Ricky Martin, Chip & Joanna Gaines, more stars open up about fears, talking racism with kids
"Today" co-anchors Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb describe talking to their kids about the death of George Floyd in police custody. USA TODAY
Celebrities are opening up about how the death of George Floyd and other incidents of police brutality make them fearful as parents.
Ricky Martin is one of them.
"Obviously, kids ask questions about what's happening and you've just gotta be transparent," he said during an interview with USA TODAY Tuesday. "Give them love and answer with honesty – that's what we've been doing since Day 1."
Martin said he talks to his children about "similarities and differences" between people to encourage "a full spectrum of ideas."
"It's time to talk about injustice and how, because of the color of your skin, you're treated differently," he said. "I ask them every day, 'How do you feel?' And if they say 'good,' I say, 'That's not a feeling. Let's try again.' So they start recognizing the real meaning behind each emotion, and it's fantastic."
Martin is one of many celebrities who have spoken up about their children in relation to the protests sparked by Floyd's death and the Black Lives Matter movement as a whole.
Here's what else he and other celebrities are saying.
Chip and Joanna Gaines wonder if their kids should be raised to be 'color-blind'
Chip and Joanna Gaines brought their five children on Emmanuel Acho's YouTube series "Conversations with a Black Man" to ask him for advice on talking to their kids about race.
"I have heard other parents say they want to raise their kids (to be) color-blind. In your opinion, what's the best way to move forward?" Joanna asked.
"I think that it's best that we raise our kids to see color, because there's a beauty in color and there's a beauty in culture," the former NFL player replied. "If we don't expose our children to different colors … as a white kid becomes an adult, he won't be able to decipher the difference between a Black man that's a threat and a Black man that's just Black."
Chip and Joanna's 10-year-old daughter, Emmie, had this question for Acho: "Are you afraid of white people?"
"I'm not afraid of white people, I'm just cautious," Acho replied. He explained his feelings with a metaphor about how both electricity and water are both "necessary for life" and can co-exist, but "if those two have a negative reaction, it could be lethal."
Acho ended the video responding to a question that Drake, 15, asked, about whether there is hope for the future. "I would say 'absolutely,'" Acho said, explaining that it's ongoing dialogue like the one happening on his show that makes him hopeful.
'Our whole show is different': The Talk" June 4, the "CBS This Morning" co-host, 65, got emotional while recalling the broadcast she made about Floyd when his story first started making headlines.
"I start thinking about all kinds of things about that video. That’s what’s making me so emotional, that his last words were 'Mom,' 'Mama.' This is what’s getting me," King said. "It goes to the primal instinct that we all have, because your mother is your ultimate protector and his mother died two years ago. … We didn’t even know that at the time. When I got emotional, I didn’t know that. But we know that now."
King also said she worries "a lot about (the) safety" of her son.
"My son is 33 years old, and I'm worried about him, saying, 'Will, please don't walk Scott, please don't take him for long walks, everything is so volatile,' " King explained. "He lives in the Santa Monica area, close to there, so he can hear the police choppers and he can hear the sounds of the city. And Santa Monica as you know is a very affluent town … but I'm worried about him walking his frickin’ dog. … I worry for him being a Black man, period. … Welcome to being Black in America. This is not new."
Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, died May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes. Former officer Derek Chauvin has since been charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter in Floyd's death. On June 10, friends, family, politicians and entertainers memorialized Floyd in his 真人百家家乐官网网站hometown of Houston before he was buried at a private ceremony next to his mother.
During an interview with USA TODAY on May 14, King also expressed worry about her son being judged unfairly or mistreated because of wearing face masks for coronavirus.
"Some people look at that mask and think that it could look threatening when really he’s just following the rules. … I said, 'I’d feel better if you put on like a pink bandanna or an orange bandanna.' He’s like, 'What difference does that make?' " she said. "But he went to Duke so he said it’s interesting, if he has on a Duke sweatshirt people sort of relax a little bit and if he has his dog and he has on a Duke sweatshirt, people are really friendly. There is a difference. Just anecdotally I’ve heard it not only from my son, but from other young black men in how you’re treated."
Wayne Brady feared for his daughter's life
"Whose Line Is It Anyway?" actor Wayne Brady, 48, recalled a time when he feared for his daughter's life when she accidentally set off the alarm to their 真人百家家乐官网网站home in Malibu.
"I freaked out, because I was giving her the code and for whatever reason she put it in wrong and it wouldn’t accept and then the alarm company (said), 'We are sending armed response right now,' " Brady said in an interview with "Access Hollywood" before adding that he was worried that in the heat of the moment, she wouldn't be able to explain to the officers what was going on.
Brady said he panicked and yelled at his daughter, who was 14 at the time, to run to her mother's house.
"I had an incident a couple years ago when I lived in Sherman Oaks when I locked myself out and I tripped my alarm," Brady said. "The fear that these people would hurt me as I'm outside my own house – because it's not unprecedented – I knew that I could handle that because I was a man. But I was fearful for my little girl."
