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Usher’s ‘Silence is Consent’ T-Shirt Sparks Unexpected Debate Over Meaning

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Usher (Instagram)


Usher shared a message to encourage fans to use their voices to end social injustice, but some saw it as promoting rape culture.

On Instagram Monday, the singer posted a photo of himself wearing a shirt reading, “Silence is Consent.”

“Not using your voice to help impact change is criminal,” he wrote in the caption. “Every single one of us can DO SOMETHING!!! share information, get to know someone from another culture, vote or volunteer.”

He completed the inscription with the hashtag, #SilenceIsConsent.

Usher’s idea was meant to rally the public to speak up to promote change in racial tensions across America. His post comes in the wake of fatal shootings of Black men by police.

On Sept. 16, a Tulsa cop shot and killed Terence Crutcher in Oklahoma. Then, a Charlotte officer shot and killed Keith Scott in North Carolina.

Nevertheless, Usher’s fans became split over the choice of words used on the singer’s shirt.

Some criticized the language because the message is commonly used to promote rape culture.

Joi explained she understood what Usher meant by the phrase but said it was used in “poor taste.”


Alice warned of context and said she thought of “idiots [who] have no sense of yes and no” instead of fighting injustice.


Self-described intersectional feminist Dominique explained Usher should think of an alternative slogan because of his wide female fan base.


And Amy stated it was “not the smartest move in word choice.”


Still, other fans of the “Hard II Love” record maker thought the commotion was unfounded.

Branden didn’t think Usher promoted rape.

“Y’all need to go take a nap and then try again later,” he wrote.


Shartae believed the message was “misinterpreted” and encouraged Usher to “keep using your platform.”


@teada29 proclaimed the statement “has nothing to do with rape” but speaks out on the “racial crisis Blacks are experiencing.”


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