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Are You Showing Support for Black Lives Matter in Second Life?


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The tempest that is currently engulfing the United States in the aftermath of the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and (of course) a host of other black men and women at the hands of law enforcement officials has spilled over into protests in support of BLM in other nations and cities around the world, including my own. Inevitably, and I think justifiably, events of this magnitude spill over into the virtual world we inhabit; there is an important sense in which "overlays" the other.

If you support the message of the protesters, have you found a way to express that support in-world? I have seen a number of avatars in the past couple of days wearing BLM tee shirts, for instance (and I have one myself I've been wearing).

Have you found other ways to demonstrate support, as for instance in-world events, concerts, and the like?

As a semi-retired in-world activist, I'm particularly interested to know what sorts of ways we are finding to show support for justice for black people (and people of colour in general, for that matter) in the context of RL events.

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Not as such, no. We don't really have that kind of thing here as, well, our law enforcement seldom gun down people - and whilst I obviously do not condone of it, I'm hesitant to give my 'official' (i.

Alrighty, now that I've gone ahead and cleared out some not so pleasant posts from this thread I wanted to drop a quick note here. As many of you have seen me say several times before, delving in

Thank you for this.   Black woman here.  Of A Certain Age.  I have my BLM shirt.   For whatever that means. (freewheeling it here, went from wanting to say something to not wanting to say anythi

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Lillith Hapmouche said:

The shirt-wearing approach or the looting and setting things ablaze way?

An inevitable response, but also admittedly one that has to be addressed.

I'm not going to get into the question of who, exactly, is doing the looting and burning, and what the relationship of this is to the protests, beyond saying that identifying the destructive and deeply counter-productive things that have been happening in some cities is a complicated issue.

Unless you believe that the fact that some people -- who, individually, may or may not be BLM protesters -- engaging in destructive behaviours complete invalidates both the peaceful protests and the justice of the cause they represent, the answer is pretty obvious, surely.

I stand with and for non-violent protest, myself. And, as looting and burning are rather difficult to conduct in SL, it seems to me pretty much a non-issue in this context anyway.

Edited by Scylla Rhiadra
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   Not as such, no. We don't really have that kind of thing here as, well, our law enforcement seldom gun down people - and whilst I obviously do not condone of it, I'm hesitant to give my 'official' (i.e. 'personal') support to any movement which I don't fully grasp. No one should have to live in fear of violence or prejudice from one's own nations law enforcement, and that this is happening in a supposedly modern nation appears rather absurd. 

   I do however, for once, agree with Trump's sentiment of calling Antifa a terrorist organisation. Whilst I understand that they aren't really a very organized organization, anyone who willingly join a group which through violence seek to disturb the democratic process should be viewed as a potential threat, especially as they often recruit very young teens who don't understand what they are getting themselves into. Here, they've been responsible from everything from invading the homes of right-wing politicians, attacking their families, stalking their spouses and children, even putting out 'bounties' on people promising cash and knuckledusters (illegal weapons, by our laws) to anyone who 'teach them a lesson'. 

   Protesting is one thing, and one thing that I can fully get behind. But the rioting and looting, attacking random police officers in retribution? That's simply not constructive, it's opportunistic and destructive, greedy and disrespectful of the real issue and its victims.

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7 minutes ago, Orwar said:

Not as such, no. We don't really have that kind of thing here as, well, our law enforcement seldom gun down people - and whilst I obviously do not condone of it, I'm hesitant to give my 'official' (i.e. 'personal') support to any movement which I don't fully grasp. No one should have to live in fear of violence or prejudice from one's own nations law enforcement, and that this is happening in a supposedly modern nation appears rather absurd. 

Thanks, Orwar. For what it's worth, I am in general agreement with nearly everything you say here, barring some nuance around the issue of Antifa, which, as you say, isn't really an "organization" so much as a collective noun for "Hot Headed Idiots Who Engage in Counter-Productive and Unjustifiable Violence in the Service of a Cause that Deserves Better."

I'm actually -- believe it or not -- hoping that this thread does not, however, become a debate about the protests, riots, and so forth. I'm not trying to be "incendiary" here: I am quite seriously most interested in the ways that people are expressing their support in-world.

That said, it's also pretty clear, I'm sure, that my own interest isn't merely "academic." One of the reasons I'm interested in hearing about how BLM is being articulated in SL is that I hope to get some good hints and ideas from it.

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Yes, I thought about it but I wanted to make a black female avatar.  I can't find the skin company now...it's something like Nnovatine maybe.  It has mostly Black and Asian skins and/or all Black and Asian skins and starts with an N or a double N like this Nn.  I really wanted to do this but cannot find the skin store now.  

