As the adoptive mother of a young Black woman, Angelina Jolie is calling for the end of the systemic ‘racism’ in the U.S. She says it’s time for us to ‘make structural changes’ to protect the ‘vulnerable,’ like her daughter.
“I was fortunate years ago to travel with the UN to frontlines around the world and put into perspective what really matters,” Angelina Jolie, 45, said in a rare interview with Harper’s Bazaar, published on June 12. The interview comes a week after, amid all the peaceful Black Lives Matter protests, Angie donated $200,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. As the Maleficent actress says in the talk with Harper’s, the ongoing protests over George Floyd’s death hit home. “Having six children, I am reminded daily of what is most important. But after almost two decades of international work, this pandemic and this moment in America has made me rethink the needs and suffering within my own country.”
One of her main concerns is the future and safety of her daughter, 15-year-old Zahara Jolie-Pitt. In 2005, Angie adopted the six-month-old Zahara from an orphanage in Addis Abba, Ethiopia, and the systemic racism in America towards Black women and men hasn’t gone unnoticed by Angie. “There are more than 70 million people who have had to flee their homes worldwide because of war and persecution – and there is racism and discrimination in America. A system that protects me but might not protect my daughter – or any other man, woman, or child in our country based on skin color – is intolerable.”
“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,” she told Harper’s Bazaar. Angie also advised that people who want to help make a change should “listen to those who are being oppressed and never assume to know.”
Angie has been doing her best during the COVID-19 coronavirus lockdown, especially when it comes to her kids: Maddox, 18, Zahara, Pax, 16, Shiloh, 14, and 11-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox. “Like most parents, I focus on staying calm, so my children don’t feel anxiety from me on top of all they are worrying about,” she tells Harper’s Bazaar. “I put all my energy into them. During the lockdown, Vivienne’s bunny passed away during a surgery, and we adopted two sweet little ones who are disabled. They need to be in pairs. They are so gentle, and it has helped to focus on their care with her at this time. And on the dogs, and snake and lizard…
However, Angie remains hopeful for a better life post-lockdown. She hopes that, once the COVID-19 pandemic has passed, that “the focus on efforts to make structural change to protect vulnerable people stays at the center of our discussions. That we don’t turn inward, and we work with even more awareness of our shared humanity.”