Regina King recalls why her son’s driving lessons were different to those of his white friends

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Hollie Richardson
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Regina King on Black Lives Matter.

Regina King has shown support for the George Floyd protests while sharing a powerful example of why it is so important. 

Oscar-winner Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk, Watchmen) has just given an example of exactly how systemic racism and police brutality affects the lives of young black people. 

Speaking in an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Wednesday (3 June), the actor showed support for the protests over George Floyd’s death.

King also shared the conversations she has with her 24-year-old son about racial inequality, saying they are “ongoing” conversations that have always taken place in black households. 

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“You get to a place, especially when your children are at an age where they are looked at as adults, and the anger that they have – it just compounds, every time something like this happens”, she said. “[It’s] another moment that’s telling them they’re not worthy, they’re not valuable. Their lives aren’t valuable. Once they walk outside of the comfort of their home, the conversation shifts, every time.”

King added that “the conversation shifts” every time there’s a new story about police brutality because “you have to find a way to support their feelings and make sure that you are letting them know that you hear them and that you do mirror the same sentiment, but you don’t want them to do anything that’s going to put themselves in a situation that they may not come back home. They might not talk to you again. So it’s a constant conversation always.”

Award-winning actor has talked about how police brutality has affected her son's upbringing.

She then said things really “hit home” for her son when he was learning to drive, adding: “That’s when the conversation shifts again because you kind of have to make them very clear about what they’re supposed to do when they’re out in that car by themselves and are more than likely going to get pulled over just cause you’re a young black man.”

Describing how teaching her son about the police differs from how her white friends taught their children, she recalled a conversation with a white friend who had never before realised how different their experiences were. 

“When I was telling her about it, and it just never even dawned on her. And the reality that she doesn’t have to have that same conversation,” King said. “It brought a lot of stuff up for her.”

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We should all be educating ourselves more on systemic racism and challenging our different experiences. Stylist has rounded-up some of the UK anti-racism organisations and charities you can support. And here are some important podcasts which focus on compelling discussions around race in 2020.

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.

Support the Black Visions Collective, an organisation working specifically on racial justice within the state of Minnesota.

Further charities and organisations to engage with:

Black Lives Matter

Stand Against Racism & Inequality (SARI)

Color of Change

Movement for Black Lives

Stop Hate UK

Show Racism The Red Card

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