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New York Times: Shooting Spurs Hashtag Effort on Stereotypes

By Tanzina Vega

(Aug. 12, 2014 | The New York Times) – When Tyler Atkins heard about the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, 18, an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Mo., he posted on Twitter a picture of himself in a tuxedo, with a saxophone around his neck, next to a photograph of himself dressed in a black T-shirt with a blue bandanna tied around his head and his finger pointed at the camera.

Like hundreds of young African-Americans, he placed his pictures under the hashtag #IfTheyGunnedMeDown, protesting Mr. Brown’s killing by a police officer and the way young black men are depicted in the news media. He said that Mr. Brown’s identity was distorted and filtered through negative stereotypes, and that the same would have been done to him with the bandanna image if he found himself the victim of a similar event. Read more

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