Racism In Social Media

Improved Essays
“I can’t breathe” and “Black lives matter” are just two of the phrases being echoed across the country during protests against police brutality and racism. The country, and media, blew up after Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot black teenager Michael Brown, was not indicted on November 24th. Though facts about this case are uncertain, there has been a national outcry about the racism that still runs rampant in our society. In the case of Eric Garner, a 43 year old black man who died while being held in a chokehold by a police officer, the evidence is there. Garner cannot breathe, and he states this. Once he is down and clearly not breathing, the police officers do not perform CPR or try to save his life in any way. He laid there for …show more content…
Social media, especially Twitter, broke out with the hashtag #blacklivesmatter. Then, a plan was formed to protest at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. The tag #stoptheparade spread like wildfire. Articles such as “Anarchists target Thanksgiving Day Parade” (The New York Post) paint the protesters in a bad light. Mainstream media barely covered the event, but many protesters voiced their thoughts and opinions through social media. One Twitter user stated “The NYPD is telling news stations not to show footage of the protests. Be aware. A revolution is being censored from view. #stoptheparade.” Another twitter account called “A People’s History” posted pictures of police officers using their batons on children. Countless others have made their voices heard over social media, and are trying to get the truth of what’s really going on out there. A letter from an anonymous group of protesters states: “...without warning to disperse, the NYPD began to pick up several metal barricades and use them as weapons. After abruptly dividing us, they began to brutally attack and arrest protesters...During this chaos, undercover plain-clothes police officers began assaulting protesters furthering the NYPD’s efforts to characterize us as violent agitators.” This letter references a video on Youtube that shows police brutality against peaceful protesters. What all of this social media …show more content…
Literally.” This tweet emphasizes white privilege. White people care more about whether a parade or a christmas tree lighting will be stopped, than the black lives lost due to racism and police brutality. White people do not have to live in fear that one of their family members could be next. Two popular twitter hashtags that emphasize the difference between how police officers treat white people versus black people are #CrimingWhileWhite and #LivingWhileBlack. In the #CrimingWhileWhite hashtag, white people admit to times that cops have let them off the hook. Some examples include “The only time I have ever been stopped and searched by police was when I was accompanied by a black friend,” and “A friend was arrested. Me: ‘You’re not going to hurt him are you?’ Policeman: ‘don’t worry, we only do that to black people.’” The #LivingWhileBlack hashtag provides a stark contrast. These tweets show the institutional racism that exists not only in police officers, but in society. Some examples include “Racially profiled in a Walmart once, handcuffed and hit with police vehicle, said I ‘resembled the perpetrator’” and “Hanging out with a Caucasian female friend and cops asked her if I’m ‘following’ her or ‘bothering’ her.” These tweets show perspectives of black people whose voices don’t make it to the

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