The Impact of Technology on the BLM Movement - Rhea Kochher


Black Lives Matter is an international human rights movement that was

founded in 2013. However, it has started to gain much more prominence and

momentum recently. In the midst of an unprecedented pandemic, people are

increasingly dependent on technology to keep themselves updated on global

news. They say ignorance is bliss, but not knowing only does more harm than

good.


Around the end of May, George Floyd’s video was released to the public

through social media. Through numerous shares of the video on various social

media platforms, awareness of this act of systemic racial oppression spread like

wildfire. In the video, a white police officer was kneeling on Floyd’s neck

while Floyd repeatedly said he could not breathe. The white police officer

refused to remove his knee, which resulted in the unfortunate death of George

Floyd.


The video received a lot of attention and caused many people to prepare for

action and organize protests. On Instagram, many shared information on statistics

about systemic racial oppression, links to petitions, and fundraising sites. There

was widespread discussion all over various social media platforms including

Instagram, Tiktok, Snapchat, Twitter, etc. Despite the fact that there is an ongoing

pandemic, many showed their support and allegiance to the black community by

organizing protests, spreading awareness on social media, raising funds, and

signing petitions. The pandemic did not stop people from connecting,

communicating and empathizing with one another. Why?


The answer is technology. Through technology, people were able to

pressure the charges of police officer Derek Chauvin. Initially, he was charged

with third degree murder, but after many signatures on petitions, his charge was

changed to second degree murder. Second degree murder means that the killer

inteneded to kill the victim while third degree murder means that the killer

intended to harm the victim, but not kill him/her. A petition was made to send a

clear message to the senator and the governor of the state of Minneapolis to

prosecute the officer fairly by charging him with second degree murder. These

petitions were constantly being shared on almost every social media platform,

allowing hundreds of thousands of people to take action, even if they were

quarantined at home.


With the scroll of a cursor and the click of a button, anyone not living under

a rock could have found out about the recent news of George Floyd’s death.

However, his death was only the beginning of serving justice. Technology does

not allow solely one person to be the beholder of valuable information. Anything

can be easily shared on instagram...like I said – wildfire.


Now, people are bringing up important stories of other African Americans

mistreated by the justice system. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Elijah Mcclain,

Ahmaud Marquez Arbery, and many other important people’s stories are now

being brought to light, and justice is now being demanded. Technology unites

people in standing up for a cause together; a cause that is not being kept a

secret, but being yelled through a virtual megaphone.

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