The brutal footage of the murder of George Floyd has forced many white people to grapple with the privilege that their skin color provides . But when influencer Olivia Jade took to social media to do the same, it backfired spectacularly.
This is because her celebrity parents, Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Gianulli, took advantage of an oppressive system – and weaponized their privilege – by quite literally buying Olivia’s admission into the University of Southern California.
There’s no escaping the fact that Olivia Jade’s remarks on white privilege are hopelessly ironic. But that doesn’t mean she’s wrong, and it doesn’t necessarily mean she should stay silent either.
On Sunday, Olivia posted a statement on her Instagram account – which boasts 3.1 million followers – that condemned white privilege in no uncertain terms.
She acknowledged her financial privilege and confessed that she had been ignorant of racial discrimination in the past.
THIS NEEDS TO BE CHANGED. FOREVER! And as a person who is born into privilege based on my skin color & financial situation I was not always aware that these issues were still so present. And that makes me feel awful. But that also fuels me.
It’s a fair point – it’s certainly ironic to be speaking on privilege when she directly benefited from this corrupt system.
Then again, the fact that she acknowledged her faults gives me hope that she’s implicitly condemning her parent’s actions as well as beginning to show remorse for hers.
We don’t know every detail about Olivia’s family dynamic, but we’re privy to a few key points.
She was at the very least complicit in the crime, but it’s clear she was under a lot of pressure to attend college. As she said before the scandal was exposed:
Mostly my parents really wanted me to go because both of them didn’t go to college. I’m so happy they made me go – that sounds so terrible.
Another relevant detail? Olivia and her sister, Bella, are rumored to have been the ones to convince their parents to plead guilty. Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Gianulli had maintained their innocence for months.
She’s not the ideal spokesperson for social justice – not by a long shot – but she does have an audience. And for those followers, maybe this message coming from her will emphasize the point rather than diminish it.
After all, she stayed silent and complicit last time she saw wrongdoing – and look how that turned out.