I think it is important to do it in a non-aggressive way such as not screaming in each other faces in chats or anything like that.  

I haven't seen a t-shirt yet.

A report from the Police Chief is out that the four men will be held accountable.  

 

 

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I'm just getting in-world for the first time today,  and hope to be posting a picture shortly with a couple of gifts put out yesterday at Petite Mort (they are with the group gifts in the store, but no group tag is needed to pick them up) - a BLM cropped tank top, and a Compassion Tapestry which I really like.  I went to all 3 of my SL houses last night to hang the tapestry up in each one:

     In this house, we believe:

          Black Lives Matter

          Women's Rights are Human Rights

          No Human is Illegal

          Science is Real 

          Love is Love

          Kindness is Everything

 

I really like the tapestry, and am racking my not-to-creative brain of how I might make something like that for my home in RL. 

 

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20 minutes ago, Moira Timmerman said:

I'm just getting in-world for the first time today,  and hope to be posting a picture shortly with a couple of gifts put out yesterday at Petite Mort (they are with the group gifts in the store, but no group tag is needed to pick them up) - a BLM cropped tank top, and a Compassion Tapestry which I really like.  I went to all 3 of my SL houses last night to hang the tapestry up in each one

Thanks Moira; this is immediately useful for me! I've been wearing a free gift BLM hoodie from Bunk, but I'd like to diversify a bit, and I want to give the members of my groups some choice too. I'll check this out tonight.

22 minutes ago, Moira Timmerman said:

In this house, we believe:

          Black Lives Matter

          Women's Rights are Human Rights

          No Human is Illegal

          Science is Real 

          Love is Love

          Kindness is Everything

As for your credo -- I am unsurprised, knowing you, that your home is so lovely, and loving.

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53 minutes ago, FairreLilette said:

Yes, I thought about it but I wanted to make a black female avatar.  I can't find the skin company now...it's something like Nnovatine maybe.  It has mostly Black and Asian skins and/or all Black and Asian skins and starts with an N or a double N like this Nn.  I really wanted to do this but cannot find the skin store now.  

I think it is important to do it in a non-aggressive way such as not screaming in each other faces in chats or anything like that.  

I haven't seen a t-shirt yet.

A report from the Police Chief is out that the four men will be held accountable.  

 

 

https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/Kiyori-BLM-Crop-Top-GIFT/19685081

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Posted (edited)
59 minutes ago, FairreLilette said:

Yes, I thought about it but I wanted to make a black female avatar.  I can't find the skin company now...it's something like Nnovatine maybe.  It has mostly Black and Asian skins and/or all Black and Asian skins and starts with an N or a double N like this Nn.  I really wanted to do this but cannot find the skin store now.

Ordinarily, I'd not query your desire to represent as black in SL -- although I do think that representing other races can be problematic.

In this instance, however, where the point is to show support for a community that has been brutalized and oppressed in RL because of the colour of their skin, I'm not sure that I think this is appropriate? As a white woman (and one, moreover, from Canada), I can't even begin to imagine what it must be like to be a black woman (much less man) in the US. To represent as black in that context -- where I am trying to act as an ally, rather than as one who can speak from personal experience -- might be easily misread. I can be a witness to their grief and pain, but theirs is the lived experience.

59 minutes ago, FairreLilette said:

I think it is important to do it in a non-aggressive way such as not screaming in each other faces in chats or anything like that.  

I haven't seen a t-shirt yet.

Absolutely, with regard to not yelling and screaming.

For tees, and such, check out the MP; there are a few things there now, and more will undoubtedly be appearing. Also see what Moira and Kali say, above.

59 minutes ago, FairreLilette said:

A report from the Police Chief is out that the four men will be held accountable.

I certainly hope, so! However, the problems are systemic and go far beyond this one case.

Edited by Scylla Rhiadra
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18 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Thanks Moira; this is immediately useful for me! I've been wearing a free gift BLM hoodie from Bunk, but I'd like to diversify a bit, and I want to give the members of my groups some choice too. I'll check this out tonight.

As for your credo -- I am unsurprised, knowing you, that your home is so lovely, and loving.

Thank you.  I can't take credit for the credo - it was on the tapestry gift - but I am certainly adopting it, as it does truly represent my values in RL. 

 

On a side note, I had considered changing my hair to one of the other styles I have been recently wearing, but then realized that it was dreadlocks, and thought that could be seen as culturally insensitive in terms of the subject of the picture I was taking. 

