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How Celebrities of Caribbean Descent Have Responded to Police Brutality in U.S.

While many Caribbean celebrities like Wyclef Jean have chosen to stay silent on social media on the latest killings of two unarmed African-American men and five police officers, many other Caribbean roots celebrities are speaking out.

Bahamas-roots singer Lenny Kravitz took to Instagram to post the above photo with the hashtags: “#Enough #AltonSterling #PhilandoCastile #Murder #Justice #LetLoveRule #BadCopsMakingItBadForGoodCops #ToProtectAndToServe #BlackLivesMatter #AllLivesMatter”


Trinidad-born rapper Nicki Minaj alluded to Caribbean-roots Black activist Malcolm X, who had spoken up about police brutality with a simple tweet that stated: “May the spirit of Malcolm X be reborn… for such a time as this.”

Aldis Hodge and Jurnee Smollett-Bell

Aldis Hodge and Jurnee Smollett-Bell

Actor Aldis Hodge of “Leverage” fame, and whose roots extend to Dominica, tweeted simply: “Nuff said. #altonsterling #blacklivesmatter .”

He then took to Instagram on July 6th to comment on the killing of Sterling with a strong commentary but has since stayed silent:

“I wasn’t sure I saw what I thought I saw,” he wrote. “And I really hoped I was seeing the wrong thing. But when I realized that I was watching the murder/execution of #altonsterling I got sick. May he rest in peace.”

He also added: “I thought police were supposed to handle these altercations with concern for the preservation of everyone’s life. These days it just seems like the poor examples of officers like these gentlemen just think to attack and shoot before thinking to deescalate the situation. And it leaves me to ask who is policing the police? All I can hope for is that true justice is brought down on these perverters of civility. Wake up #judicialsystem. The ball is in your court, as it always has been. Show us that we, the people, matter. Another innocent American died on your watch and it’s here for the world to see. We are beyond tired of this. What will be done?”

Actor Lamman Rucker of Tyler Perry’s ‘Why Did I Get Married? and ‘Meet the Browns’ fame, and whose roots extend to Barbados, tweeted: “Is this #IGNORANCE #DENIAL #INDIFFERENCE – or All Three??? This is #BLASPHEMOUS! #Accountability #BlackLivesMatter” while Actress Marsha Thomason, of the NBC series ‘Las Vegas” and whose roots extend to Jamaica, noted: “I can’t find the words to express the sorrow and anger I’m feeling today and every day. #AltonSterling #PhilandoCastile #BlackLivesMatter.”

Actor Laz Alonso, who is of Afro-Cuban descent and of the ‘Fast & Furious’ fame, asked a tough question: “How is paid administrative leave acceptable in all these killings??? How is that any form of punishment? #FalconHeightsShooting” while Guyanese-American Actor Sean Patrick Thomas took to Twitter with an ironic note: “…if I ever get a gun permit, it permits law enforcement to pump lead into my black body. Got it.”

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Jamaican-American actress Sheryl Lee Ralph took the history lesson route tweeting: “Like Horses and pigs we have been beaten. The lesson is being repeated. Are we woke yet? #roots” while singer Deborah Cox, whose roots extend to Guyana tweeted: “I can count 5 parents in the last 3 hours who have text me and said my child just asked me “AM I GOING TO DIE”?”

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