Humanity reached rock-bottom when some white teenagers were seen exhibiting an insensitive challenge over social media that has them imitating a police officer kneeling on George Floyd's neck.
The brutal killing of an unarmed African-African man, George Floyd, by a Minneapolis police officer by virtue of his kneeling on the victim's neck sparked protests all over the United States last week. Such an act of dispassionately stamping out human life made people question humanity at large. However, sensitivity hit a new low when teenagers were discovered taking part in a challenge that required them to enact the murder scene of George Floyd.
The challenge gained attention when a photo of a high school wrestling coach with a man kneeling on his neck began circulating on social media sites. The Bethel School District coach was later fired for his controversial post that left people fuming with anger.
In the post, Dave Hollenbeck, the man who was pictured with a knee pressed into his back, wrote, "Not dead yet. This is for all the race baiters and people that don't What they're talking about when they're saying this could kill you."
Two other teenagers in Missouri also found their admission to universities revoked after they uploaded a similar Snapchat video. Missouri State University President, Clif Smart, clarified in a post that the students involved had "chosen to withdraw."
I was horrified by offensive social media posts made by two incoming students recently.— Clif Smart (@ClifSmart) June 2, 2020
These students have chosen to withdraw from the university. Read my analysis of the situation. https://t.co/s4R3cGIiAl
The others seen in viral posts were taken by three UK teenagers and said "police brutality" in their captions. One of the photos caught the attention of local police in Northumbria in Britain and led to the arrest of all three on May 31 on charges of hate crime.
As per reports by The Indian Express, another 26-year-old man in Fife, Scotland, was also arrested for an image mocking the death of Floyd. Although the original post was deleted, he was nabbed on the basis of screenshots. The image showed one man lying face down on the ground while the other had his knee on his neck. The man on top is staring into the camera with his arms flexed and captioned it "George Floyd challenge 2020".
Bradford University had also reported about its investigation into the case of a teenager from its campus who was seen carrying the insensitive George Floyd challenge.
We are aware of an image that is circulating on social media making unacceptable reference to recent tragic events in the US. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion is a core value of our University. We are taking this matter very seriously and investigating the matter as a priority.— University of Bradford (@UniofBradford) May 31, 2020
The trend also got a lot of limelight after a petition was circulated online asking to "Have TikTok remove any content involving the 'George Floyd challenge!!'" After outrage by social media users over banning such a challenge, social media has brought it upon itself to crack down on people undertaking this challenge and are blocking the hashtag on its platforms.
Social media platforms like Snapchat and Facebook were primarily used to post such content. Both these sites have now blocked the hashtag for violating 'community standards'.