Things That Matter

White Teens Are Mocking The George Floyd Killing On Social Media And This Is Why We Need #BlackLivesMatter

As protests and marches take place across the country in a fight for justice and to defend Black lives, some racist teens are instead taking to social media to mock George Floyd’s death.

A Change.org petition has been created demanding social media platforms take down the content, in it there are graphic photos. In each, two white guys mugged for the camera, as one knelt on the other’s neck—both mocking the murder of George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis cop knelt on his windpipe for eight minutes and 46 seconds. 

Examples of the George Floyd ‘Challenge’ photos are in this story below. Please note that these photos are disturbing.

There’s a disturbing new challenge mocking the death of George Floyd that’s making the rounds on social media.

In one of the most twisted social media “challenges” to have ever surfaced is the so-called ‘George Floyd Challenge.’ In response to Floyd’s death, some people have started posting photos and videos of themselves kneeling on a friend’s neck, saying it was part of the challenge.

Although most social media platforms have stated to take action and have banned the hashtag, screenshots of the images are still being shared widely on Twitter and Facebook.

It’s worth noting that most of the related posts are actually people criticizing the trend and denouncing those who participated – but the fact that a social media trend like this would take root after such an immense tragedy at all is further proof of why we need #BlackLivesMatter.

There’s currently a Change.org petition circulating as well, urging social media platforms to remove all related content from their sites.

A petition posted to Change.org has already passed its goal of 5,000 signatures. The new goal is now 7,500. It demands that social media platforms taken action to remove any related posts.

“There is a challenge currently ‘popular’ on the app TikTok,” the petition claimed. “It’s called the ‘George Floyd challenge’. It shows teens (white teens) kneeling on the neck of another teen and with a big smile on their face. This is a racist, inhumane challenge and needs to be deleted from TikTok IMMEDIATELY!!!”

The “challenge” has made it as far as the UK, where people have been arrested for participating.

All the way on the other side of the Atlantic, teens in the UK were also accused of participating. Two white teens were arrested by police in northern England after their ‘George Floyd Challenge’ picture started circulating on Facebook and Twitter, according to The Tab.

They were arrested on suspicion of causing anxiety and distress, and the incident is being treated as a hate crime, the news site reported. Both suspects have since been released on bail. 

Police there said in a statement, “We understand that this social media post has caused significant upset and we want to reassure the public it is being investigated robustly and is being treated as a hate crime.” 

Although it seems that so far the challenge is only being attempted by a few racist young adults, this shouldn’t be happening at all.

George Floyd was murdered by a police officer who had a history of brutality. His death has inspired a nationwide movement of justice and accountability. Yet some racists have hijacked his death for their own disgusting need to be seen and relevant.

This so-called challenge didn’t emerge out of thin air. The cropped illustration in the Change.org petition, among the most widely-shared graphics of the challenge, features photos of four Challenge attempts. There are at least four more documented instances, including three photos and a grotesque video. An eighth picture, featuring two white teens laughing in a bunk bed, is also frequently found in posts about the challenge. The latter image is wildly racist (the caption reads: “if we kept them as slaves this would of never happened”), but does not mention or depict the “George Floyd challenge.” 

It looks like the meme’s origins date back at least to May 27th, when a Washington wrestling coach named Dave Hollenbeck posted an image mocking Floyd’s death on Facebook. The image shows Hollenbeck facedown, with a knee in his back, which he claimed was intended as a “defense” of police officers. He was fired from the Bethel School District the next day. The coach did not call his stunt the “George Floyd challenge,” or connect it to any broader trend.

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Michelle Obama Recalled A Moment When Chicago Cops Accused Her Brother Of Stealing His Own Bike When He Was Just 10

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Michelle Obama Recalled A Moment When Chicago Cops Accused Her Brother Of Stealing His Own Bike When He Was Just 10

Paul Morigi / Getty

As most Black families in the United States know, growing up as a Black person is seen as a great threat in and of itself.

In a country where the rate of fatal police shootings among Black Americans is higher than that for any other ethnicity, it’s no wonder that this is true. Or, why learning to handle the police while Black is a lesson taught so prominently beneath the roofs of Black households.

In a recent episode of her podcast, Michelle Obama revealed that she and her brother Craig Robinson learned this lesson years ago in a confrontation with the police.

Speaking with her brother in her podcast, Obama recalled the day Robinson was accused of stealing his own bike.

Speaking with her brother, a former basketball coach, and her mother Marian Robinson about childhood and parenting, Obama brought up a moment in which Craig was stopped by a couple of police officers while riding his bike.

