Kristen Bell is vowing to raise her daughters to be “anti-racist” and is sharing some suggestions with other parents about how they can educate their children, too.
The “Frozen” star said she is leaning into discomfort, as global protests continue over the deaths of George Floyd and others who’ve died in police custody, by opening an honest dialogue with her kids. Bell shares two daughters ― Lincoln, 7, and Delta, 5 ― with her husband Dax Shepard.
“I’ve been having a lot of conversations with my children about what’s happening right now because I think part of the problem’s discomfort,” Bell said in an interview with Channel Q radio’s “The Morning Beat” on Thursday. “Just because you’re uncomfortable, that can never be the reason that a solution is not found. But I think a lot of people are uncomfortable as to how to talk to kids about it.”
Instead of placing the burden on the Black community, Bell said it’s the responsibility of white Americans to join in tackling these issues head-on.
“They’re trying to survive. We need to figure it out,” she said.
“I showed my daughters some of the images that are happening right now,” she continued. “I think that they have more durability and more resilience than we give them credit for. I showed them specifically the parallel of what was happening in Michigan, where there were white people yelling in the face of cops, holding guns and nothing was happening, versus people that were sitting on the ground protesting peacefully, being tear-gassed.”
Bell, in discussing the stark contrast in how police reacted to the anti-lockdown protests and the anti-racism demonstrations, said she asked her daughters questions like: “What kind of problems do you see with this picture?” and “Tell me about what you’re looking at right now?”
“We had a very honest, hard, uncomfortable conversation about what was happening right now because I will — this, you can put it on my gravestone — I will raise anti-racists,” she continued. “I will. I will talk about it with them forever.”
She added: “When we send them into the world they’re going to be formidable, opinionated, kind, morally compassed women and I’m so grateful for that.”
And to parents who might be sheltering their children from these types of conversations, Bell suggested giving their kids more credit.
“They understand. They understand why when they are adults they will be putting their body between their Black brothers and sisters and someone trying to brutalize them if that need arises,” she said. “They know that that’s what they’ll be doing, and they are 5 and 7.”
But before you heap any praise on the “Veronica Mars” alum, she said that’s not what she’s looking for.
“I am looking to be part of the solution,” Bell said, explaining that part of the process means owning up to mistakes. “They need to post when they donate not for a pat on the back, but simply to say, ‘I’m here, I’m listening, and I’m contributing.’”
Need more resources on how parents can talk to kids about race? Head over to HuffPost Life for an age-by-age guide.