#BBCtrending: Confessions and backlash on #CrimingWhileWhite

  • 4 December 2014
Protesters lay down in New York's Grand Central Station after the announcement that a police officer will not face charges Image copyright AFP/Getty
Image caption Protesters lay down in New York's Grand Central Station after the announcement that a police officer will not face charges

White Americans are confessing to criminal acts under the hashtag #CrimingWhileWhite, but some Twitter users say the campaign is counterproductive.

It started after comedy writer Jason Ross rallied fellow liberal white Americans when it was announced that a police officer would not face charges over the death of Eric Garner.

"OTHER WHITE PEOPLE: Tweet your stories of under-punished f-ups! It's embarrassing but important! Let's get #CrimingWhileWhite trending!" he wrote.

The confessional outpouring was swift, with more than 200,000 tweets appearing under the hashtag. One from a medical student in New York was typical: "i literally buy and carry illegal drugs without fear. i have never been stopped or even looked at funny by a cop."

But the hashtag is counterproductive, argues Twitter user @HowToDressWell: "no one needs your cute story of not being profiled".

User @LeftSentThis tweeted: "I get the point behind #CrimingWhileWhite exposing hypocrisy, but at the same time it doubles as a form of bragging about #WhitePrivilege." - a comment which has been retweeted hundreds of times.

"This #CrimingWhileWhite hashtag is mad patronising lol. Didn't expect any different tho," tweeted @JamzLdn.

But others are defending the tag.

"The #CrimingWhileWhite hashtag isn't about bragging about white privilege; it's about showing those who don't believe that it does exist," says @vlcraven.

Blog by Mike Wendling

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