racist-minstrel-figures-viral-tiktok

TikTok/@malacheeman

‘I just knew this was racist’: Black internet service worker called to house with minstrel statues in viral TikTok

'Is it really eating watermelon?'

 

Kahron Spearman

IRL

Posted on Jul 18, 2021   Updated on Jul 21, 2021, 9:58 am CDT

A viral TikTok shows a Black internet service worker called to a house with minstrel statues in the Atlanta metro area.

These figures, or coon caricatures, are violently anti-Black. Most of these figurines and statues, according to research by Ferris State University, contained glossy black ‘skin,’ bulging eyes, large red lips, a flat nose, and curly hair. They were meant to portray Black people as imbeciles, wild savages, childish buffoons, lazy deviants of sexual or criminal nature, or big-grinned servants.

Posted by @malacheeman, the video has over 3 million views. He’s a young Black man answering a house call to fix a woman’s internet service. The voiceover narration explains, “I went over to this lady’s house to fix her wifi, and I see this.”

He zooms in at a small Black minstrel figure, eating watermelon: “Is it really eating watermelon?”

https://www.tiktok.com/@malacheeman/video/6984808134908906757?_d=secCgYIASAHKAESMgow8Oj7orabZsCrujjxQkrwNhsImfMjjP%2FKWUjMPuBr6KF3GB2TnfTcqf0bk0DsI7dBGgA%3D&checksum=53ec05e1850f57e3b66f43d89343354e2bce4a28ac4ea4cb32d615370793f6f8&language=en&preview_pb=0&sec_user_id=MS4wLjABAAAAiGlf5kWR_bkxL4NUswUaYEFrTSSkvho1LfvuPiIolI90cGbjDI8lhaNk_qvK12p4&share_app_id=1233&share_item_id=6984808134908906757&share_link_id=E64B7994-1791-40CE-939F-953BF7C8CA3D&source=h5_m&timestamp=1626611586&tt_from=copy&u_code=dbgcc799lddb6h&user_id=6809297842311037958&utm_campaign=client_share&utm_medium=ios&utm_source=copy&_r=1&is_copy_url=0&is_from_webapp=v1&sender_device=pc&sender_web_id=6893542180917790213

He then the quick-pans over to the “lawn jockey,” another figure regarded as anti-Black, near the walkway leading to the front door.

“My God, I just knew this was racist,” the voice says.

@malacheeman

Reply to @theawkwardbutterfly_ Im all good was a lil weird but aye you gots to see it through #fyp #comedy #foryou

♬ Hell To Da Naw Naw Naw – Bishop Bullwinkle

In part two, he says, “She offered me coffee, but I watched Get Out too many times.” He’s inside the house, which is a mess.

As the voiceover says his “manager came to save” him, he pans down to a book on the woman’s table called Let Trump Be Trump.

One of the commenters noticed the watermelon coaster, connecting to the minstrel figure outside. Another joked with a Get Out motif: “Good thing you didn’t take the coffee. She probably would’ve hit the spoon against the cup a couple times, and we would’ve never saw you again.”

https://www.tiktok.com/@malacheeman/video/6985124654633487621?_d=secCgYIASAHKAESMgow8Oj7orabZsCrujjxQkrwNhsImfMjjP%2FKWUjMPuBr6KF3GB2TnfTcqf0bk0DsI7dBGgA%3D&checksum=53ec05e1850f57e3b66f43d89343354e2bce4a28ac4ea4cb32d615370793f6f8&language=en&preview_pb=0&sec_user_id=MS4wLjABAAAAiGlf5kWR_bkxL4NUswUaYEFrTSSkvho1LfvuPiIolI90cGbjDI8lhaNk_qvK12p4&share_app_id=1233&share_item_id=6984808134908906757&share_link_id=E64B7994-1791-40CE-939F-953BF7C8CA3D&source=h5_m&timestamp=1626611586&tt_from=copy&u_code=dbgcc799lddb6h&user_id=6809297842311037958&utm_campaign=client_share&utm_medium=ios&utm_source=copy&_r=1&is_copy_url=0&is_from_webapp=v1&sender_device=pc&sender_web_id=6893542180917790213

He jokes in a third video, responding to a comment about the racist woman’s obsession with Black people via the minstrel figurines, “Who wouldn’t wanna be Black? Who wouldn’t want all this chocolate?”


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*First Published: Jul 18, 2021, 10:23 am CDT