Lorde speaks out against 'white silence' in email to followers after attending Auckland protest

Source: 1News

Kiwi musician Lorde has spoken out against what she calls "white silence" after attending the Auckland Black Lives Matter protest.

Lorde at the 12th Annual CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards

Thousands of people gathered at Auckland's Aotea Square yesterday following the death of Minneapolis man George Floyd last week.

Mr Floyd died when a police officer kneeled on his neck, with Derek Chauvin being charged with his murder.

Lorde emailed her subscribers last night, saying she had been following events in the United States and had attended the Auckland protest.

"One of the things I find most frustrating about social media is performative activism, predominantly by white celebrities (like me). It’s hard to strike a balance between self-serving social media displays and true action," the celebrity said.

"But part of being an ally is knowing when to speak and when to listen, and I know that white silence right now is more damaging than someone’s wack protest selfie.

"As someone who has made art directly inspired by and in conversation with hip hop, it’s my responsibility to let you know that I’m here."

"I extend that sentiment to all my fellow musicians and producers who have tightened a snare to make it more trap, who’ve drawn a pattern of high hats in ProTools because they heard something similar in a hip hop song and it made them feel big and cool."

"We have a responsibility to let our affected listeners know that we’re with them when it’s hard too, not just when it’s easy. Not just when we benefit. We see you, and we’re here."

Lorde went on to say she was still "working out how to practise activism while refraining from social media".

"Numbers at protests and mass gatherings speak loudly, hopefully lead to eventual legislative change, so I do that," she said.

The protests across main centres in New Zealand have drawn criticism given they took place in Alert Level 2 of Covid-19 restrictions.

Last night Dr Siouxsie Wiles tweeted she was “absolutely gutted” to see protesters at the Black Lives Matter marches not taking Covid-19 precautions.

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters joined ACT Party leader David Seymour in criticising the events while businesses still had to adhere to Alert Level 2 restrictions.