Black Lives Matter turns selfish

Instagram abused as performative trend to benefit one’s social capital


Kalorra Smith

Canva meme depicts how direct action towards the Black lives matter movement can be drowned out by allies who spread awareness on Instagram to increase their social capital rather than for the genuine welfare of Black lives.

Kalorra Smith, Staff Writer

Black Lives Matter turned into a trend by self-proclaimed allies hidden behind story posts who steered clear from genuine conversations to take direct action.

Since the summertime, sudden acknowledgment of racial biases and privileges stormed social media through #blackoutday with a plethora of links and posts. However, some went back to unpublish their #blackoutday post if it failed to keep their page’s aesthetic.

While reposts allow wider audiences to discover racial issues, the focus remains on the increase of one’s social capital rather than the forced confrontation of racial biases. Reposts without a sincere commitment to the betterment of black lives in the real world actually reduce the cause to eradicate racism for future generations. Infographics somewhat help, but direct action in communities provides for long-term change.

Due to the presidential election, many have spread infographics of the president they claim supports the Black Lives Matter movement most.

Long after the election, issues like poverty, mental health, and colorism will go undiscussed by allies as they return to the normalcy held in previous presidential terms. Most allies acknowledge police brutality but fail to recognize other crucial issues within the black community.

The focus needs to transfer from acknowledgment to lifelong education and action post-election. The focal point of activism needs to aim towards the people within communities who will get hit the hardest long after the election.

In order to facilitate true change, make donations to specific organizations, Cash App’s, GoFundMe’s, and bail funds that dedicate their work to better impoverished, black communities or specific people. Allies can also get involved with local grassroots organizations, join protests, listen and learn from black organizers and community leaders, and keep a pulse on black peers’ mental state. Time to call out racism not only online, but in real life, to make real change.