A Black creator and educator received a comment on a TikTok video telling him to “get back in chains.” So, he alerted the commenter’s mom and volunteer supervisor of the comment.
In a video posted on Tuesday, André White shows the racist and upsetting comment on his TikTok about former President Theodore Roosevelt’s anti-Native beliefs.
“Hey Dylan. How you doin’ buddy?” White says in his TikTok, addressing the commenter by name. “I get really irritated by these private profiles thinking they can just go around the platform being racist, bigoted, and thinking that they won’t get checked.”
White says that he did some digging into the commenter’s account and found that he was a volunteer firefighter at a fire station in Indiana. White contacted the commanding lieutenant at the fire department and the teen’s mother about the comment.
“Dylan, I want this to serve as a lesson,” White says in his TikTok. “You can be racist and bigoted all you want. But one day, you gonna be racist and bigoted to the wrong one.”
On Wednesday, White’s video had over 430,000 views.
@blackkout___ Replying to @Dylanf380 ♬ original sound – D Piddy
White tweeted a screenshot of the email he received from the fire department lieutenant, which says that the department “will not and does not tolerate this type of behavior,” and that the teen in question will no longer be eligible for membership in the department.
The fire department also posted on its Facebook page, ‘The comments of one individual does not, in any way, shape or form, reflect the [its] views or position.”
“We are shocked and saddened by this issue,” the post states.
In response, White posted that he emailed the fire department saying that he doesn’t believe that the comment isn’t a reflection of the department’s views.
“I can’t help but believe he has been enabled,” White wrote. “And has been told by the adults around him that that kind of language is OK.”
White also shared messages he received from the commenter, who confirmed he was fired from the fire department and that he’s “learned [his] lesson.”
“Im sorry for the joke I made on your account. It was out of line and dumb,” the teen said. “I shouldn’t have said it and I respect you for publicly shaming me. It’s what I deserve.”
Though both the fire department and the teen asked White to remove his TikTok about the racist comment, White says he will not.
“The racism was loud,” White says. “So my response and this lesson is gonna be louder.”