A plethora of high-profile celebrities have taken a stand against police brutality, systematic racism, and anti-black sentiments like never before. This widespread sense of advocacy has erupted since the senseless murder of George Floyd, an innocent African American US citizen, was brutally killed by a White police officer.
Police brutality, the disproportionate incarceration of Black men and women, and the overt oppression of the African American community in America is nothing new. However, social media has afforded us a degree of transparency that has allowed us to witness these acts, organize against them, and to demand justice for such inhumane treatment. Since the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin in 2012, by George Zimmerman, organizations like Black Lives Matter, and Hollywood’s greatest celebrities have been able to join the conversation, ultimately becoming essential in mobilizing, and catalyzing movements towards equality.
The video that went viral on social media showed Floyd, 46, groaning, “please, I can’t breathe” and “don’t kill me” as a white policeman kneels on his neck after officers on Monday responded to reports of the use of counterfeit money by the victim.
Today, the massive protests in the US city of Minneapolis have sparked a movement across the nation and celebrities are not standing idly by. More specifically, it comes as a deep relief to see that non-Black stars like Seth Rogen, Jennie Mai, Anne Hathaway, Justin Bieber, Steve Carell, Demi Lovato, US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and many more are rallying for solidarity and taking strides towards spreading the message, contributing monetary donations to the cause, and using their platforms to educate their audience on the silent evil that plagues this country — racism.
Celebrities are also matching each others donations to assist the Minnesota Freedom Fund — a nonprofit that helps bail out low-income individuals who wouldn’t have the means to do so — in an effort to help protestors.
The tweets/posts are not only about celebrities showing their support, but it’s also an avenue for their millions of followers to pay it forward.
This is a deep-rooted issue that affects us all. Whether you are Black, White, Hispanic, or a member of any other minority community we all share a single, and highly important commonality, we are all human beings! As such, we should all be treated with respect, empathy, love, and equality. How many Black lives will it take for our American system to be reformed? Enough is enough, and one can only hope that is the beginning of the reinvention of America.
Here are a series of ways that you can help demand justice for George Floyd:
Color of Change has shared a petition calling for the officers involved to be charged with murder, to be banned from ever working as police officers again, and for Mayor Frey to block them from receiving their pensions.
If you would like to contribute financially to Floyd’s funeral and burial costs, his family has set up a GoFundMe page for donations.
Beyond naming and calling out racism when you see it, check your own privilege, talk to the people around you about the systemic racism that led to Floyd’s death, and encourage conversations about anti-racism. As pervasive as racism — and specifically anti-blackness — unfortunately can be, we can all be accountable for holding educational conversations, and taking action against it.
Lastly you can support and advocate for anti-racism organizations at any time, not just after a viral tragedy occurs. Consider donating to organizations such as NAACP, Southern Poverty Law Center, and Black Youth Project 100.
You can also look through change.org to find petitions demanding action in smaller cases.