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#AliveWhileBlack and #CrimingWhileWhite Social Media Takeovers Prove the Existence of Two Americas

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 12.48.31 PMAfter social media was set ablaze by the hashtag #CrimingWhileWhite, the hashtag #AliveWhileBlack has surfaced as a way to document the stark contrast between the America that white people experience and the one that has Black residents battling against racism and discrimination.

Even today new #CrimingWhileWhite tweets are hitting the web as white citizens share their stories of breaking the law and the very different outcomes they saw compared to unarmed teen Michael Brown, Staten Island father Eric Garner and the many other Black men who have been killed at the hands of police officers.

Both Brown and Garner were killed after their runins with law enforcements turned violent.

Garner was accused of selling loose cigarettes, although there is still no evidence to support the accusations, and Brown was seen on a convenience store camera taking a box of cigars.

Immediately, some people tried to justify the fact that Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson gunned down Brown because he had allegedly committed a crime moments before the encounter.

According to thousands of white social media users, however, the encounter would have been much different if they were in Brown’s shoes.

The #CrimingWhileWhite hashtag highlighted how many white people broke the law but were not even arrested or ticketed for their wrong doing. Instead officers often followed drunk drivers home, encouraged violent suspects to turn their lives around or laughingly told a white suspect that they only pulled them over because they believed they were Black.

Now the #AliveWhileBlack hashtag is shedding more light on the other side of the story—the Black Americans who are being racially profiled by police.

Senior editor at Ebony.com Jamilah Lemieux encouraged the Black community to use the hashtag #AliveWhileBlack to share their own stories of being harassed or abused by police.

Unfortunately, the tweets were anything but surprising.

Black users flooded the social media site with stories about being pulled over while driving nice cars although they violated no traffic laws, being forcefully placed in handcuffs without an explanation and having officers rummage through their personal belongings despite no probable cause or consent to search.

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It wasn’t long before people broadened the topic beyond just police brutality in order to focus on highlighting the existence of racism in America as a whole. Users shared the faux “compliments” they received from those who believed they spoke well for a Black person, how people automatically assumed they were only in college because of affirmative action and their overall frustrations with the justice system and other racist institutions in America.

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2 thoughts on “#AliveWhileBlack and #CrimingWhileWhite Social Media Takeovers Prove the Existence of Two Americas

  1. Sundiata Keita says:

    that top tweet, Jamilah. she's an agent. She claims she's a black nationalist feminist and her dad was in the BPP but she works for white folks at ebony dot com and pushes that feminist crap all day.

  2. Bill Cromer says:

    We’ve all seen the convenience store video which “allegedly” shows Michael Brown in a strong arm robbery taking a box of cigars worth $48.99. Few of us took time to see if the allegation is true.

    The crucial part begins when a store clerk gives Brown a box of cigars, which he hands to his friend, Dorian Johnson. From the incident report we learn that the clerk then tells Brown he will have to pay for that first box before he will give him a second box.

    Brown became offended and to make a point he grabbed that second box from the clerk. Apparently the clerk thought the first box, because Brown took the second box without paying for the first, was stolen property. He then acts on that premise.

    Having made his point Brown walked forward and put the second box on the counter. Following his lead Johnson put the first box on the counter. Moments later the clerk removed both boxes. Here it becomes obvious Michael Brown did not steal a box of cigars!

    Brown and Johnson start to leave when Brown noticed some pouches on the floor that fell out of the second box during the struggle with the manager. He stooped down twice trying to recover them. Had the clerk not proceeded as though Brown stole a box of cigars, Brown would have put those pouches on the counter as well.

    While Brown was trying to recover those cigar pouches from the floor – a twelve second interval – the clerk gets his keys to the door, comes from behind the counter, passes by Brown on the floor, and positions himself between Brown and the door.

    When Brown stood up he was confronted by manager in his face along with a fast developing possibility of being locked in the store. The clerk created, considering Brown had not stolen anything, an illegal situation called “false imprisonment.”.

    That meant, while Brown hurried toward the door, it was illegal for the clerk to hinder his efforts to leave. Again, Brown had not stolen anything! Putting his left hand on Browns chest constituted an assault.

    Two more assault charges occurred when the clerk touched Browns left hand on the door and grabbing Browns right elbow while he was leaving. Browns move toward the clerk when he was leaving was an obvious warning – “don’t touch me again!”.

    Less than two seconds lapse during the confrontation between Brown and the clerk. The physical contact being initiated by the clerk. Someone edited the video – added eight seconds – to make Browns push to the clerk look unprovoked.

    Seeing the reflection of Brown pushing the clerk in a glass door at back of store and then seeing the event occur again eight seconds later proves the video was edited.

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