Lorde expressed her solidarity with Black Lives Matter protestors following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and more, and grappled with the nature of her role during this moment as a white person and musician.
Lorde shared her thoughts in a newsletter to fans, which was then posted on social media by various fan accounts.
Lorde said she attended a Black Lives Matter protest in Auckland, New Zealand, but was upfront about her frustrations with “performative activism, predominately by white celebrities (like me)” on social media. While she acknowledged it can be difficult to balance “self-serving social media displays and true action,” she said being a good ally at this moment means knowing “that white silence right now is more damaging than someone’s wack protest selfie.”
“So let me be clear, Lorde added, “this ongoing systemic brutality by police is racist, it’s sickening and it’s unsurprising.”
Lorde said she felt a responsibility to get involved and speak out specifically because she’s made music “inspired by and in conversation with hip-hop.” She said other musicians and producers “who have tightened a snare to make it more trap, who’ve drawn a pattern of high hats in ProTools because they heard something similar in a hip-hop song and it made them feel big and cool” also have a “responsibility to let our affected listeners know that we’re with them when it’s hard too, not just when it’s easy. Not just when we benefit. We see you, and we’re here.”
At the end of her note, Lorde wrote, “To my black and brown listeners — I’m so sorry this is your reality, that you haven’t had a choice but to be defined by this, to give it your energy. I’m aware of that tax on you. I hope white people you know are doing what they can to ease your load. And I really, really hope systems will change to better protect you.”
Lorde released her most recent album, Melodrama, in 2017. In another newsletter sent to fans last month, the musician said new music was finally on the way athough didn’t specify when.