Lady Gaga calls out white people, denounces racism in acceptance speech
'I invite us to stop asking 'What is wrong with them?' and instead relentlessly ask, 'What is wrong with us?"
Grammy Award winner Lady Gaga was honored Sunday at the 2021 Beloved Community Awards organized by the King Center, and she decried white supremacy in her acceptance speech.
The singer/actress was awarded the Yolanda Denise King Higher Ground Award, named after the eldest daughter of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King. eldest daughter.
The award specifically recognized Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, which provides resources to marginalized people with mental health needs.
In her seven-minute-long message, Lady Gaga dedicated “this award to Black, Brown and indigenous people, triumphant people, whose resilience is the life force of every beloved community in this country.”
“Black, Brown and indigenous people continue to thrive in the midst of systemic oppression, thrive with radical joy, unapologetically creating full and beautiful lives despite the systems of white supremacy that are intended to keep them from doing so,” she continued.
“Black lives matter. Black life matters. Blackness matters. Black joy matters,” said Gaga. “White people, I believe that Black life represents the best of our nation, and as white people, I believe we have a responsibility to unlearn, to accept the honest truth about the history of our country, admit that white supremacy makes us unhealthy and change our own behaviors to contribute to a world where freedom is real for everyone.”
“Systems of white supremacy were designed by humans,” she explained. “They are literally socially constructed, which means they can be dismantled by humans. I believe that one way freedom can be possible is when white people accept systems of oppression serve us while literally taking the lives of people of color.”
The pop star accepted the award virtually, dressed in a crimson pantsuit. She said she will no longer say she doesn’t see color, but instead that she celebrates color and racial differences.
“White people are taught that we are fine and those other people need fixing,” she said. “I invite us to stop asking ‘What is wrong with them?’ and instead relentlessly ask ‘What is wrong with us?'”
The award was presented by Jennifer Hudson, and Gaga thanked her and Dr. Bernice King on Twitter.
“@IAMJHUD @BerniceKing thank you for this award,” she tweeted, “I’m truly humbled. I commit to a lifetime of unlearning the American narrative. Thank you for your love and blessings.”