News & Politics

White People Offer Up Their Own Crimes to Prove Anti-Black Police Bias With #CrimingWhileWhite Hashtag

'Can't recommend being white enough,' Jimmy Fallon writer tweets.

As protesters took to the streets of New York City last night to voice their anger over a grand jury’s decision not to charge the white police officer who killed Eric Garner, another pointed indictment of the system was taking place online. The #CrimingWhileWhite hashtag accompanied tweets from white Americans who broke the law and suffered little to no repercussions for their crimes. The Eric Garner killing happened because police decided to arrest him for selling loose cigarettes, not exactly a major crime. By focusing on white privilege as related through the self-confessed stories of wrongdoing by white people, the tweets helped illuminate the insidiousness of racism in our criminal justice system and every aspect of American life.

Jason Ross, a writer for "The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon," launched the hashtag by confessing his own past criminal behavior that had earned little punishment from the cops. He then invited other white people to chime in. The overwhelming response made #CrimingWhileWhite the number one trending topic of the night:

 

Kali Holloway is a senior writer and the associate editor of media and culture at AlterNet.