The “Black Lives Matter” movement that has been trending online amid ongoing protests in the U.S. has spread to Singapore over the past few days and local personalities including musicians, models, and influencers are jumping on social media to speak up in a show of solidarity to black people in America.
Among the dozens of Singapore’s hundreds of celebrities who have spoken up include singers Narelle Kheng, rapper Fariz Jabba, and radio presenter Joakim Gomez, many of who had encouraged fans to donate, sign petitions and educate each other about racism.
“But police brutality, racism towards others because of race/skin Color/status needs to stop worldwide!” model Iman Fandi, who is of Singaporean and South African descent, said online yesterday.
“What happened with not only George Floyd but with many other black individuals in the past, The ways they were treated were not right and unfair. Where was the humanity? Everyone is angry, everyone is hurt. I am with you,” she added.
There are multiple “Raise the degree” online petitions calling for charges against police officer Derek Chauvin to be raised. People are also raising funds for organizations such as Reclaim the Block, which raises funds for the Minneapolis community, and the American Civil Liberties Union, which advocates for civil rights and liberties.
The #BlackLivesMatter online movement resurfaced following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after white police officer Chauvin kneeled on his neck. Protests against police brutality and racism have since spread across the U.S., where authorities have also imposed curfews in places including Los Angeles.
Chauvin has been terminated from his job and is facing third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges.
Rapper Yung Raja also joined in the online conversation calling on more Singaporeans to speak up for black people in America.
“Remember that regardless of what we face, it’s impossible to truly understand the generations of pain, suffering and senseless racism our friends in America have gone through just because of the color of their skin,” he said Sunday. “This is not just the fight of Americans, this is [a] fight for humanity that includes all of us. We cannot stay silent.”
Singer Narelle Kheng chimed in, saying: “What we can do is to help bring to light these acts of injustice? To stand in solidarity and strengthen the voices of those who have been dismissed, and before all that, to not be a deaf ear.”
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We all have a choice to do more. To help create a society that is fair for all. That starts with learning to uncover what’s being swept under the rug by those who benefit the most from the system. If we benefit from a system that allows us to do so by exploiting someone else, acknowledge that privilege and use it to make space for those who are marginalised. What we can do is to help bring to light these acts of injustice? To stand in solidarity and strengthen the voices of those who have been dismissed, and before all that, to not be a deaf ear. The long-standing injustices towards the Black community are a cruel reality. Our imbedded, institutionalised, internalised injustices here are a reality. If your first reaction to people taking part in this conversation is judgement hold it back and listen first. If you have an opportunity to stand up for an injustice, take it. Exercise empathy 💕 It doesn’t matter where you start, just start <3 Deleted and resharing because I removed the second video ! These some posts I found to be helpful in understanding racism globally and underlying structures. Also link in bio for a collation of places u can donate to and petitions you can sign if u want
Rapper Fariz Jabba posted a series of Instagram stories urging his followers to donate or sign petitions to help the black community in the US, either financially or to show solidarity. He also called out those who attempt to dismiss the problem.
“And [laugh out loud] shut up for one second [a]bout some ‘what about the other causes and problems in the world’ type shit. We as people can and will support multiple causes at the same time. Focus on the problem, wake up,” he wrote.
Radio presenter and host Joakim Gomez urged his fellow local personalities to use their online platforms to keep conversations about racism alive in Singapore.
“We need to have a conversation about racism. We are not sensationalising anything. It is real, and it is happening. We need to stop sweeping it under the rug here in Singapore. There needs to be a conversation before it escalates and eventually combusts,” he said yesterday.
A controversial advertising campaign where a Chinese actor had his face darkened to look like an Indian man led to a national conversation about racism in Singapore last year.
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