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Posted (edited)

Sadly, to the question, "Are you showing support for BLM in SL?" the answer is no. That's not because I don't support it, or join in the continuing outrage of the blatant racism that is being fueled in part by the rhetoric coming from the top of the pile (the pile of ... ). Racism has plagued our country from the beginning and sorry folks, it has plagued every country on the globe in varying degrees at varying times.  It took me days before I could watch what is essentially a snuff film of Floyd's death. I am disgusted the thug who committed the intentionally malicious murder is only being charged with Murder 3 (the last I heard).

I'm not doing anything because I don't see people in SL. I'm rarely in public. I will probably wear a tee-shirt if I am. But right now I'm hiding out by working on a sim build.

Something NEEDS to be done in RL, and so reflected in SL.  But it isn't "thoughts and prayers" and feeling like by uttering that platitude that you've done something. We've been doing that to gun violence and look where that's gotten us. (Nowhere.) 

That video you share of "Before you call the cops" just... I weep just thinking about it.

For my 10th rez day I thought I'd make the next 10 years different from my normal pale white brunette girl, and I created what I think is a rather stunning black avatar. Like you mentioned above, I wouldn't feel comfortable switching back over to her right now. There's no way I can claim to know what blacks inworld and in RL face 24/7 and to pretend otherwise just seems disrespectful. But I don't know. I have no idea how the black community would view that (and I realize there isn't one, homogeneous black community that speaks for everyone). Seems like the situation needs real action, but I don't know what that is or what I can do. Random acts of Liberal White Guilt probably aren't any of them.

 

Edited by Gatogateau
stupid verb agreements!
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1 hour ago, Moira Timmerman said:

I'm just getting in-world for the first time today,  and hope to be posting a picture shortly with a couple of gifts put out yesterday at Petite Mort (they are with the group gifts in the store, but no group tag is needed to pick them up) - a BLM cropped tank top, and a Compassion Tapestry which I really like.  I went to all 3 of my SL houses last night to hang the tapestry up in each one:

     In this house, we believe:

          Black Lives Matter

          Women's Rights are Human Rights

          No Human is Illegal

          Science is Real 

          Love is Love

          Kindness is Everything

 

I really like the tapestry, and am racking my not-to-creative brain of how I might make something like that for my home in RL. 

 

I ♥LOVE♥ Petite Mort! (How are you associated? I thought someone else was the designer... and yes, this part isn't on topic but Scylla isn't looking.) And thank you for the BLM top and Tapestry. I'll be picking both up soon! So when I am out and about, as I said, I'd wear the tee, and I think the tapestry would go great on my houseboat, like maybe outside where it can be seen, next to my Cica Ghost art.

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Posted (edited)

I support your struggle from here in cartoon land seems a whole lot like apex white privilege.

Don't fall for that garbage about Antifa from the idiot king. If it was true he'd have done it three years ago. It's a cynical ploy to make the passive racists not feel guilty about dismissing centuries of being awful to other human beings. Protests over people being murdered with impunity turned violent ?!? Why I never! *clutches pearls* what would MLK say?

"What did you expect? I don't know why we're so surprised. When you put your foot on a man's neck and hold him down for three hundred years, and then you let him up, what's he going to do? He's going to knock your block off." -LBJ

If this is the kind of thing it takes for us to finally treat our fellow Americans like our fellow Americans, then so be it.

Snapshot_006.jpg.e0bbae4f00380474362c8d7f46fcd16d.jpg

Edited by Lyssa Greymoon
words are hard
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11 minutes ago, Gatogateau said:

For my 10th rez day I thought I'd make the next 10 years different from my normal pale white brunette girl, and I created what I think is a rather stunning black avatar. Like you mentioned above, I wouldn't feel comfortable switching back over to her right now. There's no way I can claim to know what blacks inworld and in RL face 24/7 and to pretend otherwise just seems disrespectful. But I don't know. I have no idea how the black community would view that (and I realize there isn't one, homogeneous black community that speaks for everyone). Seems like the situation needs real action, but I don't know what that is or what I can do. Random acts of Liberal White Guilt probably aren't any of them.

