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If You Watch One Thing Today, Let It Be Nakkiah Lui's Emotional Speech About Indigenous Australian Deaths In Custody

"Be angry for us. Stand with us. Protest with us. Because we need you."

Last night's episode of The Project was largely dedicated to covering the Black Lives Matter protests in support of George Floyd in the US, as well as Australia's own mistreatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by police.

Pete, Carrie, Waleed and Nakkiah Lui are on tonight’s edition of #TheProjectTV, in solidarity with #IndigenousLivesMatter #BlackLivesMatter

According to The Guardian, more than 400 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have died in custody since the end of the royal commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody in 1991.

As part of that, the show's panel — which usually consists of Waleed Aly, Carrie Bickmore and Peter Hilliar — was expanded to include Nakkiah Lui, an actor and proud Gamillaroi and Torres Strait Islander woman.

During the segment, Bickmore brought up a tweet Lui had made earlier in the day, discussing the double standards in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths in police custody versus those of white people.

Over 424 Aboriginal people have lost theirs lives since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. That's 14 people murdered a year. If a white person was murdered every month for 24 years by the same group, we'd call them terrorists. You call it Australia.

In response to this, Lui delivered an impassioned speech, imploring non-Indigenous Australians to think beyond the statistics.

"These people aren't just numbers - they have names. Be angry for us. Stand with us. Protest with us. Because we need you. I don't want to live in a country where names become numbers. I just don't" - @nakkiahlui

Channel 10 / The Project

"The thing is that these people aren't just numbers — they have names. David Dungay, Tanya Day...they are loved, they are still loved."

Channel 10 / The Project / Via Twitter: @theprojecttv

"What I want to say to the people that are watching — think about your loved ones. Think about what would you do if they died begging for help. What would you do if they died with a knee on their neck? How angry would you be?"

Stephen Maturen / Getty Images

"Be angry for us. Stand with us. Protest with us. Because we need you. There was never no wonderful Australia — but what we can do is create hope by creating a better world for each other."

Peter Parks / Getty Images

"I don't want to live in a country where names become numbers. I just don't."

Channel 10 / The Project / Via Twitter: @theprojecttv

Those watching last night were touched by Lui's emotional speech, which was incredibly moving and educational for all Australians.

Watching @nakkiahlui on @theprojecttv tonight was incredibly moving, educational, raw and emotional. To speak with such eloquence in the face of her obvious rage and despair... well, we are lucky to have her, on TV tonight, and every other damn day. Watch the whole episode. https://t.co/yDMYfISBmG

Just want to say how amazing @nakkiahlui was on The Project tonight. She delivered her message with such clarity in a time of great sadness and anger. We need more people like her on our TV screens. https://t.co/SYD9FXAMmD

She spoke so eloquently, and so bravely even though you could hear the shake in her voice. She opened the eyes of so many of my co-workers on shift tonight, and I'm so proud of her. #AboriginalLivesMatter https://t.co/vOyxgDUWDP

A clear standout on @theprojecttv was @nakkiahlui - insightful, thoughtful analysis of #racism in Australia and abroad.

While others rallied behind getting more powerful Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices, like Lui, more regularly on The Project.

This is powerful... and VERY human.... I’d love to see @nakkiahlui on @theprojecttv more as a teacher. 🖖🏾 https://t.co/GlQ9ofSV6S

@theprojecttv @nakkiahlui Would love to see Nakkiah on the show regularly 💜

@GeoffDay4 @theprojecttv @nakkiahlui Precisely what I was thinking! Please have powerful and beautiful indigenous voices like Nakkiahs co-present on a regular.

If you watch one thing today, make it Lui's speech — and here's some information about the Black Lives Matters protests happening across Australia if you're interested in attending.

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