Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds and his wife, actress Blake Lively, are donating $200K to the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). The very charitable donation is being made in support of the ongoing protest across the U.S. over the death of George Floyd, an African-American man who was seen on camera dying while in police custody, despite pleas for help. The incident has sparked reactions ranging for awareness and altruism to outright rage and violence, and it appears that Reynolds and Lively are adding themselves to the list of celebrities vowing in both public word and action to make a difference.
In a long statement posted over Instagram, Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively state that, "we contributed $200,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. We stand in awe of this organization and its leader, Sherrilyn Ifill. And this is just a start." That statement comes after a much longer and deeper message from the celebrity couple, about their growing awareness about racism and injustice, as both famous people, individuals, and parents. You can read the full statement, below:
"We've never had to worry about preparing our kids for different rules of law or what might happen if we're pulled over in the car. We don't know what it's like to experience that life day in and day out. We can't imagine feeling that kind of fear and anger. We're ashamed that in the past we've allowed ourselves to be uninformed about how deeply rooted systemic racism is.
We want to educate ourselves about other people's experiences and talk to our kids about everything, all of it… especially our own complicity. We talk about our bias, blindness and our own mistakes. We look back and see so many mistakes which have led us to deeply examine who we are and who we want to become.
We are committed to raising our kids so they never grow up feeding this insane pattern and so they'll do their best to never inflict pain on another being consciously or unconsciously. It's the least we can do to honor not just George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and Eric Garner, but all the black men and women who have been killed when a camera wasn't rolling.
Last week we contributed $200,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. We stand in awe of this organization and its leader, Sherrilyn Ifill. And this is just a start. We also pledge to star educated and vote in every local election. We want to know the positions of school board nominees, sheriffs, mayors, councilpersons. We want to know their positions on justice. But mainly, we want to use our privilege and platform to be an ally. And to play a part in easing pain for so many who feels as though this grand experiment is failing them."
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A link to the NAACP page was included, with further instruction that there are "petitions to sign, representatives to call, money to be donated, calls to action, or simply information to better understand the issues and how each and every one of us can help."