The Black Lives Matter “Trend” in America

A Black Lives Matter protester holding a sign talking about the trend of the BLM movement

A Black Lives Matter protester holding a sign talking about the trend of the BLM movement

Debbie Lawhead, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Just a few months ago, Black Lives Matter was a huge movement, and everyone was posting information, petitions, and fund links. Black Lives Matter was officially trending.

The movement was at an all-time high for public support and it seemed everyone had found their passion for social justice. As time went on, posts got less and less. Everyone went back to “normal” life, forgetting the fight was still going on, while the news no longer spoke of the protest, and people lost interest in what they considered a trend.

A post regarding one’s feelings about the trend like interest in the Black Lives Matter movement
A sign from a Black Lives Matter protest

This trend seemingly got a huge uptick after the video of George Floyd being murdered came out. From this, came protests and calls to action, and people wanted justice for the unjust murder. Shortly thereafter, many other cases became well-known, such as Breonna Taylor and Elijah McClain. Neither person received the justice they deserve, and in both cases, the murderers got off without anything more than a slap on the hand.

Social media was flooded with posts regarding these unjust murders and ways to help out the movement. Many spent time sharing petitions to sign and places to donate. Many others began posting educational posts, often were referred to as “unlearning” due to the correcting of the white-washed history most Americans are taught. You couldn’t go use social media without seeing something that mentioned Black Lives Matter.

The counterpoint to this now very public movement, was that many people began spreading hate and misinformation. They would attempt to criminalize the BLM movement and say that black lives didn’t matter, but that all lives mattered.  While “all lives matter” seemingly sounds good, the real connotation of it is purely racist. It is only used to suppress the voices of the BLM movement and ignore their call to action. Many times Anti- BLM people would get hashtags such as #bluelivesmatter or #alllivesmatter trending, and to block their attempt, K-Pop stans flooded the hashtags’ posts, preventing the hateful post from being seen.

Black Lives Matter protesters standing up to the police, who were tear-gassing and assaulting protesters
Screenshots of the Instagram post under Black Lives Matter-related hashtags. This massive posting trend ended up blocking real information from being seen and flooded the tags with nothing besides empty black squares.

As fast as this movement grew in popularity, it dwindled just as fast. Suddenly, it was August and most people had grown quiet–no more posts, no more news coverage, no more talk. The movement has been treated as nothing more than a trend, with people’s lives being wrongfully taken at the hands of racism and law enforcement. Those not affected turned the other cheek once it was no longer “woke” to support it. While many supporters weren’t surprised, just as many were hurt that the value of their lives was seen as a trend rather than a true and dire movement.

While many Americans are still supporting and helping push the movement forward, the mass amount of public support is gone. The population looked at people’s lives as a bandwagon trend, forgetting the real meaning of Black Lives Matter. It is so much more than a hashtag or a statement–it’s the ongoing fight for equality, a struggle that has been going on for hundreds of years.

It represents the memory of the innocent lives wrongfully taken that racists somehow found a way to justify. From the moment a person of color is born, they are faced with racism and hate that will follow them and affect their whole life; while those unaffected choose ignorance as they turn the other cheek, effectively allowing this hatred to continue.

As the movement’s “trend” dies down, the innocent lives lost increase, the hate-driven actions continue, and racism remains the base of how our nation was created and how it continues to function. As the Black Lives Matter movement dwindles out of the public eye, each and every black square posted remains a mere memory to nearly everyone who posted them.

People need to look beyond their own lives and see the wrongful suffering and the struggles those around us go through and push for a better tomorrow for them. Black Lives Matter, and while many treated it as a trend, it is far more than a trend and it won’t just disappear until true equality and justice are accomplished.

Black Lives Matters websites homepage