K-pop vs. The #BlackLivesMatter Movement
Updated: Jun 3
I'm going to keep this article short because what's been taking place in the Black community recently (and for centuries), has been so traumatic and scary, and it's been weighing heavy on my heart.
It's interesting how often K-pop idols take from Black culture. They replicate our slang, our mannerisms, our style, our aesthetic, and our entire demeanor. Yet seldom do they actually speak up on behalf of black people when we are faced with injustice. You would think that people who monitor the behaviour of Black people so often would know about the pain and oppression we are often forced to deal with.
I refuse to believe that people all across the world don't have a semblance of knowledge of the oppression, trauma, and abuse that Black people are faced with every single day. Right now in BOTH America and Canada, Black people are being murdered by the police at a rapid rate. People are risking their lives to go out and protest on their behalf despite the fact that there's a deadly health pandemic going on right now. Racism is costing the lives of so many innocent people every single day and yet I find it so convenient that people who often benefit from Black culture never have anything to say when crises like this are occurring. There comes a time when silence is DEADLY.
We don't want silence, but we also don't want performative wokeness. We want to see that these artists who go on and on about how much they love ALL of their fans and wouldn't be where they are without their diverse fanbases could use their large platforms to spread awareness about actual issues taking place in the world. It really reminds us how superficial celebrity culture is when people who have millions of supporters can't even use an opportunity like this to speak up and show support on behalf of marginalized communities, but especially on the marginalized community that they so often draw inspiration from.
K-pop would NOT be where it is today without Black culture, dance crazes created by Black people, Black musicians, and musical genres created by Black people yet we seldom see them actually acknowledge them and show respect to the people they so often copy.
I really appreciate both Big Matthew from KARD and Jay Park for speaking up about the #BlackLivesMatter community and the racial injustice taking place in America today. This would be a great opportunity for other idols, especially those who grew up outside of South Korea and have had exposure to living amongst other ethnic groups to shed light on what's been happening and show their support. But, I won't hold my breath if they don't.
UPDATE: This K-pop rockband called 2Z not only kneeled, but they reshared a comic regarding George Floyd in Korean to share to their followers. They also mentioned Goerge Floyd on Idol Radio.
I've also included an ongoing thread of K-pop idols who have spoken up on behalf of the Black Lives Matter movement. Some of them honestly did the absolute bare minimum, but I''m at least glad that they used their large platforms effectively.
Anyways, it just feels so out of place to even talk about anything else right now. I hope everyone is doing well during this time, taking care of their health, staying close to loved ones, and remaining strong. As Don Lemon said, there are two deadly viruses going on right now: COVID-19 and Racism.