As the country continues to protest the killing of George Floyd, many celebrities are using their platforms to speak out about racial injustice

By Maria Pasquini
May 31, 2020 01:45 PM
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As the country continues to protest against racial injustice and police brutality, many celebrities are using their platforms to decry the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man in Minneapolis who died in police custody on May 25 after a white officer pinned him to the ground with a knee on his neck.

In a powerful video message, Beyoncé encouraged her fans to continue to raise their voices. “We need justice for George Floyd. We all witnessed his murder in broad daylight. We’re broken and we’re disgusted. We cannot normalize this pain,” the singer, 38, said. “I’m not only speaking to people of color, if you’re white, black, brown, or anything in between I’m sure you feel hopeless by the racism going on in America right now.”

“There have been too many times that we’ve seen these violent killings and no consequences. Yes, somebody’s been charged but justice is far from being achieved,” she said, referencing the fired police officer who was charged with Floyd’s murder. “Please sign a petition and continue to pray for peace, love and compassion for our country.”

Beyoncé, Jamie Foxx and Oprah Winfrey
ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images; Steve Granitz/WireImage; Michael Tran/FilmMagic

Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King also emphasized the importance of taking active steps to combat racism.

“Those of us who have the ability to be seen or heard in our lives—whether you are Black or white, Asian or Hispanic—it is incumbent on all of us to not just be outraged when we see injustice,” Winfrey said in the latest edition of her Oprah’s Your Life in Focus: A Vision Forward — Live Virtual Experience.

“It's not enough to just say 'It's so terrible.' We can't tolerate hate crimes perpetrated by authorities in this country,” Winfrey continued. “We need to speak up and say 'That will not happen on my watch.' We're going to do the work that it takes to dismantle in our own way.”

Many celebrities, including Jennifer Lopez and Lady Gaga, also called for political change, reminding their followers of the importance of voting in the upcoming presidential election.

“We have known for a long time that President Trump has failed," Gaga, 34, wrote.  "He holds the most powerful office in the world, yet offers nothing but ignorance and prejudice while black lives continue to be taken. We have known he is a fool, and a racist, since he took office. He is fueling a system that is already rooted in racism, and racist activity, and we can all see what is happening. It’s time for a change.”

In his own powerful post, Jamie Foxx shared a video showing many of the black lives that have been lost in recent years. “We cannot be silent anymore, he wrote. “We have to change policy when it comes to police brutality….Push for real change!! We cannot let all of these black folk down.”

Reflecting on her own privilege, Kim Kardashian West wrote that while she will “never know the pain and suffering” black people face while trying to “survive in a world plagued by systemic racism, I know I can use my own voice to help amplify those voices that have been muffled for too long.”

The Keeping Up with the Kardashians star was also one of many celebrities to share information about where to donate, and what to do in order to help make a difference.

In another powerful post, Billie Eilish also slammed the “All Lives Matter” movement.

"Society gives you privilege just for being white. You can be poor, you can be struggling. And still your skin color is giving you more privilege than you even realize and nobody is saying that makes you better than anyone," she wrote. "It just lets you live your life without having to worry about surviving simply because of your skin color!!! You are privileged!!"

“The slogan of #blacklivesmatter does not mean other lives don’t. It’s calling attention to the fact that society clearly thinks black lives don’t f— matter,” she continued. “And they f— do.”

Pink re-posted Eilish's statement on her own Instagram page, and shut down hateful messages in her comments section. "You are the epitome of white privilege and the saddest part is that you don't even hear yourself and probably never will," Pink said in response to a fan.

Also on Saturday, Selena Gomez advised her fans to "take action," writing, "I have spent the last 24 hours just trying to process this all. Nothing anyone says can take back what has happened. But we can and must all make sure to take action. Too many black lives have been taken from us for far too long. They deserve better. They deserve to be heard. We all need to do better and not sit in silence as this injustice continues."