This week, famed TikToker Addison Rae disappeared from social media, causing rumors to fly and fans to panic.
Now, she has resurfaced, and issued apologies to fans for racism in her past posts.
“I owe all of you an apology,” Addison begins a lengthy apology, shared to her Instagram Stories and on Twitter.
“Four years ago,” she admits, “I reposted a video.”
Addison details that it was a video “which included a woman sharing her thoughts on Black Lives Matter and All Lives Matter.”
Addison fullya cknowledges that it was a video “that I should not have” shared or endorsed using her social media platform.
“Because of my privilege,” she explains, “I didn’t understand.”
Addison states that she didn’t grasp the subject “and wasn’t educated enough on the social injustices facing the Black community.”
“All lives CANNOT matter until Black lives do,” Addison correctly affirms.
“The Black community continues to be oppressed,” she laments.
“And,” she adds, the Black community has been and continues to be “damaged by systemic racism.”
“I see my mistakes,” Addison expresses to her fans, followers, and outspoken detractors alike.
“And,” she emphasizes, “am committed to learning from them.”
Mistakes can rarely be undone, but we can always learn from the experience. That’s growth.
“I will never stop growing, learning,” Addison writes.
“And,” she continues, she will continue “fighting for those whose voices rightfully need to be amplified.”
Addison wants to be a good ally “and will forever believe that Black Lives Matter.”
“I am truly sorry,” Addison reiterates.
“And,” she adds while addressing her fans, “I am committed to using the platform you all have given me.”
Addison vows to use her time and platform “to work on becoming a better ally.”
When Addison vanished from TikTok, rumors were flying left and right. Was she okay? Was she pregnant.
Her on-again, off-again boyfriend and fellow TikToker Bryce Hall shared: “She’s fine, just know that.”
“And let me just clear it up,” he stated, “She’s not pregnant. I don’t know why that’s a thing.”
People’s minds go to strange places when a social media star vanishes from social media, even if it’s for a matter of days.
Additionally, stan Twitter’s tendency to overanalyze and hyperfocus upon the stars whom they enjoy can lead to frenzied behavior.
From pregnancy rumors to suicide fears, people can get worked up over someone taking a short mental health break.
Real talk: Addison is not the only person whose kneejerk reaction to “Black Lives Matter” was, years ago, to say “All Lives Matter.”
The latter chant is a racist dogwhistle that exists solely to drown out the urgent plea that BLM represents — that police violence disproportionately targets the Black community and must end.
But part of the “appeal” of “All Lives Matter” is that, when robbed of its context, it sounds like a reasonable statement even though, in reality, it is not.
Addison has definitely made some mistakes — her decision to share a harmful message four years ago was not the only unwise choice.
But there is a significant difference between a 15-year-old’s social media statement and that of a 19-year-old.
And there is something to be said for how much people have learned and grown over time. Social media in 2020 is much more aware than it was in 2016.
Those of us who are white and have never parroted hateful slogans like “All Lives Matter” know that we weren’t magically born knowing better.
Rather, we were surrounded by friends and peers and loved ones who made us more aware of the world and broadened our view of it.
TikTok stars like Addison Rae are still learning — but then, so are we all.
Right now, Addison is using her platform across social media to share links to Black Lives Matter information and ways that fans can help.
She can do much more good remaining on social media for this good cause than she can by taking a hiatus.
While those of us who are white are not in a position to say that she is “forgiven” for past mistakes, we can certainly applaud her current efforts.
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