Reese Witherspoon urges parents to talk to their kids about racism after George Floyd's death

The actress took to social media to advocate for followers to facilitate complex but important conversations with their children.

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/ Source: TODAY
By Alyssa Newcomb

Reese Witherspoon shared the important conversation she had with her son, Tennessee, and encouraged other white parents to talk to their children about racism, privilege and hate after the death of George Floyd.

"Last night at dinner, my 7-year-old asked why all the grown ups were so upset. We spoke to him about what happened to George Floyd," she shared on Instagram.

Witherspoon, 44, said it was "heartbreaking" trying to explain racism and bigotry to her son who "did not understand why anyone would treat another human being that way."

However, she also acknowledged the heartbreak she felt as a white mother having a discussion about racism with her white son was not "nearly as heartbreaking as being one of the families who have experienced loss and harassment and discrimination daily."

"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," Witherspoon said. "If you aren’t talking to them, someone else is."

Witherspoon shared the story of talking to her son, along with a call to action that reads: "Don't ignore something because it makes you uncomfortable."

Her post was shared by Pink, who is mother to Willow, who turns 9 next Tuesday, and son Jameson, 3.

Whether it's talking to children about racism and bigotry, joining protesters or donating to fundraisers, other celebrities are also raising their voices about the injustices black people face in the United States.

Beyoncé issued an impassioned plea to her Instagram followers to sign a petition to encourage charges be brought against the other three officers who were at the scene when Floyd said he could not breathe.

"We need justice for George Floyd. We all witnessed his murder in broad daylight. We are broken and we are disgusted and can not normalize this behavior," she said in a video. "I am not only speaking to people of color. if you are white, brown, black or anything in between, I am sure you feel hopeless by the racism going on in America right now."

Steve Carell, Don Cheadle and Seth Rogen were among the celebrities who shared screenshots on Twitter confirming their donations to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, which helps provide bail for low income people.

Floyd's family has also set up a GoFundMe, which has raised more than $3.8 million. The money will be used to cover funeral expenses, counseling, travel and lodging for court proceedings and to support Floyd's children, according to his brother, Philonese Floyd.

"What we saw on that tape left us shell shocked; a white Minneapolis police officer kneeling directly on my brother's neck, obstructing his ability to breathe," he wrote.

Jamie Foxx traveled to Minneapolis and spoke at a rally for Floyd on Friday.

"This is the toughest time when things like this happen,” Foxx said at a press conference. "All I wanted to do was let you know that we’re not afraid to stand... we’re not afraid of the moment."