Cities across the world have been filled with anti-racism demonstrations and protests against police brutality since the killing of George Floyd in police custody May 25. A huge wave of support for the activists involved has also come from individuals IRL and online, as well as independent businesses and filmmakers, musicians, and artists with a larger platform.
However, many bigger brands and corporations have left a lot to be desired from their responses to the movement against systemic racism and the efforts of organisations such as Black Lives Matter over the past couple of weeks.
Many, for example, have been slow to make statements in support of the anti-racism movement and even slower to open their purses. Moreover, when they have made statements, they’re often tepid slogans about “diversity” and “inclusivity” that fail to enact any real change, designed to look pretty and minimise disruption on the brand’s Instagram feed.
Basically, a song parodying the response of “every corporation in America rn”, uploaded to TikTok by singer-songwriter Joy Oladokun, says it all: “Graphic design is the cure to racism / Graphic design, it will make the world fair / Here’s a white hand and a black hand and we put them together / Graphic design (hey), look over there.” (Meanwhile, the corporation “goes back to enacting policies that oppress everybody”.)
TikTok itself hasn’t been without criticism for its response to the Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death, though, accused of blocking tags related to both the group and Floyd himself as demonstrations grew (though the platform has since claimed that the issue was due to a bug).
Read more about how you can show your support for the anti-racism effort, and help make real change even if you can’t attend protests in person, here.