During his Australian tour and performance at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade, American rapper Le1f (real name Khalif Diouf) said that a Melbourne Airport security officer was racist towards him, singling him out for harassment on Feb. 16 and 19, 2018. Le1f took to Twitter to sound off about racism in Australia:
A customs security at Melbourne Airport @Melair who’s been singling me out when i enter Australia just did it again. I said as a black man, I go through it a lot. He said “keep using that black stuff on me, and i’ll report you to my supervisor” and that he’ll make my life harder.
Y’all think i love Australia. No. I love to perform, to be with friends & to make money. These are all things I can do in Australia as well as in a number of other white-homogeneous or colonized lands, and I choose to do so here at the expense of blatant racism on a daily basis.
The Melbourne Airport reached out to Le1f to follow up, asking him about the time and date of his travels as well as the security gate he traveled through. But Le1f responded:
I’m sorry but tonight I do not have faith that, if I pursue this in this way, the institutions and systems of bureaucracy in this country will not find a way to punish me for my freedom of speech, which is not a right in the Australian constitution. Maybe tomorrow.
The next day, Le1f provided the airport some information:
— Khalif (@le1f) February 19, 2018
In 2014, Le1f responded to self-proclaimed “hip-hop conservative” Lord Jamar who criticized him for “feminizing” hip-hop music. Le1f said:
I’m African. I’m a black man and I experience all the same racism you do, if not more, on top of homophobia, including from black men just like you. Are you proud of being a hateful member of a majority? Rap started out as a creative response to oppression, and no matter my outfit, I know oppressions you will never understand.