‘Black Menaces’ chapters launch across US to make college students feel ‘uncomfortable’

An organization of black students known for asking white classmates questions about identity politics is expanding across America.

The Black Menaces originated in Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, where they amassed 725,000 followers on TikTok since launching their account in February, according to NBC.

In videos posted to the Chinese social media app, the group asks white classmates questions such as “What do you do to combat racism?”

The group wants a Menace chapter at “every predominantly white institution and university in the country,” organizer Kylee Shepherd said in a Wednesday video.

“EMAIL US TO START ONE WHEREVER YOU ARE,” the video is captioned.

Besides Shepherd, the group is run by Sebastian Stewart-Johnson, Nate Byrd, Kennethia Dorsey and Rachel Weaver.

The group is officially creating chapters at the University of North Carolina, Duke University, Tulane University and San Francisco State University, Stewart-Johnson told NBC.

The Menaces say it’s important to make their classmates think critically about subjects like race, gender identity and expression.

“We enjoy making people uncomfortable and giving them things to think about that they probably never thought about before,” Byrd told NBC.

In one video, members of the group walked around campus and asked white students who they voted for in the 2020 general election. In another, they asked if Brigham was an inclusive school. Another video questioned students about whether they were feminist.

Despite saying they challenge students to think about important issues, Black Menaces members questioning students didn’t ask any follow up questions or challenge the students’ existing perspective. The questioner would typically say “thank you” and walk away.

In some videos, the group members question each other about racist experiences that happened to them.

Weaver retold a story of a time she was asked to show her ID at a mall when she was underage. The mall asked underage visitors to attend with a legal adult, because it was having issues with theft from black shoppers.

White and asians entering the same premise were not asked to show their IDs, she claimed.

“They were only asking the black people to prove because that’s who they were having issues with,” she said.

Stewart-Johnson said the idea for the Black Menaces came from feeling he and other Black students “often felt the burden of educating their peers,” NBC wrote.

“As members of the Black Student Union, the group felt that their pushes to make the school more inclusive went unfulfilled.”

Stewart-Johnson said students at more than two dozen schools across the country have expressed interest. The Black Menaces wants to expand to organize large protests and push national initiatives like mandated classes on race, he said.

“As Black students, we’ve felt the isolation and ‘ostracization’ so we wanted to highlight everything that we go through in a way that millions could see it.”

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