Where do I start with this one… A new viral trend has started making the rounds over the last few days. Honestly, it’s one of the most distasteful, disgusting, and disrespectful things I’ve ever seen. This trend is called the #GeorgeFloydChallenge.
This “challenge” involves kneeling on a mate’s neck while they’re lying face down on the ground with their hands behind their back. As a surprise to literally no one, it’s mostly young white men doing this challenge.
In what world would people think this is is funny or appropriate at any point in time?
Racists are now doing the George Floyd “challenge.” This is what we’re up against, folks. It’s a privilege to make sarcasm about racism instead of experiencing it your whole life pic.twitter.com/LmS1mnqCcj
— Mohamad Safa (@mhdksafa) June 4, 2020
The #GeorgeFloydChallenge Is Absolutely F**ked Up
I still can’t get over the sorry fucking fact that there are people out there on ‘social’ media who believe it’s a laugh to be photographed kneeling on someone’s neck, and posting it in their own name as the #GeorgeFloyd ‘challenge’.
It’s just depraved. Can’t get over it.
— Stu #ICantBreathe (@chantal_oiseau) June 4, 2020
The #GeorgeFloydChallenge” first came to light in the UK after three teens posted their photos to Snapchat. These teens, aged 18 and 19, were then arrested and investigated for a possible hate crime, and have been condemned by their local communities.
The images have been recreated by other stupid teens across the globe, with one young man in the US apparently being a recent Air Force graduate. He captioned his photo as “Graduate Lives Matter”.
Two white girls who were due to attend universities in Missouri had their enrolments revoked after they uploaded a video mocking Floyd’s death to Snapchat. They were laughing the whole time.
Some boys at St Joseph’s College Gregory Terrace in Brisbane also posted their version of the challenge to social media. These boys were even in their school uniforms, which just further proves how little they’re thinking about how racist and disrespectful this challenge is.
When searching #GeorgeFloydChallenge on Facebook, no results come back, and Instagram says that the hashtag is hidden. At least social media platforms are doing what they can to remove this sort of content.
Police Brutality Is Not A Comedic Challenge
As we all know by now, George Floyd was murdered by a police officer last week who knelt on his neck for almost 9 minutes. A coroner found that Floyd died of asphyxiation as a result of the officer cutting off blood and oxygen to his brain. That officer has had his charge upgraded to second degree murder, and the other three officers involved have now also been charged.
Floyd’s death incited protests across all 50 states in the US, as well as in the UK and here in Australia. Many of these protests are peaceful and do not incite violence. However the response of police, particularly in the US, has been extremely violent.
I’ve read a number of articles over the last few days that have said that a few people have even been permanently blinded in one eye or have lost their eye as a result of being hit with rubber bullets.
Closer to home, Australians are now taking notice of the 400+ Indigenous deaths in police custody since 1991 and are finally protesting these deaths. As of yet, none of these deaths have resulted in the arrests of any officers.
Over 424 Aboriginal people have lost theirs lives since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.
That’s 14 people murdered a year.
If a white person was murdered every month for 24 years by the same group, we’d call them terrorists.
You call it Australia.
— Nakkiah Lui (@nakkiahlui) June 2, 2020
Protests In Australia
Australia media covering police brutality in America without even addressing their deep rooted systematic racism against Indigenous Australians as well as the 400+ deaths of Indigenous Australians in custody is beyond me….
— Saron (@saronneyyy) May 31, 2020
If you want to join the protests in Australia this weekend, here’s where you can find them in your local city:
Sydney, NSW – Saturday 6 June, 3-5pm, Town Hall, marching to Belmore Park. Organised by the Indigenous Social Justice Association (ISJA) Sydney, Anticolonial Asian Alliance, USYD Autonomous Collective Against Racism.
Melbourne, VIC – Saturday 6 June, 2-5pm, Parliament House Steps. Organised by the Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance (WAR).
Brisbane, QLD – Saturday 6 June, 1-5pm, King George Square, marching to Musgrave Park. Organised by the Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance (WAR).
Newcastle, NSW – Saturday 6 June, 2-5pm, Pacific Park, marching to Civic Park. Organised by Fighting in Solidarity Towards Treaties (FISTT).
Wollongong, NSW – Sunday 7 June, 2-5pm, Crown St Mall Amphitheatre. Organised by National Union of Students (NUS) Against Racism.
Adelaide, SA – Saturday 6 June, 12-1:30pm, Victoria Square (Tarndanyangga). Organised by the Adelaide Campaign Against Racism and Fascism, Sosblakaustralia SA Action Group.
(Canberra’s protest had already begun today at the time of writing – 10:30am, Garema Place in Civic).
Remember that COVID-19 is still a big issue, so if you attend any of these protests over the weekend, social distancing and masks are a MUST!
Image Source: Twitter (@MothershipSG)