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Black People, African American

When Did Instagram Go Dark?

We have mixed feelings about #BlackoutTuesday, too.

6/3/2020 3:45:00 AM

“It feels like it’s a way for white people who aren’t comfortable talking about racism to avoid doing so entirely, while acting like they are doing something.”

We have mixed feelings about #BlackoutTuesday, too.

I think it’s great that people want a visual uniting symbol of solidarity, but I can also see how people who haven’t said a word in the past — or in the past week — feel like they’ll look bad to their followers if they don’t post. So they post, but with no real intention of listening, learning, donating, protesting or helping beyond the post. The post makes them feel like they’ve done their part.

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Jasmine:I’ve seen a few posts where I’m like, “I would’ve rather you’d done nothing.”Tariro:Yes! You say you’re posting to not take up space, but you’re still taking up space. Might as well use that to share resources and info, no?Jasmine:Definitely — I’ve also gotten a lot of “I love you” or “tell me how to be better” texts from white friends attempting to be allies. Some of it seems sent with the expectation that I will immediately respond and acknowledge that they’ve made the effort and checked on their black friend. It’s still asking me to do the work.

Caity:My initial reaction was: This feels sort of empty. A couple of my black friends posted the squares, but the vast majority of people who did it on my feeds were white. Non-black people of color seemed to be split.I started texting with a few friends — some black, some other POC — and the reaction from them, and from a lot of black people I follow on social media and whose judgment I tend to trust, was that they didn’t like the squares. But! Jasmine is also someone whose judgment I trust, who is vocal about activism on Instagram, and she posted a square. So I am eager to hear all her thoughts on it.

Jasmine:One friend flat out told me she’s happy I still love her.Tariro:It feels like it’s a way for white people who aren’t comfortable talking about racism to avoid doing so entirely, while acting like they are doing something. Instead of having to confront this thing that makes you so uncomfortable, you can now post a square and feel like you did something.

Caity:I think it all gets back to meaning well versus doing well.I have a white friend who, on Monday, posted videos of herself at a protest and shared information and links about activism in her Instagram Stories. It’s not her usual tone on Instagram. And I was genuinely touched by it. It made me feel happy and supported and loved.

(And she wasn’t tagging her black friends in these posts, mind.)Early in the day I checked to see if she had done a black square post, and she hadn’t. So I sent her a note to say that I really appreciated all the other stuff she was doing, and to let her know, just in case she was wondering about it, that I personally was not loving the black squares. I wanted to make it clear her other actions mattered more to me.

I have felt overwhelmed by the news but also invigorated by all the people sharing ways to be helpful. To have huge black voids suddenly appear on Instagram was jarring. I don’t begrudge any black person, especially, posting the black box. Cardi B posted one, and she’s a super-vocal advocate.

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Her account also highlights what I perceive as one of the flaws. She posted the box on her main feed and later uploaded an Instagram Story where she apologized for breaking the blackout to share information about voting in primary elections. And it’s like, oh, Cardi, please don’t apologize!

Tariro:I think that might be the only thing I’ve posted: someone else’s post urging people to vote. Also, guys, BRANDS! Brands love the square!Caity:I love holding brands accountable financially. I’m glad record companies are making donations today. But also: I don’t look to brands for inspiration, news or guidance.

Gene Demby from NPR has been doing a Twitter thread of brands’ well-meaning but often tone-deaf responses. Seeing them in aggregate is surreal.Did we need to hear this from a Garfield-themed food app?Jasmine:LOL, we definitely did not. Also, WHERE HAVE YOU ALL BEEN THE LAST 60 YEARS?! Like, Land O’Lakes

justtook the Native woman off of their packaging. The Cleveland Indians are still the Cleveland Indians. So much wrong and you all think one black square makes you Malcolm X. Read more: NYT Styles »

So damned if we do and damned if we don't? Tell us exactly how are we supposed to act when all we want to do is to support the cause? liamstack Yeah, rioting and looting. wtf? sapna Did everyone miss the point here? Yes the black boxes show allegiance by others (white and black). But the point (at least to me) was to fill the feed with the nothingness people are feeling, and that today is not a day for beauty products, shirtless hunks or puppy pics.

Okay fyi subway entrances are being blocked by the police.

Some parents are slamming Nickelodeon’s George Floyd tribute for ‘scaring children’Several ViacomCBS networks went dark for a symbolic eight minutes and 46 seconds on Monday night The parents mad nickelodeon today are the ones raising future racist, power-hungry cops. It's not hard to talk to your kids about race. Educate yourself, then educate your kids, and you'll both see why this was an important message. Their Kids! Common!... let them be kids... Yeah

Lights at the White house go dark as protests turn violent in Washington - InsiderLights at the White house go dark as protests turn violent in Washington poggers I wonder why they chose that man to lead them,he can't listen to his advisers,it's only one sweet word and the demos stop not those negative tweets all of us have Red Blood

ViacomCBS Brands Including MTV, Comedy Central and VH1 to Go Dark as Tribute to George FloydAll programming will be suspended for eight minutes and 46 seconds to bring awareness to the BlackLivesMatter movement Let's find out about thus man 😎. Last time I stuck up for a black man /white cop killing .the guy was quilty made me look like a fool grrr can do that without help . sequoia614 This is a good thing! The MSM is ALL owned by the globalists, so going dark means one less American being brainwashed by their Communist bullshit! Disgusting.

MTV goes dark, record labels hit pause as U.S. protests rageYouth television channel MTV and other stablemate channels said they will go dark around the world on Monday to mark the death in police custody of George Floyd, joining other U.S. entertainment outlets in condemning racial inequality. MTV still exists? Who watches it Yes the white House went dark too and the president went bunkers...

ViacomCBS & 4Music Among UK Broadcasting Networks To Go Dark In Tribute To George FloydChannel 4’s 4Music and ViacomCBS channels will be among the TV and radio networks in the UK that will go dark in tribute to George Floyd. The action, which has a number of monikers on social …

Celebs share Blackout Tuesday posts in protest over George Floyd killingCelebs have gone dark on social media , sharing only a black square, as a protest over the horrific death of George Floyd in America