The demonstration and reaction to the killing of George Floyd is totally understandable. But, my middle-aged-white-guy empathy for the movement was muddled, as it usually is when I try to do what the trendy folks are doing. #Blacklivesmatter and #Blackouttuesday were the hashtags being used in the early morning when I opened Instagram, and I thought the simple gesture would show some solidarity. I felt like a black stream on a social network would be like a moment of silence in the middle of this chaos. I chose to use #Blacklivesmatter because I thought that was the cause I should be building on, to add my support to that specific movement, instead of creating a small new one. I wasn’t even sure if it was just a trendy Instagram thing that would be a flash in the pan and not mean anything. Make a stand (kinda) for one day? No. It sounded too cute. I opted for #Blacklivesmatter.
A few hours later, a fellow artist commented on my post, asking me to change the hashtag to #Blackouttuesday. #Blacklivesmatter posts – many of which included important information for protesters, facts and articles about racism, important news—were being flooded in black squares of nothingness. One little hashtag! So I changed mine.
Hiya! Please use blackouttuesday hashtag instead of blacklivesmatter as the black squares are flooding the BLM hashtag and stopping vital information on the ground at protests from being seen. You can edit your post and it will fix it. Thank you 💖emmaillustrate
I think next time—since I can’t head to the streets myself— I’ll do the usual. Back off the trends and do some research—like another middle-aged-white-guy:
I hope some change is coming.