By Comrade Double Gi
“Performative Activism” is defined as activism that is done to increase one’s social benefits and status rather than because of one’s commitment to a cause. It is a way to look “woke” rather than actually seeking to change colonialism and its structures within society.
Whether you are tweeting, on FedBook, or uploading to IG, the sheer volume of such “activism” on your social media feed makes it seem like the place to gain back your power — like everyone’s supporting anti-colonial struggle. Black squares, t-shirts with George Floyd’s and Breonna Taylor’s faces. Even your colonizer friend constantly uploading pictures of white and brown hands, with phrases like “we are one” underneath the photo. I urge you to ask yourself,
What happens when the screens are shut off?
Social media has tricked us into thinking rhyming posters at protests and hashtags will overturn colonialism and its effects on our lives. We, as colonized people, must learn the difference between genuine revolutionary change versus performative activism.
According to Pew Research Center’s analysis of publicly available tweets, “The #BlackLivesMatter hashtag, which is often used in connection with police-related deaths of Black Americans, has been used roughly 47.8 million times on Twitter – an average of just under 3.7 million times per day – from May 26 to June 7,”
47.8 million tweets, and what has changed? Do you feel safer as a colonized person against colonizers and THEIR systems used to harm us? Has the white ruling class denounced its power against this brigade of 280 characters? This form of slacktivism will only push us backwards.
Our lives are not an aesthetic!
Many celebrities stayed silent on the lynchings of colonized people by the pigs, until a day in early June of 2020 allowed them to show their support in a way that benefited them. Blackout Tuesday caused a flood of reposts of a large, black square. Many Celebrities and social media influencers, afraid of looking to “political,” shared their black squares immediately. This flushed out any real and needed information under the hashtag #blacklivesmatter, replacing it with a neat way to “show support.”
Emma Watson, a colonizer celebrity who stayed silent for 5 days, “spoke up” on blackout Tuesday and was called out for trying to match her aesthetic. “Emma Watson taking time out of her day to edit a black square so that it fits her Instagram feed at age THIRTY but not posting a single link to donate/sign petitions just isn’t sitting right,” one tweet reads regarding her posting.
Revolution is not, and will never be easy, or neat.
But where are all our “white allies” when the violence isn’t recorded? Where are they when the news coverage doesn’t benefit them? It becomes clear many of the white whipping class are only willing to decry white supremacy for the clout. Or worse, when they can hi-jack our rebellions.
Unity from colonizers isn’t simply denouncing what we already know is wrong. Colonizers need to actively destroy the colonial forces they benefit from, and they can only do that if they fall under Colonized poor and working-class leadership.
Performative Activism Kills Colonized People!
Whenever Antifa and white “leftists” flock to take selfies in cities where a lynching just happened, whenever they start inciting violence in our communities, every news station in amerikkka spins their actions against us. Their acts of violence bring crackdowns from the pigs in colonized communities, leading to our further incarceration and murder. Antifa and white leftists are the embodiment of performative activism.
It’s simple; white leftists cause fights, and we, colonized people, are left to bear the blows from this colonial society when it lashes back. After punching people in the face, I wonder how it solved anything for colonized people.
Performative activism isn’t just useless. It’s dangerous and has never been the goal of working-class colonized revolutionaries. Liberation will never be given to us by our oppressor or by shaming colonized people. We have to build that power ourselves. We aren’t here saying social media isn’t a way to spread news or educate the masses.
Beyond the screen!
This past year showed us we can beg amerikkkan society 40 million times to care about our lives, but it isn’t enough. Colonizers know that it would take the dismantling of every single system that upholds their status by oppressing us. Colonizers aren’t ready to give up the systematic inequalities THEY CREATED to be on top. That is unless they are willing to fall under the leadership of the Colonized Masses.
To build dual contending power, we are working towards Hammer City, a city for Colonized people ONLY! We’re building our own revolutionary healthcare system, our own schools, and our own people’s court!
If you are tired of genocide being waged in your name, don’t worry. We have a place for our colonizer friends, neighbors, and followers; we urge you to drop the performance act and move toward the right side of history! Join our Reparations Corps and contribute to all Colonized people’s liberation with whatever you can: land, resources, skills, possessions, and/or monetary reparations.
Use your writing talents to further the Liberation of all Colonized People by joining Black Hammer Times today! We are looking for journalists, reporters, poets, and more, so do not worry; there is a spot on our team for you.
You can also submit your work to us, and as long as it unites with our 4 Principles of Unity, you will see your writing published on all of our platforms.