Cher is receiving plenty of backlash following a tweet about George Floyd’s death
Following Cher on Twitter usually means getting delightfully weird, stream-of-consciousness type updates that bring fans into the mind and world of a full-blown pop icon. The mononymous music legend is rarely afraid to speak up about important issues, but her tweets about the tragic murder of George Floyd amid the trial of Derek Chauvin, the police officer charged after Floyd’s death last May, are raising eyebrows… and with good reason.
In a since-deleted tweet, Cher seemingly implied that if she had been present when Floyd was under Chauvin’s knee, she would have been able to help. Today reports that Cher’s tweet recalled a phone conversation with her mom, with the singer writing, “Was talking With Mom & She Said ‘I Watched Trial Of Policeman Who Killed George Floyd,& Cried’ I Said ‘Mom, I Know This Is Gonna Sound CRAZY,But.. I Kept Thinking …..Maybe If I’d Been There,…I Could’ve Helped😔.”
Shortly thereafter, she shared a subsequent tweet that is still up, which discusses how even though she’s an “entertainer,” she has “honest emotions about a human Being,suffering & Dying,even if It’s Only Shown On tv.” She ended her plea with, “I CAN,I HAVE,& I WILL..HELP.”
Wrestled With This Twt, Because I Thought some ppl wouldn’t understand, Or Believe an Entertainer Could have Honest emotions about a human Being,suffering & Dying,even if It’s Only Shown On tv. You Don’t Know What I’ve Done,Who I Am,Or What I Believe.I CAN,I HAVE,& I WILL..HELP
— Cher (@cher) April 3, 2021
Of course, fans and followers were quick to point out that even though her tweet was undoubtedly well-intentioned, it seemingly implied that the witnesses and bystanders at the scene of the crime could have prevented Floyd’s death but didn’t. (Worth noting: A 9-year-old child recently testified during Chauvin’s trial that he repeatedly ignored pleas to remove his knee from Floyd’s neck.)
Also, it gave hints of “white saviorism,” in which non-marginalized white people with privilege, such as Cher, believe they’re the ones who hold the power and ability to solve all the world’s ills.https://twitter.com/jetpack/status/1378205744026296320 https://twitter.com/jetpack/status/1378348081696149507 https://twitter.com/jetpack/status/1378223797728378881
Others pointed out that it seemed the pop diva’s heart was in the right place, because she wishes — as any of us wishes — that Floyd was still here with us and that his life wasn’t tragically cut short the way it was.
Historical Fact: Cher was there for blacks in show business for years. Opening doors and giving POC opportunities. I agree with her. "If I was there"....we all can say the same no matter what color. We must stick together period. Cher stood up on the right side.— Juliana T Mateo (@Juliana_Mateo) April 3, 2021
I see her sentiment as compassion, not savior complex...— walker (@fhearghuismphay) April 3, 2021
I don't know anyone who hasn't expressed a sense of helplessness, of wishing they could have stopped it...
I, too, want to believe I would've gladly taken mace to the face to keep him alive & shield everyone from trauma.
I hear you about the white savior trope, but I'm not sure that's the case here. She's articulating what most humans feel, regardless of race. We wish we could have stopped this murder.— Cathleen Davidson (@Catdav12) April 3, 2021
But, it's understandable that this sentiment at this late date feels like too little too late.
Hours later, in the aftermath of the backlash, Cher took to Twitter once more — this time to apologize. “I Just got off phone With Friend Karen,” she wrote. “Told her what Happened,& Realized,You Can Piss Ppl Off,& Hurt Them By Not Knowing Everything That’s’’NOT Appropriate’To Say. I know Ppl Apologize When They’re In a Jam,BUT🤚🏼TO GOD🙏🏼,IM TRULY SORRY If I Upset AnyOne In Blk Community,” she added. “I Know My❤️”
Once more, her seemingly well-intentioned tweet was picked apart, this time for apologizing “if” she upset anyone in the Black community (when clearly she had), and adding that she “knows” her heart.https://twitter.com/jetpack/status/1378447693811384321
You did upset. “I know my heart” is a way of deflecting. Just take accountability and do better.— lisa xoxhitl vallejos, ph.d (@realdocv) April 3, 2021
Stop. Just STOP! Be sorry. But being sorry “IF” you offended people of color is tone deaf. We’re all traumatized watching the trial. Show your ❤️but don’t diminish the people who were actually there and tried to help by implying you could do something they couldn’t. So STOP!!!— Christine Taylor-Butler (@ChristineTB) April 5, 2021
It seems the reactions are again mixed, with some pointing out that she genuinely meant well and felt the same sadness, outrage, and helplessness that so many others from all over the world have felt when it comes to the injustice of Floyd’s death and the epidemic of racist violence in the U.S. Here’s hoping that Cher’s tweets serve as a gentle lesson that while your heart might be in the right place, the words you use and the way you use them matters.