Blackout Tuesday is the latest social media trend to take over Instagram. People are sharing photos of a black box to show solidarity amid nationwide protests surrounding the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Unfortunately, the #BlackoutTuesday trend is incredibly counterproductive.
A lot of people participating in the performance activism have been using the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag with their photo. However, doing so ends up flooding the hashtag with blank boxes instead of valuable information that protest organizers have been using.
“We know that’s it no intent to harm but to be frank, this essentially does harm the message,” Kenidra Woods wrote on Twitter. “We use hashtag to keep ppl updated. PLS stop using the hashtag for black images!!”
You also have to wonder how productive it is to call for silence at a time where people need to speak out against injustice more than ever.
It has come to my attention that many allies are using #BlackLivesMatter hashtag w black image on insta. We know that’s it no intent to harm but to be frank, this essentially does harm the message. We use hashtag to keep ppl updated. PLS stop using the hashtag for black images!! pic.twitter.com/eG2fPaybNW
— Kenidra4Humanity ~ BLACK LIVES MATTER ~ (@KenidraRWoods_) June 2, 2020
People also don’t seem to understand what #BlackoutTuesday initially started as. It began as #TheShowMustBePaused which was created by Atlantic Records exec Jamila Thomas and Platoon’s Brianna Agyemang.
“Tuesday, June 2 nd is meant to intentionally disrupt the work week,” the initial message read. “The music industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. An industry that has profited predominatnly from Black art. Our mission is to hold the industry at large, including major corporations + their partners who benefit from the efforts, struggles and successes of Black people accountable. … This is not just a 24-hour initiative. We are and will be in this fight for the long haul. A plan of action will be announced.”
From there, it turned into a hashtag people are using for Instagram clout which has completely distracted from the real cause and distracted from the George Floyd protests.
Floyd was killed after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on the back of his neck for nearly 8 minutes while Floyd pleaded for air. The ex-officer, Derek Chauvin, has been arrested for third-degree murder. The three other officers involved — Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao — have been fired by the Minneapolis Police Department and remain under investigation.