The Gist


Yes, Internet! Despite social media silence, BLM protests are still in full swing and there's still so much to fight for.

/ 17 September 2020

When we’re stuck indoors for an extended period of time, it’s easy to rely on our phones as the only window we have of the outside world, offering a peek into the reality that seems so far away from our own four walls. Likewise, when we don’t see certain things on social media, it’s as easy to forget that there are some horrendous and outrageous things happening around the world.

The perfect example of this would have to be the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. Centuries in the making, the BLM is a politically charged initiative calling institutions to acknowledge systematic racism against the Black community, and correct it. For years, social media has been amplifying this movement to educate people from all over the world, but this proved to be even more valuable in the face of COVID-19 and quarantine.

I’m sure we all remember the killing of George Floyd in May 2020, and the events that followed afterwards. Mass protests erupted all across the different states in America, and eventually other countries, and social media was loud with all the videos from the streets. It was a frightening time, and even miles away here in the Philippines, we could still feel the rage and power of all these real-life current events we can only see through our phones. We saw millions of Americans go outside in the middle of a pandemic to demand justice; we saw the whole chaotic looting fiasco; and we even saw how several police officers resorted to violence to stop the peaceful protests from happening.

This went on for a few days, weeks at most, and it was the loudest the advocacy had been in a long time. But a few months in, and it seemed as if it just stopped. Social media stopped talking about it, and we had the privilege to believe that it didn’t exist anymore.

However, the Black Lives Matter movement is still very much alive and active, and mass protests are still being held across the country with thousands of protestors gathering to fight this seemingly never-ending fight.

Since the viral events from May, there have been many wins in the fight, but also a lot of unjust losses. Unbelievably, there have also been several more killings since that of George Floyd, and a lot of them are names that have been lost to a long list of casualties in the fight for racial equality.

Data from The Washington Post and Mapping Police Violence actually shows that from January 1 to May 25 2020, Black people were roughly 3 times more likely than White people to be killed due to police brutality; from May 26 to August 31 (post-Floyd’s death), the number increased to 3.3 times more likely.CBS News even went as far as listing down all the known names of the Black men and women who have been killed in the hands of the police so far this year, and it’s a pretty darn long list.

On top of that, this Tweet thread points out the fact that as much as the numbers that data shows is alarmingly high, it’s still not an accurate count, as not every Black death due to racism has been reported accordingly:

Even if we don’t see it all over social media, the racism and violence that the Black community continues to face is a cold hard truth that even us Filipinos have to educate ourselves on. The reality is, the BLM movement will not stop until there’s been radical changes made in the systems that were put in place to oppress them. This means drastically amending and correcting policing systems, media representation, legalized slavery, and the very sick mindset that one race is superior to all. Despite its seemingly lack of online attention, at least in our part of the world, the one thing we have to remember is that the fight is far from over, and Black Lives STILL (and always will) Matter.