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When it comes to social media, there are racist trolls and then there are people who you get the sense genuinely believe the hateful things they type on Twitter and Instagram and, for the long-winded types who don’t believe in anonymity, even Facebook. And it’s the existence of those in the latter camp that has Gabourey Sidibe openly admitting that she feels fearful for herself and her family in these racially charged times.
Monday night the actress attended the premiere of the second season of Hulu’s Difficult People in New York City and she spoke very candidly to People magazine about the kind of racism she has to deal with on a regular basis.
“As a black actress, I have a few social media accounts and every single day I deal with racist comments,” she explained.
“Not a day goes by that I don’t have to block someone from calling me a fat n—-. So I have to say, I’m not surprised by some of those bad reactions [to what happened last week].”
Speaking to the negative responses she received when, after the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, she tweeted “Who’s going to be next?” and “I’m scared,” Sidibe added:
“What I realized, the only difference between the world that I live in and the world my mom grew up in – my mother was born in 1952 – is that we have cell phones. We have cell phones and we have documented proof that there’s no real difference.
The 33 year old isn’t the only person who feels that way, with today’s murders being likened to the widespread practice of lynching in the United States which increased dramatically following the Civil War. It’s obvious, as Sidibe concurred,”There is a long, long way to go.”
“I’m scared. I’m not just scared for myself, I’m scared for my family, I’m scared for everyone.”
Sidibe did express feelings of hope and, specifically, gratitude, however, for the work of activists like DeRay McKesson and Johnetta Elzie.
“I have to say, I am just so proud to know all of these people that are standing up – not just Black people, but white people, anyone who has a heart really.
“I don’t base any of my friendships or my loves on color, I base it on people and I am so glad for the insane amount of people that show support.”