TikTokers are using the platform to express their frustration over the difficult conversations they’re having with parents and relatives about racism
When they’re not brutally dragging millennials for LOLs, teens on TikTok are mobilising in support of Black Lives Matter, from protesting the video platform’s unfair censorship of its Black creators to reserving empty seats at Donald Trump’s rally with no intention of turning up. Now, some are taking to TikTok to express their frustration over the difficult conversations they’re having with parents and relatives about the Black Lives Matter movement, following the killing of George Floyd and the subsequent protests that are happening worldwide.
In one video, 15-year-old Izabella films her tearful reactions after a conversation with her parents about Floyd. “I literally hate my family so much,” she says, crying into camera. “They just tried to argue with me that George Floyd... they just tried to tell me that he deserved that because he did something wrong, and that it was OK. That is not OK. And it’s just making me so upset. I do not wanna live here. I hate living in Louisiana. I hate living around these racist fucks. I just wanna leave.”
The video, which has since received more than 1.5 million views, was picked up by Twitter user @SafyHallahFarah, who commented: “My sister sent me a TikTok of a white girl crying about her parents saying George Floyd deserved to die, tearfully disowning them. There’s a whole genre of white Gen Z kids processing in real-time what’s new information to them (but not us), that their parents are sociopaths.”
Responding to the tweet, Izabella said: “The last conversation I had with them about it, I got so frustrated I started crying as you saw in that TikTok. And I don’t want to bring it up again. It makes me so upset that they think like that, and the whole George Floyd situation is so messed up and sad it makes me cry, too.”
She also reflected on her experiences living in the Deep South, describing how she routinely hears white people “saying the N-word and making fun of Black people”.
In another video, user @marissa.monique records a heated argument with her mum. “They’re putting ideas in your head,” her mum says off-camera, to which she responds: “People are dying, this is not an idea.”
“People out there, why does it concern you? It’s going to happen, it’s life. You’re not gonna change nothing, Marissa, what’s wrong with you?” her mum shouts back.
Ally, a 17-year-old TikToker, was pepper-sprayed twice while trying to photograph a protest in Kansas City, which she attended without her parent’s permission. In a video taken of Ally while a fellow protester was tending to her medical needs, she noted that her parents didn’t know she was there. “You’re recording,” a voice says off-camera, to which she replies: “Well, oh well. I guess they will now.”
Another video by @wxtchbxtch1997 shows her sticking BLM posters onto cars, with the caption: “My parent has threatened to kick me out if I go protest, so I’ll protest everywhere I go.”
User @nefariousking posted a video of herself listening to a news report of a teenager found shot and killed, overlaid with written comments by her dad, including, “Turn that shit off” and, “He probably deserved it”.
TikTokers aren’t the only people coming out in vocal support of Black Lives Matter. K-pop stans have mobilised online by flooding racist hashtags and police departments looking for surveillance videos on Twitter with GIFs of boy bands and girl groups. Online hacktivists Anonymous have since joined in support of K-pop stans. “Anonymous stans ALL K-Pop allies!” a tweet from the @YourAnonNews account read. “HACK THE PLANET!”
Activist and recent graduate Toni Adeyemi has also created an AR filter that helps you decide which Black Lives Matter-related charity to donate to, such as National Bail Fund, Reclaim the Block, and Campaign Zero.