Black Lives Matter Protests Outside The Met Gala Is A Tale Of Two Very Different Americas

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BLM protests at the Met Gala

The Met Gala managed to garner a lot of media attention for the stream of celebrities that walked the red carpet on Monday night.

Social media users were in a frenzy, analyzing and critiquing many of the luxury outfits seen on the carpet. While many were tuned into the event, just outside of the Met were hoards of demonstrators protesting on behalf of Black Lives Matter.

The annual benefit gala outside of the Metropolitan Museum of Art was heavily guarded by the NYPD, leading to the protestors outside to heavily clash with the department.

Why was there a BLM protest outside the Met Gala?

A flyer at the protest read that it was organized by an “autonomous group of NYC abolitionists who believe that policing does not protect and serve communities.”

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“The NYPD has a total financial allocation of $11 billion per year,” the flyer stated. “This money goes towards racist policing that destroys Black and brown communities while people who are struggling do not get the resources they need.”

Photos and videos emerged from Monday night, showing demonstrators being arrested and brutally carried away by the New York City Police.

The Met Gala continued on in spite of the BLM protests. 

The juxtaposition between the BLM protests outside of the Met Gala where the theme for all attendees was “American Fashion” seems to be a rather telling statement.

The theme seems inherently tone deaf, especially when being American looks different to the many varied people in this country. 

Outside of a high-profile event where celebrities were wearing outfits that pay homage to America, people just outside of the gala were essentially fighting for their rights in a country that has consistently berated and endangered the lives of many people in marginalized communities.

This idea of America, and what exactly embodies this country all comes down to the Black and Brown people who’ve quite literally built this nation on their backs. 

There was almost no representation of that happening inside of the Met Gala, which is a statement within itself. 

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It’s things like this that arise certain questions of, who exactly is the theme catered towards? What does a celebration of America mean in wake of the horrible history that this country was built on

Few Met Gala attendees addressed the BLM protest. 

Actress and activist, Indya Moore, who was in attendance at the Met Gala released a statement following the events of the protest.

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“This will probably be my last Met Gala. I am going to think long and hard about why I came and if it is truly in alignment with what I want to accomplish in this life,” Moore wrote.

“Being at the Met felt like a cognitive dissonance. People were protesting and were arrested in the name of what so many of us attended, care deeply about.”

They are probably the only Met Gala attendee who has addressed not only their involvement in going, but also raised questions and concerns about the absolute polarization between what was happening inside of the event as well as outside.

There needs to be more of a conversation surrounding the disparity that comes with being Black and Brown in this country.

The events that happened at the protest, and the reasoning behind the gathering of BLM demonstrators are clear examples that this country can’t hide from it’s ugly past, no matter how hard they try to.

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Follow her on Instagram.