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After the Eric Garner decision, what the Twitter conversation says about race and culture

Shortly after a Staten Island grand jury announced their decision on Wednesday not to indict NYPD police officer Daniel Pantaleo in the chokehold death of 43-year-old Eric Garner, people took to social media to voice frustration. The decision came less than two weeks after a grand jury in St. Louis did not indict police officer Darren Wilson for the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.

Protests erupted across the country after both grand jury decisions were announced. But cases pertaining to Michael Brown and Eric Garner were not the sole reasons behind demonstrations, but rather tipping points — the root of frustration goes far deeper.

To better understand just how deep, look no further than Twitter, where the conversation of race and culture in America took center stage, echoing the actions of protesters across the country.

Immediately after the Garner decision was announced, people voiced outrage using Garner’s last heard words, #ICantBreathe.

#BlackLivesMatter, a conversation that sparked during Ferguson, trended once again.

And in stark juxtaposition, #CrimingWhileWhite — white Twitter users’ public confesional for their alleged unpunished crimes and misdemeanors — trended alongside #AliveWhileBlack — a display of black Twitter users’ alleged punished crimes and encounters with discrimination.



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