Lady Gaga urged fans to “unlearn” white supremacy beliefs as she accepted the Yolanda Denise King Higher Ground award over the weekend.
The “Poker Face” hitmaker was honoured with the Yolanda Denise King Higher Ground award at The King Center’s Beloved Community awards over the weekend in recognition of her work as an artist, as co-founder of the Born This Way Foundation – which supports the mental health of young people and works with them to create a kinder world – her campaigning in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, and also her advocacy to ensure PPE was distributed to healthcare workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
— ⚔️ GAGA DAILY ⚔️ (@gagadaily) January 17, 2021
Gaga – who was introduced at the event by Jennifer Hudson – dedicated the honour to “Black, Brown and Indigenous” people for their “resilience”.
She said: “I dedicate this award to Black, Brown and Indigenous people.
“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.”
The 34-year-old star then explained she feels that “as white people we have a responsibility to unlearn” behaviours and attitudes derived from white supremacist beliefs ingrained within society.
She added: “White people, I believe we must right our wrongs without shame. We must change our actions and we must do this for ourselves…
“The colour of my own skin is not lost on me. I believe the Beloved Community is possible when, and if, people who look like me – other white people – commit to unlearning.
“Unlearning allows me to walk through the world differently. Unlearning means I look for racialised social constructs in every part of my life — every day, all day.”
Gaga insisted only then can justice “finally begin to be realised”.
She concluded: “Justice can finally begin to be realised, at least in part, when and if folks who look like me commit to a lifetime of unlearning.”