It feels like every time I turn on the TV these days, there goes another story about Lindsay Lohan (pictured below) getting arrested. Clearly, the young lady needs help, but rarely does she receive more than a slap on the wrist for whatever she’s accused of. Before people start calling me a Lohan-hater, let me say that I have absolutely nothing against her. Truth be told, I feel for her. What I am troubled by is the fact that she and other White celebrities seem to get special treatment in the criminal justice system and in so many other arenas.
There are some people that are quick to accuse us of using the race card, but how can we be at fault when we see racial disparities everywhere we turn? People are well aware of economic, educational, and housing inequalities, but we also see the constant unbalanced treatment of our favorite actors, artists, and athletes.
If a rapper (pick any), so much as jaywalks, he/she gets the book thrown at them — this goes for any and every kind of celebrity of color. How many times do we see them arrested, charged, or serving time for many of the things that we’ve already watched Lohan and others get a free pass on? And they have the nerve to say WE are the ones holding on to race. But every corner we turn, there’s a privilege being thrown in our face.
Let’s not pretend that this is all about Lohan, though.
How many times have we witnessed other White celebs get away with a slap on the wrist? Can anyone say, “Paris Hilton”?! The problem isn’t only about this unfair treatment, however, but rather what sort of example these women and others like them are setting for young White girls.
We often discuss Rihanna‘s ratchetness and her impact on impressionable young girls. But why do we never speak about Lohan’s behavior and her responsibility to serve as a positive role model? Despite everything she has done, it seems as though folks in Hollywood glamorize her. “Liz and Dick” is the latest example of Lohan’s continued celebrity, which could be found on buses and billboards everywhere. Ironically, Lohan plays Elizabeth Taylor who had severe addiction issues. Is this supposed to be some form of reverse therapy?
At the end of the day, we’re sending the wrong message to young people everywhere when a person can be repeatedly arrested or accused of serious offenses, yet somehow not be held accountable. When the youth of America and the world see this over and over again, they think that they, too, can behave like this when they grow up. And that is just simply not true.
Some will blame a person’s parents, environment, or societal influences. But whatever the reason, at the end of the day, we are ultimately responsible for our actions, and those in the limelight have the added duty of serving as examples to others. While Lohan’s most-recent arrest may not be Lohan’s fault, in each instance, the common denominator is always HER.
If it turns out that she’s guilty, will we see the same kind of punishment if it were Rihanna who committed the same crime?
I don’t know. Is it White privilege, money, or am I just buggin’?