On Saturday, Missouri teen Michael Brown was reportedly shot dead by police. The death of the unarmed teen has sparked outrage in his local community that has spread across the country and on social media.
Comparisons have been drawn between Brown and others including Jordan Davis and Trayvon Martin, may explain the immense popularity of #IfTheyGunnedMeDown on Twitter. The hashtag's accompanying tweets feature two different photos of the same person and the question, "If they gunned me down, which picture would they use?"
The criticism has taken Twitter by storm not only among Americans, but now on an international scale.
Hashtags criticizing the media's portrayal of victims in the black community is nothing new for Black Twitter. #DangerousBlackKids discredited the vilification of black youth and picked up steam after the death of Jordan Davis, and #APHeadlines was a sarcastic backlash on that Associated Press' coverage of the Renisha McBride case verdict.
See #IfTheyGunnedMeDown tweets below:
— The Root (@TheRoot) August 11, 2014
— #NishaHasNoChill ✋✌ (@tanisha_babyy) August 11, 2014
— Yung PeeWee ` (@_itsrico_) August 11, 2014
— Dev (@DevinDinero) August 11, 2014
— Aug. 25th #AVO (@WhoISdeante) August 11, 2014
— #INDISSTREE (@BuddhaLeeRaye) August 10, 2014
— The Real Segun Idowu (@RevrendDoctor) August 10, 2014
— Not A Walking Target (@_bennythejet) August 10, 2014
— Val Pal (@beneVALence_) August 10, 2014
— Hanan (@Hvnan) August 11, 2014