Thousands took to social media on Tuesday to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matters movement by participating in Blackout Tuesday — but leaders are asking participants not to use hashtags associated with the movement.
Blackout Tuesday was originally planned as a protest for those in the music industry in response to the death of George Floyd. Floyd died in Minneapolis police custody on Memorial Day, and bystadner video showed an officer kneeling on Floyd's neck. Officer Derek Chauvin has been charged with murder in connection with his death.
According to Rolling Stone, artists, producers and executives in the music industry originally called for June 2 to be a day to "not conduct business as usual" and instead use the day to support the black community. According to The Verge, many in the music industry were initially positing black squares along with the hashtag #TheShowMustBePaused.
The movement quickly spread beyond the music industry, and the #TheShowMustBePaused hashtag was dropped by many in favor of more direct slogans, like #BlackLivesMatter.
However, the Blackout Tuesday posts have begun to obscure the messages of some in the black community. Rapper Chuck Inglish and singer Kehlani were among those to point out that pages of black squares tagged with hashtags like #BlackLivesMatter and #BLM were burying important messages that need to be shared with the activist community.
Activists point out that hashtags like #BlackLivesMatter, #BLM and #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd have been used to share viral videos of police during the protest — whether those videos be of potential brutality or police standing in solidarity with protesters.
#TheShowMustBePaused initiative has published several ways people can participate or donate on Blackout Tuesday. Click here for more information.