Lizzo Reminds Black Fans It's Not Their Job To Educate White People On Race

by Mary Kate McGrath
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During an emotional message about the protests in Minneapolis, which took over the streets the weekend after a white police officer knelt on George Floyd until he died, Lizzo urged white fans to speak up amid the growing Black Lives Matter protests in a video message. In the same video, the singer, who lived and worked in Minneapolis early in her music career, emphasized to Black activists that it is not the responsibility of the oppressed to educate white people.

"It is not your job, or anyone's job, to educate people on racism," Lizzo said in her message, posted to Instagram on Saturday, May 30. "Google is available, there are books available. Don't waste your time. If they don't believe what you're saying at this point, they don't want to believe it."

In addition to encouraging fans to donate to bail funds and committing to help rebuild the Black-owned businesses located in Minneapolis, Lizzo highlighted several ways non-Black fans can use their platforms and privilege to confront white supremacy. "PoC who are not Black, white people, influencers, celebrities, you guys have seen this, you are upset, you are outraged," she said. "So speak on it, show up, donate to some of these places, and realize that police brutality is not solely a Black issue. ... It is happening all the time, everywhere, this is your problem, too."

Lizzo included links to several key organizations in her caption, writing, "We Love You Minneapolis. Rest in Power George Floyd." The singer linked to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, which helps bail out protesters, as well as We Love Lake Street, an organization supporting small businesses and community organizations in Minneapolis, and Black Visions Collective, which aims to defund the police and reinvest in community resources such as affordable housing, mental health services, and youth services.

On Sunday, Lizzo posted another video on Instagram, reiterating that Black people are not responsible for "educating people on racism or white privilege." She also encouraged white people to speak up, saying in part, "As long as you stay silent you are a part of the problem. I know you're not racist — but you have to be more than that, you have to be anti-racist."

The Cuz I Love You singer also proposed several strategies to ensure progress is made in the future, writing in the caption that "big companies and celebrities" who showed support on social media should use their platform "to let activists and protesters speak and be seen." Lizzo also hoped the outrage will result in "positive influence in our local government." And finally, she asked, "those in power" to defund the police and do the crucial work to dismantle "their racist culture and corrupt power structures."