More than any other, 2015 has been the year of the racial justice hashtag. Some of these digital rallying cries came and went with the moment of highest relevance, while others stuck around and became living testaments to our collective action, resistance and humor. We compiled a crop of hashtags that captivated our feeds and imaginations this year. Here, in no particular order, are 10 of our favorites:
In early August, Ozzy’s and Sharon’s daughter tried to be an ally to Latino immigrants when she countered Donald Trump’s xenophobic rhetoric by asking who would clean his toilets if he deported then all from the United States. So Aura Bogado, then Colorlines’ news editor, launched #QueridaKellyOsbourne, a hashtag used primarily by Latinos tweeting candid stories about their families and criticisms of Osbourne:
#QueridaKellyOsbourne I am an undocumented immigrant who is currently working as a civil designer and studying to be an engineer.
— Lorena Veldañez (@LVeldanez) August 4, 2015
#QueridaKellyOsbourne there’s nothing wrong w scrubbing toilets, what’s wrong is assuming that it is our *only* value to US society
— belen (@31415inthesky) August 4, 2015
The news of Bobby Jindal’s now-defunct campaign for the Republican presidential nomination angered many South Asian Americans who saw him disavow his Indian heritage when it was convenient and call hyphenated-American identity baseless. The acclaimed Indian-American comedian Hari Kondabolu started #BobbyJindalIsSoWhite to express that rage, and it thrived throughout Jindal’s mid-November departure from the race:
#BobbyJindalIsSoWhite he deported himself just in case he might be a terrorist https://t.co/8TPJwVIdh9
— Vikas Reddy (@vikasreddy) November 17, 2015
#BobbyJindalIsSoWhite that he couldn’t stand the idea of another minority as President…SO HE QUIT THE RACE.
— Hari Kondabolu (@harikondabolu) November 17, 2015
Two strings of arson attacks on predominantly Black churches—first in the South after a White terrorist massacred Black churchgoers in Charleston, then in metro St. Louis near Ferguson—compelled social media users to share information and protest mainstream media’s lack of coverage with #WhoIsBurningBlackChurches:
What if there were a resurgence of terrorist attacks on American churches. Should 24news make time for that? #WhoIsBurningBlackChurches?
— jesseWilliams. (@iJesseWilliams) June 30, 2015
Old enough to remember the entire national media apparatus showing up in Baltimore bc of one burning CVS. #WhoIsBurningBlackChurches
— Zerlina Maxwell (@ZerlinaMaxwell) July 1, 2015
When right-wing propaganda threatened the livelihood of Planned Parenthood this year, Twitter users opened up about their abortions with #ShoutYourAbortion. The hashtag and complimentary movement was started by activists Amelia Bonow and Kimberly Morrison and writer Lindy West to fight the abortion stigma and protest a culture that would cut acess to reproductive health care (especially for people of color):
#WeWontGoBack #ShoutYourAbortion #StandWithPP #prochoice #TrustWomen #endstigma #MyBodyMyRights pic.twitter.com/lwc81ei5RH
— Pro-Choice Proud (@prochoiceproud) December 9, 2015
People forget that this is what #ShoutYourAbortion abd #Feminism is supposed to be about. #SupportOneAnother pic.twitter.com/UzOirZfHrn
— Kate Mandy (@katelovesthe80s) December 7, 2015
One of Black Twitter’s most hilarious creations, #CookoutNetworkNews reported the common goings-on of parties, barbecues and family reunions with precision:
Had too. This was my auntie back in the day and last weekend. #cookoutnetworknews pic.twitter.com/Fchl0NRXDy
— Ashley Simpo (@ashleysimpo) July 15, 2015
When Your Lil Cousin Wit The Runny Nose Sneeze Over The Ribs Before You Get Some.. #CookoutNetworkNews pic.twitter.com/vczs6ns7z6
— D.B. Cooper (@millionAire_too) August 20, 2015
Unfortunately, Abigail Fisher managed to convince the U.S. Supreme Court that the University of Texas might have rejected her because she’s White (and not because her grades weren’t good enough). #StayMadAbby hit back at Fisher and Justice Antonin Scalia, who said that Black students would fit better at "less advanced schools":
"She said affirmative action kept her out of UT when it was actually black excellence" #StayMadAbby pic.twitter.com/dfvgTk9AXu
— Key (@KeepNupwKeyonis) December 10, 2015
This ain’t no meritocratic, bootstrap, respectability nonsense, but we professoring up here at MSU, so #StayMadAbby pic.twitter.com/CfbhDS7RFJ
— Django Paris (@django_paris) December 11, 2015
Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush’s brilliant strategy to court Latino voters was to say that he’s referring to Asians when he talks about “anchor babies.” Jason Fong, a teen intern for AsAmNews, used #MyAsianAmericanStory to fight this modern-day Yellow Peril fear-mongering and celebrate the complexity of Asian America:
"but you’re not like ASIAN Asian." Here’s a map. Now go back to school and STFD. #MyAsianAmericanStory pic.twitter.com/9jRDlMfIqm
— Muneer (@muneerpanjwani) August 25, 2015
Having to constantly keep up with & adopt the culture of people who will never understand me just so I can survive #MyAsianAmericanStory
— Tracy Wan (@astroblemes) August 26, 2015
Social media lost it when Rachel Dolezal, then the president of the Spokane, Washington, branch of the NAACP, was outed as White by her parents. People of all stripes used #AskRachel to express their collective disbelief and general WTF-ness:
Dag. Even Scooby Doo & the gang said the jig is up. #AskRachel #RachelDolezal pic.twitter.com/ksNnlmCblF
— P.A.T. Junior (@iampatjunior) June 14, 2015
Rachel Dolezal: The Interview #AskRachel https://t.co/nzTGN1cXel via @YouTube I’m so DEAD.
— Renee(@princessnae97) June 14, 2015
From Marilyn Manson allegedly portraying a Native American hitman to ongoing controversy surrounding the Washington NFL Team‘s racist name (and all appropriation of Native imagery in between), #RedfaceDisgrace clapped back at the historic and ongoing erasure and systemic marginalization of Native peoples and cultures across the country:
.@NHLBlackhawks Here’s the shameful #racism your team & league condones. @nhl #Chicago #redface #redfacedisgrace pic.twitter.com/cM6QnhosPs
— Not Your Mascot (@NotYourMascot) September 30, 2015
Made my sign for the #NoHonorInRacism rally tomorrow! #redfacedisgrace #NotYourMascot pic.twitter.com/OMH82rp7je
— Leah Thaldorf (@leahjoy0523) October 18, 2015
No social media movement added more depth to #BlackLivesMatter than #SayHerName. The African American Policy Forum created the hashtag in support of its ongoing demand that Black women victims be included in the conversation about state violence against Black bodies. #SayHerName grew to encompass public outrage over Sandra Bland’s suspicious death in police custody and the multiple murders of trans women of color. The hashtag was in heavy rotation on May 21, a national day of action to highlight police brutality against Black women.
@sandylocks on why #SayHerName is critical to our racial justice movement. Read more here https://t.co/f91V5HEgFL pic.twitter.com/G6VC8LKyUn
— AAPF (@AAPolicyForum) December 3, 2015
This is EXACTLY why #SayHerName is so essential. We would’ve never heard of #DanielHoltzclaw otherwise.
— maxine shaw (@Gemcitygal_) December 11, 2015
So that was 2015. What were your favorite hashtags and tweets of the year? Let us know in the comments!