#ITakeResponsibility—Do You, Really?

Jun 15, 2020
Written by
Lana Tafere
Photographed by
C

elebrities have done it again.

First, they were kind enough to have us “Imagine” a world without COVID-19 from their palatial mansions by posting a video to Instagram in March that was roundly criticized. It seems, however, that they have yet to learn their lesson.

Over the past few weeks, we have seen an explosion in support for the Black Lives Matter movement after the deaths of (among others) Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. In the ensuing protests and social media movements, we have begun to see an unprecedented amount of support from various corporations and individuals alike. For the first time, it seemed like White people were finally ready to listen and take action against the horrific treatment of minorities in the United States.

That didn’t last long. Inevitably, White people had to center themselves yet again, as we saw in a video uploaded to Instagram this Thursday which included celebrities such as Sarah Paulson, Justin Theroux, Bryce Dallas Howard, Aaron Paul, Stanley Tucci and others. In this 2-minute video shot in black-and-white, we see the celebs address racism by claiming to “take responsibility” for their privilege and apologizing for the times that they didn’t do so.

As a Black woman for whom the past few weeks have been a harrowing and draining experience, I can comfortably say that waking up to this video gave me a good laugh that I hadn’t had in days. It never fails to amaze me just how far out of touch wealthy White people can be. While many have voiced an opinion similar to mine already, I just want to add the following to this dialogue:

White people, no-one wants to hear your apologies. Indeed, no-one wants to hear you talk right now. Too little, too late. For once, put aside your need to be at the center of the discussion and elevate marginalized educators and thinkers who deserve a voice. Shut up and open your wallets so that people can use your disproportionate wealth to make real change. That is the only way anything will be different. That is how you #TakeResponsibility.

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