Celebs Use Their Voices To Demand Justice For George Floyd

Will Smith, Vanessa Bryant, Reese Witherspoon, Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds and Michelle Obama demand justice for George Flyod by bringing awareness and voice that households need to respect and teach.  

Chelsie Overocker

AfterBuzz TV Host & Writer
Posted On: June 3rd, 2020 5:33 pm pst

Maria Menounos
Keven Undergaro
AfterBuzz TV Founders

Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, AfterBuzz TV is the artist-friendly entertainment news platform that celebrates, discusses, interviews, promotes and reports on the widest range of stars, creators and content through video, audio and article publications.

African Amercians have been killed senselessly, judged by the color of our skin, and feel unsafe walking around neighborhoods and parks. The inexcusable killings of George Flyoyd, Ahmad Arbery, and many more not only caused a rage within the African American communities but ALL racial communities. 

“Racism Is Not Getting Worse, It’s Getting Filmed”- Will Smith. 

We appreciate everyone showing support and educating themselves on the challenges African American’s face daily, but we need more. We need change. We need equality to be real. We need justice to happen. 

Vanessa Bryant shares a photo of Kobe wearing a shirt that reads “I Can’t Breathe.” The picture is from years ago and it’s heartbreaking to know we are still in the same place, but it’s also sadly not shocking. 

“My husband wore this shirt years ago and yet here we are again. #ICANTBREATHE. Life is so fragile. Life is unpredictable. Life is too short. Let’s share and embrace the beautiful qualities and similarities we share as people. Drive out hate. Teach respect and love for all at home and school. Spread LOVE…#BLACKLIVESMATTER”

I do agree that no one is born racist, but it’s still a powerful system that we’re born into and taught. The cycle needs to end. We need to stop poisoning future generations. 

Growing up biracial and having a white mother. I not only looked up to her for guidance, but for protection. Deep down I felt like I was safer because she was white. When I was younger we moved into a couple new neighborhoods and I enrolled in different school districts where I was the minority. 

On Saturdays my mom would take me to the park that was down the street from where we lived. Most of the time she would be right next to me, but there was one time I wanted to go play on the swing set and she watched me from a distance. There was a little boy who was white that was swinging next to me and we started talking. It was great to make a friend in a new place, but his mom unfortunately didn’t feel the same. She pulled him from the swing and told him to not associate himself with a black girl. 

At age six, I couldn’t understand why she didn’t want her son to talk to me solely because I was black. My mom’s side of the family never referred to me as the black girl in the family. My cousins who all have blonde hair and blue eyes loved playing with me. 

That’s when I realized that I needed my mom to be by my side. I might have felt safer with her presence, but it never solved the problem. 

One night during a parent teacher conference, my mom and I were walking together down the hallway and we overheard a kid ask their parents why I was black and my mom was white. The parents quickly hushed their child and said we don’t talk about that in our household. I remember feeling like it was a crime that my mom and I have two different skin tones. 

The day after, I was confronted by my other peers asking if I was “normal,” because I was mixed with two races.

I never blamed the kid in the hallway for asking their parents why my mom and I had two different skin tones. That’s what kids do, they ask when they’re curious. What’s not ok though is how the parents didn’t want to talk about it. Or worse, they don’t allow to have discussions about black or mixed families in their households. 

I commend Reese Witherspoon for sharing on social media about the conversation she had with her 7-year old son regarding George Floyd. When he asked her why she was upset she didn’t ignore the events that were happening. 

“Being a white mother trying to explain racism and bigotry to her white son, who did not understand why anyone would treat another human being that way, was heartbreaking. But not nearly as heartbreaking as being a victim..” 

