On May 25, 2020, a white police officer named Derek Chauvin killed an unarmed black man George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Floyd choked to death after Chauvin had his knee on his neck for nearly 9 minutes.
George’s murder has led to violent protests all across the country, with many of them being met with police brutality.
Many white teenagers have made a joke out of an incident that has led to turmoil across the country. They have made a challenge out of George Floyd’s death. It is being called the #GeorgeFloydChallenge.
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This “challenge” entails participants kneeling down on the necks of their friends, just like Chauvin kneeled on George’s.
Although only a handful of people, mostly white males, have participated in the challenge, screenshots of the posts have gone viral. They have drawn backlash and condemnation from thousands.
American singer Ciara also responded to the challenge –
“This is sickening! Crushing! I don’t have words!! Please end this NOW! Praying for Love in your hearts. Jesus We Need You”
This is sickening! Crushing! I don’t have words!! Please end this NOW! Praying for Love in your hearts. Jesus We Need You 💔 pic.twitter.com/6PxlnMAG5M
— Ciara (@ciara) June 3, 2020
One of the first images to be shared under the hashtag was tagged with a location of Chardon, Ohio. Consequently, the Chardon School District conducted an investigation into the photo. However, they were unable to identify either of the teens depicted.
In a written statement, Superintendent Michael Hanlon said –
“We find this post to be offensive in celebrating the death of a human being under these, or any circumstances.”
Hanlon added –
“And we want you to be aware that we have researched the post and have not found any connection to Chardon Schools or our students at this time.”
Moreover, two white female students were forced to rescind their enrolments from the University of Missouri and Missouri State University after they uploaded a video participating in the challenge.
Mun Choi sent an email to the campus community –
“Given the similarity to the recent death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the video is both shocking and disturbing,”
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“University leaders and I remain committed to combating discrimination and racism in all its forms”
Choi is president of the University of Missouri System and interim chancellor of MU.
The University of Missouri has launched a civil rights investigation against the participants.