Jane Fonda, social activist at 82, appeared on CNN Sunday, June 28, 2020, and gave a powerful speech about the privileges even poor white people have over other ethnic groups. Fonda also stressed though they were poor, they are white and have the opportunities of housing, foods, banking, and non-redlining (selective price raising by the federal and local governments and private sectors). The white poor are not discriminated against when they need to purchase food and other necessities. Policies and projects are available to help poor Whites lift themselves, while at the same time leaving behind their Black brothers. Fonda stresses the need to learn about Black people and the lives they live. She emphasized that our mindset needs to change now and understand the realities that keep racism alive. Jane Fond discussed the protests over the last few years, and the information they are bringing to every citizen’s mind. More people, white people included, are quickly understanding the problems of racism. More Whites are marching with Blacks to fight for change in government and local policies.
Fonda goes on to say that when Pres. Trump was elected in 2016; racism in America raised its head, and there became a definite divide between Whites and Blacks. More people could see the racism that has always been on the underside of society. Trump brought to focus that there is a problem with racism in America. Jane Fond did not understand she says, the history of slavery, reconstruction, and racism, and she has been studying these issues to give herself a better understanding of what is wrong with American society. She has left more in these past three years than most people have discovered in a lifetime.
Jane Fonda has always been a fighter for civil rights. In the 1970s, Fonda championed the Black Panther Party and wore a black sweater and beret as part of her support. She adopted Mary Luana Williams, a Black daughter of two Black Panther activists, to feed and care for her when her parents were unable to give her the things she needed. Janes stresses she now understands the Jim Crow laws that enforced racial segregation in the Southern United States. The separate but equal doctrine for Blacks dominated American society until 1965, and these thoughts are still prevalent in many parts of society. Fonda has always protested and publically spoke about social, environmental, and political issues. She has gone so far as to participate in Fire Drill Fridays, a protest held in Washington D.C. on behalf of climate change and the need for reform. Fonda is proud of the fact that she been arrested at almost every demonstration she has joined. People who were aware of Fonda in the Vietnam Era of the 1970s saw her traveling to Hanoi and being photographed sitting on a North Vietnamese antiaircraft batteries. Her nickname, “Hanoi Jane” became popular when referring to Jane Fonda. Fonda has since apologized to Vietnam veterans, saying that she will go to her grave lamenting the photograph.