Not All White Women: Lady Gaga, Selena Gomez and Lili Reinhart Devote Their Instagram Feeds to Black Activists

Riverdale star Lili Reinhart, left, Lady Gaga, and Selena Gomez
Riverdale star Lili Reinhart, left, Lady Gaga, and Selena Gomez
Photo: Frazer Harrison (Getty Images), Tibrina Hobson (Getty Images), Presley Ann (Getty Images for Haus Laboratories)

There are Karens, Beckys and Amys, and then, there are Lilis, Gagas and Selenas. Doing their part to both support the Black Lives Matter movement and set a much-needed example for problematic white women everywhere, the latter are currently using their celebrity status to center the voices of black activists, handing over unprecedented access to their Instagram feeds.

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After tweeting messages of solidarity on Monday, on #BlackoutTuesday Hustlers and Riverdale co-star Lili Reinhart (Betty) decided to do more than just post a black box, asking for assistance in locating black influencers and activists she could feature on her Instagram feed, where her current following is 24 million.

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“I want to open up my Instagram to any influencer from the black community who wants to say a few words or share their thoughts,” she tweeted on Tuesday, later clarifying that she was seeking activists. “I will do an Instagram live with them and they can have my platform to speak about this issue. Any requests? Who should I reach out to?”

On Wednesday, an actress-singer named Stefani Germanotta—better known as Lady Gaga—made a similar effort. Announcing that she’d made donations to multiple black-focused organizations, including Loveland Foundation, Black Lives Matter, Campaign Zero, Marsha P. Johnson Institute, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Color of Change, Black Futures Lab, Fair Fight, National Lawyers Guild, and Community Justice Action Fund, the Grammy, Golden Globe and Academy Award winner wrote:

Because of the voices of the people, a principle this country was founded upon, now all four officers have been arrested for the racist and brutal murder of George Floyd. I hope that all cops who have engaged in or are engaging in any racist activity are met with the highest form of law & order, although we know the law & order in this country is predicated upon racism and is itself corrupt. We are once again witnessing the devastating and overwhelming evidence of police brutality and prejudicial responses from prosecutors and local officials. I also hope for the families of all Black lives who have been taken from us to see justice and healing though I believe many of us know we sadly cannot promise that.

I applaud the brave citizens of this nation that are speaking up, and I support the unsupported voices of the Black community. I wish for their voices to be heard loudly and clearly, and that they feel loved and amplified by allies. I know you know how much I believe in kindness. The spirit of this movement is intrinsically rooted in a universal dream of kindness and it’s precisely that same kindness that I am wishing for those that are suffering tonight. I have endless compassion in my heart as we struggle as one nation to find bold and effective solutions to an insidious and systemic problem that’s plagued our country since its birth.

Here are some of the important advocacy organizations I’m donating to in support of this continuous fight for racial and social justice. I encourage you to learn about the important work they do and how you can get involved. Black Lives Matter.

Gaga subsequently tweeted that she’d also be donating her Instagram feed—over 42 million followers—to each of the beneficiaries.

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As a biracial Latina, Selena Gomez, who considers herself “a proud third-generation American-Mexican” may not fit neatly into the “white woman” mold, but she is nevertheless using her white-passing privilege for good. On Thursday, the singer posted painter Charly Palmer’s poignant “Speak With Confidence” as she let her 179 million Instagram followers know that they could expect to see more black images and voices on her feed in the days to come, writing:

I have been struggling to know the right things to say to get the word out about this important moment in history. After thinking about how best to use my social media, I decided that we all need to hear more from Black voices. Over the next few days I will be highlighting influential leaders and giving them a chance to take over my Instagram so that they can speak directly to all of us. We all have an obligation to do better and we can start by listening with an open heart and mind. ⠀

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Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza was the first to be featured on Gomez’s feed on Friday; according to UK newspaper The Standard, Gomez’s highly anticipated beauty brand, Rare Beauty, has also donated to The Bail Project and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

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So, while there will likely always be a type of white woman who won’t hesitate to threaten black lives by calling the cops, others are using their privilege and platforms to call for the protection of black lives and amplification of our causes, and that’s the momentum we love to see from this deeply fraught moment in American history. Because honestly, it shouldn’t be newsworthy to say “black lives matter.”

Maiysha Kai is Managing Editor of The Glow Up, co-host of The Root Presents: It's Lit! podcast, and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door...May I borrow some sugar?

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DISCUSSION

maiyshakai
Maiysha Kai

It’s very clear (and a little sad) that some of y’all don’t know (or are pretending not to know) that Latinx people can be white, white-passing or Afro-Latinx (see: Ted Cruz, Cameron Diaz, etc.). In fact, they can also engage in anti-black racism. Whether you consider her white-passing, what we know is Selena Gomez is most definitely not black, and has been white-adjacent the entirety of her career. So yes, she does deserve mention for the positive way in which she’s choosing to engage in this conversation because that solidarity shouldn’t be presumed, nor is it guaranteed.

Google University remains free, Folks. Please educate yourselves before you try to check someone else.