The “Black Lives Matter” movement was founded in 2013 as a response to Trayvon Martin’s murder. It took 6 years of hard work and putting forward a lot of discussions about the ongoing police brutality and systematic racism, to have the attention it has gotten today in the media around the world.
- Social media's role
Social media has a big impact because it allows a group of people to share similar experiences of racial profiling, abuse of power and even brutal attacks. Those shared experiences through viral videos or written statements bring more individuals to help share the cause and consequently use their voice for a change.
The officers and politicians who continue to brush off and be a part of these problems are being called out through social media, a method way more efficient than emails for example. The impact is so big that if you are caught being racist on camera and it ends up on the internet, your job will find out and you will get fired because big companies don’t want your bad image to be associated with them.
- Political propaganda
The movement leaders use platforms like Instagram to spread knowledge and how to better the issues that the United States is facing. Currently the political race is of big importance in the country and a lot of propaganda is being made against racists and towards politicians that support the movement, wanting there to be a change.
What some call “hashtag activism” helped quickly spread occurrences of racism that led to protests, petitions and support from big celebrities and politicians. The #blacklivesmatter amounts to millions of posts across the internet, uniting more people to get involved with the cause. Cases like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor are still being mentioned everyday with the help of these viral hashtags.
- The mainstream media
In the last few months we have seen how powerful the mainstream media is when thousands of protest, across the globe, happened for the brutal murder of George Floyd. The organization of peaceful gatherings, in places like the white house and the streets of New York, all happened on the internet. The protests lasted months and in some places are still taking place, making history with impactful photos and videos that will remind everyone that things have to change.
What started years ago as a movement and to some “a mere hashtag” has grown into a huge network of supporters that have shown the power of spreading knowledge and coming together in the streets to fight for what’s right. The media is one of the most powerful tools to help our society reach and spread a massive change.
To donate and sign petitions go to: https://blacklivesmatter.com
The article above was edited by Karen Oliveira.
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