A Global Moment of Solidarity
Updated: Jun 5, 2020
This week we witnessed a global moment of solidarity as our feeds were filled with black squares – the blackout Tuesday, as it was called, heightened awareness for the black lives matter movement, a movement that has once again seen international attention after the murder of George Floyd. The killing of Black Americans by police officers is an issue that has been bought to the global mainstream news, social media and protests have been staged not only in major cities in the US, but also in cities in the UK, particularly London.
Major organisations, businesses and celebrities used the black squares as a digital protest, a sign of solidarity and awareness with the #blackouttuesday.
We took part in this movement with a short post to show our solidarity –the issue of racism is one we cannot stay neutral on. By staying silent, we are only helping the scourge that is racism and police brutality. However, the #blackouttuesday that dominated our usually colourful and vibrant feed, whilst creating a huge statement also came with its own controversy: American rapper and viral sensation Lil Nas X tweeted that “this is not helping us. bro who the hell thought of this?? ppl need to see what’s going on”. The use of the #Blacklivesmatter with this blackout meant that the images of protests, information and resources were drowned out in a sea of black squares.
The international sign of solidarity was mainly positively received, and a powerful mark of awareness and digital activism. Many encouraged people taking part to not fall to slacktivism; the main message was to avoid this becoming another trend, to also post links to petitions and donations to further support the movement.
Here’s what some of our inspirations have said on the black lives matter movement, the protests in remembrance of George Floyd, and the actions of the US government and police force:
Jamie Foxx joined the protest in San Francisco and called on his Hollywood contemporaries to do the same. After taking a knee, he asked: "How can we see it as a murder, and they see it as an understanding?" He also invoked his peers, telling them "You can't sit back. You can't tweet. You can't text. You’ve got to get out here."
By using his platform as a lead role in one of the worlds biggest franchises, John Boyega has been outspoken and vocal, raising awareness and putting down racists in his comments. He powerfully tweeted on the 30th of May that "Any one of the victims could’ve been in the middle of their internal growth or even days from lifelong change but unfortunately a bullet is a bullet! A knee on the neck! is a knee on the neck!".
His speech at an anti-racism demonstration in London was met with praise. He told fellow protesters that "I need you to understand how painful it is to be reminded every day that your race means nothing and that isn’t the case anymore, that was never the case anymore."
Making his stance very immediate, Seth Rogan shut down racists in his replies on Instagram following a photo of the words "Black Lives Matter" with his caption of "if this is a remotely controversial statement for you, feel free to unfollow me." See below for his response to racists in the replies to his Instagram post.
(Via @MunroShaely, https://twitter.com/MunroShaely/status/1267547655120404481/photo/1)
He later tweeted “Always be more critical of the people upholding the racist system than the ones who are fighting against it”.
We can also take inspiration from our contemporaries in the content creation sphere. Life coach Tony Robbins wrote “Today, let us remember that we were made for one another. Enough is enough. Let’s connect to these wise words from Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s 1984 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech and bless the human family with loving kindness” He then shared a powerful quote from the anti-apartheid hero Desmond Tutu:
The fashion and footwear giants Reebok were praised for their statement, as it was heartfelt and powerful. It avoided the vagueness that other companies had been criticised for:
We should come together at this time and do what we can to fight for our basic human rights. It goes without saying that the abuse of power and oppression by the police not only in America but also in the UK has to stop; this is why we should not only use our platform to show solidarity but to also try and make a difference. To make a difference, please take the time to read the resources provided on the below link. Within that link, there are many ways you can donate. If you can’t donate, you can watch the below video. The proceeds generated by AdSense will be donated to a range of associations.