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Natalie Portman opens up on her white privilege

Filed on June 9, 2020

The Hollywood star says the police make her feel safe

Actress Natalie Portman says the police make her feel safe as a "white woman", while her "black friends" feel the opposite.

She admitted the system that makes her feel comfortable is "wrong", adding that she was initially hesitant to support the Defund The Police movement.

Portman took to Instagram to open up about the movement, which has found a new energy to fight systemic racism following the death of George Floyd due to police brutality on May 25.

"When I first heard #defundthepolice, I have to admit my first reaction was fear. My whole life, police have made me feel safe. But that's exactly the center of my white privilege: the police make me as a white woman feel safe, while my black friends, family and neighbours feel the opposite: police make them feel terror," she wrote.

The actress continued: "And for good reason. Police are the 6th leading cause of death for black men in this country. These are not isolated incidents. They are patterns and part of the system of over-policing of black Americans. Reforms have not worked. Minneapolis, where George Floyd was murdered, is one of the most progressive police forces in the country, having undergone extensive anti-bias training. I am grateful to the leaders in the @mvmnt4blklives who have made us question the status quo. And who have made us imagine, what a world could be like in which we invested in nourishing people; (in their education, healthcare, environment, shelter)- rather than putting all of our money into punishment."

Portman asserted that she has "gotten to the age in my life, where if my gut feels uncomfortable, I take the situation as wrong".

"But this concept initially made me uncomfortable because I was wrong. Because the system that makes me feel comfortable is wrong. #defendblacklives#defundthepolice," she added.

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