These Celebrities Are Addressing Their White Privilege Amid Police Brutality Protests
The senseless killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer on May 25 has ignited protests all over the country calling for justice and an end to unchecked police brutality in the U.S. It's also started much-needed conversations about racism, inequality, and white privilege. Celebrities have millions of followers online, so it's important, now more than ever, that they participate in these discussions and encourage their followers to do the same. Many celebrities have already used their platforms to raise awareness about the Black Lives Matter movement, and some have even taken to the streets to protest and demand justice in person. Here are a few celebrities who are addressing their white privilege and using their platforms to teach others about it.
1. Ariana Grande
Apart from urging fans to sign petitions and donate to important causes, Grande asked them to educate themselves on how to be better allies.
"Our black friends need us to show up and to be better and to be vocal. Now more than ever. Online. Offline even more so. This is more than a post. We have to show up. There is work that needs to be done and it is absolutely on us to do it," Grande wrote.
2. Cole Sprouse
After revealing he was arrested in Santa Monica, California while protesting on May 31, Sprouse asked others to use their privilege to stand in solidarity with the black community demanding justice and amplify their message.
"It needs to be stated that as a straight white man, and a public figure, the institutional consequences of my detainment are nothing in comparison to others within the movement," Sprouse said. "This is precisely the time to contemplate what it means to stand as an ally. I hope others in my position do as well."
3. Shawn Mendes
Ahead of Mendes joining the Miami protests on May 31 along with his girlfriend Camila Cabello, he took to Instagram to recognize his privilege and acknowledge that, by not speaking out more against racism before, he was part of the problem in letting racism persist in the U.S.
"I can't imagine what life dealing with racism so constantly is like. As a white person, I not only recognize that this is a problem but that I am part of the problem. That it has long due been time to not only 'not accept' racism, but to become anti-racist," Mendes wrote.
4. Harry Styles
Styles shared a similar sentiment as Mendes on his own Instagram. "I do things every day without fear, because I am privileged, and I am privileged every day because I am white. Being not racist is not enough, we must be anti racist," Styles said.
5. Billie Eilish
As for Eilish, she used her platform to explain why the slogan "All Lives Matter" takes attention away from what's really important.
"If I hear one more white person say ‘All Lives Matter’ one more f*cking time I’m gonna lose my f*cking mind," Eilish wrote. "No one is saying your life doesn’t matter. No one is saying your life is not hard. No one is saying literally anything at all about you… all you MFs do is find a way to make everything about yourself. This is not about you."
6. Kylie Jenner
“I’ll never personally experience the pain and fear that many black people around the country go through every day but I know nobody should have to live in fear and nobody deserves a death like George Floyd and too many others," Jenner said in a June 2 Instagram post. "Speaking up is long overdue for the rest of us. We’re currently dealing with two horrific pandemics in our country, and we can’t sit back and ignore the fact that racism is one of them."
7. Lady Gaga
Through the years, Gaga has continuously used her platform for good, and that has not changed. She took to Twitter on May 31 to call for justice and equality.
"We MUST show our love for the black community," Gaga told her followers. "As a white, privileged woman, I take an oath to stand by that. We haven’t, as a privileged community, done enough to fight racism and stand up for those people who are being killed by it."
8. Hailey Baldwin
Along with her husband Justin Bieber, Baldwin spoke with CNN commentator and activist Angela Rye to discuss how to properly be an ally.
"I will never understand what it’s like to be racially profiled and targeted and wake up every day uncertain if I could lose my life because of the color of my skin," Baldwin admitted. "Through this conversation with Angela I really just wanted to learn, to ask questions even if I thought they were the wrong question."
Baldwin promised to "do better" and continue having discussions with her peers about racism in the future.
9. Kendall Jenner
After asking her followers to "keep researching, reading, and educating" themselves, Jenner promised to do the same.
"I will never personally understand the fear and pain that the black community go through on a daily basis, but I know that nobody should have to live in constant fear," Jenner said. "I acknowledge my white privilege and promise I will continue to educate myself on how I can help."
10. Khloé Kardashian
In a lengthy IG post, Kardashian shared her frustrations over racial discrimination. "It is incomprehensible to me that it's 2020 and people continue to restrict, stereotype, damage and oppress people of color, and that racism is a constant reality," Kardashian wrote.
Kardashian vowed to fight for the black community and to continue teaching her daughter, True, to respect others "regardless of the color of their skin."
"I will do my part. I know that I am privileged, in more ways than one, and I will use that privilege to fight for you. I will not let George Floyd's name be forgotten," she added.
Many celebrities aren't taking their influence lightly and they recognize they can help make a change by speaking up and spreading awareness about racism and privilege. Hopefully they will continue to use their platforms to combat these issues until everyone is truly equal.