Grammy winner Sam Smith took to Twitter to share an anecdote about a friend who recently became a victim of racial abuse.
In a series of tweet, the "Writing’s on the Wall" singer told his followers how “shocked” he was at the brutal treatment of his friend in London.
Just experienced my friend getting verbally abused racially in London. I am absolutely SPEECHLESS.— Sam Smith (@samsmithworld) January 20, 2016
I never ever ever ever thought that would happen here. Absolutely speechless and hurt.— Sam Smith (@samsmithworld) January 20, 2016
He also commented that he had never witnessed racial abuse of any kind before in his hometown, London. However, soon after Smith's comments went online, the singer was accused of “living in a bubble” as racist threats and harassment are not exactly a rarity in U.K.
Wow, Sam Smith discovered racism still exists 😳😱😱😱 has he been living under a rock? pic.twitter.com/U4alKmny5t— Mexican Rug Dealer (@MikeElChingon) January 20, 2016
Sam Smith just proves that you can make an entire career off of Black Music without ever getting close to the Black experience.— Jai Sophrosyne (@JSoAbove) January 20, 2016
So...who gonna tell Sam Smith about the Great BRITISH Empire & their role in slavery, colonization, and conquest? pic.twitter.com/XvNs4vPvrb— Alex Henney-Fukunaga (@IWriteAllDay_) January 20, 2016
Sam Smith got Negro spirituals in the background of his songs but just discovered racism existed last night. ok.— hiba (@502hiba) January 20, 2016
His critics also did not like the fact he was “whitesplaining” (a condescending term for a white person who tries to explain racism) and making it sound like he was the first person to raise awareness on the issue. Many users also pointed out his privilege of being a white man and said although he witnessed the incident, it did not actually happen to him.
I feel like I have to shine some sort of light on it. The police were so unhelpful in the situation and its deeply shocked me.— Sam Smith (@samsmithworld) January 20, 2016
I feel like I have to say something. I'm just so upset. So UPSET— Sam Smith (@samsmithworld) January 20, 2016
Smith, who was apparently unaware that his words would provoke such a backlash, has replied to the Internet through an Instagram post earlier today.
Once again, a celebrity’s attempt to do good has gone awry and the words, “This Isn’t About Me” mean exactly the opposite.