I have not had a really good rant for some time...
Artists are (for the most part) woefully ill equipped to use social media when it comes to voicing opinions on race, sex, politics and a myriad of other social platforms. One of the key stumbling blocks for an artist expressing an opinion would be their friends that simply wish to pander based on association.
Social media and specifically face book is a revenue gold mine if used properly. We all have opinion, even critics. Earlier today the topic was race and crime statistics in America. There was a friend of a trumpet player whose name is being withheld as a courtesy that asked, "do I think white America wants me speaking for them?" O.K. obvious race baiting idiocy aside, my answer would honestly be that some do and some do not. The real point would be me caring...White America? I thought this was America? Only a radical ultra left wing liberal would attempt to break this country down based on race. Those that scream for diversity the most practise it the least!
Take this perspective one step further, there are avowed radical liberals artists working in the "jazz community" in a variety of positions that are incredibly angry with me based on politics and my refusal to simply toe the liberal line in a medium that does lean heavily to the left. Get used to it.
The smart people are the people that while their politics are wildly different than mine, they look upon all their "public" activities as a business. They appreciate the time, care and attention that I give their work. I don't review ideology. I review people of all races, genders, orientation, religions and all whose opinions are WAY left of center. I have one criteria, can they play or sing? There is nothing wrong with an artist voicing his or her opinion on social issues but...if you have 5000 friends and piss off five a month who then don't buy your new record and you run those numbers over a year then you have just cost yourself three thousand dollars in cd sales alone...Is there any jazz musician that can simply afford to piss away three grand to make a point?
Writers are different, some people will read us specifically because they hate us and they look at us like a NASCAR race, they know a crash is coming and they want to be there to see it. Who listens to an artist simply because they hate them? Political correctness has killed free speech. I had another Obama mental chew toy explain I needed to have the same opinion as the jazz community at large. Really???
I don't take public policy advise from a musician, it is not their area of expertise.
I also don't take advise on interior design from my physician.
Opinions are fine. Know when to say when but if your an artist perhaps the first thoughts before you hit post should be
1.) Have I practised today?
2.) Can I really afford the potential financial loss?
On a serious note...Many thanks to the musicians from all possible backgrounds giving of their time and talent to play for my medical fund today. I am truly touched and humbled.