carlperkins wrote:roy, are you more careful about letting your son go out in a hoodie since this happened?
it's funny you should ask this. my son loves hooded sweatshirts, and even wants to wear the hood indoors. last year he was told at school that it isn't allowed in the classroom, and i have never let him do it indoors either.
when he asked "why?" and, i told him "because it makes you look like a thug!," while picturing eminem in my mind. about six weeks later, i got an angry email from my son's father, accusing me of impugning the clothes that he purchases for our son. i laughed and replied that i'd given the boy a half dozen hoodies and defended my position. i thought then, and i think now, that it's an anti-social way of dressing. i never even considered there was a racial aspect to it as hoodies seem to be popular with many people, including middle aged white women who go to the gym. (JUICY!)
apparently, i'm not the only one who thinks this way. a few days after the trayvon martin case hit the national news, one of my facebook friends wrote this:
Just back from an unintentional social experiment. I went for a walk around dusk. Decided not to go to the isolated nature trail for safety reasons. Since I was close to our church and there were a lot of cars there, I figure it would be a good alternative, with the perimeter of the paved church property being about a half-hour walk. It was chilly, so I pulled my hood over my head and put my hands in my pockets. What did I have to go and do that for? Well, the short and truthful answer is that my head, ears, and hands were cold. But it immediately dawned on me that, in my dark pants and dark hoodie at dusk, I'd justuddenly morphed into a menacing gangsta wannabe with my hand on a weapon at the ready. A few minutes later, I happened to be about 30 feet from one of the school exit doors when the 6-yr-old daughter and 10-yr-old son of our praise &worship pastors (white) were coming out of the building accompanied by one of my daughter's teenaged friends (black). All three of them looked startled and concerned, obviously not recognizing me, and I heard the youngest say, "Who's THAT??" I became completely self-conscious, not wanting to walk too fast or too slowly, careful not to look as though I was approaching them, or to make any ambiguous movements. They scampered away, and I found myself hoping they wouldn't run to the main building and tell someone there was a strange person lurking in the lot who didn't look "right". But I realized there are many situations in which I also feel uncomfortable around some people, even unsafe, for a variety of reasons. That's natural. But normal people move AWAY from what they perceive as potential trouble. They don't go after it.
it isn't obvious from the text, but my friend is a slender 51 year old black woman living in south carolina. as she states, she is someone who would move away from potential trouble. and i would too. but i'm not saying that's the only valid choice. i can see how neighborhood patrols could be a good thing, especially in underserved communities. i wish mr zimmerman had had some training. but in a post-9/11 world, a lot of people saw what happened when everyone just stood by and didn't get involved when there was trouble.
it's a complex issue in general, and i just wish hipinion had a lot less reactionary groupthink. you guys are better than that.
your printing presses won't save you.