A virtual human rights movement has emerged as netizens pay tribute to George Floyd, a 46-year-old Minneapolis man, who recently died after being brutally restrained by a cop. Floyd’s last words were, “I can’t breathe…please…”.
Hundreds of millions of protesters have joined the US agitation, condemning Floyd’s ‘killing’. Voices against racial discrimination echo in the web world too.
How it all began?
Floyd entered a Cup Foods store and bought a pack of cigarettes on May 25 evening. The storekeeper alleged that Floyd had produced a fake $20 bill. He asked Floyd to return the pack. Floyd disagreed. This prompted the storekeeper to call 911 and eventually the Minneapolis man was arrested.
Floyd died apparently out of claustrophobia. For officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for over 9 minutes. The incident triggered the wildfire-like unrest over racial discrimination across America where people from all walks of lives are participating. Several states witnessed widespread violence, along with loots and arson.
Conflict over race has been going on in the West for ages. If you thought times have changed and now we have a bigger threat to fight together (no prize for right guess), we were wrong. Shame! We still fight over skin colour, religion, sexual identity and hundreds of other such factors.
Celebs join hands, seek justice for sacrificed Black lives
Over the past few days, the Hollywood celebs, musicians, sports persons and human rights activists have raised their voices on social media and also joined the mass protests in solidarity with the Black community. They have paid tribute to George Floyd in various ways.
Ariana Grande, Halsey, Jamie Foxx, Timothee Chalamet, Michael B. Jordan, Kristen Stewart, John Cusack, Ellen Page, Ben Affleck, Kendrick Sampson and Kehlani to name a few who joined the movement either in person or virtually.
hours and miles of peaceful protesting yesterday that got little to no coverage.
all throughout beverly hills and west hollywood we chanted, people beeped and cheered along.
we were passionate, we were loud, we were loving.
cover this too please. #BLACKLIVESMATTER https://t.co/vD90CEtF94 pic.twitter.com/GZ6uKDfPM7
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) May 31, 2020
Cusack claimed that he himself was targeted by cops as he stepped out to protest in Chicago. As the actor started filming the scene of violence from the protest site, cops armed with batons allegedly came towards him.
Cops didn’t like me filming the burning car so they came at me with batons. Hitting my bike.
Ahhm here’s the audio pic.twitter.com/tfaOoVCw5v”
— John Cusack (@johncusack) May 31, 2020
Famed director Quentin Tarantino, a known face to speak against racial discrimination, lost his property as his theatre was vandalised amid the ongoing unrest.
— Film Dialogue (@filmdialogueone) May 31, 2020
The Black Lives Matter movement has created ripples beyond the US boundaries. Star Wars actor John Boyega was seen protesting in London and addressing a crowd. Protests have erupted in Germany, Italy, Brazil, Denmark, China and several other countries.
Lucasfilm has released a statement in support of Star Wars actor John Boyega, calling him "our hero", after he delivered an impassioned speech at a Black Lives Matter protest in London. https://t.co/jRZmPfrYaY pic.twitter.com/Iwx6h72K1I
— IGN (@IGN) June 4, 2020
Though the protests started to turn violent soon after it erupted in Minneapolis, New York, New Orleans and other such places, over the past 2 days things seemed peaceful. Meghan Markle, while interacting with students at her old high school, said, “I am sorry that you have to grow up in a world where we still have this”.
“I wanted to say the right thing. I realised the only wrong thing to say is to say nothing. George Floyds life mattered & Breonna Taylors life mattered & Philando Castiles life mattered & Tamir Rices life mattered & so did so many other people” — Meghan Markle #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/KeIxkkooCc
— michelle (@ddarveyy) June 4, 2020
Over 10,000 people have been arrested in the US over protests against racism and police brutality, properties worth millions of dollars damaged. Amid all these, former US president Barak Obama offered words of hope and optimism for the days to come.
"Let’s do this another way. Let's stop thinking our voice don’t matter and vote. Not just for the president…educate yourself and know who you’re voting for. And that’s how we're going to hit 'em." https://t.co/WX6oLNRtI2
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) June 1, 2020
Brave voices against racial discrimination
Now there are some interesting protest voices as well. Believe it or not but US president Donald Trump’s youngest daughter Tiffany has extended her support to the Black Lives Matter movement. From the White House itself, the brave girl shot a video with her message against racial discrimination and posted on Instagram. Well done! You’re certainly not a typical “Daddy’s Girl” Tiffany.
After watching her post, many asked Tiffany to make her daddy dearest understand the movement’s significance. Our best wishes for the braveheart.
Meanwhile Floyd’s daughter said, “Daddy changed the world”.
In some provinces, we have seen cops apologizing for their actions in front of civilians. On the other hand, three UK teens were arrested after they mocked Floyd’s death scene and uploaded in Snapchat. Grow up boys, do something to make your parents proud!
#nature👮 FORGIVE ME
MIAMI POLICE DEPARTMENT, US:
when the people's anger rises, the wisest thing is to kneel down to apologize for the actions of our colleagues; not fight them".
When the demonstrators saw the entire Miami police kneeling apologetically, they burst into tears😪 pic.twitter.com/Anm1q3oCKZ
— 🇮🇩 Pha RADZIE🧕 (@palupiradzie) June 3, 2020
Indians genuine about BLM protests? Or just for PR?
Many Indian celebs like Karan Johar, Kangana Ranaut, Sonam Kapoor, Disha Patani and our Desi Girl Priyanka Chopra Jonas took to the social media to express their solidarity to the Black Lives Matter movement. They paid tribute to George Floyd in their own words. Though some critics argued that the celebs did this just for the PR.
List of Indian actors who are speaking on BLM and their fairness cream ads, a thread : pic.twitter.com/yUeRNLch6U
— anti pigeon (@aluminiummaiden) May 31, 2020
— anti pigeon (@aluminiummaiden) May 31, 2020
We understand the need to stay relevant ladies, but you forgot our Twitterati have the memory of an elephant! Playing safe doesn’t work always.
Rahul Dubey let nearly 70 strangers trapped by police into his home and allowed them to stay the night to avoid arrest. https://t.co/TKzWDJAxmX
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) June 3, 2020
Meanwhile, Rahul Dubey, an Indian-American businessman is being hailed as a hero after he offered shelter to over 70 protesters during the curfew in D.C. Now this is who we call a true Legend! #Respect.
Taking the movement against racial discrimination forward, a bunch of young and dynamic musicians from the Northeast India have created a unique music video. The initiative aims at ending racism towards the northeastern people.
Remember, if you join the #BLM protests but don’t mind calling the northeastern people “chinki”, then you are nothing but a hypocrite!