Tear Gas Challenge
The citizens of Ferguson, Missouri are the latest group to bravely volunteer for the Tear Gas Challenge, which has been taking the internet by storm. Many celebrities, including Drake, Li’l Wayne and Wiz Khalifa have chosen to walk through a cloud of tear gas to raise awareness of being black in a place where the entire social and economic infrastructure is owned and operated by white people.
The challenge requires nominated participants to have a tear gas canister thrown at them in the 24 hours after they are nominated to complete the dare; otherwise, the participant has to pay their taxes. Some very generous volunteers have agreed to walk through the tear gas and pay their taxes anyway.
Being black while living in a white area is a condition that affects 43 million Americans every year. While people always had an uneasy feeling about it, the Tear Gas Challenge has confronted people with the actual bodily harm that can occur to black people simply by existing. Few people realise, for instance, that shooting unarmed black teenagers multiple times in the head is legal in the United States.
In non-American parts of the world, people are finding it difficult to take the Tear Gas Challenge as tear gas is a chemical weapon and is prohibited by various international treaties that most countries have signed.