Lady Gaga is urging her fans to “unlearn” the belief in white supremacy.
On Saturday, Gaga was honoured with the Yolanda Denise King Higher Ground award as part of the Beloved Community awards organized by The King Center, which upholds the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Introduced by singer Jennifer Hudson, Gaga was honoured both for her work as an artist and as co-founder of the Born This Way Foundation, with a stated mission of supporting the mental health of young people and working with them to create a kinder and braver world.
In addition, she was recognized for her work last summer in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, and her advocacy to ensure that PPE gear was distributed to healthcare workers during the pandemic.
“I dedicate this award to Black, Brown and Indigenous people,” Gaga said in her acceptance speech.
“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.
“White people, I believe we must right our wrongs without shame,” she added. “We must change our actions and we must do this for ourselves.”
According to Gaga, “as white people we have a responsibility to unlearn” behaviours and attitudes derived from white supremacist beliefs ingrained within society.
“Unlearning allows me to walk through the world differently,” she added. “Unlearning means I look for racialized social constructs in every part of my life — every day, all day.”
She concluded by sharing her belief “that justice can finally begin to be realized, at least in part, when and if folks who look like me commit to a lifetime of unlearning.”