a thing for US white people (and any other person who are in the dominant power group within a society) is to be who you are.  When a person is a pale white brunette girl then this person is far more effective in bringing about real change by unashamedly being themselves ( a member of the dominant power group) and speaking truth to power

a pale brunette girl wearing a t-shirt which says "Black Lives Matter To Me" is a truth to power statement. It is an unashamed and unequivocal statement for all to see. Wearing an afro, a tan and speaking street is not a truth to power statement. It is a vicarious transfer of victimhood - I want to feel the pain of the oppressed for myself

a person in the powerless/oppressed group doesn't want you (the royal you) to feel their pain. It is not about you, the not oppressed person. The oppressed person just wants the oppression to stop, and that's all

the people most affected by a pale white girl making a unequivocal truth to power statement are other pale white girls. Same with pale white males. When their peers see a person in their own peer group making truth to power statements, they do begin question their own thoughts/behaviour

it is not for US black people to convince/educate US white people.  US white people need to do this themselves if real lasting change within the dominant power group is to occur. And the way to do this is to be yourself and speak out unashamedly and unequivocally

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26 minutes ago, Gatogateau said:

I ♥LOVE♥ Petite Mort! (How are you associated? I thought someone else was the designer... and yes, this part isn't on topic but Scylla isn't looking.) And thank you for the BLM top and Tapestry. I'll be picking both up soon! So when I am out and about, as I said, I'd wear the tee, and I think the tapestry would go great on my houseboat, like maybe outside where it can be seen, next to my Cica Ghost art.

I'm not associated - just another customer who loves the store :)   When I saw this post, I thought I would mention the gifts as they don't need a group tag to pick up, thinking that others here might be interested the gifts as well.  

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23 minutes ago, Lyssa Greymoon said:

I support your struggle from here in cartoon land seems a whole lot like apex white privilege.

Don't fall for that garbage about Antifa from the idiot king. If it was true he'd have done it three years ago. It's a cynical ploy to make the passive racists not feel guilty about dismissing centuries of being awful to other human beings. Protests over people being murdered with impunity turned violent ?!? Why I never! *clutches pearls* what would MLK say?

"What did you expect? I don't know why we're so surprised. When you put your foot on a man's neck and hold him down for three hundred years, and then you let him up, what's he going to do? He's going to knock your block off." -LBJ

If this is the kind of thing it takes for us to finally treat our fellow Americans like our fellow Americans, then so be it.

Snapshot_006.jpg.e0bbae4f00380474362c8d7f46fcd16d.jpg

I honestly didn't know how to respond to your post, and I sat with it a while, and I still don't know how to respond to it (via emoji responses!) other than to say: I agree, except where I don't want to. It is stupid and disingenuous to be surprised at any of this, the recent (albeit ongoing since ever) brutality or the backlash against it. However, the violence is also awful. I understand it (as much as I can). Is it necessary? I don't know. I wish it weren't. Time may tell, right now it is too close in for that to be determined. 

Ultimately what I can do is not be racist. I think we all are, a little, and we need to be vigilant about recognizing it in ourselves. All of us need to speak up when a friend or coworker or whoever makes a racist remark in front of us, if we can do it safely. These days, with people bringing guns into Wal-Mart... Give money to support organizations that are fighting racism. Again, nothing bugs me like "thoughts and prayers" and smugly feeling like we did our part by saying that.

I had to chuckle at your use of white privilege, as I'm sitting here typing on a used computer that was a gift (a darned nice gift), I live in subsidized housing, get my income from SSDI and it is well below the poverty line. Boy, has that opened my eyes to a lot of the daily crap people deal with. But I get your point, and in many ways, yes, I've lived the white privilege.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Ordinarily, I'd not query your desire to represent as black in SL -- although I do think that representing other races can be problematic.

In this instance, however, where the point is to show support for a community that has been brutalized and oppressed in RL because of the colour of their skin, I'm not sure that I think this is appropriate? As a white woman (and one, moreover, from Canada), I can't even begin to imagine what it must be like to be a black woman (much less man) in the US. To represent as black in that context -- where I am trying to act as an ally, rather than as one who can speak from personal experience -- might be easily misread. I can be a witness to their grief and pain, but theirs is the lived experience.

I wanted to do it for a personal reason...a remembrance of a friend.  I want it to be a representation since my friend cannot be here but I would be not this name.  But, it's a personal remembrance between two people.  I felt like it might make me feel close to my friend again, like we are walking together.  

Edited by FairreLilette
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1. No, I come to SL to get away from all that nonsense. I'm in a rough enough spot in RL, I don't need to deal with it in SL too.

2. All lives matter- police are a problem no matter what color you are, and reform needs to happen with or without racism.

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2 hours ago, Gatogateau said:

Seems like the situation needs real action, but I don't know what that is or what I can do. Random acts of Liberal White Guilt probably aren't any of them.

