For some time I believed posting something right here concerning Black Lives Matter past spreading sources (see backside of publish for hyperlinks) could be distasteful, as that is usually a humor weblog. There’s nothing humorous about George, Ahmaud, Breonna, and so many different harmless black lives misplaced to mindless violence. What has been completely absurd, although, is observing the performative activism in response to Black Lives Matter, particularly the social media developments churning out unhealthy take after unhealthy take of the motion.
By now, you will need to have heard somebody evaluating life to a Black Mirror episode. Clearly that’s an exaggeration. One is grossly unrealistic, stuffed with unlikable characters, and builds to a deeply unsatisfying conclusion. The opposite is a Black Mirror episode.
… Right here we go.
7 Absurd Social Media Phenomena Re: Black Lives Matter
1. The “Tag 10 Pals” Chain
Alongside these strains, who may overlook when Kendall shot that ill-conceived Pepsi advert the place she supplied a police officer a can at a protest? Somebody recreated that, and I’m nonetheless not over it.
2. The “I’m not black, however I see you” copy-pasted chain statuses and their brethren.
I perceive that loads of these posts are well-intentioned and that individuals with platforms can really feel like they’re damned in the event that they do, damned in the event that they don’t. They face strain to talk up but concern being cancelled for saying one thing tone-deaf. That mentioned, I additionally see why studying these posts might be immensely irritating, particularly when a press release isn’t accompanied by motion. Activists have been attempting to be seen voicing issues concerning systemic police violence in opposition to black individuals years earlier than it was stylish.
3. Black squares for #BlackOutTuesday
Tuesday, individuals posted black squares to their Instagram feeds in solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter. Once more, many have been well-intentioned however some definitely have been performative. Paradoxically, these squares flooded the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag and masked informative communications from protest organizers.
4. Companies “standing by” black individuals.
5. Instagram influencers preserving calm and carrying on.
On a scale of least to most hated varieties of individuals, Instagram influencers rank at individuals who’ll name you out in a big group with “wow, you’re so quiet!” (I’ll say, although, contemplating I used to be briefly a nano-influencer for an Italian café on campus, my very own morality is kind of simply purchased. Particularly, it’s value about 24 free bowls of pasta.)
6. Asian-People exposing anti-black racism endemic to the neighborhood
Apparently, one in every of these frat guys wrote an apology for racist feedback towards black individuals… however posted it to the only-Asian Fb group “delicate asian greeks.”
7. The Buffalo PD reporting that an aged man, whom officers had shoved on video, “tripped”
After public pushback, they revised their assertion and suspended the officers. However would there have been penalties with out the video?
Of course there are cops who’ve completed nice issues, who grew to become officers as a result of they needed to guard their communities and implement security. However that doesn’t change the truth that the system is flawed if it continues to allow officers just like the one who knelt on George Floyd’s neck for eight minutes, murdering him. If it’s so onerous to hunt applicable justice for victims like Breonna Taylor, who was shot eight instances in an tried drug sting, and Ahmaud Arbery, whose assassin shot him whereas Ahmaud was jogging and used a racial slur as he died.
Recently, I’ve spoken to individuals who have been incensed by the looping information footage of protesters looting buildings. “They shouldn’t loot companies,” I heard. “That may very well be me.” “That’s not the precise method to protest.”
On some ranges, that’s honest. Looting is dangerous and damaging, and we’re in the midst of a pandemic. However I feel there may very well be extra empathy and understanding of the state of affairs in a broader context. The protests are an expression of anger, of being unheard. And what even is the “proper” method to protest? You would possibly say, “nicely, peacefully.” First, most of the protests for justice for Floyd started peacefully and solely soured after police escalation. Second, individuals really feel like nothing’s working. Colin Kaepernick peacefully knelt in the course of the anthem, which ignited controversy and dialogue however wasn’t sufficient for change, simply sufficient to forestall him from discovering work once more.
In my metropolis, individuals confirmed as much as the Austin Metropolis Council funds priorities assembly and, over the course of eight hours, all requested to divert funds from the police division and into neighborhood points which can be comparatively underfunded. The Council instantly voted 7-4 to extend the funds by >$400K.
After I need to guarantee objectivity, I wish to ask myself and others: you probably have a robust stance on any of those points, no matter which facet, what would it not take to vary your thoughts? For me, the prevalent movies of pointless police violence and the miscarriage of justice in quite a few instances are what cemented my perception that any elevated surveillance, coaching, and accountability measures, even when proving efficient, should not working shortly sufficient. I might consider that these incidences have been the work of only a few unhealthy actors in the event that they have been turned in by “good actors” after which served honest sentences. I may consider that police require their giant proportion of funding if somebody may justify the growing militarization of the police, particularly over different neighborhood issues.
I may consider that “All Lives Matter” is a reliable motion and never only a rejection of black lives mattering if the previous motion may exist by itself as a substitute of solely popping into existence to counter the latter. And I may consider Fox Information saying these “riots” are about “energy” and “the president” moderately than discrimination if all these current occasions hadn’t confirmed to me how radical it’s now, apparently, to be in opposition to racism.