Do You Care About Black Lives or Feel Better About Yourself?

What is the point of your BLM Sign?

A.J. Bryant
3 min readJun 9, 2022


Black Lives Matter sign unfurled over a wooden fence
Photo by Author

As a person of color, do you think that I believe you’re a better person than someone without a sign? I guarantee you, I will not.

How does a sign show you care about black lives? It’s performative nonsense. I’m sure it gives the homeowner or renter pleasure to feel like they are taking a stand. But how does putting a sign in your yard change society?

Here are my questions when I see a Black Lives Matter sign:

  • Do you frequent any black-owned establishments?
  • Do you have a single black friend?
  • Do you have any friends who might be of different socio-economic strata than yourself, black or otherwise?
  • Are you supporting inner-city or urban renewal projects, which focus on people of color?
  • Do you give your money or time to any organization that seeks to improve the lives of the poor?

Or do you donate to orchestras, Ivy-league schools, or fund art museums?

I’m not saying that philanthropy for any of the last three is wrong. But don’t get it twisted, giving those institutions your money has minimal impact on historic non-white poverty.

Do you support prosecutors who are ‘tough on crime,’ without looking at their past performance and how their decisions impacted non-Whites?

I’m sure there are many more hypotheticals that show how much BLM truly matters to you. But I’ve made my point.

Are you putting your money and precious time into the lives of people of color? Or are displaying the sign because that’s what a race-aware, ‘woke’ person does?

The other day I saw a BLM sign at a neighborhood house. But in their yard, was a much bigger sign that said ‘vote no’ to a planned homeless shelter that the city might locate in the neighborhood.

Don’t claim that Black Lives Matter, while also opposing an institution that would tangibly benefit downtrodden black lives. More than 20 percent of the city’s Black population falls below the poverty line.



A.J. Bryant

Adopted from Kerala. I write about adoption, my intercultural marriage, and contemporary India. Prawns are my love language. @adoptedkeralite