Written by: Sarah Chase
Chinese concentration camps in Xinjiang came to the public’s knowledge last year in 2019, but the camps came about several years before Generation Z started taking notice. CBS News did video coverage of the camps in June of 2019 where the detainees claimed they were there willing. One minority Muslim said he “was affected by extremism” in the video and he had “come there to transform my thoughts”, but one female minority Muslim shared a different experience, much like the experiences seen now on tape. She experienced “violence and mistreatment for over a year in the chinese camps” including the one shown in the video. She claims that some camps are displayed for happiness and official visitors, such as journalists. “I experienced it myself. We were told ahead of the visits ‘if any of you speak out, you would go to a place worse than this’ that is why everyone does what they are told,” the women said. “Including dancing.”
For many years, China has been carrying out the cultural genocide inside these camps bombarding the detainees with the traditions and language of the Chinese majority, Han Chinese. Many teens have taken Tik Tok to raise awareness about the camps and are making videos about the treatment and murders happening in the camps. Some are posting talking about it, asking people to do their research and to make noise about the situation. Others are starting out their videos as beauty help and turning them into awareness on the concentration camps, such as one teens viral tik tok who started out as a beauty lesson, but turned it into a video about the camps saying “First you are going to grab your lash curler, curl them down, obviously, then you are going to put them down and use your phone that you are using right now to search up what is happening in China, how they are getting concentration camps…” and continues to speak about the murder and torture of Muslims.
One teen was speaking out about camps saying “there is literally a genocide happening in China right now. Here is the reality, women are being raped while their husbands and sons are being killed, their children are being beaten and nothing is being covered by the U.S. media. However, we have learned on Tik Tok that if we stir up enough fuss, our media starts to cover what we are talking about.” She speaks more on the camps and coverage of them for about 10 to 15 more seconds all while crocheting.
Generation Z proved with the previous Trump rally that they are a powerful generation. They have chosen to make Tik Tok their social awareness and change app. Even though the camps began two years earlier, they are not staying quiet until something is done. They are using their voices and their power to bring change in the world and Tik Tok has given them the platform to reach the minds of the world.