The Empire State Building is known for changing the color and pattern of its lights to alternately celebrate, mourn, and acknowledge what's happening in the larger world. But to address New York City's (and the country's) current crisis—police violence, racial injustice, and the activism they inspired—the building opted to shut its lights off entirely.
The edifice's official Twitter account explained the decision to go dark on Monday night. While it spoke out against the death of George Floyd and injustice writ large, it stopped short of full-throated support for the Black Lives Matter movement, and seemed to come out against the more radical forms of protest taken in recent days. "The Empire State Building is dark tonight to recognize the tragic murder of George Floyd, injustice in all of its forms and all of its victims, and to urge an end to the damage to our great city and its people," read the tweet. "There is enough loss and sorrow already."
The Empire State Building is dark tonight to recognize the tragic murder of George Floyd, injustice in all of its forms and all of its victims, and to urge an end to the damage to our great city and its people. There is enough loss and sorrow already.
📸: @jlcolton pic.twitter.com/HnHOdcCtRr
— Empire State Building (@EmpireStateBldg) June 1, 2020
The move echoes the sentiment of today's Blackout Tuesday commemorations. What started as a call from some in the music industry to use June 2 as "a day to disconnect from work and reconnect with our community" has spread, as individuals and companies from the wider entertainment industry and beyond pledge their support—whether that means posting a black square on Instagram, suspending business operations to make space for community action and individual reflection, or another expression of solidarity and support.
We are not staying silent and we are not standing by. The fight against racial inequality, injustice, and straight up racism doesn’t stop with financial donations and words of support. In solidarity with the Black community, our employees, our friends, our families, and our colleagues across industries we are proud to take part in #BlackoutTuesday. Savage X Fenty will NOT be conducting any business on Tuesday, June 2 – globally. This is not a day off. This is a day to reflect and find ways to make real change. This is a day to #PullUp.
A post shared by SAVAGE X FENTY BY RIHANNA (@savagexfenty) on Jun 1, 2020 at 7:28pm PDT
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