AceShowbiz - Natalie Portman has opened up about her first reaction to the movement to "defund the police" and her subsequent support for the campaign.
The actress is among a roll call of stars, including John Legend, Lizzo, Common and Jane Fonda, who have signed Black Lives Matter (BLM) co-founder Patrisse Cullors' letter urging local governments to 'defund' police departments and give more to healthcare and education.
In a post on Instagram, the actress shared her first reaction was "fear," but she soon realized it was because she'd had a different experience with the police to her black friends and family.
"My whole life, police have made me feel safe. But that's exactly the center of my white privilege: the police make me as a white woman feel safe, while my black friends, family and neighbors feel the opposite: police make them feel terror. And for good reason," the "Black Swan" actress explained.
While Portman, a mother of two, admitted she generally acts on her instincts, this time, she realized she had to go against them.
"I've gotten to the age in my life, where if my gut feels uncomfortable, I take the situation as wrong," she continued. "But this concept initially made me uncomfortable because I was wrong. Because the system that makes me feel comfortable is wrong."
She continued, "Police are the 6th leading cause of death for black men in this country. These are not isolated incidents. They are patterns and part of the system of over-policing of black Americans. Reforms have not worked."
The mother of two went on to share her gratitude for BLM leaders "who have made us imagine, what a world could be like in which we invested in nourishing people; (in their education, healthcare, environment, shelter)- rather than putting all of our money into punishment."
America Ferrera, Brie Larson, Taraji P. Henson and The Weeknd have also added their names to Cullors' letter calling for a reduction in the $194 billion (£156 billion) given over to U.S. policing and more money made available to hospitals and medical centers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.