• Shay C.

Black Lives Matter: The Romanticization of The 2020 Civil Rights Movement


@VALUEZTV AM EDITION

By: Shay C. @shay.c_vibez

June 9, 2020


Less coverage of “Black Lives Matter” protests on the news last night, aside from an image of Democratic Representative Nancy Pelosi and fellow representatives dripped in Kente cloth in honor of George Floyd.


“The revolution will not be televised,” but romanticized, maybe.


However, the former is debatable, as mass media has been providing coverage of countries all over the world protesting and uniting to continue to bring awareness to one of the biggest civil rights movements in world history.


But as of today, I can’t think of anything more disingenuous than a public apology, especially when these tangents come only after social media has deemed the offender potentially “cancelled.”


If the public apology is the direct result of the scrutiny received for voicing your true opinion, keep it.


NFL Saints Quarterback, Drew Brees, went under fire last week over his stance regarding player protests. When asked what he thinks about players continuing to kneel at the flag once the season begins, the superbowl winning QB stated that he “will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States or our country.”


He has since recanted his statement with a public apology, acknowledging that he did not realize that the “Black Lives Matter” movement was about much more than the flag:


In a similar fashion, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodall issued a statement last week to address that the league was “wrong” and had failed at properly handling player protests.


“We, the NFL, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of Black People. We, the NFL, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the NFL, believe Black Lives Matter. #InspireChange


The question is genuity versus damage control.


Former NBA Trailblazer Rasheed Wallace was a guest on sports radio show “Moose and Maggie” where he raised a question regarding Brees recent statements. He inquired as to why he had previously joined his teammates in the very same action he deemed he does not stand for.


There’s a disconnect here, and as of recently, seeing “#BlackLivesMatter” makes me cringe.

I attended a local protest over the weekend and I must say, it gave me “Woodstock” vibes, with a large number of participants who just appeared happy to be outside after the height of a pandemic. And a police presence that seemed disengaged and uninterested, at most.


Although the movement continues to live out its purpose, I can’t help but notice what the concept has evolved into. I walked through the streets with other protestors who held signs of quotes I’d seen on Twitter. A young girl held a sign with a nude, heavily pixelated image of Donald Trump. Written in black marker read: “This yall president?”


Not only was it ineffective, it wasn’t even clever. At most, it took attention away from the speaker.


Another young girl, dressed in a crop top and fishnets held a sign that read, “I’m a slut for equality.” I wasn’t sure what part of protest protocol this was, but my experience was also limited.


As some participants appear to be following a trend, and others are living in fear of being “cancelled”, we are continuing to fight for our lives, and will continue to do so once the television stops broadcasting and the world returns to regularly scheduled activities of overlooking the plight of black people, as it is not outside their front door every night. This is not a choice for us.


And as culture appropriation allows for more enjoyable parts of black culture to be embraced and mocked, a blind eye turns back towards the true systemic racism that must be dismantled. So, forgive me if I find little relief that funding is being removed from the police department in Minneapolis and that “Black Lives Matter” has been painted on the streets of Washington D.C. I am not satisfied that police use of the chokehold has been banned in several states. When has the law ever prevented a race crime from being committed? When has the law ever favored an African American?


It is of no conflict to embrace and appreciate someone of a different race who has a true understanding that our battle is NOT the same, although we may march side-by-side. The risk is not the same and history has unfortunately required a certain level of skepticism towards superficial acts of kindness. Sympathy is not to be confused with empathy and we will not be duped by pretentious outrage. Indisputable outrage would’ve saved Trayvon Martin’s life and the lives of many others.


I do not apologize for being offensive. It is time.

Protests are peaceful, real-life is not.


Black culture is not a fetish. Black lives should matter MORE than that.

They should have ALWAYS mattered more than that.


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