Television host and DJ Lillian Ahenkan (aka Flex Mami) has addressed criticism suggesting she hadn’t spoken up enough about the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of protests following George Floyd’s death in the US.
The Ghanaian-Australian told her over 74,000 Instagram followers “I don’t just talk about race when it’s trendy” and that “if you ‘need’ me to post links so you’re aware of the problem, you are the problem”.
The social media post featured a series of messages, the first being one sent to her by a follower who said, “I’m surprised you haven’t really said anything yet but I’d love to hear what u think (sic)”.
″‘What I think’??? As if there’s anything else to feel but a sadness, discomfort and resignation,” wrote Lillian.
Reactions across the world have been shared on social media after the death of unarmed Black man George Floyd who died after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
Lillian said she took issue with “non-black people” using the tragedy as a “trend” or “a few quick posts to virtue signal”.
“The inhumane treatment of black people feels like a spectator sport,” she wrote.
″Are you actually absorbing what’s going on,” added. Are you having critical discussion outside musing about ‘how sad this all this’?”
Highlighting “what’s happening is NOT NEW”, she said she “constantly” speaks about race issues, especially on her Bobo and Flex podcast and “not just when it’s trendy”.
Lillian asked her followers to “assess and quantify what you’re doing on an individual level to dismantle racism” and not “let footage of extreme racial acts desensitise you from your own complacency”.
New Zealand rapper Jess Bourke, better known as Jess B, agreed with Lillian.
“People really stay expecting the most from black people. google is free. we are tired !!” the former netballer, whose father is Kenyan, wrote under the comments section.
George Floyd was pinned to the ground by a white Minneapolis police officer for nearly nine minutes; for much of that time, Floyd was unresponsive. Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who along with three others was fired over the incident, was arrested Friday and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
As the US readies for a seventh day of protests, tensions have been felt on home soil.
Nearly 2000 people rallied in Perth overnight and more Black Lives Matter protests are planned across the country for this week.