How Celebrities are Educating Their Kids About Racism

The killing of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police on May 25 brought even more attention to the deep-rooted issues of racial injustice in the United States. It kicked off nationwide protests calling to end unchecked police brutality against Black people and systematic racism. Celebrities have been among the millions of people protesting in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, and their voices aren’t going unnoticed. 

Many celebrities have been publicly responding to the crisis triggered by the killing of George Floyd last week, and some have taken to social media to share the ways they are educating their children on the matter.

Thomas Rhett, Katherine Heigl and more stars have shared the ways they’re educating their children about racism.

Social media is a huge source when it comes to speaking out and raising awareness about racism and racial injustice in the U.S. Many celebrities have also used their platforms to detail how they plan to educate their children about those topics. In hopes their children and their followers’ children will be part of the solution.

Victoria Beckham

Victoria Beckham revealed that in the aftermath of George Floyd’s killing, she and husband David made the decision to sit down with their children. As a result, to educate them about racism, writing on Instagram:

“As a family, we spent a lot of time this weekend talking and reading about the issue.” She added that her kids were “shocked and devastated” to learn that the injustices are still happening in 2020.

The fashion designer’s full post read:

“It’s impossible not to be deeply moved by the tragic death of George Floyd. I’ve been thinking a lot about it, and as a mother of four, what’s struck me the most is how important it is to not sit by and watch from the sidelines without doing anything. So as a family, we spent a lot of time this weekend talking and reading about the issue. 

Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon revealed on Instagram that her seven-year-old son had asked over dinner what had upset so many people recently. The award-winning actress added that in response to her son’s questions, she told him about the tragic death of George Floyd. Also acknowledging that it was a “heartbreaking” process. She adds that citizens had to “be held accountable for what is happening in this country”.

Reese’s full caption read:

“Last night at dinner, my seven-year-old asked why all the grownups 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.” 

Vanessa Bryant

Vanessa Bryant took to Instagram to share a moving illustration that highlighted the importance of teaching children about injustices. Featuring images of a heart, a home and the globe, words next to each read: “Until you fix it here [heart], and address it here [home], nothing changes here [world].” 

Meghan Markle

Although the Duchess of Sussex hasn’t explicitly revealed the ways George Floyd’s death has impacted her interactions with son Archie, the mother-of-one has spoken in the past about how proud she is of being bi-racial, and her desire for her future children to be born into a kinder world. 

Speaking in an anti-racism campaign video in 2012, the 38-year-old said: “I am really proud of my heritage on both sides. I’m really proud of where I’ve come from and where I’m going. But yeah, I hope that by the time I have children that people are even more open-minded to how things are changing, and that having a mixed world is what it’s all about. I mean certainly it makes it a lot more beautiful and a lot more interesting.”

Shay Mitchell

Canadian actress Shay Mitchell shared a photo of her daughter being cradled by her partner Matte Babel, writing that “racism is a learned behaviour. It starts and stops at home,” thus highlighting the importance of educating children at home about the subject.

The Pretty Little Liars star’s full caption read: “I am hopeful that the next generation will abandon the prejudices of the past, and embrace and accept people based on who they are, versus the colour of their skin. Black or White. It doesn’t matter.  All she sees are people who love her.  Racism is a learned behaviour. It starts and stops at home.”

Blake Lively

The Gossip Girl star took to Instagram to share a series of messages about the ways she and husband Ryan Reynolds are educating their children about racism.

Segments from the mother-of-three’s messages read:

“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. We don’t know what it’s like to experience that day in and day out. We’re ashamed that in the past we’ve allowed ourselves to be uninformed about how deeply rooted racism is.

“We’ve been teaching our children different 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… especially our own complicity. We talk about our bias, blindness and our own mistakes.

“We’re committed to raising our kids so they never grow up feeding this insane pattern and so they’ll do their best to never inflict pain on another being consciously or unconsciously.” 

Twitch and Alison Holker

During a “check your privilege” TikTok challenge, Allison Holker and her husband Stephen “tWitch” Boss reflected on their very different experiences with racism as individuals, and their shared experience raising a biracial, Black son.

During the discussion, Holker’s white privilege was on full display as she did not know any of the scenarios brought up that impact Black people on a daily basis. That is, until the last question came up. “Put a finger down if you have ever had to teach your child how not to get killed by the police,” a voice can be heard saying, as Holker finally puts a finger down.

Jamie Foxx

Jamie Foxx’s experience protesting with his children filled him with conflicting emotions. Because while he was proud to see his kids get involved and fight for change; he knew it was his responsibility to make sure they knew the complex reasons why they were protesting.

“Having my kids with me at the protest was bitter sweet,” Foxx wrote on Instagram. “Having them watch the world come together was beautiful… But having to explain to them why we were all there was heartbreaking… let’s change the world so they don’t have to live in it the way we have been…

Kourtney Kardarshian

Kardashian reflected on the importance of opening up the conversation about racism. About privilege with her kids early, and urges other parents to put more effort into learning more Black history. Also the current state of racism in America.

“The pain and suffering inflicted by racism is not a thing of the past and I bare the responsibility to speak with my kids honestly. And often about it, even when the truth is uncomfortable,” she wrote. “I have to make sure they understand what it means to have white privilege. And to take the time to learn and discuss Black History, beyond just one short month out of the year.”

Kylie Jenner

Jenner wrote a message to her followers about how today’s situation makes her scared for her Black daughter’s future. And why it’s important to keep speaking out about racism until we see the change this country needs.

“I fear for my daughter and i hope for a better future for her,” she wrote. “My heart breaks for George Floyd’s family and friends. Don’t let his name be forgotten. Keep sharing, keep watching, keep speaking out; because it’s the only way we can come together to help bring this much needed change and awareness. Rest In Peace, George Floyd.”

Khloe Kardarshian

After Khloé addresses the killing of Floyd; she acknowledges that she’s privileged “in more ways than one”. Which is why she’s making it her mission to be a part of the solution to stop the cycle of racism.

“No mother should live in fear like that, and as I think about my own daughter, my future children, and all of our children. I know that we have to create a better future for them,” she wrote. “One filled with love, light, and compassion, not one filled with hatred and ignorance. I vow to continue to teach my daughter every single day. With every opportunity I get, to have love for others, regardless of the color of their skin, their sexuality or their religious beliefs.”

She wrote, “People are not born racist, they are taught these beliefs, and we must do our part to stop this cycle and put an end to racism in this country.”

Jessica Alba

Alba, explained to People that it’s important to get a jump-start on difficult conversations about racism when kids are young.

“When I see all of the hateful, racist activity that has been happening, you realize what really matters,” she said. “Honor and Haven are online more than ever, so they’re exposed to this. And my kids are Black and Mexican so there’s a connection to what’s happening.”

She added: “You have to have these conversations that feel difficult when it comes to equality and social justice. All these conversations can be had and you can start early with them. I did. Because that’s how you’re going to give them the fire to make sure that that isn’t their reality.”