#BlackLivesMatter Is More than Just a Trending Hashtag
It’s been about a week now that social media has been exploding in response to the death of George Floyd. We’ve seen thousands upon thousands of tweets, status updates, instagram posts, videos, etc. being shared by the millisecond.
Though, as heartwarming and extremely moving as it’s been to see such a tremendous amount of support towards the black community from people of all races, it has also been somewhat shocking to see who in particular has and has not been vocal during this time.
I’ve personally noticed certain individuals within my own network whom I would have never guessed would care an inch about expressing such opinions or support on the topic of race or racism on any “normal” given day. And as much as I want to believe that it’s genuine right now, there’s still some part of me that does remain a bit skeptical.
In our day and age, social media — and the internet in general— can have such a strong influence on us that we often don’t even realize when it’s happening. After all, there are people who literally get paid to actually be influence people (aka “social influencers”).
We get so carried away with the trending hashtags and viral posts that we see on our social feeds that we don’t even hesitate to think about what the true message is when we’re re-sharing it.
And frankly, it makes me wonder and even question how genuine some people actually have been on social media in response to George Floyd’s death.
On Monday, I shared the following message on my Instagram story,
“I just have to get this off my chest…I know there is A LOT that’s being posted on your social feeds right now (myself also contributing to the over-saturation), but please, PLEASE do not post something that’s showing support if you don’t really mean it. These cries against racial injustice aren’t a fad. It’s not “the cool thing to do”. Don’t post something just because everyone else is. Mean what you are sharing. Believe in it. That’s where the real change will come from. From within.”
I thought long and hard about these words when I was drafting it. So much so to the point where I felt like I needed to expand upon it after I had already shared — I remind you again, I posted this on Monday.
So, here I am now, expanding upon my original message to emphasize the following statement,
#BlackLivesMatter is more than just a trending hashtag.
It’s more than just a mindless retweet or something to simply add to your story. It’s more than words. It’s more than just something that’s taking over social media.
It’s decades and centuries of oppression, racial injustice, and inequality.
It’s a real movement involving real people.
It’s a changing of the tide.
It actually means something.
So, please. Think before you share these things. Think about what it means to you. Think about what it means to others. Think about why you’re sharing it in the first place.
Ask yourself if you really believe in it. Or at least be honest with yourself if you’re just going along with the trend or selfishly trying to make yourself not look like a racist person.
#BlackLivesMatter is more than a hashtag. Just remember that the next time you use it.
Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this article, check out “Dear White People, Your Help is Needed Now More than Ever”