Afterwards, all the other artists magically cancelled their scheduled concerts, which eventually amassed millions of dollars and huge legal woes. However, their gesture of solidarity and commitment meant more than money.
After the list was published, the media ran with it, citing a journalist named April Ryan. Somebody finally put the key in the revolution and started the engine.
And -poof-it all began to unravel.
What if it did happen?
But, what if — what if — the massive entertainment based boycott above had come to life as it had momentarily in the oft-fictitious world of the blogosphere.
What if Young Jeezy stood his ground side by side with Madonna on this issue in protest of the not guilty verdict of one George Zimmerman? Here’s how it would go down…
Immediately, the artists would realize that their emotions got the better of them in the case of George Zimmerman. Their lawyers and business managers would quickly give them a rundown of exactly how much money they could potentially lose for taking a stand of this sort. Many of the artists like Rod Stewart would also realize that they really didn’t follow the specifics of the case and that he sympathized with Zimmerman in a way.
Of course Trayvon Martin deserved to live, but had he been instructed like the jury, what would he really have done?
Some, like Kanye West, Mary J. Blige and Trey Songz realized quickly that it was much bigger than Florida and Trayvon. Some 26 states in America have Stand Your Ground Laws (with Florida being the first) and there was no way they were going to boycott all of them. Will.I.Am talked to Fergie and she informed him that Zimmerman didn’t even evoke “Stand Your Ground” in court and it really wasn’t truly the reason he was found not guilty in the killing of Trayvon Martin.
Erykah Badu, being the mystic she is, empathized with all the black-owned businesses that would also suffer in Florida. U.S. Census Bureau backed her up too, as Florida was right behind Georgia and New York in the recent surge of black owned businesses. Plus, she was with Usher – she didn’t want the fans to suffer for what Zimmerman did. Madonna recalled the ’08 backlash she felt after saying, “Sarah Palin can’t come to my party! Sarah Palin can’t come to my show!” She didn’t want that again.
Heck, The Rolling Stones realized they were just wrong in backing the boycott, citing they were getting close to joining the ever-growing senior citizen population there in the Sunshine State.
And after a while, all of the artists in this fictitious tale realized, “This is deeper than anything I’ve ever been involved in and I’m not ready for this battle.” Folks like Jay Z lent their face to the cause and kept on with business.
And then reality returned.
In my gut, I knew the boycott of this magnitude couldn’t be real, even though I was hopeful that the masses of otherwise apathetic entertainers would do something radical. But, these days “radical” is sending out a tweet opposing the verdict of George Zimmerman.
Having an opinion is radicalism in 2013. But you know what is even more radial than anything associated with George Zimmerman? Protesting for the Trayvon Martins all over the nation. There is a Trayvon born every day.
Radial protest is standing your ground against injustice, but it’s also creating music that doesn’t degenerate the world we live in. What happened in Florida requires attention, but not from Madonna per se – unless she’s somehow changed her vogue-us operandi recently.
As much as I respect Jay Z, I need him not to disrespect Harry Belafonte in front of millions on his album Magna Carta Holy Grail. It sends the wrong message to the Trayvons out there who like to call him “old man” on hip-hop message boards. Both are counterproductive actions. Both Jay and Harry are awesome for different reasons. Trayvons need to know and respect that.
Boycotting is a show of force and makes for great media fodder until the royal baby is born. Then it’s forgotten by the media. Trayvons need a future and a means to get there prosperously. Furthermore, protesting alone is not going to cripple the State of Florida.
In fact, it may hurt the people that work those big arenas when those tickets are sold en masse. Trayvon’s first gig may be working in one of those arenas when Wale is playing. If the artists offered a unified message at those shows, then they could change opinions and open minds kind of how Jay worked with Obama. Perhaps they could work with like-minded politicians to push legislation through that could help future Trayvons. They could register people to vote and educate them on the process outside of the show. OK, Trayvon may not be trying to register to vote at a concert, but the possibilities are endless if people are as resolute about change as they are about money.
The real change will happen when a George Zimmerman can see a Trayvon Martin and not think he’s just another criminal getting over.
And, deeper still, when Trayvon doesn’t feel that some freaky creep is following him for some sinister immoral purpose.
America is wounded deeply, but they keep giving it a band-aid and some ‘Tussin.
Trayvon Martin deserves more than a boycott.
Don’t get too emotional. Get focused. Get to work.
Chuck “Jigsaw” Creekmur is a father, son and the co-founder of AllHipHop.com. He’s a cultural critic, pundit and trailblazer that has been featured on National Public Radio (NPR), BET, TVOne, VH1, The E! Channel, MTV, The O’Reilly Factor, USA Today, The New York Times, New York’s Hot 97 FM and like a zillion other outlets. Follow him on Twitter at @chuckcreekmur.