Images of police brutality against African Americans have been circulating over the past week, shedding light on the daily violence and injustice black people in across the U.S face. A viral video of the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, which was released on May 25th, is considered the tipping point causing outrage and erupting protests all across the country.
Celebrities have been using their platforms and voices to speak out about their feelings, including Selena Gomez, Rihanna, Jay Z, and Beyoncé.
Selena Gomez took to Instagram to share an image from the protests in which people were holding “Black Lives Matter" signs with the caption, “I have spent the last 24 hours just trying to process this all. Nothing anyone says can take back what has happened. But we can and must all make sure to take action. Too many black lives have been taken from us for far too long. They deserve better. They deserve to be heard,” and added the hashtags, “#blacklivesmatter #justiceforgeorgefloyd #icantbreathe.”
Joining Selena, a number of celebrities also shared the same values about the current social situation as they shared their feelings of grief and anger about the racism that exists and threatens the lives of people of color across America.
Beyoncé, who rarely makes social media appearances, also posted a video to Instagram in which she addresses her followers and fans to seek justice for George Floyd and the many others who also suffered the same fate at the hands of the law. The former Destiny’s Child member stated, “We all witnessed his murder in broad daylight. We’re broken and we’re disgusted. We cannot normalize this pain. I’m not only speaking to people of color; if you’re white, black, brown, or anything in-between, I’m sure you feel hopeless by the racism going on in America right now. No more senseless killing of human beings, no more seeing people of color as less than human. We can no longer look away. George is all of our family in humanity. He’s our family because he’s a fellow American.”
Her husband, fellow musician, Jay Z also took to Instagram to talk about his feelings and obtaining justice for George Floyd through a conversation with a governor in Minneapolis. In a post on his business page, @rocnation, the “Hard Knock Life” rapper wrote, “After our very earnest conversation, thank you Governor Walz for doing what’s right and calling in Attorney General Keith Ellison to take over the George Floyd case.” He continued, and felt like he could relate to the situation by saying, “Earlier today, Governor Walz mentioned having a human conversation with me – a dad and a black man in pain…and I am not the only one. Now I, along with an entire country in pain, call upon AG Ellison to do the right thing and prosecute all those responsible for the murder of George Floyd to the fullest extent of the law. This is just the first step.” Anguish was felt in Jay Z’s words as he concluded, “I am more determined to fight for justice than any fight my would-be oppressors may have. I prevail on every politician, prosecutor and officer in the country to have the courage to do what is right. Have the courage to look at us as humans, dads, brothers, sisters and mothers in pain and look at yourselves.”
In Rihanna’s Instagram post, she conveyed anger, disgust and disbelief towards the officers who had been responsible for the death of Floyd as parts of her caption read, “Watching my people get murdered and lynched day after day pushed me to a heavy place in my heart,” and continuing with “If intentional MURDER is the fit consequence for “drugs” or “resisting arrest”…then what’s the fit consequence for MURDER?! #GeorgeFloyd #AhmaudArbery #BreonnaTaylor."