It is difficult to know what to do. And certainly, action in SL if it is unaccompanied by parallel efforts in RL is too much like "role playing" one's social concern.

As a very privileged white woman, I don't pretend that I "know" what might best help. For leadership on that score, it is appropriate and necessary that I look to those members of the black community (in RL) who can speak from concrete experience. And I can demonstrate, in as visible a way as possible, that I share their grief, their anger, and their pain, and offer my support.

I have a bit of a pulpit in SL, in the shape of a few activist groups that I run or co-administer; using those to help educate and inform is one thing, however, that I can immediately accomplish.

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1 hour ago, Lyssa Greymoon said:

I support your struggle from here in cartoon land seems a whole lot like apex white privilege.

I'm all about white privilege. I own it, and can't avoid or renounce it. Indeed, I'm not ashamed of it -- for better or worse, it's who I am. Nor do I want to lose it. Rather, I want others to share it, so that it, in fact, ceases to be "privilege" at all.

My understanding of the violence that is occurring is that it is, as I said in my response to Lillith above, "complicated." There are obviously opportunists, of all colours, who are using the opportunity this is affording to engage in violence and looting. I'm also pretty sure that there are agitators from the police or other agencies who are provoking or simulating hooliganism. We know, for a documented fact, that there were undercover police in Toronto during the G20 protests who did that.

But, yeah, there are also undoubtedly many who are committing acts of violence in support of BLM. When a system has brutally oppressed and dehumanized a community for 400 years, it is, as LBJ observed in your citation, hardly surprising that the anger spills over into acts of violence. I think history explains such violence; whether it justifies it, I'll leave to someone better versed in ethics than I to determine.

But I am, in principle, opposed to violence as a means of effecting change (or indeed much of anything else), and so, while I can understand it, and acknowledge the mitigating circumstances and context, it still seems to me wrong. Yeah, that's a principle that I can "afford" because of my privilege, to some degree -- but there are many voices in BLM -- the great majority, in fact -- that advocate for non-violent resistance. I believe they are more articulate, thoughtful, and constructive.

And it's not unimportant too that violence is also so often counterproductive. If there are right wing agitators and undercover cops attempting to foment violence, that should be reason enough to give pause for thought. If they think it's to their advantage that these protests dissolve into violence, maybe it's not a good idea to abet them in that?

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1 hour ago, Mollymews said:

a thing for US white people (and any other person who are in the dominant power group within a society) is to be who you are.  When a person is a pale white brunette girl then this person is far more effective in bringing about real change by unashamedly being themselves ( a member of the dominant power group) and speaking truth to power

a pale brunette girl wearing a t-shirt which says "Black Lives Matter To Me" is a truth to power statement. It is an unashamed and unequivocal statement for all to see. Wearing an afro, a tan and speaking street is not a truth to power statement. It is a vicarious transfer of victimhood - I want to feel the pain of the oppressed for myself

a person in the powerless/oppressed group doesn't want you (the royal you) to feel their pain. It is not about you, the not oppressed person. The oppressed person just wants the oppression to stop, and that's all

the people most affected by a pale white girl making a unequivocal truth to power statement are other pale white girls. Same with pale white males. When their peers see a person in their own peer group making truth to power statements, they do begin question their own thoughts/behaviour

it is not for US black people to convince/educate US white people.  US white people need to do this themselves if real lasting change within the dominant power group is to occur. And the way to do this is to be yourself and speak out unashamedly and unequivocally

Molly, I'm quoting this entire thing because it is brilliant, and a far more eloquent and thoughtful explanation than any I could have come up. If it weren't so long, I'd print it up on a tee.

Thank you.

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55 minutes ago, Paul Hexem said:

No, I come to SL to get away from all that nonsense. I'm in a rough enough spot in RL, I don't need to deal with it in SL too.

I get that. SL can be a refuge, and I'm not going to judge people who use it as such. Indeed, one of the reasons I left SL in 2011 -- and subsequently came back on an alt in 2013 -- was precisely that my activism was making SL seem far too much like "work."

56 minutes ago, Paul Hexem said:

All lives matter- police are a problem no matter what color you are, and reform needs to happen with or without racism.

Of course all lives matter. BLM has never suggested otherwise.

But until such time as black lives start to "matter" a hell of a lot more than they now seem to, it is only justice and commonsense to focus upon them.

To suggest otherwise is a bit like upbraiding a surgeon because she's focusing too much upon her patient's malignant cancer, and neglecting the less critical and potentially fatal things that might also be "wrong." You focus on what's most malignant and dangerous and, in the instance of human affairs, unjust.

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