Lady Gaga has long been an outspoken opponent of President Trump's discriminatory, divisive agenda, but last night she made a serious misstep that helped further normalize his dangerous rhetoric. On Twitter, the pop star posted a poll asking her Little Monsters if they think Trump's arguing that "both sides are to blame" in Charlottesville makes him racist, to which fans could simply vote yes or no. With nearly 200,000 votes, 62 percent of fans say yes, while the other 38 percent say no.
\u201cDo you think @realDonaldTrump @POTUS saying "both sides are to blame" in #Charlottesville makes him a racist supporter? Yes or no?\u201d
Mother Monster's inquiry follows Trump's wildly disastrous press conference, where he said both sides of this weekend's Charlottesville uproar were responsible for bloodshed. He justified the presence of KKK members and white nationalists by reminding reporters of their legal permit, while also labeling those in opposition of racism, the "alt-left"--a group Trump argues was "very very violent" and came "charging in" without a permit.
The President's performance knocked holes in the perfectly scripted statement he made Monday, revealing what we've all known since the beginning of Trump's somehow successful campaign: He's a racist. At this point, there's no further debate needed--no conversation necessary to argue whether or not Trump sees superiority among white Americans, because he does and has vocalized his point-of-view countless times.
Gaga's Twitter poll is a poor use of her wide-reaching platform, ultimately inviting dialogue that suggests we should hear out President Trump and those who support white supremacy, as well. Since his Presidency, Trump apologists have decided a racists' perspective is something worth discussing, like there's no right and wrong, but an open dialogue with case-by-case possibilities. However, there is a right and wrong, and Gaga should have made the right statement, rather than raise a question.
A Twitter user called out Gaga's irresponsibility, telling her to "do your homework so you can engage your fans meaningfully," to which the pop star replied, saying she's "looking for better resources so I can become more educated on how to be a productive ally." Her poll may have been painfully misguided, but at least Gaga's open and honest on her quest to better support marginalized fans in America--a journey she's been on since the beginning of her career.
On Saturday, Mother Monster Tweeted Trump after criticism began spreading about his silence towards Charlottesville. "Too afraid to do the right thing cuz you will lose votes?" she asked, before telling him it doesn't matter, because the "younger generation has the answer to #BeKind." She later asked the Black community to tell her ways the "non-racist white community" can do better to help influence the country, and began retweeting her followers' suggestions--an admirable move to elevate unheard voices in need of platforms.
\u201c. @realDonaldTrump too afraid to do the right thing cuz you will lose votes? Doesn't matter, younger generation has the answer to #BeKind.\u201d
While Gaga's certainly an advocate for those of us Trump targets, her activism is most effective when she's making strong, direct statements, from her empowering LGBTQ anthem, "Born This Way," to her pointed piano-ballad "Till It Happens to You," which shuts down rape apologists. We've reached a serious point in Trump's presidency where dialogue around his severly broken moral compass is as damaging as supporting it--so please, Gaga, no more polls.