One of the world’s biggest pop groups, the Black Eyed Peas, have used a live performance in Sydney on Saturday to express solidarity with Aboriginal people and called on Australia more broadly to also show greater compassion for other minority groups.
Performing in the RNB Fridays Live lineup at Sydney's Showground Stadium, the US band's front-man, will-i-am was joined centre stage by the other members of the group for a special shout out to First Nations mob with a speech read over an extended intro of their hit 2003 track, ‘Where is the love?’
Black Eyed Peas member, Taboo, who identifies as Native American, performed in a t-shirt emblazoned with the Aboriginal flag and gave special mention to the justice4walker campaign, even holding up an Aboriginal flag with a bloodied handprint in the middle in a show of solidarity with the remote central desert community of Yuendumu following last week's fatal shooting of Kumanjayi Walker.
The group also touched more broadly on the issues of racism, Indigenous people around the world, the LGBTQ community, as well as the power of positivity, respect and the beauty and healing power of music.
Hours before the concert, will-i-am had his own experience of racial profiling to draw on during his stay in Australia, after he claimed an "overly aggressive" flight attendant targeted him on a flight from Queensland to Sydney for not stowing his computer away quickly enough.
Upon arriving at Sydney airport, the frontman was met by five New South Wales police officers, who later declined to take the matter further.
On Monday, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that the airline had offered to assist the flight attendant to sue the performer for defamation because he tweeted her full name and photo in calling out the employee's "wrong doings".
A spokesman for the airline said on Monday the company had contacted will-i-am and asked him to retract the tweets.