Celebrities should use their platform to speak out

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Celebrities should use their platform to speak out

Lexi Hooten, staff columnist

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At this point, almost every American knows who Colin Kaepernick is, even if they have never watched football. He is known less for his athletic abilities than he is for kneeling during the national anthem before his games. He did this as a peaceful protest to speak out about the country’s treatment of minorities.

This became a very controversial issue, and many expected the NFL to fine him or oust him. He did nothing wrong, yet enraged so many people. Isn’t speaking up for what you believe in because you have the freedom to do so extremely… American? Is that same freedom and others technically what this country was founded on?

Many other celebrities use their platforms to stand up for what they believe in as well—and they should. Many people tend to get angry when a celebrity speaks up about a political issue because they feel like it is not their place. They are actors, and that’s all they are good for. Wrong. As hard as it may be to believe for some people, celebrities and athletes have brains as well.

Many celebrities use their own resources to help a cause, but they also use their voice to spread the word so others may help if they wish. Having a significant problem with that must mean they completely disagree with what the celebrity spoke up for or against. And to disagree with a celebrity using their voice to speak out would be to disagree with their freedom of speech.

A prominent celebrity that comes to mind when I think of activism is Sophia Bush. Most would recognize Bush from her iconic role as Brooke Davis in the TV show “One Tree Hill.” Bush has expanded her reach far past acting to endorsing products, using her social media and blogging to speak about issues that need awareness.

She takes part in many fundraisers and even made stops in Texas to support the Obama campaign, urging young people to vote, get involved and get informed. She attended a rally supporting gay marriage, ran a half marathon for a fundraiser to help people affected in the Gulf of Mexico by an oil spill and took part in a tribute video to the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting.

Imagine if Bush had just stuck to acting, kept quiet and didn’t use her platform and her voice for good. She raised awareness to real life issues, helped raise money for amazing causes and helped many young people become aware of the world they live in and the impact they can have on that world.

This is a good thing. It teaches young people to get involved in any way they can to make this world a better place. In an age of social media, where young people are constantly seeing updates on celebrities lives, idolizing them and wanting to be just like them, shouldn’t there be celebrities who fight for what is right for those children to look up to?