The hashtag users post one picture of themselves in a traditionally upstanding scene - wearing their military uniform, graduating from high school or college, or spending time with family members - and one picture of themselves, as ABC says, "in a less polished moment: holding up their hands in a way that the media often calls "gang signs," or drinking alcohol, or dancing in a suggestive way."
|Photo credit: The Root|
Participants have used the hashtag to draw attention to how the media's use of photos conveys a particular story, which might not be the whole truth.
Yesha Callahan, a writer for The Root, argued that #IfTheyGunnedMeDown was created: "to make a statement on how the media draws a biased narrative when it comes to telling the stories of black men and women. The following images [from #IfTheyGunnedMeDown] not only tell a truthful story but also prove that we, as black people, know what our narrative is, but we are also not blind to the fact that the media will, of course, be biased in showing the truth."
The creator of #IfTheyGunnedMeDown, a lawyer named CJ Lawrence, says "the hashtag poses a rhetorical question…'but in reality it's something we ask ourselves every day as African Americans.'"
|CJ Lawrence, the creator of #IfTheyGunnedMeDown, in his original tweet.|
The first photo is his speech at his University graduation alongside Bill Clinton,
the second was a halloween costume. Photo credit: BBC
- Kate Davidson