At the time, Robinson was about 10 or 11 years old and had been gifted the yellow ten-speed Goldblatt by his parents. While riding the bike, a police officer grabbed hold of it and refused to let go despite Craig’s pleas and protests that the bike was his.

“I was like ‘Oh, you got this all wrong, this is my bike. Don’t worry, this isn’t a stolen bike,’ and [the cop] would not believe me, and I was absolutely heartbroken. And I finally said to him, ‘Listen, you can take me to my house, and I will prove to you, this is my bike,” Robinson recalled.

Fortunately, Obama’s mother was home at the time and ushered Craig inside of the house, while she dealt with the police. As her son recalls, “she had that tight lip” as she confronted the officers who had accused her son of stealing his own bike.

Robinson revealed that she discovered the officers were friends with the people who had made the complaint about Craig stealing the bicycle and demanded they come to her house so that they could “admit [they] made a serious mistake.”

Robinson described the experience as a “heartbreaking” one at various times throughout the interview.

“I could tell [the cops] were trying to ask me questions that would trip me up,” he recalled. “If I wasn’t so sure that that bike was mine and showed any kind of reticence, I could see them taking me off to the police station, not calling mom until after I’ve been, you know, booked or whatever they do.”

At one point, Obama remarked that the story is particularly familiar with ones being experienced across the country, even today. “Nobody thinks about, you know, the fact that we all come from good families that are trying to teach values, but when you leave the safety of your home and go out into the street, where being Black is, is a crime in and of itself, we have all had to learn how to operate outside of our homes with a level of caution, and fear, because you never know,” she recalled

Obama’s mother also described the experience as being “part of a culture” among police.

“Because those two policemen were Black. And they were acting exactly the same as any other policeman,” her mother remarked. “It’s almost like, this is what they thought they were, how they were thought they were supposed to act.”

All three family members noted how the incident is so familiar today. Despite the fact that decades have passed. “That’s the perfect example of what all of these young, Black people are dealing with now, because this was, almost fifty years ago?” Craig Robinson said.

Listen to the clip from the podcast here.

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“Sister, Sister” Actress Tia Mowry Broke Down In Tears Describing A Racist Incident She Experienced As A Teen

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“Sister, Sister” Actress Tia Mowry Broke Down In Tears Describing A Racist Incident She Experienced As A Teen

CBS Television Distribution

Back in the 90s, Tia and Tamera Mowry were experiencing the height of their fame while on the hit show “Sister, Sister.” The series which followed Tia and Tamera as Tia Landry and Tamera Campbell saw two actors play the part of two identical twins separated at birth and then accidentally reunited in their teens. It won several Emmys and Kids’ Choice Awards and cemented itself as essential Black TV. As a result, the twin sisters scored roles on other series, movies, and all kinds of media attention. And not for a lack of racist incidents that attempted to hold them back

Recently, Tia opened up about her experience as a Black teen actor in the 90s and shared a story that clearly still hurts her heart.

Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Tia shared that she and her sister were once rejected from appearing in a teen magazine cover because of their skin color.

Speaking about the incident, Tia recalled how she’d been subjected to racism when she was a teen on the show and attempting to be on the cover of a popular magazine at the time.

“It was around Sister, Sister days. The show was extremely popular. We were beating — like in the ratings — Friends around that time,” Tia said. “So, my sister and I wanted to be on the cover of this very popular magazine at the time — it was a teenage magazine. We were told that we couldn’t be on the cover of the magazine because we were Black and we would not sell.”

The actress teared up as she went onto recall that “Here I am as an adult and, wow, it still affects me, how someone could demean your value because of the color of your skin,” she said. “I will never forget that. I wish I would have spoken up. I wish I would have said something then. I wish I would have had the courage to speak out and say that isn’t right.”

Years later Tia says she has used that moment to drive her in raising her two children.

Tia (who is a mother to Cree, 9, and Cairo, 2) says that “to this day, I’m always telling my beautiful brown-skinned girl that she is beautiful.”

“What I’ve done with my children is [reading] books,” she explained to People. “You can read incredible books to your children about Rosa Parks, about Martin Luther King Jr. — pivotal people that had a huge impact within the movement.”

“The other thing is through television, especially during this time,” she went onto explain. “I was just having my children watch a whole bunch of [things] that starred a lot of African American actors, and one of them is [TheWiz. You had Michael Jackson, Diana Ross. It was just such a great story. And my son … he loved it, [and] it’s important.”

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