#AliveWhileBlack: New In Response To #CrimingWhileWhite Sparks Heated Debate Via Twitter

Racially charged debates have been heightened over the past two weeks due to the highly publicized grand jury decisions for the murders of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. However, protesting and rioting aren’t the only efforts people have made to voice their frustrations, and surprisingly, all of the people who are concerned aren’t black.

On Wednesday, December 3, following the non-indictment of New York police officer Daniel Pantaleo, the hashtag #CrimingWhileWhite began trending in response to the outrage of the grand jury’s decision. According to the Boston Globe, the hashtag was started by Jason Ross, a notable writer credited for his work on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

The hashtag is reportedly a form of protest where white users shared their encounters with law enforcement. While some recalled times where they committed crimes and were reprimanded, many revealed occasions where they committed crimes and suffered little to no consequences. The trending topic immediately became a major topic of discussion, and has caught the attention of the media and news outlets. There are now thousands of users who have shared their experiences with law enforcement officers.

Not long after the hashtag began trending, hundreds of African-American social media users fired back via Twitter with their responses. On Thursday, December 4, Jamilah Lemieux, a Brooklyn writer and editor, started the hashtag #AliveWhileBack, which chronicles many disheartening ordeals African Americans have faced with law enforcement. Many users also shared their sentiments of the latest controversial grand jury decision.

Unfortunately, many users didn’t limit their disheartening interactions to those with police officers. Some users even recalled being racially profiled simply because of how they appeared. One user even went so far to upload a Vine video showing how he was being followed in a convenient store by a white worker. Although the claims have not been verified, many of the stories are quite disheartening to read.

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[Image via DRUM]