Harry Belafonte would like to sit down and mend fences with Jay Z and Beyoncé. You might think the civil rights activist and legendary singer has enough on his plate at the moment.
Belafonte is currently working with the Dream Defenders to help protest the controversial Stand Your Ground law in Florida, which influenced the widely-regarded-as-outrageous “not guilty” verdict for George Zimmerman after he shot dead unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
But it’s well-known that Belafonte has criticized Jay Z and Beyoncé in 2012 for not using their celebrity to help raise awareness of social issues.
Last week, Jay Z was asked about the criticism again — and he blasted back with an answer that makes it obvious that he’s still angry about Belafonte’s remarks.
Click right here to view the Elliott Wilson video interview with Jay Z. Some 6.50 minutes into the session, Wilson asks him about the feud.
Instead of hearing that Belafonte wanted him to be more socially active, Jay Z seemed to hear that he was being asked for charity. And his reply was explosive, as it can be when you think some dude is putting his hand in your pocket.
“This is going to sound arrogant. But my presence is charity. Just who I am,” Jay Z coolly explained.
Back over to you, Mr. Belafonte.
In a wide-ranging interview this weekend, Chris Hayes found time to ask Harry Belafonte again about the Jay Z feud. Hayes wondered if Jay Z should cancel an August concert scheduled for Florida to support the Stand Your Ground protest.
Belafonte replied in part: “I would be hard pressed to tell Mr. Jay Z what to do with his time and his fortune. I can only be critical of what he’s not doing.”
Adding that the remarks weren’t meant to be a personal attack, he added:
“I made the observation that the highly powerful voice that our community has, black America has, in that there is so much celebrity power, that it was sad to see the collective of the celebrity power had not been applied to bringing consciousness to the inequities that we face…I would hope with all my heart that Jay Z would not take personally what was said because it was not said about him, personally…
“Having said that, I would like to take this opportunity to say to Jay Z and to Beyoncé I’m wide open. My heart is filled with nothing but hope and the promise that we can sit and have a one-on-one and let’s understand each other…”
According to Hip Hop Wired, which also reported the Harry Belafonte sitdown offer, Jay Z hasn’t yet responded.