Tags: criming while white | alive while black | twitter

#CrimingWhileWhite, #AliveWhileBlack Explain Color-Based Police Treatment

By    |   Thursday, 04 Dec 2014 02:03 PM

"Alive While Black" and "Criming While White" are twin hashtag phrases that began trending on Twitter in the wake of the Eric Garner grand jury decision Wednesday. Together, they illuminate the disparity in treatment some people receive from the cops based on their skin color.

On one side of the coin, white Americans with Twitter accounts began using #CrimingWhileWhite to tell stories of police encounters that were exceedingly pleasant. 

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At the same time, black Americans used #AliveWhileBlack to describe police encounters that were anything but.



One black Twitter user explained that in the wake of cases like that of Eric Garner — a New York man who was choked by a police officer and died — the stories told through #AliveWhileBlack serve to shift the focus off of those particular high-profile cases and explain the undue attention and disproportionate response blacks often receive from police.



For white Americans, their stories of committing crimes and being spared suspicion and punishment illuminate particular instances in which so-called white privilege comes into play.

"Whenever I have f—ed up, the police have been sympathetic, protective, and helpful," said one white Twitter user in a video post. In just a few minutes, he tells a very detailed story about his drunken arrest in New Orleans — where he was treated far differently from his fellow arrestees, who were black.

"I don't want that [good treatment] to stop, but I believe that every American, regardless of skin color or resources should get the same treatment. We've been promising this since the 1960s, but we haven't delivered. It's worth doing. We must fulfill this promise. It won't be easy to do, but it's not impossible," he says.



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Gathered below are a few of the best examples of the stories told by users employing the hashtags. Also embedded are two charts from The Washington Post that show how many tweets have been posted using the hashtags over time.











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"Alive While Black" and "Criming While White" are twin hashtag phrases that began trending on Twitter in the wake of the Eric Garner grand jury decision Wednesday.
criming while white, alive while black, twitter
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2014-03-04
Thursday, 04 Dec 2014 02:03 PM
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