Katherine Heigl Struggles to "Explain the Unexplainable" to Her Black Daughter After George Floyd's Death

Katherine Heigl has spoken out about the struggle she feels to explain the state of America to her black daughter.

By Samantha Schnurr Jun 01, 2020 6:09 PMTags

In the wake of George Floyd's deathKatherine Heigl is expressing her rage. 

On Sunday, amid nationwide protest over Floyd's death and racial injustice, Heigl took to social media to share her restlessness and anger over the inequality, particularly as a mother of a black child. Heigl and husband Josh Kelley adopted their now-8-year-old daughter Adalaide domestically in 2012. The actress is also mom to 11-year-old daughter Naleigh, who they adopted from South Korea in 2009, and 3-year-old son Joshua.  

"I've debated posting this. I don't typically use my platform or social media to say much when it comes to the state of our country," Heigl began. "I keep most of those thoughts to myself. I act quietly and behind the scenes. I let those with far more experience, education and eloquence be the voices for change. But I can't sleep. And when I do I wake with a single thought in my head. How will I tell Adalaide? How will I explain the unexplainable? How can I protect her? How can I break a piece of her beautiful divine spirit to do so?"

The star continued, "I can't sleep. I lay in my bed in the dark and weep for every mother of a beautiful divine black child who has to extinguish a piece of their beloved baby's spirit to try to keep them alive in a country that has too many sleeping soundly. Eyes squeezed shut. Images and cries and pleas and pain banished from their minds. White bubbles strong and intact. But I lay awake."

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Heigl continued to reflect on the impact this moment has had on her "white bubble." "Finally. Painfully. My white bubble though always with me now begins to bleed. Because I have a black daughter. Because I have a Korean daughter. Because I have a Korean sister and nephews and niece," she wrote.  

"It has taken me far too long to truly internalize the reality of the abhorrent, evil despicable truth of racism," the star acknowledged. "My whiteness kept it from me. My upbringing of inclusivity, love and compassion seemed normal. I thought the majority felt like I did. I couldn't imagine a brain that saw the color of someone's skin as anything but that. Just a color. I was naive. I was childish. I was blind to those who treated my own sister differently because of the shape of her beautiful almond eyes. Or her thick gorgeous hair. Or her golden skin. I was a child. For too long. And now I weep. Because what should have changed by now, by then, forever ago still is. Hopelessness is seeping in. Fear that there is nothing I can do, like a slow moving poison, is spreading through me."

As Heigl continued her public statement, the star shared her hopes for the fate of the police officers in Floyd's arrest, including Derek Chauvin, who was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter after he used his knee to pin Floyd down to the ground by his neck. 

"Then I look at my daughters. My sister. My nephews and niece. George Floyd. Ahmaud Arbery. Breonna Taylor. The hundreds, thousands millions more we haven't even heard about," she said. "I look and the fear turns to something else. The sorrow warms and then bursts into flames of rage. Rage."

"I'm not sure what most think justice looks like but right now, to me, it looks like a hard, ugly life in prison for Officer Chauvin and the others who just stood there. On their phone. I want them to pay," she continued. "I want that payment to be harsh. I want it to be a painful, irrevocable consequence for their evil acts and behaviors and for those consequences to scare the s--t out of every other racist still clinging to their small, stupid minded hate. The hate that soothes their weakness and cowardice. The hate that makes them feel powerful and in charge. The hate that distracts them from their meager-ness." 

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She told readers, "There may have been a time when I cared to try to change the mind of a racist. To show them through example and just the right words they are wrong. I don't care anymore. For their hearts or minds or souls. I don't care if they die with their ugliness stamped all over them. They can take this s--t to their maker and he can deal with them. What I want is for them all to be so scared by Officer Chauvin's consequences that they are afraid to breathe in the direction of a black man, woman or child. Let alone try to hurt them. I want them to shake in their beds at night for fear that they too could end up like Chauvin. I want him to be an example of what happens to a racist in this country."

She noted, "I am aware that this rage is not very Christian of me. Or is it? Jesus got pretty d--n mad at the temple. God brought the floods, the famine, the locust and the pillars of salt. Perhaps rage is part of the divine. Perhaps the heavens want our rage right now. Perhaps our rage is theirs. All I know is that I want it to end. Today. Forever. Whatever it takes."