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Angelina Jolie discusses her white privilege while raising a black daughter

‘A system that protects me but might not protect my daughter is intolerable,’ actor states

Sabrina Barr
Saturday 13 June 2020 18:56 BST
(Getty Images)

Angelina Jolie has spoken out about experiencing white privilege, stating that a “system” that protects her but might not protect her daughter because she is black is “intolerable”.

Jolie and her ex-husband, actor Brad Pitt, have six children, ranging in age from 11 to 18.

Their third oldest child, 15-year-old Zahara, was adopted by Jolie from an orphanage in Ethiopa when she was six months old.

Speaking to Harper’s Bazaar, the actor and humanitarian stated that “laws and policies” need to be changed in order to “address structural racism and impunity”.

“A system that protects me but might not protect my daughter – or any other man, woman or child in our country based on skin colour – is intolerable,” the 45-year-old said.

“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.”

Jolie also highlighted the impact of the global Black Lives Matter movement, saying that in her opinion, “the world is waking up”.

“People are forcing a deeper reckoning within their societies,” she said.

“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.”

When asked what needs to be taught to children with regards to issues surrounding race and racism, Jolie stressed it is important “to listen to those who are being oppressed and never assume to know”.

Jolie adopted her eldest child, Maddox, from Cambodia in 2002 and her second eldest child, Pax, from Vietnam in 2007.

She gave birth to Shiloh in 2006 and to twins Knox and Vivienne two years later.

During the interview, the Maleficent star spoke about how the coronavirus pandemic has affected people around the world, drawing focus on refugees who have “been driven from their homes and countries by bombs, rape and violent persecution in all its forms, long before this virus”.

“They live with xenophobia and racism and prejudice every single day and are some of the most vulnerable people in the world when it comes to the economic consequences of the pandemic,” she said.

Jolie also spoke about the “horror” of domestic violence, expressing her concern that the “abuse and level of violence has risen” during lockdown.

“Above all my concern is for the children,” the activist said. “There is a global health crisis for children from abuse, neglect and the effects of that trauma. And not nearly enough done to protect them.”

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