Putting a Stop to Performative Activism | Scoop Sorority

Living in the digital age, many social movements start on social media. This year, more than ever, we saw nearly everyone posting about the Black Lives Matter movement.

The Black Lives Matter movement serves to make a change for the years of disrespect and lack of protection against the Black Community.

While the movement deserves all the support and participation it can get, when can we start calling out the performative activism that exploded all over social media and is still happening now?

“I Didn’t Know”

When Noah Cyrus took to Instagram last week to defend Harry Styles against Candace Owen’s criticisms, she did not get the reaction she expected.

On a story post, the singer wrote, “He wears this dress better than any of [you] nappy ass heauxz.”

It was clear to many that Cyrus comments were directed at the conservative commentator, as Owens started the discourse on Styles’ Vogue cover not being ‘manly.’

After receiving backlash for using the racial slur ‘nappy’, Cyrus apologized and claimed she didn’t know what the term meant. She then went on to say she thought the word meant “tired.”

Many have responded to this claim by feeling had the roles been reversed and a Black woman verbally attacked a white woman, their career would’ve been over.

The fact of the matter is, this half-hearted apology is not good enough.

Performative Activism

Performative activism is activism that is done only to benefit one’s status or brand.

Because of social media, celebrities and influencers have huge platforms that can and should be used to spread important information, beyond monetary gain. When done right, the impact can be amazing, but when it’s performative it needs to be called out.

Like in Cyrus’ case, we have seen white celebrities show public support to the BLM movement, only to retreat back into their privileged bubble, where ignorance to the matter isn’t questioned.

“I didn’t know” might have worked in the past but it is 2020. There are too many resources out there for us to continue to use being uninformed as an excuse!

Allies are not expected to know all the answers, or all the right things to say. Sometimes it’s important to listen instead of speak.

This is why people, like Cyrus, feel the need to speak out on stuff when it is not their place.  The need to be woke when you shouldn’t be the one speaking in the first place, is going to continue to be an issue unless people actually start to care.

It’s not a “woke” contest.  These are people’s lives and these words hold a heavy history and meaning.

How We Can Do Better!

It is and has always been time to do better for the Black community. They have proved multiple times that they show up for all marginalized communities and yet the same is not reciprocated.

We cannot continue to consume Black culture through literally every type of entertainment medium, while being ignorant to the issues they face.  

If we want to be the allies we claim to be on social media, then it’s time to cut it out and be the best ally we can!

In order to better and be an ally check out Blacklivesmatters.carrd.co for information!

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