Halsey spoke out about her privilege as a “white-passing” biracial woman

Halsey has been speaking out about the killing of George Floyd and participating in the Black Lives Matter protests that continue to follow, and now, she’s sharing more about how she personally fits in. Halsey is biracial, and when someone on Twitter said she “never claims her Black side,” she explained why she chooses the language she does when she talks about the protests.

“im white passing,” Halsey wrote. “it’s not my place to say ‘we.’ it’s my place to help. i am in pain for my family, but nobody is gonna kill me based on my skin color.”

“I’ve always been proud of who I am but it’d be an absolute disservice to say ‘we’ when I’m not susceptible to the same violence.”

The Twitter user that originally messaged Halsey deleted their account, but another person posted what they say is a screenshot below the singer’s response. The tweet says that the user will never support the 25-year-old, because “she’s never claimed her Black side.” The tweet continues, “On her post, she says ‘let black ppl speak’, not ‘let our ppl speak.’”

In some of her recent posts, Halsey has spoken about the Black community without saying “we,” but in those posts she tends to be speaking more generally. For instance, in one tweet she wrote, “if you are not black, you couldn’t possibly understand the grief, fear and anger of black people right now. don’t condem folks expressing their outrage.”

This isn’t the first time Halsey has spoken publicly about being white-passing. In a 2017 interview with Playboy (via HuffPost), she said, “I’m white-passing. I’ve accepted that about myself and have never tried to control anything about Black culture that’s not mine.” The singer added, “I look like a white girl, but I don’t feel like one. I’m a Black woman. So it’s been weird navigating that.”

Halsey’s tweet about not saying “we” has 81K likes, and it has also set off some discussions that show not all of her Black and biracial followers are on the same page. But, whether Halsey wants to say “we” or not, the larger point is that this isn’t about her. It’s about the Black people who have been killed and the fight for systemic change. That what Halsey is focusing on, too. All her other tweets right now are about spreading useful information about the protests to her followers.

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
Filed Under