According to filmmaker dream hampton, the Carters wired ‘tens of thousands’ to help those who had been arrested by police
Over the past couple of years, Jay Z and Beyoncé have been criticised in some quarters for being an immensely wealthy, globally recognised power couple who don't do enough to help black communities. Well, maybe they just don't shout about it. In a series of now-deleted tweets, filmmaker and activist dream hampton says that the pair have used their considerable wealth to post bail for Ferguson and Baltimore protesters who were arrested after protesting in their cities.
Hampton may well have an insight; she ghostwrote Jay Z's 2010 memoir Decoded. She took to Twitter to defend Jay Z and Beyoncé against detractors who repeatedly claim that the power couple do not do enough to help black rights.
"I am going to tweet this and I don't care if Jay gets mad", hampton begins. "When we needed money for bail for Baltimore protesters, I asked hit Jay up, as I had for Ferguson, wired tens of thousands in mins [sic]."
"When BLM (Black Lives Matter) needed infrastructure money for the many chapters that we're growing like beautiful dandelions, Carters wrote a huge check… and more stuff, too much to list actually, that they always insist folk keep quiet."
Hampton didn't elaborate why the couple choose to keep things quiet, but she continued to tweet until she says she got a text saying "shut the fuck up and come to brunch", presumably from Jay himself. Later on, she deleted the tweets, noting:
Jay & B for stacks. It's true they gave, which is why I tweeted it. but I erased it within minutes, because ppl believe what they want to.— dream hampton (@dreamhampton) May 18, 2015
They gave cuz that's what they do. & should I ever get major bread, I'm gonna be Howard Hughes, wiring out money anonymously too— dream hampton (@dreamhampton) May 18, 2015
You can check out screencaps of her tweets on Complex here here.
The Carters have previously come under fire for not taking advantage of their powerful positions to do more about social injustice. 88-year-old calypso icon Harry Belafonte offered a thinly-veiled criticism of the Carters in a 2012 interview, stating: "I think one of the great abuses of this modern time is that we should have had such high-profile artists, powerful celebrities. But they have turned their back on social responsibility. That goes for Jay-Z and Beyoncé, for example. Give me Bruce Springsteen, and now you’re talking. I really think he is black.”
Despite criticism, Jay Z has actually been outspoken about the treatment of black Americans at the hands of a brutal police force and racial inequality. In December 2014 he met with New York governor Andrew Cuomo to press for criminal justice reform and in 2003 he set up the Shawn Carter Foundation, an organisation that helps disadvantaged children into higher education.
On Friday, Beyonce's sister Solange Knowles debuted a track called "Rise" that she describes as "a song for Ferguson, for Baltimore". It appears that the Carters et al care after all.