On Saturday night, CNN anchor Don Lemon took celebrities to task when he called them out by name for “doing nothing” during such a critical period in our country. He called out several celebrities including Oprah Winfrey, Drake, Tyler Perry and even Tracee Ellis Ross for not helping the young people who took to the streets to protest the police brutality and unfair killing of several African Americans. While many celebrities have been vocal about their angst and anxiety with the current situation, the news anchor calling out celebrities by name rattled quite a few of them.
Following Lemon’s powerful monologues, Ross took to her Instagram to post a powerful message about racism and promoting the Black Lives Matter movement and raising funds for it. On Sunday evening, Ross posted a powerful quote by Scott Woods about racism. The quote reads, “The problem is that white people see racism as conscious hate, when racism is bigger than that. Racism is a complex system of social and political levers and pulleys set up generations ago to continue working on the behalf of whites at other people’s expense, whether whites know/like it or not. Racism is an insidious cultural disease. It is so insidious that it doesn’t care if you are a white person who likes black people; it’s still going to find a way to infect how you deal with people who don’t look like you. Yes, racism looks like hate, but hate is just one manifestation. Privilege is another. Access is another. Ignorance is another. Apathy is another. And so on. So while I agree with people who say no one is born racist, it remains a powerful system that we’re immediately born into. It’s like being born into air: you take it in as soon as you breathe. It’s not a cold that you can get over. There is no anti-racist certification class. It’s a set of socioeconomic traps and cultural values that are fired up every time we interact with the world. It is a thing you have to keep scooping out of the boat of your life to keep from drowning in it. I know it’s hard work, but it’s the price you pay for owning everything.”
She captioned the quote with her feelings about the ongoing protests and the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Tony McDade, among many other African Americans. She wrote, “There are so many feelings surging around in my head and my heart right now. Like all of us, I am grieving and heartbroken, sad, outraged and trying to take right action.
I recognize the power of my platform, but also the limits of my knowledge so I am mindful of what I say, how I speak and what I post. I always want to be helpful, effective and supportive, if I can be.” She continued, “What is clear is that systems and hearts must change. I want justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and so many others and for that to happen, we must all take part. Diversity of approach, thought and resources is what I believe is required in these difficult, scary and hard times. Everyone must show up in their own most effective way. I am finding mine.”
“As always, I love us. I love my people. I know our beauty and our power and I want us to be safe, I want our bodies to be safe and I want us to be free and to be treated with the dignity that we deserve,” concluded the starlet, while asking her fans to donate to Black Lives Matter fund. Several fans began wondering if Tracee was really extending her support to the movement, or was she doing it because Lemon called her out. A fan commented, “Are you speaking up because Don Lenon told you to? What else are you doing?” Another fan wondered, “It took Don Lemon calling you out for you to really speak out and we still don’t know if you gave.” Another said, “Celebrities making Instagram statements ain’t enough for me. If y’all really with us and about it imam need to see y’all out here with us!”