By Hannah Rubinstein | Op-Ed |
If you are on social media, or if you don’t live under a rock you probably know that the Black Lives Matter Movement has taken over social media. I know that it must be really challenging because your likes are going down on your bikini pic where you are hugging your friend with the caption “We socially distanced I promise”! I know this is the real issue of the world over the Black Lives Matter movement because, HELLO, how are you supposed to survive if you have 500 likes instead of 600? Well, that and the fact that you can’t get your hair dyed blond and your roots are showing; so not fair!
People who were not really active on social media before are now posting five times a day on their Instagram stories, which makes it hard for people to see your LMR on your story. On the surface it seems that people are really starting to care about black folk in a way they never have before. At first glance, I thought wow this is incredible. But then it seems they are saying I have to acknowledge my privilege as a white person and “make change” and that just seems like a whole lot of effort and I have a black friend... so what else do I need to do?? Activism, check.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that many people posting really do care and that they are disgusted with the world they see around them. However, these genuine efforts shouldn’t prevent us from scrutinizing those that are in-genuine.
One example is the Black Out that was held on Tuesday. Only after it became “trendy and cool” to care about black lives did people really start to care. They made the considerable effort to post a black screen on their feed with #blackouttuesday. If they were super committed, they might have even posted a black heart. I know. What a sacrifice, right? Such bravery to seismically alter a feed for 24 hours. The importance of the changes brought by these actions cannot be understated. They changed everything. A plain black screen with a meaningful hashtag without any further educational resources is exactly what this movement needs.
On Wednesday afternoon, one brave Instagrammer was so committed to changing the world that they posted a black screen with #blackouttuesday #blacklivesmatter. Not only did the person post the day after Black Out Tuesday, but they also posted during the prime time to receive likes. This shows a true desire to change the world. When asked about their motivation, the person said “I just saw someone else do it and I assumed it was okay.” We can all take inspiration from such words of wisdom. Thanks Heather! After all, you don’t need to understand the significance of the hashtags to show your support.
Posting on Instagram is the way systemic racism will be solved in this country. There is no need to attend protests or to check your white privilege or to donate money or to sign petitions or to watch the news. The people who post black squares are our true heroes. Never-mind that they make racist jokes with their friends or that they’re sick of seeing all this depressing stuff about black people. The black square says it all. The only place where you need to worry about caring for black people is social media. In the real world, you can do whatever you want.