Tag Archives: Courage

If Celebrities Can Call Today’s Insurrection at the Capitol What It Is, You Can Too

By | January 8, 2021

Image Source: Getty / Samuel Corum

As clips and photos of thousands of Trump supporters storming the US Capitol in a violent insurrection circulated online Wednesday afternoon, news outlets, political leaders, and Twitter users alike initially described the mob simply as “supporters” engaging in “protests.” But what took place at the nation’s Capitol was no protest. We must call this attack on American democracy what it is – racism, white nationalism, and white privilege on full display – and some celebrities and public figures have mustered the courage to do so.

“White Americans are never afraid of the cops, even when they’re committing insurrection.”

Simply referring to those who mobbed the Capitol as “protesters” fails to recognize the racism and white privilege in action. As political commentator Joy Reid said on MSNBC Wednesday, “White Americans are never afraid of the cops, even when they’re committing insurrection, even when they’re engaged in attempting to occupy our Capitol to steal the votes of people who look like me.” She continued, “Because in their minds, they own this country. They own that Capitol. They own the cops.” Even when participating in acts of domestic terrorism, which is defined by the FBI as “violent, criminal acts committed by individuals and/or groups to further ideological goals stemming from domestic influences,” it is the epitome of white privilege to be able to shamelessly smile for selfies and interact with the police.

Celebrities have also joined in on the conversation, demanding that both those in power and the public in general call out these perpetrators for the dangerous acts they’ve committed. They are not protesters; they are domestic terrorists who deliberately attempted an insurrection and should be treated as such. “We need to make sure that just because these individuals are majority white, that we’re not reframing this in something different,” Karamo Brown said in one impassioned video. Roxane Gay, Cardi B, Lili Reinhart, and more also criticized both law enforcement and the public’s response to the glaring racism of the situation and have called for others in positions of power to do the same. If celebrities can do it, surely others can too. See what more stars had to say about the Capitol attack ahead.

Cheer Star Jerry Harris Faces 7 New Charges in Child Pornography Case

By | December 12, 2020

Cheer star Jeremiah “Jerry” Harris, who was arrested in September on a federal child pornography charge, is now facing seven new counts, USA Today confirmed on Dec. 11. According to an indictment obtained by the outlet, the 21-year-old was charged with receiving and attempting to receive child pornography, using the internet in Orlando, FL, to “persuade, induce, and entice” a minor, and traveling from Texas to Florida “for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct” with a minor.

Prosecutors also charged Jerry with four counts of using, persuading, inducing, and enticing a minor “to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct.” The acts allegedly occurred in Naperville, IL, and Corsicana, TX, between August 2017 and August 2020.

Attorneys Morgan Stewart and Sarah Klein, who represent two of the alleged victims, addressed the new charges in a statement, saying:

We are grateful that the U.S. Attorney and the FBI have continued to investigate this case, locate additional victims and take action. This was made possible because our clients’ mother initially had the courage to report Harris to the FBI and provided evidentiary proof of the manipulation, sexual harassment, abuse, and exploitation that her sons had suffered. We urge the authorities to undertake a thorough investigation of the United States All-Star Federation, Varsity Spirit, and Cheer Athletics to determine which of their executives, employees, and representatives could have stopped Harris’ abuse and failed to do so.

Jerry was initially arrested in Naperville on Sept. 17 after allegations of child sexual exploitation and abuse were brought against him in a lawsuit by an attorney representing two alleged victims. “We categorically dispute the claims made against Jerry Harris, which are alleged to have occurred when he was a teenager,” a spokesperson for Jerry told CNN. “We are confident that when the investigation is completed the true facts will be revealed.” Jerry has remained behind bars since his arrest and is awaiting trial. If convicted, he faces 15 to 30 years in federal prison.