Firstly, do: listen, learn, and donate
Obviously, this isn’t going to be a regular roundup. The murder of George Floyd last week highlights (yet again) the racism that still exists in law enforcement. The response by a particular leader has also (yet again, again) showcased the systematic oppression that people of color face from their own government. I’m going to instead focus on some resources before we get into relevant stories this week.
So, there are many online resources about how we can learn, listen, and support the #BlackLivesMatter movement, such as this one that details legal services, how to donate, and which organizations need your help, or this one which offers a great selection of anti-racism media. Let’s all amplify content like this in the upcoming weeks.
Do: protesters… assemble
Following #BlackoutTuesday, a racist, reactionary movement known as #WhiteoutWednesday took to Twitter & Instagram. However, K-Pop stans came through (as well as other groups) as the MVP by commandeering the hashtag and drowning out posts with musical clips and nonsensical memes. In response, I assume that protesters and non-K-Pop fans expressed one of those ‘gratitude nods’ like this guy before partaking in an epic Predator-style handshake.
By far, the greatest visualization of this whole alliance goes to this incredible Avengers: Endgame crossover. Seriously, if you click nothing else in this article (other than the resources above, of course), watch that clip. Even someone as articulate as me isn’t able to do it justice.
Other hashtags are being taken down, too. Examples include the hashtag, #BlueLivesMatter, which has also been used in opposition to the #BlackLivesMatter movement to emphasize support for the police. However, Twitter did its thing, and the hashtag has been repurposed to appreciate blue cartoon characters like Sonic the Hedgehog. I dig it.
Don’t: What were they drinking?
Deep down, we all knew that some edgy startup was going to do this, but we hoped to be pleasantly surprised. Narrator: They were not pleasantly surprised. The Bristol Dry Gin brand posted an extremely done-deaf plug for their plant flavored vodka… oh, sorry – I meant gin. We’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on how we (as a brand) can shut up, amplify voices that need to be heard, and make our messaging matter. Bristol Dry Gin… this ain’t it, chief. I’ve also spent quite a bit of my university days in and around the city of Bristol – so, Brizzle sort your mans out.
Do: lead an off-screen resistance, too (like John Boyega)
We’re living in a world where non-POC celebrities receive applause for doing the bare minimum. Or worse, Kendall Jenner Pepsi-ing her way to wokeness and other A-listers singing the songs of a domestic abuser to satiate their white savior complex.
However, here on Earth, actor John Boyega risked his career for his rights (not that he should have to make that choice in the first damned place.) In an emotional speech at a BLM protest in London, he acknowledges that “I might not have a career after this speech, but ‘f*ck that.” After this, I don’t care what he’s in next – even if it’s a sequel to Cats – you can bet I’ll be buying a ticket. #JohnBoyegaForGreenLantern, anyone?