Thursday, Aoki Lee Simmons took to Instagram with a post that took aim at her non-black friends who have chosen to remain silent in the wake of the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Missouri police.
“My non-black friends, I cannot begin to unpack your silence,” Simmons began. “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 will go, a toe in the water of truth.”
Aoki, who is the daughter of Russell Simmons and Kimora Lee Simmons, went on:
“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 than yours while we sit side by side in the salon. But I see, and I see your silence. I understand now, that you will only interact with the girl you understand. Because she is just like you, at a good school like you, good family like you. But blackness? I guess that’s not like you.”
The Harvard University student concluded by stating that she realizes her friends are not capable of guessing her thoughts, so she’s spelling things out for them.
“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 say for that side of me, you didn’t care.”
Aoki then stamped her post with a caption, which read: “Feeling black, might delete later #georgefloyd.”