On 25th May the world erupted with the gorry and barbaric murder of African American man, George Floyd.
Around 3-4 police officers had come to check up on a tip-off regarding a counterfeit $20 bill at a retail store where Floyd had just made a purchase.
However, instead of going about the process in a legal and humane manner, they instantly jumped on him, beating him and then forced him to lie down on the ground.
Post this, Derek Chauvin, a white officer proceeded to put his knee at the back of Floyd’s head and continued to press on it to immobilise him. But he did not pay any heed to the pleas Floyd was making where he stated multiple times that he couldn’t breathe.
All this was recorded by several people and then put on social media where it caught on fire with black people around the world fuming at the utter disrespect and brutality they were seeing.
Things took a turn for the worse when news came out that Floyd had died which led to massive protests across America and now UK and other places too.
Black people and other allies including white people and other people of colour also joined these protests to call out the history of racist behaviour and instances of police brutality by police officers against black people.
As per latest reports, Chauvin has been taken into custody and charged with second-degree manslaughter and second-degree murder. The other three officers have also been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
Till yet, protests are continuing on with people demanding extreme punishment against any officer who uses excessive force against black people without due justification.
In the midst of this, people have been coming forward to sign petitions and donate money towards bail of jailed protesters, medical injuries, money for black advocacy organisations and to support the physical and mental health of the black community.
What Have BTS And ARMYs Done?
On 4th June, the Korean juggernaut band BTS came forward to show their support for the ongoing ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.
While the tweet did not mention the donation, it was later on revealed that the band had donated a whopping $1 million to Black Lives Matter.
This was confirmed by not only a Big Hit (BTS’ agency) but also by Kailee Scales, managing director for Black Lives Matter. She was quoted by Variety saying that, “Black people all over the world are in pain at this moment from the trauma of centuries of oppression. We are moved by the generosity of BTS and allies all over the world who stand in solidarity in the fight for Black lives.”
Black Lives Matter also confirmed that the donation was made some time early last week adding to a growing number of celebrities and known figures giving their support to the movement and making donations on their own.
The Weeknd, a black Canadian singer and record producer had also come forward with a $500,000 donation to racial-justice initiatives.
In K-pop itself, several artists had donated and supported the movement on their social media, urging their fans and other people to do the same.
BTS fans who are also called ARMYs were quick to see this generous donation from their artists and decided to start a hashtag called #MatchAMillion.
This was essentially saying that the fans of BTS would match the 1 million donated by BTS and donate the same amount on behalf of the fandom.
Considering the large following that the band has, fans thought that even if every fan donated $1 each, they could easily reach the million milestone.
The project by the BTS fans was started on 7th June and within half a day they had already collected more 500,000 dollars in donations.
Today morning around 6 am IST, the One in an ARMY⁷ Charity Project (@OneInAnARMY) account revealed that they had successfully matched the amount and donated just over 1 million dollars to the movement.
They had managed to collect $1,026,531 from over 34,000 donators with the amount continuing to rise.
.@BTS_twt fans match BTS' one million dollar donation to Black Lives Matter.
— One in an ARMY⁷ Charity Project (@OneInAnARMY) June 8, 2020
OIAA is a volunteer group that has often take up donation and charity projects from around the world with the support of BTS fans.
Explaining their drive for the project they said that, “We stand in solidarity with black ARMY. They’re an important part of our family. And we stand with black people everywhere. Your voices deserve to be heard.”
A spokesperson for the OIAA project said, “We added a goal tracker to our donation page and our website purely to keep ARMY updated on the total amount raised. We’ve run big projects before, but the amount of support for this project is overwhelming.”
They further added that, “We truly didn’t know whether the goal would be reached. We’re so proud that ARMY have once again channeled their power for good and are making a real impact in the fight against anti-black racism.”
When I reached out to OIAA, they told me that “The split donations had done REALLY well, compared what we usually got through our own campaigns, about 50k. Then… BTS’s donation was revealed and ARMY said they wanted to match it (I swear it was a joke at first but then the fandom figured… why not?). People started reaching out to us to start a PayPal pool, but since we don’t handle money we said that the split donations were the only thing we could offer, since those donations we trackable by us. And off it went.”
They also revealed that ARMYs had been involved in donating and campaigning for the BLM movement since the beginning even before BTS’ donation was made public.
They said, “ARMY joined the BLM movement pretty much right away when it started going on social media. Because it’s more of a movement than something charity related, we didn’t engage right away, ARMY was keeping up just fine by themselves, but after a while, we got a lot of requests, so we decided to start looking for organizations that were helping and came upon a Google doc that was very extensive and also included other things, so we decided to share that since it seemed to be good at updating itself.
Later an ARMY thought there was too much information and they didn’t know to which places their money would be safety donated, so they asked us to make a specific list, which we agreed on. And the carrd was created. One of our members found a website that gave the donors the opportunity to split their donations, and since we’d seen ARMYs wonder where to best put their money as well, we thought this was a great opportunity to kill two bird with one stone since practically all non-profits we had found were available on the site.”
A lot of people have given their gratitude for this donation:
This is a proud moment for the fans and the artists alike and this amount will be a major help to several people who really need it right now.
Image Credits: Google Images
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