Actress Regina King spoke with Jimmy Kimmel via video chat for his late-night talk show on Wednesday, in which they discussed the latest developments regarding global protests stemming from the senseless murder of George Floyd last week, and how systemic racism needs to be abolished.
King brought up how she’s raised her son, now 24, to understand his differences as a black person in America, and to be aware that the system won’t always allow him to succeed.
“I think in most black homes, it’s not just a conversation, it’s an ongoing conversation,” she said. She added, “Once [black children] walk outside of the comfort of their home, the conversation shifts, every time,” meaning that although they may be told they’re beautiful and special by their families, they have to live in a world committed to telling them the opposite.
“You get to a place, especially when your children are at an age where they are looked at as adults, and the anger that they have, it just compounds every time something like this happens...Another moment that’s telling them that they’re not worthy, they’re not valuable, their lives aren’t valuable.”
When asked how to answer questions black children may have about what’s going on in the world, King––who believes the protests are “necessary” to enact change––advised listening to their concerns but also making sure you’re leading them on the right path.
“You have to find a way to support their feelings and make sure you are letting them know that you hear them and that you do mirror the same sentiment, but you don’t want them to do anything that’s going to put them in a situation where they may not come back home, they may not talk to you again,” she continued.
As for how she’s working to educate herself through this time in American history, the Academy Award-winning actress said she’s working to “find out who candidates are, and who can change policy.”
“The only way we can make changes to these systemic problems is to make systematic changes,” she stated. “And to change the laws, we have to change the lawmakers.”