Evanna Lynch has vowed to ‘show up and spend more time listening to people of color’.
The vegan Harry Potter star made the comments in a long Instagram post shared over the weekend, amid ongoing protests against racism.
In the post, Lynch describes how she will start actively being more vocal on these issues, and shared resources with her 2.5 million followers so they can do the same.
‘It was quite shocking’
She wrote: “This weekend has been a lot. A few days ago I tweeted about a victory within the animal rights movement and in doing so was called out for being silent about the rights of black people. It was quite shocking because a) animal rights is an intersectional movement and b) it felt absurd that people should accuse me of being on the side of racists.”
Lynch says she had ‘a series of reactions’ – crying, calling friends who would ‘tell me that I am a good person’, deleting social media apps, ranting about how it’s impossible to be educated on every social justice issue. She also wrote ‘long, detailed explanations of why and how working towards animal rights benefits marginalized people as much as the animals’.
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These are the sources I’m starting with to learn how to be an ally for my Black, Indigenous and People of Colour friends: 1?? Reading ‘Me and White Supremacy’ by @laylafsaad . If you’re a white person who is uncomfortable talking about racism and white supremacy, buy the book rn and START THERE. I just started this morning. It’s a practical work book with prompts to confront your own white privilege. It’s very challenging because she talks about ‘your racism’ and ‘your white privilege’ and I keep bristling and going ‘I’m not going to take ownership of those horrible terms!’ which is of course my egoic belief of ‘I’m a good person’, blocking me from doing the actual work that I so need to do. She also introduced me to ‘white fragility’ (aka. running away and crying when someone calls out your inaction) which I absolutely use to avoid dealing with situations and which isn’t useful, and ‘tone policing’ which I realised I do with vegan activists all the time and I need to rethink that. 2?? Watching @NovaReidofficial’s TedTalk and take one of her anti-racism online courses that teach us how to unlearn white supremacist conditioning and be better allies to BIPOC. I just discovered her work today and am going to take a course. 3?? Reading @glennondoyle’s chapter on Racists in her memoir, Untamed. I remember reading this a couple months ago and going ‘wow America be crazy with their blatant, unchecked racism’ completely missing the point of the chapter that ALL white people have work to do because white supremacy is in the air we breathe. This chapter so brilliantly discusses the uncomfortableness white people meet when trying to show up and how we have to sit with that and push through. She also introduced me to the idea of performative vs transformational activism. I’m sorry for not acknowledging that I’m part of the problem until now. I’m going to correct that. Here to listen to BIPOC voices. #BlackLivesMatter.
‘The privilege of turning away’
Lynch said it was when she decided to detract her attention by reading a fantasy book that the ‘penny dropped’.
She wrote: “I had the privilege of turning away from that ugliness if I felt like it. I could turn off the racism in a way that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color never fully can. I was avoiding confronting the actual issues being discussed and highlighted because I didn’t want to confront my own complicity in white supremacy and racism.”
She added that she had been ‘scared to post anything about this’ before as she ‘didn’t know enough about the movement’, and did not want to ‘add further to the hurt and trauma…by careless words’ but that she plans to ‘show up and spend more time listening to people of color ‘.
“I’m sorry for not acknowledging that I’m part of the problem until now, I’m going to correct that. Here to listen to BIPOC voices,” she concluded.