Hollywood couple Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds donate US$200,000 to fight police brutality and racism

Celebrity couple Blake Lively (left) and Ryan Reynolds reflected on the everyday effects of institutional racism. PHOTO: VANCITYREYNOLDS/INSTAGRAM

LOS ANGELES - As protests in the United States against police brutality, especially against African-American citizens, intensify, celebrities have been doing their part in supporting the cause and using their platforms to increase awareness.

On Sunday (May 31), celebrity couple Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds took to Instagram to announce they have donated US$200,000 (S$280,000) to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Legal Defense Fund (NAACP LDF).

The couple reflected on the everyday effects of institutional racism, both in the United States and beyond. They emphasised the importance of self-education and awareness, especially for those in positions of privilege, and pledged to be allies.

That included, they said, a commitment to "stay educated and vote in every local election", and to "play a part in easing pain for so many who feel as though this grand experiment is failing them."

On privilege, the couple said: "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 life day in and day out. We can't imagine feeling that kind of fear and anger. We're ashamed that in the past we've allowed ourselves to be uninformed about how deeply rooted systemic racism is".

"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 … especially our own complicity. We talk about our bias, blindness and our own mistakes. We look back and see so many mistakes which have led us to deeply examine who we are and who we want to become. They've led us to huge avenues of education".

They concluded their message by saying that they wanted to use their "privilege and platform to be an ally."

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