Harry Belafonte Wants to Have a Sit-Down with Jay Z and Beyonce
Musician and social activist Harry Belafonte recently appeared on MSNBC's 'All In with Chris Hayes' to talk about his participation in protests against the Stand Your Ground law in Florida. Afterward, he addressed Jay Z's comments about his criticisms of him in his interview on Elliott Wilson's 'The Truth' show.
Last year, Belafonte told the Hollywood Reporter that Hov and Beyonce "turned their back on social responsibility."
“I think one of the great abuses of this modern time is that we should have had such high-profile artists, powerful celebrities, but they have turned their back on social responsibility," he said. “Give me Bruce Springsteen, and now you’re talking. I really think he is black.”
Jay-Z responded to Belafonte's comments in 'The Truth' interview stating that he was offended and that his remarks were totally off-base.
"I’m offended by that because first of all, and this is going to sound arrogant, but my presence is charity. Just who I am," he said. "Just like Obama’s is. Obama provides hope. Whether he does anything, the hope that he provides for a nation, and outside of America is enough. Just being who he is. I felt Belafonte he just went about it wrong."
"Like the way he did it in the media, and then he big’d up Bruce Springsteen or somebody. And it was like, 'whoa,' you just sent the wrong message all the way around...Bruce Springsteen is a great guy. You’re this civil-rights activist and you just big’d up the white guy against me in the white media," he added. "And I’m not saying that in a racial way. I’m just saying what it is. The fact of what it was. And that was just the wrong way to go about it."
On Chris Hayes' program, Belafonte expressed regret that he and Jay-Z are sniping at each other in the media. However, the 86-year-old artist said that he's willing to have a sit-down with the Carters so they can move forward in a positive direction to create social change.
“I would hope with all my heart, that Jay Z not take personally what was said," Belafonte stated. “I would like to take this opportunity to say to Jay Z and Beyonce: I’m wide open, my heart is filled with nothing but hope and the promise that we can sit and have a one-on-one to understand each other.”
Let's hope this happens. We are in a very polarizing time following the George Zimmerman acquittal and the last thing we need is two influential black figures bickering at each other in the media.
Let us all work together for peace and social justice.