Talking politics is not uncommon on TikTok. Over the past few years, we have seen numerous influencers go viral after offering their hot takes and explaining complex and nuanced political issues. But there is one account, in particular, causing quite a stir among the app’s users.
Introducing the ‘Black Menaces,’ a TikTok collective based at Brigham Young University (BYU). With over 630K followers and their videos routinely receiving millions of views, the group has skyrocketed to virality over the past few weeks.
The group consists of five Black students named Rachel, Kennethia, Sebastian, Kylee, and Nate. Coming together to form the Black Menaces, the collective is known for their ‘street interview’ style TikToks with BYU students.
The group goes around the BYU campus discussing “controversial” topics — often relating to race, sexuality, political affiliations and movements. With students answering “no” to questions like “are you a feminist?” and “do you support gay marriage?”, many TikTok users are surprised by these students and their conservative views on social issues — especially considering Gen Z’s left-leaning political consciousness.
Some viewers have even gone on to parody the students and their answers.
“BYU students when they see the Black Menaces on campus”, the text reads as TikTok user @staceyharkey1 acts worried while pretending that the Black Menaces are approaching him. With ignorant students being the butt of the joke, these videos also point to the frustrations of marginalised groups when it comes to inclusivity, representation, and acceptance.
The feelings of isolation among minority groups are heightened within institutions that lack cultural, racial, and religious diversity, like BYU— a private university sponsored by the Morman Church where Black students only constitute around one percent of the student population.
With the vast majority of BYU students coming from white, Christian, and privileged backgrounds, the Black Menaces are using humour to challenge students, encouraging them to rethink their biases and racist political beliefs.
We love to see it!