In the Star universe, Atlanta may be a sanctuary city now, but that doesn’t stop Gravity Records from continuing to turn Simone (Brittany O’Grady) into “a political figure on the national stage” in April 24’s episode “Square One.”
While attending one of her activism events, Simone and her husband, Angel Rivera (Evan Ross), come across a racist redneck filming them as he spews his distaste for illegal immigration. The guy rants about "rapists and drug smugglers" and even shows off his gun - all that's missing is the MAGA hat.
Simone: I can’t believe that Gravity is actually supporting my activism efforts.
Angel: As they should be. Look at this place. You did this.
Simone: Maurice and Carlotta were thinking I should take it to a national level.
Angel: Got my own Angela Davis. I'm proud of you, Simone.
Man: Hey, you. Yeah, you. Little half-breed. You think 'cause you're a big pop star now that you can use your voice to let all the rapists and drug smugglers stay in our city? You ought to use your voice to learn how to half-ass sing right.
Simone: Why don't you go back to the basement you came out of?
Man: But my followers, they want to see how this mutt bitch is turning our city...
Angel: Hey, don't talk to my wife like that.
Simone: Why don't you... Hey! Angel. Stop.
Angel: Are you crazy? Come on.
Man: Hey! Hey, whoa, hey!
Man: Assault! This illegal is dangerous! If I see your illegal ass again, you're gonna get deported in a body bag.
That’s not all viewers are treated to on immigration. Simone has a message for the online trolls to show how hot and bothered she is, in which she mentions gun violence, and goes all Don Lemon ranting about the threat of white supremacy and white men.
Simone: This is for all you trolls who have been harassing me online. There have been over 300 mass shootings in this country, killing over 1,100 people. And guess how many of them were perpetrated by illegal immigrants. Zero. Guess how many of them were done by white men. Almost all of them, so for all y'all saying that my husband's some dangerous illegal immigrant, y'all should be worried about the real threat in America, and that is white supremacy. That's right. I said it. Maybe I think that y'all should deport all you angry, racist white men who are going after people.
Simone’s rant is so many levels of dumb it’s hard to know where to begin. Simone is using a bogus stat about how there have been over 300 mass shootings and 1,100 people killed, when there have really been 158 mass shootings since August 1, 1966. This show has its fair share of casual gun pointing and gun violence, so much so that many of its episodes have content warnings for violence. Yet it also lectures viewers about gun safety. Just in this episode a character, who happens to be a black transgender woman, shoots a pimp dead for assaulting one of his prostitutes. That certainly doesn’t fit into Simone’s narrative, now does it?
Besides the show’s hypocrisy on the guns issue, her video message completely discounts people who have been shot and killed by illegal immigrants, including Kate Steinle, California police officer Ronil Singh, and Washington state police officer Ryan Thompson, just to name a few. The particularly tragic thing about crimes caused by illegal immigrants is that they are 100 percent preventable because they are committed by people who shouldn’t even have been here in the first place. We also don’t deport people who are citizens, we deport people who are here illegally because they broke the law to come here.
Towards the end of the episode, Angel confronts Simone about the video, and he actually has some good points, as he aptly points out “there's a difference between helping people and actively stoking the flames.” He also believes she’s just “doing it for [her] career.” Angel goes to leave, and Simone follows him out, only for the episode to end in Angel being the target of a car bomb. Just as someone is starting to at least make sense on smart activism, he has to get targeted. And, knowing this show, they'll make the perpetrators "the real threat in America," white supremacists.