While most of us will probably be catching up on sleep or crowding the theater to see Star Wars again, Nicki Minaj will be performing for a brutal dictator.
Nicki Minaj is scheduled to perform at a Christmas party on Saturday in Launda, capital of Angola. It's not just any Christmas party, however; the event is being hosted by the communications company Unitel, which is run by José Eduardo dos Santos and his family. Dos Santos has been the president of Angola for more than 33 years, during which time he has been criticized for rampant corruption, bad governance, and government repression, Human Rights Watch reports.
"The government continues targeting outspoken journalists and activists with criminal defamation lawsuits, arbitrary arrests, unfair trials, intimidation, harassment, and surveillance," the report reads. "The police use excessive force and engage in arbitrary arrests to stop peaceful anti-government protests and other gatherings."
The Human Rights Foundation basically begged the rapper not to go through with the performance, sending her management a detailed letter explaining Angola's history with corruption and misuse of power. What was Nicki's reaction? To basically ignore them. She instead continued to promote the concert on her social media pages, and as the cherry on top of the "idgaf" cake, tweeted this:
But what no one's telling Nicki - or perhaps what she's not willing to hear - is that no one is above reproach, especially when their actions are in direct contradiction with their words. Nicki has been vocal in her support of the Black Lives Matter movement, so how does that mesh with her decision to perform for a corrupt government, who, in June 2015, threw 15 young activists in jail just for daring to speak about democracy? Thor Halvorssen, president of the Human Rights Foundation, considered that same question during an interview with The Daily Beast.
"These are folks who are very loquacious when it comes to conversations about racial justice in America," he told The Daily Beast. "Nicki Minaj specifically is no stranger to having strong opinions on this subject. What is astonishing is black lives matter - unless those black lives are living under a dictatorship in Africa... [Minaj is] getting money to ignore those black lives. It shows you the seedy underside of the celebrity pandering to social justice and racial justice causes. At the end of the day, it appears they don't believe what they say."
Your move, Nicki. Will you practice what you preach?