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Last night at dinner, my 7-year-old asked why all the grown ups were so upset. We spoke to him about what happened to George Floyd. Being a white mother trying to explain racism and bigotry to her white son, who did not understand why anyone would treat another human being that way, was heartbreaking. But not nearly as heartbreaking as being a victim of one of these senseless, violent, unconscionable crimes. Not nearly as heartbreaking as being one of the families who have experienced loss and harassment and discrimination daily. Not nearly as heartbreaking as being a mother who lives in fear of what will happen to her children in this world. I grew up going to church. We were taught that we were all the same in the eyes of God. We all breathe the same air. We all bleed the same blood. But that is not what I grew up seeing. It was as hard for me to reconcile the difference between what I was taught in church and what I see in the world. I don’t want that for my kids. Or for yours. We have to be held accountable for what is happening in this country. What happened to George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery – and countless others – can not go without justice. Please talk to your children about racism, privilege, bigotry and hate. If you aren’t talking to them, someone else is. Regarding comments: I urge you to share this space for meaningful discussion, not hate. There is enough hate in the world. I hope this can be a space for discussion, understanding, growth and LOVE. We all need more of that.

A post shared by Reese Witherspoon (@reesewitherspoon) on

Thank you Reese, I appreciate how you explain to your  kids about racism. No matter what age you are, actions and words can still hurt people. 

Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds have also expressed that they are educating themselves and their kids. They are committed to stopping this “insane” pattern and talk about bias and blindness.  

“We’ve been teaching our children differently than the way our parents taught us. We want to educate ourselves about other people’s experiences and talk to our kids about everything, all of it…”

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@naacp_ldf

A post shared by Blake Lively (@blakelively) on

In high school is when I started dating, and my first boyfriend was white. I loved attending his sports games, going on dates, and planning prom. I got to experience all of the fun stuff to do when you’re dating at 16, but I’ve also experienced what it’s like dating as a mixed couple.

This allowed us the opportunity to learn about each other’s backgrounds, and we hoped our families would accept our relationship. 

Now at age 28, I’m writing this with hope that my future children can walk the halls of their schools not worrying about if we have different skin tones, but instead just making sure they have good report cards. They can go to parks and make friends with the other kids on the playground. When they start dating they find someone who not only sees their color, but honors it. Lastly, I hope they never get put in a situation where they are killed or discriminated against by the color of their skin. 

In order for this hope to become reality we all must start taking action and making sure we are focused on having  the same goals, which are justice and equality. I understand you’re angry, I’m angry too but we can’t afford to lose ourselves with more violence.

“If we ever hope to move past it, it just can’t be on people of color to deal with it. It’s up to all of us-Black, white, everyone..It starts with self-examination and listening to those whose lives are different from our own. It ends with justice, compassion, and empathy..I pray we all have the strength for that journey..” 

Thank you Michelle Obama for still being the leader we need.  

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Like so many of you, I’m pained by these recent tragedies. And I’m exhausted by a heartbreak that never seems to stop. Right now it’s George, Breonna, and Ahmaud. Before that it was Eric, Sandra, and Michael. It just goes on, and on, and on. Race and racism is a reality that so many of us grow up learning to just deal with. But if we ever hope to move past it, it can’t just be on people of color to deal with it. It’s up to all of us—Black, white, everyone—no matter how well-meaning we think we might be, to do the honest, uncomfortable work of rooting it out. It starts with self-examination and listening to those whose lives are different from our own. It ends with justice, compassion, and empathy that manifests in our lives and on our streets. I pray we all have the strength for that journey, just as I pray for the souls and the families of those who were taken from us. Artwork: @nikkolas_smith

A post shared by Michelle Obama (@michelleobama) on

Race and racism is a reality. This is a lifestyle that many African American’s learn to deal with, but this should never be a problem we’re accustomed to. If you’re educating yourself and learning, thank you. But we need more, so much more. 

About The Author:

Chelsie Overocker is a host for AfterBuzz TV. She grew up in Denver, Colorado and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in communications and marketing.

Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, artist-friendly AfterBuzz TV is the world’s largest digital broadcast network and pop culture news platform, producing post-game ‘after-shows’ for nearly all favorite TV shows, interviewing cast and showrunners and providing the widest video, audio and article coverage of shows, content and influencers than any entertainment news platforms in existence

“We don’t just celebrate and cover the top shows, content and stars, we celebrate and cover ALL the shows, content and stars.”

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