Actress Katherine Heigl has admitted to living in her own “white bubble”, and says she is struggling to find the right way to explain racism to her eight-year-old black daughter Adalaide.
Heigl, 41, shares three children with husband Josh Kelley, including Adalaide, who is adopted. Heigl and Kelley adopted Adalaide in 2012.
Heigl took to social media to share her restlessness and anger over the inequality, particularly as a mother of a black child, reports eonline.com.
“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, adding: “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?”
She 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.”
She wrote the lengthy note as a response to Floyd’s death and growing protests against the racial injustice.
Heigl reflected on the impact of the moment 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.
The actress continued: “It has taken me far too long to truly internalize the reality of the abhorrent, evil despicable truth of racism. 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 colour 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.”
Floyd, aged 46, died last week after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, held him down with a knee on his neck though he repeatedly pleaded, “I can’t breathe”, and “please, I can’t breathe”. Chauvin was arrested and charged with three-degree murder and manslaughter.
Heigl said: “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. 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.”