- Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively donated $200,000 to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Legal Defense Fund as a start in the wake of George Floyd protests.
Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively announced to donate $200,000 to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Legal Defense Fund as a start in the wake of nationwide protests following the death of George Floyd.
“We’ve never had to worry about preparing our kids for different rules of law or what might happen if we’re pulled over in the car,” the couple shared in a statement on their Instagram accounts. “We don’t know what it’s like to experience that life day in and day out. We can’t imagine feeling that kind of fear and anger. We’re ashamed that in the past we’ve allowed ourselves to be uninformed about how deeply rooted systemic racism is.”
On May 25, George Floyd, a black man that did not resist arrest, died after a white police officer knelt on his neck. Floyd’s gasping cries stating “I can’t breathe” was not chosen to be heard by the police officer, who is now arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Reynolds and Lively continued their pledge, “We want to educate ourselves about other people’s experiences and talk to our kids about everything, all of it…especially our own complicity,” their message continued. “We talk about our bias, blindness, and our own mistakes. We look back and see so many mistakes which have led us to deeply examine who we are and who we want to become.”
“We also pledge to [stay] educated and vote in every local election. We want to know the positions of school board nominees, sheriffs, mayors, councilpersons. We want to know their positions on justice. But mainly, we want to use our privilege and platform to be an ally. And to play a part in easing pain for so many who feel as though this grand experiment is failing them.”
The NAACP is a civil right organization to advance justice for the black community. The organization is demanding justice for Floyd by holding police departments accountable and bringing an end to the criminalization of the black community. “We are done dying,” the NAACP states. The organization provided a set of actionable steps to help empower the black community, which include a petition to demand justice for George Floyd, and a set of policy demands for criminal justice reform, economic, health, and voting.
Celebrities including Beyoncé, Steve Carrell, Cardi B, Kehlani, and more have used their platforms to speak out in the wake of Floyd’s death, with others joining protests or donating money to bail out protestors.