BILLY JOEL WEARS YELLOW STAR OF DAVID ONSTAGE
One of the most horrifying things you see in the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam is a roll of Jewish stars, the ones needed to be worn during the occupation. Straight from the factory, before they were cut up into individual stars for Jews to wear.
It illustrates the scale of the operation, the horror of the Nazis.
Billy Joel is beloved by lovers and haters. Like every superstar. When he started, his audience consisted of lefties. But over time some boomers turned rightward and now our country is divided.
And artists are silent.
They may tweet. They may put out execrable songs, like Wilco, but their statements are drowned out.
Then someone says no words and has a greater impact than all of them.
I decry the country acts, Taylor Swift, all those who refuse to take a stand. Hell, Taylor Swift has created an entire career based on pushback on hatred and shaming, but she’s silent on the big issues, when they affect everybody else. And if you don’t think entertainers have power, you know nothing about media. Entertainers are more powerful than any news outlet, when they make a stand and stick to it.
Billy Joel has waffled on religion. Said he even attended church. But when the Nazis come…
He’s gonna have to wear the Jewish star.
All you people who think you’re in the clear, who are Catholic despite having a Jewish parent, you’re gonna go too. Everybody thinks they’re immune, but they’re not.
Now the ethos of the sixties was to stand up and be counted. And I applaud those who showed up in Boston, illustrating the miniscule number of neo-Nazi haters. We need to push back and show them that we are the majority. Or else their message grows.
And I don’t see Trump vacating office anytime soon, but if you don’t think the pushback is getting to him, you’re not a celebrity. Celebrities read their socials. They see the hate. It bugs them. And for those insecure who need love to fill them up the disapproval prevents them from sleeping at night. Believe me, Trump is in a state of discomfort. Although I won’t quite say we’ve got him on the run.
And if you’re a Trump supporter, I don’t want to hear it.
Because the truth is they’re coming for you next.
Used to be protests were built around music. You couldn’t have one without performances. But music was not an element in Charlottesville and Boston, we did not see superstars lining up to make a stand, no, they weren’t even in the wings.
To be Jewish is to have experienced anti-Semitism. It’s not quite like being black, but when you wear the Jewish star it is.
African-Americans gained status and power when they owned their identity, even taking the N-word back. As James Brown sang, “I’m black and I’m proud!” Illustrating the power of music to change minds right there.
And white people liked James Brown the same way country artists rap.
You see we are all in it together, even if you don’t want to admit it.
We all pay taxes. We all drive on the roads. We all partake of services. And the more educated our populace, the better it is for society at large.
And I’m not gonna dive deep, so you can find an opening to defend the President’s execrable statements and beliefs, I’m just gonna point you to Billy Joel’s picture, he’s owning who he is in a world where entertainers are cowering.
Let him be a lesson to you.
P.S. If you haven’t seen it, and you should, watch the documentary on Billy Joel’s family in Germany: