KaitLynn Markley / Illustration of the hashtag on social media
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A screenshot copy chain has been going around Instagram with the caption of “tag 10 people who support black lives matters”. This screenshot has received a lot of backlash and criticism from many people who believe it is a fake allyship. Sharing this screenshot does not do much for the movement or spread awareness. The ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement is not an aesthetic. It is also not an Instagram challenge.

Anyone can share a trending post, but someone who truly supports the movement will take it further. The Black Lives Matter movement does not need people posting pictures in order to demonstrate their so-called support. It needs people out there in the front lines, protesting and showing their allyship.

There are many useful ways one can help the cause aside from protesting. There are many petitions out there that need signatures. Instead of sharing ineffective posts on social media, consider sharing something useful like a petition. Share something useful. Those petitions not only contribute but help actually address the problem and demand action. For too long, the police have gone unchecked and gotten away with the mistreatment of people of color, especially the black community. Many lives have been taken away due to their wrong calls and “quick action.” The families of those whose lives have been taken away by police deserve justice. Police must be held accountable for their actions.

There are many non-profit organizations that also need donations. Instead of wasting five dollars on a Starbucks drink, consider donating those five dollars to a worthy cause. There are a few websites receiving bail donations for protestors who have been wrongfully arrested and need legal aid. If you can’t show up to the protest, at least consider helping out someone that did.

The ‘Black Lives Matter’ hashtag that is all over social media is more than just a hashtag. It is a symbol of activism, and it should be treated as such, and not a trendy aesthetic. This movement needs all the support and traction it can get, and the screenshot chain going around does nothing for the cause.

Several celebrities have participated in this futile trend, and they have been rightfully criticized for it. Kylie Jenner was one of them, and she quickly removed her post due to the backlash she received. Jenner could have used her platform to really make a difference and share something useful or insightful, instead, she participated and shared a pointless and ineffectual post.

People must transform their allyship into action. Silence in the face of oppression is also oppression. It is never too late to speak up and take action. It is imperative to be educated on the issues revolving this subject matter, in order to educate others as well.

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