“ I have an amazing invitation I have to share. Jay [husband, rapper Jay-z] and I [Beyonce`] will be meeting up with President Obama for an evening in NYC sometime soon. And we want you to be there! Until midnight tonight, if you pitch in $25 or whatever you can, you'll be automatically entered to be flown out to join us. I've had the honor of meeting President Obama and the First Lady a few times -- and believe me -- it's an opportunity you don't want to miss…. https://donate.barackobama.com/Meet-Me-in-New-York. Can't wait to meet you! Love, Beyoncé”
I checked Barack Obama’s website and the offer was legit. I’m sure thousands of Beyonce` fans and Obama supporters jumped at the chance and donated, but I found the whole email and offer unsettling. First, I think it’s a problem that the email doesn’t clearly state what entity you’re donating to or why. It kind of appears sneaky and secretive; the financial backing of a government official is covert. Second, Beyonce`, in this case, is selling her and Obama’s presence for money. It’s kind of like political prostitution. Support the politician I’m likely voting for and I’ll have dinner with you? This is very different from a product endorsement or being a spokesperson for a cause. I don’t get to share a meal with Beyonce` if I purchase a box of L’Oreal hair color. My hair will just be a different hue. As a spokesperson for a cause, I get to hear from Beyonce` why she thinks the cause is important and why I should contribute; I still don’t get to have tacos with her. Had I received an email declaring her endorsement for Barack Obama, why she backs him and why I should give him money, I wouldn’t have raised my eyebrows. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with celebrities supporting politicians, but it matters how you do it. Don’t pimp yourself out. If you’re going to use your name and voice, let’s hear your name and voice.