R&B Artist Kelela Perfectly Explains Racism, White Privilege and How To Take Down Ignorance

​'People who are not black need to be listening right now.'


In the past week, two unarmed black men have died at the hands of US police officers.

Last week, a 40-year-old pastor named Terence Crutcher was shot dead by police in Tulsa, Oklahoma and on Tuesday, 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott was fatally shot in the car park of an apartment complex in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

In the days that followed, protests have broken out across North Carolina, with police using tear gas to break up the crowd and Governor Pat McCrory declaring a state of emergency. 


In the wake of the incidents, L.A-based R&B artist Kelela has posted two emotional letters to Instagram, explaining to white people how to respond to the pain and anger felt by black people around the world. 


She opens her letter with: '[I'm] tired of white people telling me what I should and shouldn't feel. People who are not black need to be listening (not talking or making suggestions) right now.'

'Giving your opinion at the onset of a conversation with a black person is rooted in the notion that we (black folk) aren't able to analyze and deconstruct our relates — that we haven't though long and hard about how to address racism.'

Over it 🙄

A post shared by KELELA (@kelelam) on

Her thoughts echo the sentiments of Solange Knowles, who recently wrote an essay discussing 'white spaces' following a racist attack during a concert. 

Over it Pt. 2

A post shared by KELELA (@kelelam) on

But, this isn't the first time the singer has spoken out against white privilege.

In March, she told The Fader

'We have not dealt with racism on a global scale; we have not dealt with white privilege. White privilege is a term that needs to be used by a lot of people in this world, and it's not used by anyone. I think it's asking the question to white people, 'Are you with us? Or are you not with us?'

At this time, it's important to remember that ignorance is not founded in a lack of intelligence but of understanding. 

It's everyone's duty to do better. 

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