The ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge” has taken over the Internet the last several weeks.
It’s to raise awareness about the debilitating Lou Gehrig’s disease (aka amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS) and raise money for the ALS Foundation.
You either dump icy water on yourself or you donate $100 to the ALS Association, and you tag friends to do the challenge. The viral challenge has raised over $25 million for the charity, which is great. Celebrities like Oprah, Tyler Perry, Will Smith and other A-listers have all done it.
Some people, however, don’t feel like caring about the “Ice Bucket Challenge” when there’s a warzone happening in Ferguson, Missouri.
After Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen, was gunned down in broad daylight by a cop who felt threatened, people have taken to the streets to protest. Ferguson police have handled this by using tear gas on protesters, shooting people with rubber bullets and arresting media for documenting what is happening.
Thankfully, it seems a relative sense of calm is returning the past few nights. It was certainly chaos before Wednesday.
So I do understand why some people are not here for the challenge, even though it is still a valuable cause. Actor Orlando Jones decided to do a challenge of his own, called the “Bullet Bucket Challenge.” He wants to raise awareness about “a very serious disease.”
In the video, he takes a bucket, turns it upside down and bullets fall on his head.
Orlando acknowledges the value of the Ice Bucket Challenge and says he’ll donate to the cause. However, he wants to highlight the issue of gun violence and calls out the problem of militarizing police forces. What is happening in Ferguson is racism at its worst, and it’s a human rights issue.
He calls it the Bullet Bucket Challenge but it’s not really a challenge as much as it’s a statement. I think it’s a powerful one too, especially since he’s a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association. Could he have gone further? Yes, but the video does what it needs to, and that is to speak up.
As far too many celebrities and people of influence remain silent about the continued devaluation of Black lives, it’s a breath of fresh air to see someone speak truth to power. So salute to Orlando Jones. And Jesse Williams. And Talib Kweli. And Lauryn Hill. I’ve even challenged white allies to speak up too.
About the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge? Well I’m not participating in it for my own reasons, and that doesn’t mean I don’t think it’s worthwhile. However, like Samantha Irby asks “What can we dump on our heads to save Black people?” I wish I knew, but it’s not ice.
Luvvie is a serial ranter and blogger who talks pop culture at Awesomely Luvvie, technology at Awesomely Techie and is the head behind DumbestTweets.com. She can also be found on Twitter (@Luvvie), Facebook and Instagram.