Actress and author, Kristen Bell, joined RADIO.COM's CHANNEL Q this week, and one of the first things The Good Place star said was, “I will raise anti-racists.”
Bell makes this remark with regard to her new children’s book, The World Needs More Purple People, which aims to educate kids from an early age about racism and equality, while also ridding future generations of discomfort when talking about racial injustices.
The newly penned story is also meant to serve as educational material so readers don’t have to constantly turn to the black community to continue to explain oppression.
Kristen shares the feeling that, “part of the problem is discomfort and just because you’re uncomfortable that can never be the reason that a solution is not found. A lot of people are uncomfortable as to how to talk to kids about it… We don’t need the black community to guide us right now, they are trying to survive," she tells AJ Gibson and Mikalah Gordon on The Morning Beat. We need to figure it out as white Americans. One thing that I think is important is talking to my children about this.”
Kristen shares that she is having incredibly upfront conversations with her daughters, ages five and seven, about the protests currently happening in the United States. “I showed my daughters some of the images that are happening right now… 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. I said, ‘what kind of problems do you see with this picture? Tell me what you’re looking at right now.’ And we had a very honest, hard, uncomfortable conversation,” Kristen explains.
The World Needs More Purple People is about looking for sameness. Bell tells us, “I realize that that is not always an option and you can poke a thousand holes in that theory, but I think that when you’re a kid you have to be reminded because evolution tells us to look for differences… I want to tell my kids to look for sameness. Sameness comes in the form of values, and personality, and action, not of colors.” When Kristen and her husband, Dax Sheppard, send their daughters into the world she says they will be, “formidable, opinionated, kind, morally-compassed women - and I’m so grateful for that.”
Although the world feels unrest, 'Pride Month' is still a topic that many are speaking out on. Public figures are addressing how "Pride" intertwines with the racial injustices we are seeing now, showing us that being an ally means practicing allyship towards all who face marginalization.
The Veronica Mars actress tells us that she has always embraced the LGBTQ community, saying, “I know in my bones that human beings are human beings. And that love is love, and love is never something you challenge, and that you’ve got to look for sameness if you’re to have any happiness in your life. So why would I care who loves who? That’s not my business.”
Finally, Bell shares a message for all those who are hurting currently. She emphasizes that, most importantly, allies must have an openness towards listening right now and having some sort of physical presence in creating change.
Kristen powerfully shares her sentiments, “I am not looking for a pat on the back, I’m looking to be part of the solution. And I think white people need to be part of the solution, and 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.’”