Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds opened their wallets to contribute $200,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund amid the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody on May 25. Six days after Floyd's death, which occurred after fired officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes, the Hollywood couple shared the news of their donation on social media.
The couple, who share three daughters, addressed their white privilege right off the bat, explaining, "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." The two continued that they are "ashamed" that in the past they allowed themselves to "uninformed about how deeply rooted systemic racism is."
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It was their desire to educate themselves about the experience of Black people and their "own complicity" that led them to make the donation to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, which they said is "just a start." Moving forward, the two dedicated themselves to using their "privilege and platform to be an ally. And play a part in easing pain for so many who feel as though this grand experiment is failing them."
"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," the couple continued. "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."
After protests calling for justice in Floyd's death, Chauvin and the three other officers involved with his arrest were fired and arrested themselves. Chauvin is facing second-degree murder charges, while the other officers have been charged with aiding and abetting murder.
No charges have been brought against the three officers involved in the death of Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman shot eight times while she slept when officers entered her home in Louisville on March 13 on a no-knock search warrant as part of a mistaken drug raid. Officers Jon Mattingly, Myles Cosgrove, and Brett Hankison have been placed on administrative leave, but none have been arrested or charged in the death of the award-winning EMT.