The future-R&B singer shares a powerful statement about racism and how people who do not experience it can help dismantle bigotry.
Kelela has shared a lengthy, frustrated statement on Instagram about how to effectively fight against white supremacy, whether it’s learning, as an ally, to shut up and listen or how to proactively talk to other white people about their racism.
Her statement comes on the heels of the killing of two unarmed black men by police and the continued backlash San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick receives for his protest of the National Anthem at football games.
“People who are not black need to be listening (not talking or making suggestions) right now. White people: ask your close black friends how you can support them…ask them what they need. If they’re over answering that question, Google ‘white privilege’ and learn about it.
“Giving your opinion at the onset of a conversation with a black person is rooted in the notion that we (black folks) aren’t able to analyze and deconstruct our realities – that we haven’t thought long and hard about how to address racism.”
That last comment reminds of Solange Knowles’ recent essay about feeling unsafe in white spaces after having reportedly having trash thrown at her at a Kraftwerk concert. (Secretly Group publicist Michelle Kambasha recently published an excellent follow-up piece called ‘Why I belong as a black woman in the white world of indie’ for The Guardian, as well.)
Kelela concludes: “I think it’s time for white people to own the about-face and complacency they are a part of every day. One of my mentors (that happens to be white) once said that racism isn’t POC’s problem to solve. That if we want white supremacy to be over, white people would have to give up the power/privilege.”
Read her full statement below.