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#AmericaInFiveWords Exposes The Bleak Perceptions Of A Racially Divided Nation

After a turbulent year in the U.S., #AmericaInFiveWords gained momentum as people took to Twitter to voice dissenting perceptions of the nation.

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For many people of color, the past few months have felt dismal at best.

The no-indictment rulings for the officers who killed Michael Brown and Eric Garner, compounded with the fatal shootings of Tamir Rice, Akai Gurley and many others, has made a country that already felt unwelcoming to many of its non-white inhabitants feel exceedingly unsafe.

Those who are not affected by race on a day-to-day basis can often ignore it or sweep it under the rug; but these events have sparked demonstrations and discussions that have brought race into the national spotlight. While the physical protests are not accessible and visible to everyone, social media has made the conversation unavoidable.

Feeling upset about recent events, @etoilee8 turned to Twitter to pose a question:

I'm curious among my thoughtful friends, how would you sum up #AmericaInFiveWords?

etoilee8@etoilee8Follow

I'm curious among my thoughtful friends, how would you sum up #AmericaInFiveWords?

4:43 PM - 26 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

"I knew with my mere five hundred followers, I couldn't do this alone, so I decided to ask my friends," she said on her blog. So she reached out:

#AmericaInFiveWords: THIS IS ONLY A TEST. cc @etoilee8

Baratunde@baratundeFollow

#AmericaInFiveWords: THIS IS ONLY A TEST. cc @etoilee8

9:05 AM - 27 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

#AmericaInFiveWords Country founded on genocide/enslavement

Mother of Kittehs @FeministaJonesFollow

#AmericaInFiveWords

Country founded on genocide/enslavement

10:46 AM - 27 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Liberty and justice for some. #AmericaInFiveWords

lauren@celestialshawtyFollow

Liberty and justice for some. #AmericaInFiveWords

7:50 PM - 27 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

@HumbleKing13 #AmericaInFiveWords this is not your land

Kirtland@KirtlandOneFollow

@HumbleKing13 #AmericaInFiveWords this is not your land

3:16 AM - 28 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Treating Marginalization as a Currency #AmericaInFiveWords

Jenn Bunny Themelis@bunifahFollow

Treating Marginalization as a Currency #AmericaInFiveWords

12:10 PM - 27 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

#AmericaInFiveWords we kill kids for oil

Minorities Guilty Unless Proven Innocent. #AmericaInFiveWords

Ajaz Ahmed@ajaz_Follow

Minorities Guilty Unless Proven Innocent.

#AmericaInFiveWords

3:56 AM - 28 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

“@Patbagley: "Saw it on the news" #AmericaInFiveWords ”🙌🙌

alli☁︎@troylerftniallFollow

“@Patbagley: "Saw it on the news"

#AmericaInFiveWords ”

9:27 PM - 28 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Guns are Cheaper Than Healthcare #AmericaInFiveWords

TheNewDeal@TheNewDealFollow

Guns are Cheaper Than Healthcare #AmericaInFiveWords

1:54 AM - 28 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

#AmericaInFiveWords TORTURE is rationalized as bravery

liza@blogdivaFollow

#AmericaInFiveWords

TORTURE

is

rationalized

as

bravery

1:41 AM - 28 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Most Twitter user's descriptions of America pointed to recent events, exposing hypocrisies in the country's history and dangers faced by the marginalized.

#AmericaInFiveWords Not white? Shoot on sight

Kuh-Reem@WTFKAREEMFollow

#AmericaInFiveWords Not white? Shoot on sight

7:55 PM - 29 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

shoot first, ask questions later #AmericaInFiveWords

amara@amaracondaFollow

shoot first, ask questions later #AmericaInFiveWords

6:23 PM - 27 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

#AmericaInFiveWords Slavery still exists in prisons. #13thAmmendment

LEFT@LeftSentThisFollow

#AmericaInFiveWords

Slavery still exists in prisons.

#13thAmmendment

6:20 PM - 27 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Keep calm while being oppressed. #AmericaInFiveWords

Yvette@onepearFollow

Keep calm while being oppressed. #AmericaInFiveWords

9:06 AM - 28 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

There were some who expressed frustration at people using the hashtag to paint the U.S. in a negative light:

If you are using #AmericaInFiveWords to complain, I have 5 words for you: Move. To. Cuba. Don't. Return.

Michelle Malkin@michellemalkinFollow

If you are using #AmericaInFiveWords to complain, I have 5 words for you: Move. To. Cuba. Don't. Return.

12:19 PM - 27 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Quit whining, you're not oppressed. #AmericaInFiveWords

AdolfJoeBiden™@BidenshairplugsFollow

Quit whining, you're not oppressed. #AmericaInFiveWords

2:03 PM - 28 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

To those who hate America #AmericaInFiveWords Can't see light👉feel heat🔥

Feisty☀️Floridian@peddoc63Follow

To those who hate America #AmericaInFiveWords

Can't see lightfeel heat

2:00 PM - 27 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

#AmericaInFiveWords - Don't like our flag – LEAVE!” #tcot http://t.co/4ZFLGhcx2J @potus1LIAR @ericbolling #CashinIN

Janie Johnson@jjauthorFollow

#AmericaInFiveWords - Don't like our flag – LEAVE!”

#tcot http://t.co/4ZFLGhcx2J @potus1LIAR @ericbolling #CashinIN

9:13 PM - 29 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Regardless, people continue to use #AmericaInFiveWords as a space to vent frustrations, expose injustices, voice fears and build solidarity:

Telling The Oppressed To Leave #AmericaInFiveWords

etoilee8@etoilee8Follow

Telling The Oppressed To Leave #AmericaInFiveWords

2:21 PM - 27 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Highest incarceration rate. Who's free? #AmericaInFiveWords

Tessa Crisman@tessathemessFollow

Highest incarceration rate. Who's free? #AmericaInFiveWords

4:25 PM - 28 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Racism Killed the American Dream #AmericaInFiveWords

Ozer Khalid@OzerKhalidFollow

Racism Killed the American Dream

#AmericaInFiveWords

12:16 PM - 28 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Genocide Slavery Torture Rape Freedom #AmericaInFiveWords

US Dept. of Irony @IronyDeptFollow

Genocide

Slavery

Torture

Rape

Freedom

#AmericaInFiveWords

1:54 AM - 28 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

James Baldwin said it best. #AmericaInFiveWords

Ryan Dalton@capetownbrownFollow

James Baldwin said it best. #AmericaInFiveWords

2:58 PM - 29 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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