Halsey has opened up about being "white passing" as a biracial woman and what that means when it comes to identifying with the black community in the fight against racial injustice.
The 25-year-old singer, who is the daughter of a white mother and black father, answered a since-deleted tweet Wednesday that accused her of "never claiming her black side."
im white passing. it’s not my place to say “we”. it’s my place to help. i am in pain for my family, but nobody is gonna kill me based on my skin color. I’ve always been proud of who I am but it’d be an absolute disservice to say “we” when I’m not susceptible to the same violence. https://t.co/2p6RVJixwl
— h (@halsey) June 3, 2020
"Im white passing. it's not my place to say "we". it's my place to help,'' Halsey tweeted. "i am in pain for my family, but nobody is gonna kill me based on my skin color. I've always been proud of who I am but it'd be an absolute disservice to say "we" when I'm not susceptible to the same violence."
"I'm white-passing," she said. "I've accepted that about myself and have never tried to control anything about black culture that's not mine. I'm proud to be in a biracial family, I'm proud of who I am, and I'm proud of my hair.
"I look like a white girl, but I don't feel like one. I'm a black woman. So it's been weird navigating that. When I was growing up I didn't know if I was supposed to love TLC or Britney."
Halsey has been regularly participating in protests in Los Angeles that are part of demonstrations in hundreds of cities across the country in the wake of the death of 46-year-old black man George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody on Memorial Day.
She tweeted on May 30 that police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at protesters during a Black Lives Matter rally.
fired rubber bullets at us. we did not breach the line. hands were up. unmoving. and they gassed and fired. pic.twitter.com/K8YauF0APn
— h (@halsey) May 31, 2020
She also has posted pictures and videos on Instagram of what she says are "violent measures" taken by police forces against peaceful protesters.
It’s become very clear to me that some of you need to see what I’ve seen. Please swipe through this. These pictures and videos don’t even scratch the surface. It’s easy from the comfort of your home to watch looting and rioting on television and condone the violent measures being taken by forces. But what you don’t see is innocent peaceful protestors being shot at and tear gassed and physically assaulted relentlessly. You think it’s not happening, it’s only the “thugs” and the “riots”, right? The police are keeping you safe right? You’re wrong. This is happening everywhere. And innocent people exercising their rights to speech and assembly are facing violence and abuse of power. With all of our medical professionals being CONSUMED and EXHAUSTED with Covid, there is little to no medical attention available. I have first hand treated men women and children who have been shot in the chest, the face, the back. Some will lose vision some have lost fingers. I have been covered in innocent blood. My father is a black man. My mother is an EMT. This week I had to put those two associations together in ways that have horrified me. This is NOT a virtue signaling post. But I HAVE to show you what I am witnessing with my own eyes. With Trump’s decision today to enforce the mobilization of armed forces on our own citizens, this has escalated beyond your privilege and comfort to not care. Please care. We are begging you to care. This is war on Americans. This is everyone’s problem. Everyone’s. #BLACKLIVESMATTER
A post shared by halsey (@iamhalsey) on Jun 1, 2020 at 4:47pm PDT
"It's become very clear to me that some of you need to see what I've seen,'' she wrote. "These pictures and videos don't even scratch the surface. It's easy from the comfort of your home to watch looting and rioting on television and condone the violent measures being taken by forces.
"But what you don't see is innocent peaceful protestors being shot at and tear gassed and physically assaulted relentlessly. You think it's not happening, it's only the 'thugs' and the 'riots', right? The police are keeping you safe right? You're wrong. This is happening everywhere."