There’s nothing people love more than taking celebrity comments out of context, not matter which side of the aisle they find themselves on politically. During Saturday’s widely-attended Women’s March, Madonna gave a rallying speech (complete with a few F-bombs) that served as a call to action for the next four years. It included quite a few rallying cries for anyone angry about Donald Trump’s ascendance to the presidency, but there was one part of the speech in particular that got under people’s skin. During her fiery speech Madonna proclaimed the following:
“Yes, I’m angry. Yes, I am outraged. Yes, I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House. But I know this won’t change anything. We cannot fall into despair.”
Yeah, that’s just ripe for people to cherry pick comments and get angry about one specific line in the midst of what was otherwise a legitimate and non-violent speech. But those on the right were angered by Madonna’s claim that she’s thought about blowing up the White House, and complained about what the reaction would be if her comments were uttered by a Republican during Obama’s presidency. It’s definitely a lesson in choosing your words carefully, even if you clarify them later in the same speech.
On Sunday, Madonna posted an Instagram urging people to read or listen to her full comments rather than just picking and choosing. She called the rally “an amazing and beautiful experience” and insisted that she is “not a violent person” and stressed the importance of not taking her words out of context.
View this post on Instagram
Yesterday's Rally. was an amazing and beautiful experience. I came and performed Express Yourself and thats exactly what i did. However I want to clarify some very important things. I am not a violent person, I do not promote violence and it's important people hear and understand my speech in it's entirety rather than one phrase taken wildly out of context. My speech began with " I want to start a revolution of love." ♥️ I then go on to take this opportunity to encourage women and all marginalized people to not fall into despair but rather to come together and use it as a starting point for unity and to create positive change in the world. I spoke in metaphor and I shared two ways of looking at things — one was to be hopeful, and one was to feel anger and outrage, which I have personally felt. However, I know that acting out of anger doesn’t solve anything. And the only way to change things for the better is to do it with love. It was truly an honor to be part of an audience chanting “we choose love”. 🙏🏻🇺🇸♥️🙏🏻🇺🇸♥️🙏🏻🇺🇸♥️🙏🏻🇺🇸♥️🙏🏻🇺🇸 #revoltutionoflove♥️#revolutionoflove♥️*******************************************************
Unfortunately, the current political environment in the United States is very much one that encourages both sides to twist words in order to more convincingly prove their own point. It’s more important than ever to choose words carefully, be prepared for anything and everything to be used in a different way than it was originally meant, and the blowback from such misconceptions to be harsh. No matter the original intent behind speeches, tweets, and interviews there is more and more of a chance that those words can come back and bite people if they are not careful.
Madonna just happened to learn the hard way that it’s now the wild West for anyone commenting on politics.