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Thursday, July 02, 2020

George Floyd death: Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga and other celebrities speak out

Hollywood celebrities have shown their support and solidarity for African-Americans and the protesters.

Written by Kshitij Rawat | New Delhi | Published: June 1, 2020 4:20:56 pm
hollywood celebs george floyd death George FLoyd died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into the former’s neck even as he begged for air. (Photo: Taylor Swift/Instagram and Lady Gaga/Instagram)

The death of George Floyd and the subsequent Minneapolis protests that have turned violent has shaken the United States of America.

Floyd, a black man, died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into the former’s neck even as he begged for air.

The incident has again brought into question the comparatively harsh treatment of members of the black community at the hands of white cops.

Hollywood celebrities have shown their support and solidarity for African-Americans and the protesters.

Pop star Taylor Swift targeted the incumbent US President Donald Trump. She said in a tweet, “After stoking the fires of white supremacy and racism your entire presidency, you have the nerve to feign moral superiority before threatening violence? ‘When the looting starts the shooting starts’??? We will vote you out in November. @realdonaldtrump.”

Filmmaker Ava DuVerna tweeted, “We see clips of white folks yelling, spitting, hitting police over pancakes and beers. Here, a Black Man is prone, on the ground, hands up, begging and police draw guns. Then, put hands on his grandmother. Can anyone identify these cops for me? I’m starting a new project.”

Lady Gaga posted on Twitter, “Right now is a critical time for the black community to be supported by all other communities so we can put a stop to something that is intrinsically wrong by the grace of God or whatever creator you do or do not believe in. I urge people to speak gently to each other, speak with passion, inspiration, and impress the importance of this issue until the systems that keep us sick die, instead of people we love.”

Viola Davis shared on Twitter, “This is what it means to be Black in America. Tried. Convicted. Killed for being Black. We are dictated by hundreds of years of policies that have restricted our very existence and still have to continue to face modern day lynchings. Here’s the thing……America will never be great until we can figure out a way for it to work for EVERYBODY!!! ‘I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard and valued’……. RIP George Floyd.”

Singer Shawn Mendes wrote a long note which he posted on Instagram. In the note, he said, “I’ve been trying to find the right words for days. I feel sick to my stomach. Hearing the sound of his voice crying for help is bone chilling and it fucking breaks my heart. I’m so sorry that this injustice keeps happening. 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 a part of the problem. That it has long due been time to not only “not accept” racism, but to become anti-racist. That all of us that are in the majority, can’t sit idle any longer while the minority are suffering.”

He added, “It’s time for ALL humans to demand change. This needs to be EVERYONES fight. We need to start to really listen to & help amplify black voices. To make their struggles known and to reject racism. It’s time to take action on that feeling in your heart that knows how wrong this is. This can NOT be the world our children of the future live in. The time for change is long overdue & we can’t rest until change is what we get. Please follow some of these resources to get more info on how you can take action: @colorofchange, @thedreamdefenders, @blklivesmatter, @aclumn, @mnfreedomfund .”

Jamie Foxx shared a collage showing contrasting ways white cops in the US treat whites and people of colour. He captioned it, “Do we need any more proof that if you are a man of color when it comes to Police procedure we are at a deadly disadvantage?… No need to sugarcoat it… Two white men carry out mass murders that kill over 32 people… One of the mass murderers sat down in the church with the black members and then proceeded to kill them and was calmly taken into custody… #whydotheyhateus.”

Comedian and actor Kumail Nanjiani was more direct and crisp. He tweeted, “F*** white supremacy. F*** white supremacists.

Singer Harry Styles captioned an Instagram image showing Black Lives Matter, “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. Social change is enacted when a society mobilizes. I stand in solidarity with all of those protesting. I’m donating to help post bail for arrested organizers. Look inwards, educate yourself and others. LISTEN, READ, SHARE, DONATE and VOTE. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. BLACK LIVES MATTER.”

Canadian singer Celine Dion shared on Instagram, “It’s hard to find the words…The tragedy, the injustice breaks my heart. I can’t even begin to imagine what George Floyd’s family is going through. As so many have already said, it’s not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist. Change is long overdue. Racism and brutality must end. It’s everyone’s problem, everyone’s fight. And I pray that together we can find peace.”

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