Last night, in the midst of protests in reaction to the non-indictment of Daniel Pantaleo, the Staten Island cop responsible for choking and killing Eric Garner, Twitter erupted in one of the most powerful hashtags we’ve ever witnessed: #CrimingWhileWhite. This hashtag allowed White people to share their experience with police officers that often ended with a pat on the bum and no shooting, choking or calls for justice. And now Twitter has responded to that hashtag with #AliveWhileBlack. This social media movement is an outpouring of Black people sharing their experiences of living everyday life as a Black person and the disparities that come along with it.
This is only the beginning of an open conversation, but already it’s really starting to make some changes. One young White woman tweeted that it took 45 years and the #CrimingWhileWhite hashtag to help her understand her privilege. This may indeed be a small step towards helping gain some relief in the big overpowering beast that is systematic racism in America, but hey small steps are still steps. Do you think these hashtags are making a difference?
Check out some of the #AliveWhileBlack tweets: