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by on December 4, 2014

Recently, many people have been comparing the reaction to the decision to not indict Officer Darren Wilson to the Civil Rights Movement. But in 2014, we have a huge tool that did not exist back in the 1960s: social media.

While social media is not always used intelligently, Facebook and Twitter allow strangers to have conversations with one another, and work towards a common goal. There have been many hashtags on Twitter to address the recent social injustice issues, including #BlackLivesMatter, #HandsUpDontShoot, and #ICantBreathe.

One of the most popular hashtags on Twitter currently is #CrimingWhileWhite, which focuses white privilege, and the (majority of) tweets are coming from white people who want to help change our country. There is a Huffington Post article that collected some examples of tweets using the #CrimingWhileWhite hashtag.

Evan Hill, a journalist, tweeted: “@EvanCHill: Ferguson has happened before. In America. A lot. Just didn’t get tweeted.”

Do you think social media is a helpful or hurtful tool when it comes to social movements?


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  1. I just read an article on this hashtag the other day and I found that I was not surprised by what people were tweeting. One of my favorites was a white male saying that he punched a cop in the face when he was drunk and the cop ended up driving him and his friends home that night. Another girl said that a police officer let her go when she was pulled over for a DUI because she “looked like a good kid”. What was shocking to me is that people still argue that racism is not a thing.

    It really poses the question if these kids were black, would they have received the same treatment. If we use the case of Michael Brown as an example, the boy would have a weapon drawn on him for laying his hands on a cop. He may have even been killed. The girl could have faced arrest, and judgement. Would the cop think she looked like a good kid if she acted the same way, dressed the same way, but was of a different race?

    These questions are all posed from these two simple tweets. The power of social media is getting a point across to a large audience, with a big impact. The nature of this hashtag in particular aims to dispel the misconception that white privilege does not exist, and that people are blind to color. It seems that this, along with the other hashtags that have appeared on Twitter have kept the excitement and motion of outrage surrounding the African American community.

  2. I think it’s an important hashtag because it reflects the hypocrisy and unfairness of the system, which privileges one group of people over another. It exposes that there is a problem in the system by using first hand accounts. Often race is thought of as an issue for only people of Color but we’re all affected by this and often don’t have ways to discuss it.

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