The world’s biggest economy and oldest democracy, the United States of America, has had a long history of racial discrimination and civil unrest. Pioneers like Dr Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X and many more carried out mass rallies and forced the US government to make racial discrimination illegal in the eyes of the law of the United States. Many mass movement by the public for example, ‘I Can’t Breathe movement‘ ‘#Blacklivesmatter‘ and ‘#BlackoutTuesday‘ being the most recent one has helped a lot in creating awareness against discrimination of individuals on the basis of their race.

George Floyd, an African-American man, was killed On May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis, United States by Derek Chauvin, a “White” Minneapolis police officer.

Furthermore, a video showing Chauvin continuing to kneel on Floyd’s neck even after he pleaded, “I can’t breathe”, has spread like wildfire all over the globe leading to deep-seated anger of people over police killings of black Americans. Police had arrested Floyd after a deli employee complained to 911, accusing him of buying cigarettes with a $20 counterfeit bill. 

The video and awakening of thousands of people, against police violence and racism has led to a week long protests around the United States and the world. 

Setting a new record, The United States hasn’t seen such spine-chilling civil unrest in the past few decades. 

Ever since the protests broke out, millions of people took to social media to express their solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement and atrocities against the blacks around the world. 

Additionally, On Monday, the idea of ‘#TheShowMustBePaused’ for a day (June 2) was proposed by two black women in the music industry, Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang on Instagram. 

“We are tired and can’t change things alone. This is a call to action for those of us who work in music/entertainment/show business to pause on Tuesday, June 2nd because the show can’t just go on as our people are being hunted and killed.

Use this time on Tuesday to come together and figure out how we can hold our partners, colleagues and companies alike, accountable to come up with and execute a plan that actively supports and protects the VERY CULTURE that it profits from.

#THESHOWMUSTBEPAUSED,” Brianna wrote on Instagram. 

Jamilia and Brianna had asked people to take a day for an “ honest, reflective and productive conversation about what actions should be taken collectively to support the Black community.” #TheShowMustBePaused didn’t involve a black square or a social-media declaration which took ablaze by the netizens throughout June 2.

Artists like Rihanna, Rolling Stones, Taylor Swift, Alicia Keys, Coldplay, Justin Beiber and Joe Jonas posted black squares as a show of solidarity on their Instagram accounts under the #blackouttuesday banner leading to a sure-shot confusion about what was originally proposed. 

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Black Lives Matter #blackouttuesday

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Once posted by popular faces, there was no stopping of, #blackouttuesday protest, the black boxes on Instagram. Starting with the music industry, it reached other industries like film, dance, models and finally you and me or whoever supports the movement or stands against racism. 

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Black Lives Matter

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But the dilemma of what banner (#blacklivesmatter & #blackouttuesday) is correct was present throughout the day. Some netizens pledged to stay silent online for the day, while some interjected that the silence was not the answer. 

However, the day originally proposed as a day of ‘reflection and productive conversation’ after the death of George Floyd had a totally different transformation; most of the netizens complained that the #BlackLivesMatter movement was silenced by a flood of posts with relevant information going out of reach. 

Lil Nas X shared a screenshot of all the black posts under the Black Lives Matter hashtag and tweeted “this is not helping us. bro who the hell thought of this?? ppl need to see what’s going on.”

Amidst the hashtag confusion round the block, Kehlani, the R&B singer questioned the core of the ‘Original Info’, of the movement. 

“now, #TheShowMustBePaused initiative started by two black women Jamila Thomas & Brianna Agyemang dedicated to disrupting the music industry for a day… love that.

seen less of that tag and proper info on that.

industry folks need to specifically boost the ORIGINAL info”, twitted Kehlani. 

Irrespective of all the hustle-bustle on the internet over the running hashtags, several companies have extended their hand in solidarity of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. 

The complex is ‘exclusively’ publishing #BlackLivesMatter content, Spotify added an eight-minute, 36-second moment of silence to all playlists in honour of George Floyd, Interscope along with its partner labels isn’t releasing any new music for the rest of the week, Sony Music said it would expand its mental health support for employees, including grief counselling and a group meditation session this week and radio shows have gone silent.

Tuba Ahmed

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