Following that incident, Brady said he and his daughter had to "really talk about this."
"It's a conversation that I'm glad I had, because every young Black person that we send out into the world … we need to arm each other with knowledge, because it’s just necessary," Brady said.
Niecy Nash: 'Trying to figure out what to tell my own'
The actress and TV host Nash, 50, said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that she's been talked to Andy Cohen on "Watch What Happens Live" about having to explain the situation in the country to her 4-year-old son, Ace.
"He was a policeman on career day. So when my husband, Todd, was trying to explain to him what was going on and why everybody was so upset and what was happening with the police, Ace was confused," Burruss said. "He was like, 'So, the police are the bad guys?'
"Now isn't that crazy, to have to explain that to a 4-year-old? For you to be Black and have to worry about the police being the bad guys?" she said through tears. "That's an emotional thing for me."
Burruss also has a 17-year-old daughter, Riley, who is demonstrating by unfollowing friends on social media who are not showing that they're an ally with the Black community, Burruss told Cohen.
Kerry Washington: Teaching black history
The "Scandal" and "Little Fires Everywhere" star appeared on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" and talked about a change she would like to see in the education system.
She notes that most kids are introduced to race at Black History Month or through change-makers like Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. But she thinks it's important "to introduce the idea of race with a Black history that begins before teaching kids what Black people were told they couldn't do."
"There's Maasai Warriors and the kingdoms of Ghana and Queen Nefertiti and the pyramids of Egypt. But this idea of teaching kids that Black history and Black people were a lot of things before segregation and Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Movement," Washington said. "So that we understand the beautiful complexity and elegance and richness of Black history before refusing to be put in the back of the bus."
Robert De Niro: 'That has to change'
Actor De Niro appeared on "The Tonight Show" with Jimmy Fallon and talked about his experience raising six biracial children.
"When people say that they tell their kids when you're stopped by cops, 'Keep your hands on the steering wheel, don't make a sudden move, don't put your hands below, don't do this,' you understand that. That's scary. That has to change."
De Niro called for a change in a system to ensure that cops that lack sensitivity are not in law enforcement.
"Anybody who hurts another person for no reason other than self defense or the defense of other people around shouldn't be doing that job."
Fergie: 'It starts at 真人百家家乐官网网站home'
In a post to Instagram on June 14, singer Fergie, 45, shared a video of her and her son Axl, 6, holding protest signs while wearing face masks.
"It starts at 真人百家家乐官网网站home," she captioned the post with the hashtag #BLM and two heart emojis.
Fergie's sign reads "Racism Must Stop #BlackLivesMatter."
The pair are also surrounded by other young children holding signs in later clips as the Stevie Wonder song “Love’s in Need of Love Today" plays in the background.
Ciara: Praying for change
Ciara talked about raising a Black child May 31 on her Instagram.
"My sweet Baby Boy. I pray that when you get older A CHANGE will finally have come!!" she captioned a photo of her son, Future, 6. "I’m praying that the losses of our Black Kings and Queens won’t be in vain. Enough is Enough!"
Katherine Heigl: 'How can I protect her?'
Heigl took to Instagram to share her concerns and worries over her Black daughter, Adalaide, 8.
"How will I tell Adalaide? How will I explain the unexplainable? How can I protect her?" she wrote. "I lay in my bed in the dark and weep for every mother of a beautiful divine Black child who has to extinguish a piece of their beloved baby’s spirit to try to keep them alive in a country that has too many sleeping soundly."
January Jones: Promises to learn more
Jones posted a photo on June 1 of her son, 8-year-old Xander, holding up a sign that reads "I can't breathe" and a wearing a face mask with "Black Lives Matter" written on it. In her caption, she shared how she will educate her child.
"I promise that I will always continue to talk to my child about inequality. And I promise to do all I can to learn more," the actress, 42, wrote.
Kristen Bell: Have uncomfortable conversations
In an interview Wednesday with Channel Q, Bell also said she's raising her kids to understand racism.
"I've been having a lot of conversations with my children about what's happening right now because I think part of the problem's discomfort," she said. "Just because you're uncomfortable, cannot be the reason a solution is not found. But I think a lot of people are uncomfortable as to how to talk to kids about it."
She continued: "We had a very honest, hard, uncomfortable conversation about what was happening right now because I will raise anti-racists. I will talk about it with them forever."
Thomas Rhett and Lauren Akins: Not being silent
Rhett and Akins took to Instagram to speak out against racial injustices in the name of their daughter, Willa.
"As her mother, I want her to be VERY sure that I am HER mother who stands up not only for her, but for every single person who shares her beautiful brown skin," Akins wrote.
"As the father of a black daughter and also two white daughters – I have struggled with what to say today," Rhett echoed. "Because of that fear, it can be a lot easier to choose silence, but today I’m choosing to speak."
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