media have demonstrated what SPA cannot let its community turn into. With the drama surrounding one’s opinion of Trump, students must be considerate of those whose identities and beliefs are put under the spotlight during his presidency. However, students who associate strongly as anti-Trump must also think before they speak or post on social media, as to not create a divide amongst the SPA community. The SPA community must not let students come under scrutiny or become the victim of stereotypes because of their political affiliation, beliefs, race, or identity. Instead, with the words of Martin Luther King Jr., “that they be judged by [nothing but] the content of their character.”