In the week following the death of George Floyd, people have taken to social media and the streets to spread awareness and inspire change. On Instagram, there was Blackout Tuesday and its feeds of black squares. On TikTok, which is known for viral challenges and cults, there’s now the “Check Your Privilege” challenge.
TikTok user Kendra (@boss_bigmamma) created her own version of the popular “Put a finger down” or “Never have I ever” trend in light of recent of events. As people listen to the audio playing, they put a finger down for each item that applied to them. She wanted people to explore their privilege, regardless of their race, by participating.
She outlines multiple experiences, telling people to “Put a finger down if…”
- You have been called a racial slur.
- You’ve been followed in a store unnecessarily.
- Someone has crossed the street in order to avoid passing you.
- You’ve had someone clench their purse in an elevator with you.
- You’ve had someone step off of an elevator to keep from riding with you.
- You’ve been accused of not being able to afford something expensive.
- You’ve had fear in your heart when being stopped by the police.
- You have been stopped or detained by police for no valid reason.
- You have been bullied solely because of your race.
- You’ve been denied service solely because of the color of your skin.
- You’ve ever had to teach your children how not to get killed by the police.
Kendra told Buzzfeed News, “I know discrimination happens for many reasons, which is why I labeled it ‘check your privilege’ instead of ‘white privilege.'”
The challenge quickly took off as others on TikTok used Kendra’s “Check Your Privilege” audio in their own videos. The participants came from different races, socioeconomic classes, and backgrounds to show how privilege affects everyone differently.
Professional dancers Stephen ‘tWitch’ Boss and Allison Holker Boss, of So You Think You Can Dance fame, joined in on the challenge Tuesday. The video further shared how privilege differed between them in an interracial marriage. Their video launched the challenge to mainstream media, and the couple followed up to highlight Kendra’s efforts to educate those on TikTok.
##blacklivesmatter @twitchtok7♬ Check Your Privilege by Big Mamma – boss_bigmamma
Kendra told Buzzfeed News, “Whatever [TikTok users] took away from it, I hope people will use the privilege they have to help others. I can only hope that we create a better existence for our grandchildren. I want to do my part to be a part of that change.”