Using the hashtag #IfTheyGunnedMeDown, people on Twitter have expressed outrage at how some in the media depict minorities, which often differs with how whites are portrayed.
As The Root explained it, "the narrative the media paints surrounding black people in America more often than not includes depicting us as violent thugs with gang and drug affiliations."
Michael Brown, 18, was shot and killed by a police officer on Saturday in Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis. Differing accounts by police officers and eyewitnesses have cast doubt on the details of the shooting and the FBI has gotten involved in the investigation.
The response on Twitter was spurred by the use of two different photos of Brown following his death. In one, Brown is shown holding up two fingers as he poses for the camera, which some interpreted as an attempt to portray him in a negative light.
#MikeBrown's killing inspires the powerful #IfTheyGunnedMeDown: http://t.co/lJMM9a0owk pic.twitter.com/HEkMwRvhga
— The Root (@TheRoot) August 12, 2014
In protest, black men and women posted side-by-side photos of themselves on Twitter with the #IfTheyGunnedMeDown hashtag. Users played into how they are stereotyped in one image while the other conveyed them in a more favorable way.
Here is a small sampling of the tweets:
#IfTheyGunnedMeDown they'd say i was a thug pic.twitter.com/JsLxga0uwv
— Dev (@DevinDinero) August 11, 2014
#IfTheyGunnedMeDown what picture would they use. pic.twitter.com/XmqO6zWTor
— Gifty (@Gifty_Presenter) August 11, 2014
#IfTheyGunnedMeDown what pic would they use ? pic.twitter.com/WTWe7FUq3y
— TAMPA MADE!! (@YoloTeamPolo) August 11, 2014
#IfTheyGunnedMeDown which picture would they use pic.twitter.com/2IAnmJgrQs
— The Connect (@ChevelB) August 11, 2014
#IfTheyGunnedMeDown which image would the Media Use??? pic.twitter.com/kmgwITFdky
— #INDISSTREE (@BuddhaLeeRaye) August 10, 2014
#IfTheyGunnedMeDown what picture would they use pic.twitter.com/lJ3k3tT63n
— I Am Who I Am (@King_Ghidorah5) August 11, 2014
#IfTheyGunnedMeDown what pic would the news use? pic.twitter.com/koAr6KQM9m
— Aayan (@Yung_PopEYE) August 11, 2014
Yes let's do that: Which photo does the media use if the police shot me down? #IfTheyGunnedMeDown pic.twitter.com/Ng0pUlxWhr
— YoungGifted&Black✊ (@CJ_musick_lawya) August 10, 2014