Updated: May 18
Tik-Tok, the world’s latest social media application trendsets racism and sexism with the latest challenge #NowThatYoureHere resulting in numerous expulsions and viral tear filled apology videos.
Amidst COVID-19, the app Tik-Tok has gained nearly 2 billion installs largely in part to worldwide stay-at-home orders. Tik-Tok is responsible for various social media trends such as the #Renegade, #DontRushChallenge, #FullHouseChallenge, etc.
The #NowThatYoureHere challenge like many Tik-Toks are elaborate productions made simply through one’s mobile phones. The videos typically start with a catchy punch line to lure in the demographic at hand, then cuts to a racist/sexist comment about said demographic.
The latest viral #NowThatYoureHere challenge features a woman of Asian descent, posing with a statement “here’s how to get away from the cops” as the beat drops and the video transitions, the words on the screen say “now that all the black people are here,” “how’s my form?”
The video then transitions into the woman photoshopped onto a cotton field aludding to the history of slavery and racism in America with an additional image of the three fith’s comprimise, that declared Black Americans as three firth’s of a person for taxation purposes in the late 1700’s.
@sayhoe’s #NowThatYoureHere challenge resulted in a tearful apology video posted on Twitter that went just as viral as the challenge in the first place. She was accompanied by her father, as she is underage and he made it a point to note that “she was not raised this way.”
This is the second anti-black viral Tik-Tok that has gone viral in the last week. The first was by Tik-Tok user Stephanie Freeman: @headassfreeman and her boyfriend recording the aspects of making a “nigg*r” with Black stereotypes “eat watermelon and fried chicken.”
Stephanie Freeman and her boyfriend have since then been expelled from their Georgia highschool, their collegiate careers post-grad are now at stake.
The response to the backlash from this video resulted in yet another tearful video of an apologetic Freeman who "did not expect" the video to ever be posted.
Historically a white woman’s cries have spoken volumes over the communities they’ve harmed. In instances along the lines of the historic Emmit Till case to the rape allegations of white women against Black college athletes, white women’s tears have silenced the truth and protected them against the repercussions of their actions.
Many expect the same to apply to the use of social media and the backlash of the racist content posted on their social media platforms.
This however is far from the case as most of these instances fall into the hands of underaged teenagers, making them succumb to the zero-tolerance rules/regulations of most public schools.
Outside of academic punishments, the word of social media is full of out-spoken members of marginalized communities who work to not only check the behavior of said racists/sexists, but expose it to larger communities, thus ruining their reputation leaving them with a hate-filled label of being racist/sexist/etc.
The #NowThatYoureHere Challenge is just one example of America’s youth falling victim to what is deemed as an “innocent” internet challenge, while a majority of those taking part in the challenge know that the repercussions of their actions can land them in immense trouble.
While many may view these challenges as a joke, or “kids just being kids,” there is nothing funny about stigmatizing and further oppressing marginalized communities at any age.