TikTok's crying trend is getting backlash for being potentially harmful to Black people
17 June 2021, 12:10
"The way white women weaponise their tears is the scariest, most dangerous thing ever."
A new TikTok trend that involves white women fake crying is receiving backlash.
The trend, which is thought to have started in June, involves the participant fake crying to camera before the sound says "Turn it off" and the person then suddenly stops crying and flashes a chilling smile.
Although the trend (which is sometimes called the 'Turn It Off Challenge' or 'Turn It Off Acting Challenge') started out innocently to show off the user's acting skills it has triggered the painful discussion of how white women have a history of weaponising their tears, which has ultimately caused harm to Black people.
For example, the story of Emmett Till, who was brutally murdered in 1955 for allegedly flirting with a white woman. The woman later confessed that Emmett, who was only 14 at the time of his death, never actually did anything to her. And more recently, in May 2020, Amy Cooper put a Black man named Christian Cooper's life in danger after he simply told her to put a leash on her dog while he was bird watching in Central Park. She told him: "I'm taking a picture and calling the cops. I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life." Amy has since been fired from her job.
In a TikTok video, Imani Barbarin – who is a Black disability advocate – explained how the trend could be considered problematic: "We know under a system of white supremacy who is the most dangerous. This is not a trend. Look under the sound. This is not a trend, this is just our lives."
In a second video, she continued: "What's striking about this challenge and why so many Black and people of colour are really alarmed by it is that this is how we see white women every single day. Regular t-shirts, regular outfits, regular everything and that's exactly what it scares us because we could come across any one of these women any single day."
The potentially harmful TikTok crying trend has now become a huge topic on social media.
That Tik Tok trend where white women cry then instantly stop crying to show off how great they are at fake tears, kill it with fire.— 🩸Nintendo Bratty Switch🩸 (@ginfueledbrat) June 15, 2021
This “trend” is chilling. It’s more of a threat. pic.twitter.com/pwyzRrXrdq— Imani Barbarin, MAGC | Crutches&Spice ♿️ (@Imani_Barbarin) June 16, 2021
The way white women weaponise their tears is the scariest, most dangerous thing ever.— Faridah // ACE OF SPADES OUT NOW ♠️ (@faridahlikestea) June 16, 2021
I don’t think a lot of white women understand* that a lot of Black people are most scared of them than anyone else.
** then again maybe there is an understanding, and that is also weaponised. https://t.co/31wgwr5RpN
Yikes, I guess I never learned this skill because I'm not a manipulative sociopath. When I cry, I fucking mean it— Corporate Sponsored for Pride (松本ジェス) (@JessMatsumoto) June 16, 2021
This is fucking terrifying.— The Pillsbury E-Boy (@ApocalypseDust) June 16, 2021
I had an ex that would pull this shit and threaten to call the cops on me if I broke up with her because "Who would they believe?"
Straight up moved out of state to get away from her.