Like so many others, Russell Simmons’ daughter Aoki Lee is outraged over the death of 46-year-old black man George Floyd, who died on Monday (May 25) after white Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin placed his knee on Floyd’s neck for roughly four minutes while detaining him on the ground.
On Wednesday night (May 27), Aoki shared a statement to her Instagram account, explaining in the caption she was “feeling black” and chastising her non-black friends for not speaking out about Floyd’s murder.
“My non-black friends, I cannot begin to unpack your silence,” she wrote. “I am scared of what it will tell me. The things you are here for and the things you are not, what do they say about you? About me for choosing you? I am ashamed that this is as far as I’ll go, a toe in the water of truth.
“Just a shade of the other side of myself, that side buried or surfaced that is blackness beyond color. Beyond my hair taking longer to style, while we sit side by side in the salon. But see you see, and I see your silence.”
Aoki continued, “I understand now, that you will only interact with the girl you can understand. Because she’s just like you, at a good school like you, good family like you. But blackness? I guess that’s not like you. I don’t expect you to be a mind reader. You’ve been told explicitly in black and white and subtweet. You know the brutal message I have received.
“If black people need you, I need you. And you know me right? Your study buddy, your dance partner, your romantic interest, the very same. So don’t say you didn’t know, I’ve just told you. Be honest, and for that side of me, you didn’t care.”
In the wake of Floyd’s death, countless people have expressed their anger on social media, calling for justice. In an interview with CNN on Tuesday (May 26), Floyd’s family said simply firing the four officers involved in the incident wasn’t enough — they are demanding they be charged with murder.
Ice Cube, T.I., Common, Ice-T, Chuck D, Snoop Dogg and Aoki’s father are among the many joining the fight.
Check out some of their posts below.
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God bless him and those who he leaves behind The polarization of America on all fronts especially race is our number one challenge white supremacy and its many symptoms ,including police brutality, are everywhere To all the non black people you should be as outraged as anyone .: remember this the freedom or the consideration you give others is directly related to the freedom or consideration you can claim for yourselves 🙏🏾
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“Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.” @RepJohnLewis. RP via @ImaginexJustice. #BlackLivesMatter