In Their Bid To Seem Politically Correct, Corporations and Mainstream Media Are In The Process Undermining The #BlackLivesMatter Movement

The murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police officers in late May set off a chain reaction of #BlackLivesMatter protests and marches not only in the US but across the world. From Australia to the UK to Nigeria, people of all colors have taken to the streets to stand up for racial justice which has for decades been ignored by most Western world legislatures.

Although the #BlackLivesMatter movement has been active on social media since the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the killing of Trayvon Martin back in 2012, it never really got much support from either the corporate world or mainstream media, even left-leaning ones always choosing a centrist stance when it comes to issues regarding the movement. What has been different with the George Floyd protests is that unlike in the past, this time around, the support and coverage from the aforementioned has been immense.

From Adidas to Starbucks to Disney, etc releasing statements in support of the movement and also making different kinds of pledges to major news outlets like The New York Times and CNN giving the movement much needed mainstream publicity, one would think with all this backing, the movement is not very far from achieving what is really needed which is to institute legislature which is going to attain racial justice for people of color but this does not seem to be the case.

Over the last month during the course of the #BlackLivesMatter protests, together with the statements and pledges, a weird phenomenon has also been going on whereby corporations and other "friends of the movement" are going a somewhat unnecessary further step in addressing racial injustice in their internal structures. From realtors deciding to stop using the word "master" to describe bedrooms to white voice-over artists who have been voicing black characters quitting to sports teams with supposedly offensive names being forced to change them, it seems like in their quest to seem politically correct by way of these silly gestures, corporations are instead making a mockery of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. 

As one Twitter user perfectly put it on this thread, these silly and sometimes plain ridiculous gestures of corporations which are covered a lot by mainstream media put the maturity and intent of the movement in question. Instead of the focus being in the need to dismantle systematic racism by way of enacting proper legislation that will address racial injustices, it is instead put on these gestures which in no way help to advance the main mandate of the movement.

Apart from shifting attention from the main mandate of the movement, what these irrational stories also do is make it easy for anti #BlackLivesMatter movements to convince people who do not yet have a fixed stance on the issue of racial justice to not consider it as something a mature and rational person should align with my making it seem like these childish demands are what the movement is all about. The #BlackLivesMatter movement is actually not the first movement to fall victim to this rather strange paradox of corporate gestures making a mockery of the same movement they are trying to support. It has also happened with feminism and gender rights movements among many others. 

As much as this phenomenon is most probably an unintended consequence on the side of the corporations and mainstream media, there is no denying that it is undermining the work of progressive movements and needs to be addressed and the best way to do that is for the aforementioned parties, corporations, and mainstream media, to stop trying to be politically correct and instead work towards enacting internal policies which will actually contribute towards achieving the racial justice mandate. Mainstream media and big corporations have the power to really help the #BlackLivesMatter achieve its mandate and they should stop wasting it on running silly stories and making nonsensical gestures which are more or less a form of dilly-dallying from the main issue at hand. 

What is needed to achieve racial justice is not stopping the use of the word "master" to describe bedrooms, stopping the separation of black and white clothes in a washing machine, or any of that silliness being purported by corporations and mainstream media but legislation that will address issues like police brutality, redlining which prevents people of color from being economically competitive, removing the prison-industrial complex, etc. All these other silly gestures are just performative and distractive nonsense.