As President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration is fast approaching, musicians, dancers, and other entertainers who’ve been invited to perform for the new president are coming forward to say whether they plan on attending or not.
For British singer and songwriter Rebecca Ferguson, she’s informed the Trump camp that she’ll be there, but on one condition: she’ll be allowed to perform Abel Meeropol’s anti-lynching anthem “Strange Fruit.”
The song was infamously recorded by Billie Holiday in 1939, but Ferguson is looking to bring it back in front of a national audience, in a statement:
I’ve been asked and this is my answer. If you allow me to sing “strange fruit” a song that has huge historical importance, a song that was blacklisted in the United States for being too controversial. A song that speaks to all the disregarded and down trodden black people in the United States. A song that is a reminder of how love is the only thing that will conquer all the hatred in this world, then I will graciously accept your invitation and see you in Washington. Best Rebecca X
It seems nearly everyone who didn’t vote for Trump believes the president-elect is a racist and that he is personally connected to the white supremacist movement and even the Ku Klux Klan.
Here’s the biggest problem with that narrative: Trump is not a racist. The media has conjured an image to the American public that the policies Trump has put forward are regressing society back to the Jim Crow era when it was acceptable to lynch black people in the South.
This is a “cover your a**” moment of publicity for Ferguson. She wants to appear to cooperative with the incoming Trump administration while also be acknowledged for standing up and giving the middle finger to Trump by her liberal fans. She’s obviously aiming for a groundswell of support in ticket sales, music downloads, and political credibility in the future by insinuating that the next president wants to lynch black people when he’s sworn in.
Of course, Ferguson never said anything when President Obama essentially emboldened the Black Lives Matter movement to demonize all police officers who were just trying to protect their communities from criminals. If Ferguson wants to blame Trump for bringing white supremacists and KKK members to the White House, she should have also blamed Hillary Clinton for backing her husband’s 1994 crime bill and calling young black men “super predators.”
But, clearly, Ferguson is a troll, and none of this would matter to her anyway.
Listen to the full song “Strange Fruit” recorded by Billie Holiday below: