A Vietnam veteran has been described as an “absolute hero” in a viral TikTok after he was filmed running errands while wearing a homemade Black Lives Matter T-shirt.
On Tuesday, a woman who goes by the username @idiot_chickens on TikTok, shared a video of the man purchasing groceries in a supermarket in Connecticut along with the caption: “This absolute hero wearing a homemade Black Lives Matter shirt.”
In the clip, the elderly man, who is wearing a mask, could be seen dressed in jeans, black suspenders, a black veteran hat and a white T-shirt emblazoned with the words Black Lives Matter written in marker.
According to the woman, after she informed the man that she “loved” his shirt, he told her that he created it and others like it, because he was tired of his “racist neighbours and friends”.
“I said ‘love your shirt’ and he pulled me aside and told me he got tired of his racist neighbours and friends ranting and raving to him so he turned all his white T-shirts into Black Lives Matter shirts,” she explained, adding in the caption that the man was a Vietnam War veteran.
The video, which has been viewed more than 516,000 times, has been met with an outpouring of support for the elderly man, with many praising him for the gesture.
“This made me cry,” one person wrote, while another commented: “This man has my heart, protect him at all costs.”
Someone else said that the man’s actions are proof that the excuse “they grew up in a different time” is “BS,” with the woman responding in the comments that her own 91-year-old grandfather, a World War II vet, is also a “true blue progressive” and that “age is not an excuse to be a bigot”.
Others offered to send the stranger professionally made Black Lives Matter apparel, however, according to the TikTok user, he did not seem to need donations, but rather “wanted his brand of white tee but with his message on it”.
While the TikTok user, who has more than 11,000 followers on the app, said she got the feeling that he “isn’t looking for people to buy him things,” she did note in the comments that she would offer the man her platform “to speak if he wants to”.
However, in a follow-up video, the woman reiterated that the man does not need people to buy him things before urging her followers not to attempt to identify him, but to instead “appreciate him for the amazing thing that he is”.
“A Vietnam vet who supports BLM and wears his mask. Love,” one viewer added.
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