#IfTheyGunnedMeDown: African-Americans protest media portrayals of black victims

In the wake of the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, African-Americans have taken to Twitter to wonder how the media would portray them if they should be the victim of a police shooting.


While initial photos showed Michael Brown in a cap and gown at his high school graduation, media organizations and conservative bloggers are increasingly turning to a photo (seen above) of Brown clad in a Nike Air jersey and throwing a 'gang sign,' as a way to sensationalize the shooting while inferring that the young man might be a 'gangbanger.'

African-Americans remember the Trayvon Martin case when the image of a unarmed teen shot by George Zimmerman changed when bloggers posted photos of Martin throwing signs and sporting a grill, accusing him of being a gang member. For a brief period of time, a photo of another young African-American man made the rounds with conservatives asserting that it was Martin as a gang member.

With that in mind, African-Americans created #IfTheyGunnedMeDown and posted multiple pictures of themselves, asking which photo the media would use to draw traffic and dictate the narrative.