#AliveWhileBlack and #CrimingWhileWhite Trend After Eric Garner Decision, Proves that Racial Bias Is Alive and Well
One week after it was announced that Ferguson officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted after fatally shooting unarmed black teen Michael Brown, we discovered that NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo would also not be indicted in the chokehold death of Eric Garner. Once the news was released, protestors hit the streets in protest of the decision, blocking traffic on Manhattan's West Side Highway, and even attempting to disrupt the Rockefeller Center tree lighting ceremony. It was a stunning turnout and a stunning decision... that still didn't stun anyone. Because, despite the fact that Garner's death was caught on camera, the decision in Ferguson, Missouri proved to many that a racial bias is still alive and well in a U.S. So it's little surprise that hours after the decision, #CrimingWhileWhite began trending on Twitter, and that one day after the decision, #AliveWhileBlack did the same.
The two hashtags showcase an unsettling binary in the U.S. — using the #CrimingWhileWhite hashtag, Twitter users have shared the multitude of crimes they've gotten away with thanks to white privilege. (Initially, the hashtag began as a way to point out crimes that white Americans have committed in history, without punishment.) But #AliveWhileBlack has showcased the tribulations suffered by those who have been racially profiled for simply, as the hashtag suggests, living life.
Here are just some of the more notable contributions to the hashtag:
Sadly, there isn't even enough space on this article page to include all the injustices currently being outlined on Twitter under the hashtag. And, for a reminder of just how deeply flawed the police force's attitude towards race is, contrast the tweets above with these #CrimingWhileWhite tweets:
Of course, the #CrimingWhileWhite hashtag didn't come without its fair share of controversy:
Still, regardless of how you feel about the latter hashtag, both are worth reading for a necessary, eye-opening experience. After all: