The latest trend on an even trendier social media app has taken a hateful turn for the worse after some of its users channeled their racism to fuel a viral challenge gone horribly wrong. The series of videos was the latest bad look for the TikTok app, which has grown increasingly popular among teenagers and seemingly even more favored among racists.
This new challenge is similar to others on the app in that it involves a particular song being played as the videos abruptly cut to different scenes. But unlike some in the past that have been rooted in fun, this new one seems to challenge users to see who can come up with the worst racial stereotype to point out and mock. And while Black people are typically the targets of such racism, this time around it’s also including Asians.
These TikTok videos are formatted by first asking an inviting question that is printed across the screen. That leads to another message saying something along the lines of, “now that you’re here,” before the two coded messages finally reveal themselves to be a racist trope.
Ironically, it was an Asian whose father forced her to apologize for the video she posted to TikTok that showed her playing on racist stereotypes about Black people. The unidentified person who posted the video appeared all teary-eyed and remorseful during the apology video that was filmed with her father sitting right next to her.
It was a far cry from her initial video that suggested Black people were everything from oversexed to criminals to not fully human basketball players.
This latest TikTok challenge falls on the heels of past anti-Black racist behavior on the app by its users, who seem to keep turning out to be white teenagers or young adults. That was especially true for a young white woman named Stephanie Freeman, who, of course, apologized for her racist TikTok video only AFTER she got called out for it. Unlike other TikTok videos, Freeman’s was decidedly absent of any music and instead relied on the written word; words and terms like “niggers” and “buck” and “eat watermelon and fried chicken.” Freeman and a young white man were in the video declaring they were there to make “niggers” before directing the camera on the ingredients they said were needed for the apparent recipe.
Watch the monstrosity unfold below.
Freeman was revising that recipe for disaster when she apologized for it on her Instagram Live, according to BET News.
“I know in my heart how wrong it was,” Freeman reportedly wrote. On Monday, she posted a note on her Instagram page that said she was receiving death threats.
She and the young man with her in the video have apparently been expelled from their high school in Georgia, according to a report from the New York Times.
TikTok’s so-called “community guidelines” has an entire section devoted to hate speech and expressly forbids “attacks on protected groups” and includes “race” as a factor. “Slurs” are also forbidden as is “hateful ideology.”
Freeman wasn’t alone in her racist activity on TikTok. Scroll down to see how the app was being used by a bunch of young people who apparently don’t have any better way to spend heir time after the coronavirus pandemic closed schools and colleges.
This is America.