13 Crimes White Twitter Users Say They Just Walked Away From
This is #notokay.
Yesterday, another grand jury chose not to indict another police officer who used deadly force against another unarmed black man. If the New York City grand jury's decision not to charge police officer Daniel Pantaleo with father of six Eric Garner's death sounds familiar, that's because it was only last week that a Ferguson, Missouri grand jury decided not to indict an officer for killing unarmed teenager Michael Brown. The echo is tragic.
Activists say they see a pattern, one imbued by a history of on-the-ground racial profiling and courts given to holding up split-second decisions made by cops in the field. Brown's death gives new meaning to the phrase "walking while black," which describes the perceived heightened levels of suspicion reserved for people with darker skin, regardless of how innocent their activity: Brown was initially stopped for walking in the street.
A hashtag, #CrimingWhileWhite, rose on Twitter in the hours following the Garner decision, to illustrate the disparity. White users tweeted the crimes they said they had committed over the years - jaywalking, shoplifting, drunk driving - with nods to the slaps on the wrist their privilege ensured they did not receive.
If you do the crime, you have to do the time, Twitter suggested - unless you're white.
A second hashtag, #AliveWhileBlack, surfaced on Twitter in response to the viral #CrimingWhileWhite. Where #CrimingWhileWhite focused on white criminals who walked away, #AliveWhileBlack told the stories of black people who said they had been unjustly tageted by police, simply because they were "alive."
The contrast is striking.
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