Black Lives Matter protests, initially triggered by racism against black people, have led to the emergence of some shocking ideas and conspiracy theories. Some black people have their feet washed by whites, while others would have whites polish up black people's shoes. Still others have embarked on a conspiracy theory that the government plans to deprive black people of sleep.
George Floyd died during police arrest in the United States and his death has triggered a wave of Black Lives Matter protests that have continued ever since.
The movement has brought to the surface some shocking ideas and conspiracy theories. One such theory, supported by a New York Times journalist, has attracted many followers.
Nikole Hannah-Jones announced on social media that government officials have been giving minorities in New York City fireworks to shoot off in the middle of the night to keep black people from being able to sleep.
2. Desensitization as a means to get us so used to the sounds of firecrackers and other fireworks that when they start using their real artillery on us we won't know the difference. It's meant to sound like a war zone because a war zone is what it's about to become.— Son of Baldwin (Robert Jones, Jr.) (@SonofBaldwin) June 20, 2020
According to the theory's proponents, this is part of an orchestrated all-out attack on black people to disorient the Black Lives Matter protests. On the other hand, it is also a desensitisation exercise to get black and brown people "so used to the sounds of firecrackers... that we won't know the difference" when real artillery is used by the government.
Reporting from Brooklyn, there was yet another night of extremely loud fireworks starting at 8 pm. and ending at about 2 a.m. This is the second week straight of this; every night during the same time period, like clockwork.— Son of Baldwin (Robert Jones, Jr.) (@SonofBaldwin) June 20, 2020
The journalist introduced her conspiracy theory on social media citing a post, whose author from Brooklyn reported that there was yet another night of extremely loud fireworks near his home starting at 8 pm, and ending at about 2 am. The author claimed that this was happening the second week straight at the same time every night, like clockwork. Eventually, supporters of the theory arrived at the conclusion that "it's meant to sound like a war zone because a war zone is what it's about to become". Meanwhile, a growing number of residents from other cities have reported similar fireworks going off in their neighbourhood.
Some sources say it's a PsyOp tactic to disorient and cause sleep deprivation, therefore aggravating people more. People have seen them going off at police stations and have seen fireworks planted in neighborhoods mostly populated by black people.— Sam ︎ (@twinpeakssux) June 22, 2020
Chad Sanders, also linked to the New York Times, has recently published an opinion piece with the much-revealing title I Don't Need 'Love' Texts From My White Friends. He just needs them to fight anti-blackness.
He begins his article with an opinionated sentence, saying that "My book is coming out in a few months, and I don't know if I'm going to be alive to see it, because I'm a black man". After that he writes that he would not accept support from white people in any form. In fact, he almost scolded his publisher for wanting to reflect on racism as a white person.
According to Sanders, white people are pushing black people aside to alleviate their own guilt. He writes that he has received messages of support from several friends, but those were just "overzealous attempts to offer sympathy."
this @nytimes oped instructs us to excommunicate "loved ones" until they've attended a protest, or paid cash to author-approved causes.— Jonathan Kay (@jonkay) June 6, 2020
So grandparents need to risk COVID19 at a protest or pay up, or no grandkids
How did antiracism get so creepy & cultishhttps://t.co/ppJuOK69ue pic.twitter.com/Lbcj1mhD1A
Moreover, Sanders also feels that these messages are designed to attack his dignity and dehumanise him. He does not want to send an answer to avoid offending them because, as he puts it, offending them is dangerous. He then gets to the point by telling his friends to stop sending messages and do other things instead. For example, donate money to funds which pay legal fees for black people.
He also writes that people should practically threaten their relatives and loved ones, telling them that they will not be visiting them or answering phone calls until these relatives take significant action in supporting black lives, for example, through protest.
A Hungarian MP has responded to this on his social media site. Mate Kocsis, the head of the parliamentary group of the ruling Fidesz party, wrote that while Stalin "only" expected people to accuse their family members with crimes and report on each other, today's liberals demand guilt from the family, and of course, some money.
Meanwhile, the practice of washing black people's feet and polishing up their shoes is also becoming more widespread. Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy suggested during a church service that one way for white people to atone for racism in the United States is to shine the shoes of black people, to express their shame.
The CEO shared a story told to him about a mass, where a young man at the service - visibly "gripped with conviction about the racism that was happening" - expressed his sentiments by kneeling down before an elderly African-American man and shining his shoes, which moved many other attendees to tears.
Chick-Fil-A CEO:— Gabe Hoffman (@GabeHoff) June 18, 2020
White People Should Shine Blacks' Shoes to Show 'Sense of Shame,' 'Embarrassment' for Racism pic.twitter.com/A2Utbc0a2t