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CULTURE

Celebrities Donate to Minnesota Freedom Fund to Bail Out Protestors

Seth Rogen speaking at the 2019 San Diego Comic Con International, for "Preacher", at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California. Please attribute to Gage Skidmore if used elsewhere. Date: 19 July 2019, 19:08 Source: Seth Rogen Author: Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America

The tragic death of George Floyd has sparked controversial protests. Many celebrities are helping out by raising money for the Minnesota Freedom Fund, an organization that provides funds to protestors who have been arrested and need to post bail.

George Floyd died on May 25 in Minneapolis after a police officer placed his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly 9 minutes, ignoring his pleas that he couldn’t breathe. This was widely viewed as yet another example of police brutality unfairly directed at African Americans. The officer was eventually arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter on May 29. The three other police officers present at the scene, which was caught on camera, were fired for being complicit to the murder.

Protests began on May 26 in Minneapolis, the day after Floyd’s death. It eventually erupted into violent and destructive looting in Minneapolis for the rest of the week. Peaceful and violent protests eventually transpired in dozens of cities across the U.S. too — including Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Chicago.

The destructive aspect of these protests is drawing divisive responses. Supporters claim that peaceful protest has failed too often in the past, hence the ongoing systematic racism in our culture and law enforcement. Detractors point out that it only solidifies stereotypes as well as hindering our society, during a global pandemic that has upended our economy no less.

Apparently, some celebrities are showing their support with their wallets — making donations via social media. Donations have varied from $50, to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

After President Trump tweeted about it being “MAGA Night” at the White House in response to protestors gathering outside on Friday, Chrissy Teigen announced she would donate $100,000 to bail people out. She later upped her commitment to $200,000.

Pssst, while you're here...

The Safdie brothers and actor Seth Rogen also started a chain of donations to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, prompting actors Steve Carell, Ben Schwartz and Don Cheadle to match their contributions.

Musicians like Harry Styles and Lil Nas X also pledged donations. Styles wrote on his Twitter: “Being not racist is not enough, we must be anti racist. Social change is enacted when a society mobilizes. I stand in solidarity with all of those protesting.”

Tellingly, some responses on social media have pointed out that the money donated to bail out protestors could be better utilized with business owners whose properties have been damaged by looting.

Another question that has been raised about the protests is that there may be outsiders infiltrating a city during demonstrations, simply to take advantage of looting and destruction.

Donations can be given directly to the Minnesota Freedom Fund.

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