Following last night’s decision by a Staten Island grand jury not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo for killing Eric Garner this July, something extraordinary happened on Twitter.
This #crimingwhilewhite hashtag. Are white ppl openly acknowledging white privilege on police interactions or am I dreaming?– Maya Reid (@SuchAnAfroholic) December 3, 2014
All night long whites took to #crimingwhilewhite to publicly document their past crimes and how police treated them they believe, because they were white. Alone, one or two tweets would’ve elicited a few SMHs and easy comparison to comedian Dave Chappelle’s white buddy, Chip (see clip above). But taken together #crimingwhilewhite is perhaps the first large-scale public confession from whites that, “Yes, I’m raced, too. Race isn’t just something that a black person brings into a perfectly unraced room.” Check out the #crimingwhilewhite stream yourself; it’s fascinating. A sample of early tweets (unverified) are below.
When I was 20, I stole a pack of cigs, cop prayed with me and made me promise I wouldn’t do it again. #crimingwhilewhite– cardsgirl1972 (@cardsgirl1972) December 4, 2014
caught smoking weed on private property, lied repeatedly to cops, they found an oz in my car, told me to drive home slow #CrimingWhileWhite– billy corgan (@UncleNatie) December 3, 2014
In high school I got in a 3 car wreck that might have been my fault. The cop told me it was the “illegal alien’s” fault. #CrimingWhileWhite– Elizabeth (@oceana_roll) December 3, 2014
My 13yo son and his friends were loitering at Walgreens recently. Only his black friend got searched for shoplifting. ~ #CrimingWhileWhite ~– Dave Hoover (@davehoover) December 4, 2014
Reaction appeared to be largely positive:
shout out to the white people telling the truth and making their own contribution to equality in the hashtag #CrimingWhileWhite– Setab Kcorhay (@_yah_yah) December 3, 2014