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Adele, George Clooney, & Lorde Call For Action Following George Floyd's Death: 'It's Sickening'

Adele, George Clooney, and Lorde speak out on George Floyd's death

Celebs continue to speak out about the civil unrest in response to George Floyd’s tragic death — and one celeb made sure to simultaneously call out other stars’ hollow “performance activism” on social media!

As you surely know, nationwide protests are going on in the aftermath of the 46-year-old Minneapolis man dying after former police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for over eight minutes. 

One of the latest stars to speak out about the devastating incident was George Clooney, who wrote an essay published by The Daily Beast lamenting about how the real pandemic is the perpetual fight against police brutality when it comes to black citizens. 

Related: Jamie Foxx Joins Protests In Minneapolis In Honor Of George Floyd

He wrote:

“How many times have we seen people of color killed by police? Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, Laquan McDonald. There is little doubt that George Floyd was murdered. We watched as he took his last breath at the hands of four police officers. Now we see another defiant reaction to the systemic cruel treatment of a portion of our citizens like we saw in 1968, 1992, and 2014.”

Explaining how big changes need to be made in both law enforcement and the criminal justice system, Clooney continued: 

“We don’t know when these protests will subside. We hope and pray that no one else will be killed. But we also know that very little will change… The anger and the frustration we see playing out once again in our streets is just a reminder of how little we’ve grown as a country from our original sin of slavery. The fact that we aren’t actually buying and selling other human beings anymore is not a badge of honor. We need systemic change in our law enforcement and in our criminal justice system… This is our pandemic. It infects all of us, and in 400 years we’ve yet to find a vaccine.”

The Michael Clayton star went on to put Donald Trump on blast for his characteristically unhelpful responses, adding:

“We need policymakers and politicians that reflect basic fairness to all of their citizens equally. Not leaders that stoke hatred and violence as if the idea of shooting looters could ever be anything less than a racial dog whistle… So this week, as we’re wondering what it’s going to take to fix these seemingly insurmountable problems, just remember we created these issues so we can fix them. And there is only one way in this country to bring lasting change: Vote.”

Powerful words from a powerful celebrity!

Of course, Clooney’s not the only A-lister who felt the need to speak out. Adele made a rare social media post on Monday to address the controversy surrounding Floyd’s death, urging her fans to stay “righteously angered but be focused” as protests and marches continue to gain momentum.

She wrote alongside a photo of Floyd on Instagram:

“George Floyd’s murder has sent shockwaves around the world, there are countless others that haven’t. Protests and marches are happening all over the globe simultaneously and only gaining momentum. So be righteously angered but be focused! Keep listening, keep asking and keep learning! It’s important we don’t get disheartened, hijacked or manipulated right now. This is about systematic racism, this is about police violence and it’s about inequality. And this isn’t only about America! Racism is alive and well everywhere. I wholeheartedly stand in solidarity with the fight for freedom, liberation and justice ♥️.”

Again, powerful words!

But let’s be honest: everyone’s gotten a bit weary of celebs posting about social issues on their social accounts. We know it, you know it, and Lorde knows it.

Related: Ciara Shares Open Letter To Her Son In Wake Of George’s Death

Thankfully, the Green Light songstress acknowledged that self-serving part of the social media activism equation while addressing the protests in an email to her fans over the weekend. 

After condemning police brutality and revealing she attended a “peaceful protest” in Auckland, New Zealand “to support the Black Lives Matter movement,” the 23-year-old got candid about what she described as “performance activism” from celebs like herself. She wrote:

“One of the things I find most frustrating about social media is performative activism, predominantly by white celebrities (like me). It’s hard to strike a balance between self-serving social media displays and true action. But part of being an ally is knowing when to speak and when to listen, and I know that white silence right now is more damaging than someone’s wack protest selfie. So let me be clear: this ongoing systemic brutality by police is racist, it’s sickening, and it’s unsurprising.”

The Grammy winner explained: 

“As someone who has made art directly inspired by and in conversation with hip hop, it’s my responsibility to let you know that I’m here. I extend that sentiment to all my fellow musicians and producers who have tightened a snare to make it more trap, who’ve drawn a pattern of high hats in ProTools because they heard something similar in a hip hop song and it made them feel big and cool. We have a responsibility to let our affected listeners know that we’re with them when it’s hard too, not just when it’s easy. Not just when we benefit. We see you, and we’re here.”

She continued:

“I’m still learning the nuances of all this. I’m still working out how to practice activism while refraining from social media. Numbers at protests and mass gatherings speak loudly, hopefully lead to eventual legislative change, so I do that. Money helps concretely, paying things like bail funds to free unjustly held activists, so I do that. I don’t feel completely comfortable posting donation links asking you for money—I don’t know what kind of financial situation you’re in right now. It’s on me to use my resources—resources you gave me, directly or indirectly—to donate on your behalf.”

Lorde ended her email with a link to a petition calling for the cops in Floyd’s arrest to be fired and for charges to be filed, along with a direct message to her “black and brown listeners,” writing:

“I’m so sorry this is your reality, that you haven’t had a choice but to be defined by this, to give it your energy. I’m aware of that tax on you. I hope white people you know are doing what they can to ease your load. And I really, really hope systems will change to better protect you.”

Probably the most self-aware response we’ve seen so far!

Of course, raising awareness about the issues is in itself critically important, but it’s nice to see a celeb pander to all the social media cynics out there, too. We need all the support we can get here!

[Image via Apega/WENN]

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Jun 02, 2020 13:33pm PDT