Here's How White People Used Business Tactics And Technology To Profit Off Of The Names Of George Floyd And More

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Gospel music legend Walter Hawkins penned lyrics that opened one of his most famous songs by suggesting that “tragedies are commonplace.”

When writing the ’80s faith classic, it’s doubtful that this phrase would apply to the behavior of white people looking to capitalize on the murder of Black bodies. In a series of tweets, users discovered white business owners were using the names of Black men like George Floyd and Elijah McClain to advertise and solicit support for their work.

This Is Not About George Floyd

Grifting: obtaining funds through scandalous and dishonest behavior.

The egregious practice has found its way to the halls of the Black Lives Matter movement. Maple Shade, NJ resident Suzanne Medes flipped George Floyd’s name into her personal domain on May 28, 2020. She then incorporated George Floyd, LLC, in her home state on April 9, 2021. There are no known connections to Medes and the Floyd family.

Based on claims and research from Twitter user @taliaotg, Medes uses the LLC to profit off the slain man’s likeness and associated popularity. Creating a narrative that doesn’t quite add up, Medes has stepped into the victim role to distract people from her shady behavior.

The owner of multiple LLCs, Medes, used Whitewall3 to purchase several domains associated with George Floyd’s name. Records indicate that she made her first domain purchase associated with George Floyd in May 2020 and continued with purchases through December 2021.

One Shady Action Wasn't Enough

If Medes’ actions were not shocking enough, Twitter account @FilmThePoliceLA noted that in a recent search of Elijah McClain — a New York-based consulting firm, Ari Armani & Co. — had allegedly used the murdered teen’s name to redirect users to their website.

The same occurrence happened when searching using the name, Philando Castile.

As of this report, both domains associated with McClain and Castile no longer redirect users to Ari Armani & Co.’s website.

In the wake of injustices, scams and frauds are abundant to commodify the death of slain victims. From bogus GoFundMe accounts to the Black Lives Matter leaders’ skeptical actions, bogus attempts to profit off of tragedy only hurts the movement and hinder progress.