Black Lives Matter

This time, I would like to write about the "Black Lives Matter" movement that is currently taking place mainly in the United States.

" Black Lives Matter " refers to the protest movement that spread mainly on social media after a black high school student was shot and killed by a white police officer in Florida in 2013.

Incidents of white police officers killing black people have continued to occur frequently in the United States since then, and each time they have occurred, demonstrations and other protests have been held.

The movement calls for the elimination of racial discrimination, particularly violence against defenseless black people by white police officers.

An incident that has just begun to be reported in the news in Japan occurred on May 25, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in which a black man, George Floyd, was held down by a white police officer with his knee on his neck for approximately nine minutes, resulting in his death.

The police officers ignored the pleas of those around them to stop and Mr. Floyd's plea that he "can't breathe," and unilaterally took Mr. Floyd's life.

The footage of the incident was spread on social media, and protests began with the hashtag "#Blacklivesmatter." The demonstrations have now spread not only in the United States but also around the world. (Please refrain from using hashtags when posting on social media, as valuable information may be buried.)

Many protesters have turned violent, engaging in acts of looting and vandalism, and in the United States police and soldiers have clashed with demonstrators.

While it is believed that the death of Mr. Floyd was the real catalyst for the current Black Lives Matter movement, it is also said to be deeply connected to the events that have taken place since the Black Lives Matter movement began in 2013, as well as the discrimination and social structures that existed before that.

On the other hand, some people believe that the phenomenon of demonstrators turning violent is a case of stress and anxiety suddenly erupting in the United States, where strict restrictions on daily life have been imposed due to the impact of the new coronavirus.

There have been incidents of brands we do business with being robbed by violent mobs, stores being ransacked, and merchandise being stolen.

Now, major American companies and many fashion brands are issuing messages in support of anti-discrimination measures.

It is particularly admirable that NIKE was one of the first to send out this message, but the fact that ADIDAS, their biggest rival, also agreed and retweeted the video in its entirety makes us think that we need to break down various barriers and come together in our attitudes and opinions on this issue.

Our store carries many international brands, and as our director is based in New York, we would like to express our support for this movement rather than just watching it happen.

As part of the movement, social media is asking non-Black social media users to not use their social media content from June 1st to June 7th.

Our store will also be participating in this activity by not using our own social media accounts during this period.

Most of the people reading this probably live in Japan, so it may not feel very close to home, but just like with politics, I think it is important for each and every one of us to take an interest in what is happening in the world, think about what we can do, and take action.