Following the murder of American citizen George Floyd on May 25 by a white police officer in Minnesota protests erupted across the United States. Thousands began marching and continue to do so in opposition to the continued execution of innocent black people and the pervasive and systemic racism that exists in America.
The mobilisation of people from all ages, backgrounds, ethnicities and genders across the Atlantic has resulted in shows of solidarity in Ireland and across the rest of the world. These displays of unity have been followed with inward looks at the injustice that exists within our own countries and how we can do better. Numerous calls to action have been raised on social media with silence being equated to complicity.
Artists shared literature to educate people on racism, provided links to movements we can donate to, raised awareness and shared their sorrow at the current state of affairs.
Denise Chaila spoke candidly on the intersectionality of activism and the need to recognise that if you care about people’s emotional well-being or feminism or any other movement you must also care about challenging racism.
Caring about mental health in Ireland also means caring about racial justice.
Caring about feminism in Ireland means caring about racial justice.
Caring about any movement means you care about it ALL.
You don’t get to pick and choose. It’s connected.
— denise (@DeniseChaila) May 31, 2020
Mango x MathMan
Dublin duo Mango x MathMan made a call to action to support MASI (Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland), calling for an end to direct provision.
This is not just an American issue but a worldwide issue. It is systemic, cyclical and evil. It is present here in Ireland with Direct Provision which we should all be call to be ended here. Please support @masi_asylum as well. — Mango X MathMan (@MangoXMathMan) May 29, 2020
Using your voice and privilege is more than simply posting on social media, but it’s a good place to start. Diffusion Lab’s Soulé encouraged people to do everything they can to support.
Stand for what is right. Stand for human rights. STAND FOR BLACK LIVES. Don’t keep quiet , use your voice NOW. SIGN PETITIONS, DONATE and PROTEST. #blacklivesmatter✊✊✊ pic.twitter.com/iELK2miacP — SOULÉ (@SouleOfficial) June 1, 2020
Sign Petitions, donate where you can, go to protests and don’t be afraid to shout about it on social media. As an artist this has really shook me to the core and I will continue to shout about it no matter who I piss off. — SOULÉ (@SouleOfficial) May 31, 2020
Hip hop is the most popular genre in the world and while it is open to people of all colours, ethnicities and backgrounds to contribute to the sound, there is a baseline level of respect that should be shown to the culture.
Erica Cody called on white people to use their privilege and platform for good and linked a petition calling for justice for the late George Floyd.
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✊ if you have black friends, you stay quiet or are nowhere to be seen or heard when issues like this arise.. you are doing them wrong.. so next time your casually racist don’t hit me with the “but I’ve black mates”. If you “love” the culture, if you “love making hip hop tunes” at the expense of fetishising black women, using racial slurs, have posed in blackface and are a meant to be a “GUEST” in the culture yet don’t bother to shed light on your platform, you do not have a right to the culture you are doing the culture wrong. You are doing us wrong. What is it going to take? Another life?? When I see these videos, I see a family member, a loved one, an aunt, uncle, cousin, BROTHER, SISTER, grandmother. My heart only hurts for my family living in SC and gets angry for his family, where is the justice, respect, dignity? Link in my bio to sign the petition. #blacklivesmatter #georgefloyd A post shared by Leoness Princess (@ericacody) on
JyellowL J spoke at length about the systematic problems that black people face and the need for a stronger response to the continued violence from police officers.
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We need to take practical steps to make the change so there’ll never be another victim of this kind of injustice. Allow us to protect ourselves from those assigned to protect us. Don’t turn a blind eye because you can’t relate to our struggle. Bring back the Panthers but let’s do it right this time. POWER TO THE FUCKING PEOPLE ✊ A post shared by Yellowman (@jyellowl) on
Celaviedmai shared a powerful poem from American civil rights activist Maya Angelou.
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Out of the huts of history’s shame I rise Up from a past that’s rooted in pain I rise I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise. – Maya Angelou We rise We rise We rise Speak up please speak up I love you alll peace love and light ♥️ #lechéileblm #justiceforgeorgefloyd #blacklivesmattertoo #endracism A post shared by ᴄ ᴠ ᴅ ᴍ (@celaviedmai) on
Laying it out plain and simply, Nealo drew attention to the evils that exist in Ireland.
Irish people find it hard to accept the fact that we have a racism problem over here aswell. Have yis heard of direct provision by any chance? Fuck sake. — Nealo (@NellydaSilla) May 29, 2020
Click here to sign a petition to end Direct Provision.
Click here for a website bringing updates on the investigation into George’s death and for a link to where you can sign a petition.