In conversation with CNN's Don Lemon, Fonda spoke about how the U.S. administration's policies have — for years — emboldened racism and inequality for people of colour, all while maintaining white privilege.
"Because we're white, we have had privilege," Fonda said. "Even the poorest of us have had privilege. And we need to recognize that, and we have to understand what it is that keeps racism in place — the policies, redlining, banking policies, mortgage policies."
She added: "All of the things that are really making it very, very difficult for black people to lift themselves up. The policies have to be changed, and then white people have to understand the history that has led to this and we have to try to change within ourselves."
Speaking on behalf of her Fire Drill Fridays climate change activist group, Fonda also called out the Trump administration for encouraging racism among other controversial policies.
"When Donald Trump was elected [the] Band-aid was torn off and people could see very blatantly the racism in the country that's always been there, but it was revealed in a new and more robust way to us and was encouraged by this administration," she said. "I think a lot of white people got it."
The actor concluded with a call-to-action: "We're at a very important moment. We have an election coming. We have a pandemic crisis. We have a climate crisis. We have a race crisis. And we have a choice to make. We can keep seeing all these things happen or we can do something about it."
See the interview below.
"Because we're white, we have had privilege. Even the poorest of us have had privilege. We need to recognize that, and we have to understand what it is that keeps racism in place: the policies, redlining, banking policies, mortgage policies." — @JaneFonda pic.twitter.com/HcQmihaF3v— Fire Drill Fridays (@FireDrillFriday) June 1, 2020