Reese Witherspoon is encourageing parents everywhere to have conversations with their kids about racism following the death of George Floyd. The Little Fires Everywhere actress recently did so with her youngest child, 7-year-old Tennessee, and she shared the experience in an Instagram post on Thursday, recognising the effect these tragedies have on people of colour in particular.
"Being a white mother trying to explain racism and bigotry to her white son, who did not understand why anyone would treat another human being that way, was heartbreaking," Reese wrote in a lengthy caption. "But not nearly as heartbreaking as being a victim of one of these senseless, violent, unconscionable crimes. Not nearly as heartbreaking as being one of the families who have experienced loss and harassment and discrimination daily. Not nearly as heartbreaking as being a mother who lives in fear of what will happen to her children in this world."
"Please talk to your children about racism, privilege, bigotry and hate."
The mother of three went on to describe how growing up in the church, it was hard for her to understand how people could commit such awful crimes against others after being taught that "we were all the same in the eyes of God" — and she doesn't want her kids, or any kids for that matter, to experience that. "We have to be held accountable for what is happening in this country," Reese wrote. "What happened to George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery - and countless others - can not go without justice. Please talk to your children about racism, privilege, bigotry and hate. If you aren't talking to them, someone else is."
If you're not sure where or how to start your own conversation, here are a few expert tips for talking to your children about race.