In response to an eruption of violence in Atlanta during protests following the death of George Floyd, Nene Leakes, an original cast member of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” has taken to Instagram to voice her opinion about the riots. Her May 30 message followed the uproar over the death of Floyd at the hands of Derek Chauvin, a white police officer in Minneapolis who pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for several minutes on May 25. Some protesters looted luxury stores, businesses, and vandalized buildings as a way to bring attention to police brutality.
The 52-year-old Leakes wrote a message in Pan-African colors that read, “Atlanta is a Black City! built by Successful black people! Our Cops are black! Our Chiefs and Captains are Black! Our Judges are Black! Our Mayor is Black! No need to Burn down our City!” In a lengthy caption, the reality star urged fans to stop destroying the city and encouraged people to protect the Peach State. Through a series of hashtags, she wrote: “#stoptheviolence #onelove #weallwegot #georgefloyd.”
Leakes’ message received over 45,000 likes and some 3,000 comments from people expressing that they did not agree with Leakes’ views.
“Delete this. Is this all you really have to say about the killing of innocent black people? Their angry response?”
“If you’re not standing on the front lines then keep your comments NeNe. Your voice may be heard by millions but ours isn’t. This is what’s getting us heard. Support goes a long way.”
“I love you nene ! But go ahead and log out for me baby.”
“Come on Nene. You’re missing the point and with all due respect I don’t really see you being proactive in regards to police brutality and systemic racism. You’re surrounded by a family of black men. Quit pushing your wigs and reality drama and do something productive.”
“For you!!! Lower income communities still continue to hurt while you enjoy your lavish life!! READ THE ROOM.”
“Hush, it can be rebuilt.”
Leakes owns Swagg Boutique, a high-end store in the suburbs of Atlanta. The “Glee” actress revealed in an Instagram post on Sunday, May 31 that her store, which is located in a shopping plaza, was surrounded by police officers following the events of the riots. Many fans expressed that they believed Leakes only cared about her business, insinuating that she should have not have criticized people who were expressing their anger by looting. She has yet to address the backlash she received over her comments.