Taking to Instagram to call for justice in the wake of George Floyd’s murder at the hands of a white police officer, singer Billie Eilish called out “all lives matter” supporters for failing to recognise their white privilege.
On Monday 25 May, a 46-year-old African American man named George Floyd was murdered by a white police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The officer, who has since been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, kneeled on Floyd’s neck as he struggled to breathe.
Since then, people have taken to the streets across America to protest police brutality against black people, as tributes to Floyd spread across social media to raise awareness. In a powerful influx of Instagram posts, viral videos and striking illustrations, celebrities and non-celebrities alike have been using their social media platforms to start an important conversation.
“I’ve been trying to take this week to figure out a way to address this delicately,” she began. “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 fucking shit I’m just gonna start talking.
“If I hear one more white person say “all lives matter” one more fucking time I’m gonna lose my fucking mind. Will you shut the fuck up? No one is saying your life doesn’t matter. No one is saying your life is not hard.”
Eilish then went on to explain why the concept of “all lives matter” is so nonsensical, using several analogies to prove her point.
“If your friend gets a cut on their arm are you gonna wait to give all your friends a band aid first because all arms matter? NO – you’re gonna help your friend because THEY are in pain because THEY are in need because THEY ARE BLEEDING!”
She continued: “If someone’s house was on fire and someone is stuck in the house, are you gonna make the fire department go to every other house on the block first because all houses matter? NO!”
Eilish also pointed out how, even if white people are struggling financially, they’re still benefiting from white privilege – a fact that means they’re able to live their lives “without having to worry about surviving simply because of [their] skin colour”.
“The slogan of #blacklivesmatter does not mean other lives don’t,” she added. “It’s calling attention to the fact that society clearly thinks black lives don’t fucking matter! And they fucking do!”
Eilish isn’t the only celebrity to use their following to raise awareness of Floyd’s murder. Beyoncé and Rihanna also took to Instagram this week to call for justice, with Beyoncé urging her fans to “pray for peace, compassion and healing” and sign a petition to demand more change.
How to support Justice for George Floyd:
- Donate to the official George Floyd memorial fund, a GoFundMe page set up by Floyd’s brother.
- Sign the petition urging Minnesota Mayor Jacob Frey and District Attorney Mike Freeman to charge the officers who killed George Floyd.Further charities and organisations to engage with:
- Support the Black Visions Collective, an organisation working specifically on racial justice within the state of Minnesota.
Further charities and organisations to engage with: