That’s pseudo-activism in a nutshell*.
If you don’t post a black square for #blackouttuesday, you will be told that you are a fake ally and you aren’t showing your support because you don’t support BLM. If you do, you will be asked to delete it because it clogs people’s feed and it’s not a good way to show your support.
“Activism” on Instagram really boils down to what you POST, and not what you DO, which literally is the opposite of what activism should be.
Activism should be about the concrete actions you take to incite change. Raising awareness on social media does nothing if no one uses this awareness to do something impactful and realistic to change things.
That said, several petitions and donation links have been circulating on social media. Thanks to the accessibility of social media, organizations such as The Minnesota Freedom Fund have received so many positive donations that they have redirected all their donation links to a list of more organizations we can support to actually make a difference. Here is that list.
Along with petitions and donation links, there have been protests taking place mainly in the USA and in Canada to combat police brutality.
If you decide to attend these protests, please bring a bottle of Purell and wear a mask.
Remember, we are STILL in the middle of a global pandemic and a second wave is right around the corner what with stores and restaurants reopening, people gathering in crowds, and schools reopening soon. It almost feels as if Montreal isn’t home to a quarter of all Canadian COVID cases and deaths…
Not only that, but please do not throw projectiles at the police like what (white) people did during the May 31st protests, leading to the Black Lives Matter movement losing credibility and support when the protests turned violent and the police had to use tear gas and pepper spray on the crowd.
Throwing your shoe at a cop is not a good way to be an ally. First, it is just a display of misdirected anger. Secondly, it is counter-productive, as it causes the protests to take a violent turn, allowing the police to display brutal force on the crowd, which would amplify the hatred against the police while tainting the Black Lives Matter movement with violence black people didn’t cause, but will take the blame for, as it is their movement.
So, if you want to be a good ally, listen to what black voices have to say and encourage them by supporting your local black businesses – click here to discover them!
You can also open a tab on your computer and let this video run in the background (do not skip the ads!) to generate ad revenue that will support Campaign Zero (information is given in the beginning of the video, but you might have to wait a few ads to see it). Be sure to check out the description and the pinned comment for further information.
Remember, if someone spews some “aLl lIvEs mAtTeR” nonsense, you are allowed to educate them on why institutional racism within the police force is an important factor that explains the following graph (since these people LOVE reminding us that more white people are killed by cops than any other demographic):
By Sophie Dufresne
*Please note: This article was written in May and only took into consideration events that were happening around that time. Several things have changed since then, but the main message of this article is still relavant.