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A viral TikTok game is helping people realize just how privileged they actually are

TikTok user Boss_bigmama put a spin on a viral game to help people "check their privilege."

A viral TikTok game is helping people realize just how privileged they actually are
Image Source: (L) boss_bigmama / TikTok (R) allisonholkerboss / TikTok

Trigger Warning: Racism, Police Brutality

A game where people raise all 10 fingers and put one down each time they've done something in a list has been going viral. People have been playing different versions of this, such as a mother-child edition where both mom and child test out many stereotypical things they've done. It's basically "never have I ever" for the virtual age. In a more recent "check your privilege" iteration, people are finding out just how easy—or difficult—their lives have been due to this invisible thing called privilege.

 



 

Privilege, as a concept, is the result of your identity and the socioeconomic groups you belong to. It can be difficult to identify or quantify, but privilege dictates how you move through life. Sometimes, your privileges and oppressions can intersect. For instance, you could be a relatively wealthy person of color. This means that while you may not experience the oppression of class, you can still experience racism. How does this compare to a white person in a lower class? There's no real way to measure. The "check your privilege" game on TikTok, however, is a place to start.

 



 

It was created by TikTok user Boss_bigmama, whose real name is Kenya. In the video, she narrates several different microaggressions and oppressions. Some of these include: put a finger down if you have been called a racial slur, if you've been denied service solely because of the color of your skin and if you've been followed in a store unnecessarily. The most hard-hitting one, however, was the last one. She narrates, "Put a finger down if you've ever had to teach your children how not to get killed by the police." She concludes by asking if the player has any fingers left. "That's privilege," she affirms.

 



 

 

The act of making tangible the invisible privilege you experience has resonated with many folks. This is probably why the game has gone viral. The most compelling videos are the ones where a white person plays the game and inserts Kenya's clip alongside theirs. While the white TikTok user has several fingers still up, Kenya had to use one hand twice so she could have more fingers to continue playing the game. Interracial couples have also joined in on the trend, and the side-by-side comparison is, at times, disturbing. In one particular video of an interracial couple with their child, the black father has no fingers up while the white mom has nine up. She dropped one for the last prompt about whether they have had to teach their child how to not get killed.

 



 

Kenya says that the challenge is not solely about race—some have used it to check their privilege on religion or their overall socioeconomic status. "Whatever they took away from it, I hope people will use the privilege they have to help others," she said in an interview. "I can only hope that we create a better existence for our grandchildren. I want to do my part to be a part of that change."

For her, this game was a "small part in a bigger picture," telling Upworthy that it was her way to gauge from personal experiences if it were possible to "check your privilege based on things like class, race, and gender "so that we could compare our discriminatory experiences, see where we lie within this society and how we could HELP each other out. The fact that these celebrities labeled it White Privilege is NOT my fault. It doesn't prove that, that's just THEIR personal experience, just like mine is mine."

You can follow Kenya on Instagram or TikTok. If you're on these social media platforms, we urge you to play the game yourself and see how many fingers you still have up.

 



 

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