Lorde Says "White Silence" Is "Damaging" Right Now in Message to Fans After George Floyd's Death

In a message to fans, Lorde condemned police brutality following George Floyd's death and shared her efforts to be an ally.

By Samantha Schnurr Jun 01, 2020 9:29 PMTags

In the wake of George Floyd's death, Lorde is trying to do her part as an ally. 

According to Billboard, the Grammy-winning songstress issued a message to fans via email over the weekend, in which she condemned police brutality and described her efforts to help fight against it. 

"I've been following this week's events in the States from New Zealand. I also attended the peaceful protest in Auckland today to support the Black Lives Matter movement," the 23-year-old performer said. 
"One of the things I find most frustrating about social media is performative activism, predominantly by white celebrities (like me)," Lorde continued. "It's hard to strike a balance between self-serving social media displays and true action. But part of being an ally is knowing when to speak and when to listen, and I know that white silence right now is more damaging than someone's wack protest selfie. So let me be clear: this ongoing systemic brutality by police is racist, it's sickening, and it's unsurprising."

The singer went on to proclaim her support to her listeners who have been affected by this injustice and whose culture has informed her music. 

Celebrities Speak Out in Response to George Floyd's Death

"As someone who has made art directly inspired by and in conversation with hip hop, it's my responsibility to let you know that I'm here," she wrote. "I extend that sentiment to all my fellow musicians and producers who have tightened a snare to make it more trap, who've drawn a pattern of high hats in ProTools because they heard something similar in a hip hop song and it made them feel big and cool. We have a responsibility to let our affected listeners know that we're with them when it's hard too, not just when it's easy. Not just when we benefit. We see you, and we're here."

LAVA/Republic Records

As the letter continued, Lorde included not only her verbal support, but also her tangible actions. "I'm still learning the nuances of all this. I'm still working out how to practice activism while refraining from social media. Numbers at protests and mass gatherings speak loudly, hopefully lead to eventual legislative change, so I do that," she wrote. "Money helps concretely, paying things like bail funds to free unjustly held activists, so I do that. I don't feel completely comfortable posting donation links asking you for money—I don't know what kind of financial situation you're in right now. It's on me to use my resources—resources you gave me, directly or indirectly—to donate on your behalf."

The performer concluded her email with a message focused on her "black and brown listeners" and a link to a petition calling for the police officers in Floyd's arrest to be fired and for charges to be filed. "I'm so sorry this is your reality, that you haven't had a choice but to be defined by this, to give it your energy. I'm aware of that tax on you," she wrote. "I hope white people you know are doing what they can to ease your load. And I really, really hope systems will change to better protect you.

"Black Lives Matter," she signed off. "L."

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