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HOW NEW GENERATIONS DEFINE ANOTHER CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT

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More than 60 years ago, Black and Brown people gathered to protest racism, inequality and police brutality against minorities. Today, it is sad to say that nothing much has changed when it comes to protesting for the civil and basic rights of minorities in this country.

Just like in the 1950s and 60s, many young people today have given it their all in the name of equity and justice for all, but has the civil rights movement of today become a superficial mimicry of this reputable time in history?

It would be biased to not take the impact that social media has on protests and the civil rights movement of today. People are often informed through social media platforms of protest, gatherings or meetings, and platforms have also been used as a place to keep record of police accountability—a tool that the past Civil Rights Movement didn’t have.

That very tool, however, has made protests and other serious demonstrations of our rights an opportunity for influencers or bandwagoners to hijack the movement and make a farce out of it.

A viral video in the last couple of months following the George Floyd case showed a woman fashionably dressed holding up a protest sign, posing for the camera at a demonstration while protesters around her booed and sneered at her.

Companies are no better. Music and podcast app Tidal has recently provided their listeners with “Peaceful Protest Playlists” in the genres of Hip-Hop and R&B. Although demonstrators do try to be peaceful, Tidal’s efforts to “be about it” are tone deaf considering that these protest against police brutality never end peacefully at the hands of law enforcement.

Brands like Footlocker has been revealed to not actually donate money to groups like Black Lives Matter as their Facebook post had claimed. Other brands that claim to be “woke,” like Urban Outfitters and Reformation, have also been revealed to have racist internal issues, according to an article by The Guardian.

The Civil Rights Movement that happened more than 60 years ago isn’t even a shadow of the what is going on today. In today’s movement, there is no Malcolm X, Fred Hampton or Stokely Carmichael.  Although the issues are the same, many opportunists have stolen the limelight to brand themselves and profit off the deaths and pain many Black and Brown people are dealing with for the sake of “wokeness” in these so-called progressive times.

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