I have really tried to wait until the hoodie hype passed away into the old news folder. However, since that isn’t happening so much, I have to comment.
What is a hoodie? Basically, it is a sweatshirt with a hood. Why wear one? I think the hoodie’s main purpose is to hide. Hide from the rain, hide from the cold, hide from the wind or hide your face from people. Don’t want to be recognized? Pull the convenient hood over your head. Does that make you a criminal? No. Does wearing a hoodie sometimes make others view you as a criminal? Probably.
I rarely pay much attention to anything Fox News TV commentator Geraldo Rivera has to say. However, his recent comment on hoodies caught my attention.
"People wearing hooded sweatshirts are often going to be perceived as a menace," he remarked. I think he is right. He further commented "I’ll bet you money that if he didn’t have that hoodie on, that nutty Neighborhood Watch guy wouldn’t have responded in that violent and aggressive way."
He may or may not be right on that one.
I think the wearing of a hoodie by any youngster walking alone at night will cause a "flight or fight" response in many people. An article of clothing may not deserve being labeled a display of ill intent, but it happens.
All that being said, I guess what bothers me the most is the legs the hoodie has grown. Lawmakers wearing the garment as a show of support for justice for Trayon Martin. Rallies where the hoodie is used as a symbol of the injustice of the tragic shooting. It has just gotten to be too much. Next will be the outcry to ban hoodies in public places. Or to make it the state of Florida’s official garment. You know, like the state bird or state tree.
Martin was not a perfect young man with school suspensions, a marijuana possession charge and other seemingly petty offenses in his past. But that really doesn’t matter in the overall scheme of things except that painting him as a sweet, young innocent just adds fuel to the fire. His shooter was no innocent either, but I am not sure that means he was out to get a black teenager. Truth is, we don’t really know exactly what happened that night in Florida except that another young black man who happened to be wearing a hoodie is dead.
Are so many black teens and young adults dying at the hands of others because they are black? Or is it because they put themselves in situations where violence happens? Or is it because so many of them wear hoodies?