Angelina Jolie shared her thoughts about systemic racism as the mother of adopted children of color.
The “Maleficent” actress addressed the ongoing racial tension and protests in the U.S. that were sparked by the May 25 death of George Floyd while in police custody. Since then, demonstrations have sprung up across the nation as people call for police reform and highlight systemic racism.
Speaking to Harper’s Bazaar UK about the issue, Jolie mentioned her 15-year-old daughter, Zahara, whom she adopted with ex-husband Brad Pitt from Ethiopia, and how she worries if the system will mistreat her at some point.
“There are more than 70 million people who have had to flee their homes worldwide because of war and persecution — and there is racism and discrimination in America," Jolie said. "A system that protects me but might not protect my daughter — or any other man, woman or child in our country based on skin color — is intolerable."
She added: “We need to progress beyond sympathy and good intentions to laws and policies that actually address structural racism and impunity. Ending abuses in policing is just the start. It goes far beyond that, to all aspects of society, from our education system to our politics."
The actress, who serves as Special Envoy of the High Commissioner for Refugees for the United Nations, spoke about the protests directly, praising organizers for fighting for change.
“The way people are rising. Saying that they are tired with the excuses and half-measures, and showing solidarity with each other in the face of inadequate responses by those in power. It feels like the world is waking up, and people are forcing a deeper reckoning within their societies,” she said when asked if she sees anything encouraging coming out of this historic moment. “It is time to make changes in our laws and our institutions – listening to those who have been most affected and whose voices have been excluded.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Jolie discussed how she’s spending her time in coronavirus quarantine with her kids. The star explained that she’s doing everything she can to calm herself in an effort to keep her kids calm.
“Like most parents, I focus on staying calm so my children don’t feel anxiety from me on top of all they are worrying about," she explained. "I put all my energy into them. During the lockdown, Vivienne’s bunny passed away during a surgery, and we adopted two sweet little ones who are disabled. They need to be in pairs. They are so gentle and it has helped to focus on their care with her at this time."