Model Iskra Lawrence on Raising Her 'Beautiful Innocent Black Baby': 'I Will Protect You'
New mom Iskra Lawrence is calling for people to "campaign to get police reform and continue to learn more so we can combat systemic racism"
Iskra Lawrence is making an effort to educate herself on racial inequality.
On Sunday, the British model, 29, shared an Instagram post featuring a sweet photo of her 6-week-old child, whom she shares with boyfriend Philip Payne. In a lengthy caption, Lawrence pledged that she will do everything she can to further support her "beautiful innocent black baby."
"As your mother I will protect you in [any way] I can. But I know that will never be enough," she wrote. "Your skin color will impact your life in a way I will never be able to understand. Your father @philipapayne will have to teach you things as a privileged white child I never had to learn. Your friends will need to be allies and speak up for you at times when simply being you could get you hurt or killed."
The Aerie model went on to say that it is now time for "all of us to educate ourselves" and not expect others to do the homework for us.
"I've asked far too many questions to my black loved ones when they are already exhausted and grieving for their community," wrote Lawrence. "It's not on them to educate us privileged folk. We need to do our own research into the deep rooted history of racism."
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She added, "There are many ways in which systematic oppression is used everyday, especially to continue to spread fear and separation between races. Who is going to read up with me?"
To take immediate action, Lawrence said she plans to seek out work from "black journalists and thought leaders," and to sign online petitions, make donations and place calls to representatives.
"If you're not outraged and trying to figure out how you can do your bit ask yourself if your daughter or son, sister or brother was at risk everyday of being murdered for the color of their skin would you not be doing everything you could," she wrote. "Every opportunity, every micro aggression, constant racial profiling all feeding into oppression."
"Let's have the discussions with our families, campaign to get police reform and continue to learn more so we can combat systemic racism everyday," she wrote. "We must use our white privilege to do better in memory of all those who've had their lives ended, futures taken and have to fight discrimination every single day ... "
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Lawrence's post comes as protests continue to take place across the country and around the world, just over one week following George Floyd's killing after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pinned him to the ground for several minutes with a knee on the unarmed man's neck.
In a report released Monday, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner listed Floyd's cause of death as a homicide — specifically, "cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression." It also said he "experienced a cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by law enforcement officer(s)."
Chauvin, the officer who pinned Floyd to the ground, has been charged with third-degree murder, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 25 years. He and the three other officers present were fired from the Minneapolis police department last week. Floyd's family is seeking a first-degree murder charge to be filed against Chauvin.
To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:
- Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
- ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.
- National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.