Beyonce’ has reportedly been ‘disappointed and angry’ that she accidentally modeled ‘blood diamond’ in her new Tiffany & Co. campaign resulting in a furious backlash online.
Beyonce’ Made History – that’s all she was told
The 39-year-old singer-songwriter, wore the coveted 128.54 carat Tiffany Diamond, as part of a photoshoot with her husband Jay Z, debuting last week – becoming just the fourth woman – and the first black woman – to ever wear the infamous gem.
Unfortunately, the Crazy in Love singer along with the guilty luxury jewelry brand has been heavily criticized for displaying the controversial diamond, as numerous social media users have pointed out its turbulent history and how it was horrendously extracted.
The diamond was unearthed in a colonial mine in Kimberley, South Africa, in 1877 – at a time when the country, and its mines, were subjected to brutish British colonial rule. African migrant laborers were confined to slave-like conditions and paid little or nothing.
Beyonce’: Calm Down, She’s as Angry as You Are Aout The Blood Diamond
Sources close to Beyonce’ claim that the billionaire mother and mogul had no idea that the diamond had a controversial past and was outraged that she was not made aware of this fact.
Beyonce’ is aware of the criticism and is disappointed and angry that she wasn’t made aware of questions about its history,’ an unnamed insider told The Sun.
The Tiffany diamond causing so much controversy was mined from the De Beers’ Kimberley Mine in colonial South Africa in 1877 via black slave labor. South Africans were raped, maimed, or killed for not meeting their work quotas, hence why it is called a blood diamond.
Why Are They Called ” Blood Diamonds?”
The work was inherently dangerous and unhealthy. The workers were packed tightly into collapsable mines in smolderingly hot as well as frigid cold tempers without reprieve. These conditions often caused fatal accidents.
Outside of the mine, conditions were also poor. There was no natural water supply or waste disposal for the workers.1,144 died from a multitude of maladies, mainly pneumonia and scurvy between 1897 and 1899 exclusively.
A blood diamond, or conflict diamond, is any gem that has been mined and sold to fund military action against a government, as defined by the United Nations.
Social Media Rips into Beyonce’ for wearing the Diamond but Not Lady Gaga
However, the term has also been applied to rough gems mined in conditions similar to those that Kimberley miners endured during the 1870s – such as the Tiffany diamond that Beyonce wore in her campaign.
The history of the diamond has prompted a backlash against the singer and jeweler. A number of social media users expressed outrage that the diamond is still being displayed, particularly by a woman of color who has been so vocal against racism.
A Twitter user tweeted: ‘Not y’all celebrating the fact Beyonce is the first Black woman to wear a Tiffany blood diamond following in the footsteps of Audrey Hepburn and Lady Gaga. That rock needs to be left alone in a museum explaining its history while paying ongoing reparations, not paraded around.’
Beyonce’ Has Yet to Comment, Mama Tina Pulls no Punches
While Beyonce’ has not commented publicly on the intense scrutiny regarding her Tiffany advertising campaign, her mother, Tina Knowles, clapped back at her critics with a post on her Instagram account on Thursday night, calling them hypocritical.
‘How many of you socially conscious activist[s] own diamonds?’ she questioned. ‘I thought so! Well, guess what did you go to try to check to see where the diamond came from? Probably not.’ So when you guys get engaged you won’t have a diamond you gonna put on a sterling silver band and you better check out where it came from and the origin of where came from and why you at it check out the calls for the leather that you [wear] because they made it came from another country to ban and not buy diamonds right because you’re righteous!!’
Blood Diamonds Ought to be Returned to the People who Suffered for Them
The jewelry industry continues to be plagued by blood diamonds despite these measures. The Central African Republic (CAR) was cited by Amnesty International in 2015 as a country where children as young as 11 remain in diamond mines as ‘slaves’.
Millions of people have been killed and displaced by blood diamonds in countries such as CAR, Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.