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To everyone who deleted their black square

by Tone Breistrand about a year ago in social media

did it mean anything at all?

To everyone who deleted their black square
Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Two weeks ago we joined together to show support and muted ourselves on Instagram by posting black squares, to amplify the black voices calling for justice. Way over 20 million users posted black squares on their accounts, and it was amazing to see such a large number of people taking a stand against racism.

Now, sadly, a lot of people have not only gone silent, but also deleted the black square from their profile. Apparently it's ugly and messes up their feed. I really don't get this. Is a black square among your pictures uglier than racism? Is showing that you joined in on a global online protest against discrimination something to hide? Isn't it something to be proud of? I'm sorry, but if you, after knowing that black people are dying for no reason and constantly facing discrimination, still worry about what your Instagram feed looks like... You need to check your privilege. That black square was a part of history. We're making a change in the world, and it's gonna feel nice for the people who left their black square up, to look back on it and the fact that they were part of a historic day, during the current civil rights movement.

If you deleted the black square, please check in on yourself and figure out the reason why. Is it because you jumped on the bandwagon of posting the square because it was a trend and everyone else did it, but you didn't think any more of it and deleted it after? Was it because you only posted it because you feared you'd look bad if you didn't? Was it really because your feed just looked ugly with the black square in it? Please, wake up. You doing the bare minimum in an incredibly significant fight for basic human rights, then later downright deleting your participation, doesn't make you a good person. It makes you an extremely passive non-racist who doesn't care to fight for justice. I know not everyone has the time and money to dedicate themselves completely to being active all day, but please try and do something every day to show your stand against racism. We need everyone on board, and we need consistency.

I'm white, and will never understand what people of colour go through. If you like me aren't a victim of racism, never forget that learning about racism rather than experiencing it is a huge privilege. But you don't need to endure it to know that it's wrong, and knowing that something like that goes on around the world, every day, should be enough motivation to speak up and take a stand. I'm not embarrassed to share posts and articles all day long, for a cause that I believe in. And not all of it's pretty. You don't win a war by sharing only cute stuff that matches the rest of your feed. People need to see the truth of what's happening out there. The videos showing black people being mistreated by police aren't pretty, but the world needs to see them. It's real, and we need to do what we can to stop it. Leaving a black square on your Instagram feed really isn't a big sacrifice.

“I cannot do all the good that the world needs. But the world needs all the good that I can do.” I love this quote by Jana Stanfield. It's okay that you can't do everything, but please do what you can. Racial injustice has been going on for far too long, and we can't just be silent and let it keep happening. We should have stopped it a long time ago, so we really need to make as much noise as we can now. A change is beyond overdue. Take action now.

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Tone Breistrand

Hi there! I am a Norwegian writer living in London. I like to write about love, Disney and finding happiness.

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