Rihanna Pulls No Political Punches in Vogue Cover Story

By N. Jamiyla Chisholm Oct 10, 2019

Fans of Bad Gal RiRi, bka Rihanna, know the singer doesn’t bite her tongue, so they probably weren’t surprised to see in her October 9 Vogue cover story that she has a lot to say about America’s current political situation.

The profile covers the performer’s entrepreneurial side (her company, Fenty), her long-awaited new music (a much anticipated reggae-inspired album) and how she views the current political landscape, and Rihanna seems to lean into the questions about race and immigration in a way that few entertainers at her level have. 

For example, when Vogue asked if she really rejected performing at the National Football League’s Super Bowl Halftime Show in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, Rihanna was quite clear. “I couldn’t dare do that. For what? Who gains from that? Not my people. I just couldn’t be a sellout. I couldn’t be an enabler. There’s things within that organization that I do not agree with at all, and I was not about to go and be of service to them in any way,” she said. 

She was also straightforward on her political views, mentioning the recent shooting in El Paso and President Donald Trump’s response to it. “People are being murdered by war weapons that they legally purchase. This is just not normal. That should never, ever be normal. And the fact that it’s classified as something different because of the color of their skin? It’s a slap in the face. It’s completely racist,” Rihanna said. “Put an Arab man with that same weapon in that same Walmart and there is no way that Trump would sit there and address it publicly as a mental health problem.”

After watching a CNN clip on her phone that showed the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Ken Cuccinelli, saying that the poem inscribed on the Statue of Liberty referred to “people coming from Europe,” Rihanna didn’t hold back. “The fact that his defense was talking about Europeans coming into America,” she said, “I mean, not only were you immigrants, you were the worst kind. You came in and murdered the real Americans.”

Read the complete story here.