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Libs celebrate K-pop fans for #WhiteLivesMatter trolling, but empty activism will not end racism

Zachary Leeman
Zachary Leeman

is the author of the novel Nigh and journalist who covers art and culture. He has previously written for outlets such as Breitbart, LifeZette, and BizPac Review among others. Follow him on Twitter @WritingLeeman

is the author of the novel Nigh and journalist who covers art and culture. He has previously written for outlets such as Breitbart, LifeZette, and BizPac Review among others. Follow him on Twitter @WritingLeeman

Libs celebrate K-pop fans for #WhiteLivesMatter trolling, but empty activism will not end racism
K-pop fans are being celebrated by activists and the media for hijacking the #WhiteLivesMatter hashtag during the protests over George Floyd’s death, but it’s just a publicity stunt dressed in empty activism.

Fans of K-pop — a genre of pop music originating from South Korea — are being celebrated by liberal activists and the mainstream media for “drowning” out supposed white supremacists on Twitter who tried to get the hashtags #WhiteLivesMatter and #WhiteLifeMatter trending amid the protests over the death of George Floyd.

Search either hashtag and you’ll find little more than keyboard warriors patting themselves on the back and clips of South Korean pop stars singing and dancing.

“K-pop fans are flooding right-wing hashtags on social media,” Vice wrote in their story detailing the fanbase’s “latest move to support protesters.”

Rolling Stone praised the Twitter users for “effectively” taking on white supremacists. 

They are just two examples of the many media stories all but hailing the digital soldiers as heroes. 

Liberal activists online have also celebrated the community. Outspoken Donald Trump critic and ‘Star Trek’ actor George Takei declared the K-pop community “allies.”

The praise is as empty as the so-called activism.

K-pop fan accounts on Twitter are regularly flagged as bots and can be seen spamming trending hashtags often — sometimes to a toxicdegree. These are aspects to the rabbit hole that is the music’s fandom that the current praise of course conveniently ignores.

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And even if we are to take the activism as seriously as others seem to be taking it, there is still little substance to this supposed battle against white supremacism. Scanning through tweets, there is no discussion of racism or the current protests and no debate one can latch onto. 

Drowning out one side with spam is not the sort of engagement that equates to progress. The media may want to pretend it’s a victory, but dancing videos being attached to controversial hashtags mean zilch when we are talking about issues as serious as racism and police brutality. Temporarily silencing internet trolls with silly videos does not end hate in any way. 

Empty activism, however, is commonplace in today’s culture, and it can especially be seen rearing its ugly head during these current protests. While businesses burn, people die, stores are looted, and, yes, peaceful protesters also argue against police brutality, keyboard warriors sit behind their screens and offer up black bars in ‘solidarity’ with the plight of black Americans — remember how much good #blackoutTuesday did?

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This support shown through frivolous social media posts is not meant to engage in debate and it offers no practical help to those actually struggling in this country, but comes off as more of a way to get attention by grabbing onto the coattails of a trending issue. K-pop fans belong in this category. What good are you doing if the most your hashtag inspires is just digital pats on the back from other non-stop tweeters looking to simply be embraced by the Left on social media?

K-pop fans did not “drown” out white supremacists and they did not “take on” the Right. They just took advantage of a volatile subject and cleverly latched onto it to get some attention. It’s a gimmick the Left eagerly fell for in their desperation to be part of what they see as progressive change. The fact that anyone sees K-pop videos being attached to racist hashtags as some sort of cultural victory against racism shows just how long the road is before people can even engage in debate on these issues in any serious way. 

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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