Over the course of the past week, celebrities and civilians alike have used social media to speak out against the police killing of George Floyd, a Black man who lived in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Across nearly every feed, activists and allies have amplified protests, provided vital information to those who might need it, and pointed non-Black people especially to resources to help combat the pervasive, anti-Black racism in the United States and around the world. And singer Pink isn’t here for the ignorance of trolls who might predictably try to co-opt the moment.
The singer has been vocal in supporting Black Lives Matter, by posting anti-racism resources for her followers and paying tribute to Floyd in a repost from actor Charlize Theron. She also addressed white followers head-on, by reposting a Notes message from singer Billie Eilish.
“I’ve been trying to take this week to figure out a way to address this delicately,” the ‘Bad Guy’ singer wrote. ‘I have an enormous platform and I try really hard to be respectful and take time to think through what I say and how I say it, but holy f–king sh-t I’m just gonna start talking. If I hear one more white person say ‘All Lives Matter’ one more f–king time I’m gonna lose my f–king mind. Will you shut the f–k up? No one is saying your life doesn’t matter. No one is saying your life is not hard. No one is saying literally anything at all about you. All you [motherf–kers] do is find a way to make everything about yourself. This is not about you. Stop making everything about you. You are not in need. You are not in danger.”
She also reminded white followers that their whiteness does not disqualify any other hardships they might experience, but that it does afford them privileges that minorities, and especially Black people, do not have. “The slogan of ‘Black Lives Matter’ does not mean other lives don’t. It’s calling attention to the fact that society clearly thinks black lives don’t f–king matter! And they f–king do!,” she wrote.
Pink reposted the message with a simple “Say it.” But she wasn’t done in her allyship — as Us notes, she was also ready and waiting to dive into the comments if people did not seem to understand.
“You are the epitome of white privilege and the saddest part is that you don’t even hear yourself and probably never will,” she wrote to one person who claimed that police brutality “is not about race.” As Mapping Police Violence notes, Black people are three times more likely to be killed by police than their white counterparts. In 2019, 24 percent of the 1,099 people killed by police in the United States last year were Black; only 13 percent of the national population is Black.
And when someone argued that “all business owners life’s [sic] matter too,” she had a simple reply waiting: “So you can’t read,” she wrote.
By stepping up to hold their fellow white people accountable, both Pink and Eilish did the necessary work of allyship that can often be uncomfortable, yet needs to happen. It should not be up to Black people to explain to non-Black people that their humanity matters, or why using the phrase “all lives matter” erases the Black experience and is proof of the problem rather than a solution.
Pink also reposted Instagrams from Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Ellen Pompeo, Alyssa Milano, and Schitt‘s Creek star Dan Levy. If you are looking for ways to get involved, whether by donation and/or having the necessary conversations with your kids and family about race and racism, we have compiled a list of organizations and action steps to help you get started, and keep the momentum going.