When I woke up this morning and started to get ready for work I began to peruse my clothes and I had a bit of a conundrum. You see last night it was stated by Geraldo Rivera that “I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was.” And there it is. In this country, in this day and age, young minorities apparently have to dress to appease the fears of a society too afraid, stubborn or ignorant to know that a piece of clothing does not mean you are a criminal.
The deeper issue that Mr. Rivera and his cohorts are not bringing up is that if minorities, young black men in particular, have to wear tuxedoes to not be murdered in the streets the problem isn’t with the hoodies, the problem is with society. I can sit here all day and tell those who read this till my handsome chocolate face is blue about moments that occur EVERYDAY where I get a side eyed glance, a purse pulled closer to the body as if I am about to snatch it. I am a slight man of 5’9, 165. I won’t be winning any strong man contests but even I, in my tie and dress shirt am looked upon by some as a threat of serial killer proportions.
I don’t have to tell people who have an ounce of common sense that because that young man was wearing a hoodie he was asking to be murdered. I could say hey it was raining (it was), I could say, maybe he was a bit chilly, or maybe he just wanted to wear a fucking hoodie. It angers me that the real issue of murder, racist attitudes, and vigilante justice are not being addressed. Instead we are discussing a faux controversy created by an idiot who lost all journalistic integrity the moment he decided to open Al Capone’s vault.
I get angry, I get depressed, and I get sad every morning when I stand in front of my closet; no matter what I put on I am going to be a threat. It’s something I have had to deal with since I was about ten. The opinions of others do not matter to me. It would be a lie however if I sat here and said every time I received a side eyed glance associated with fear or see a purse being pulled close to a body to prevent me from stealing it hurts. Not so much I want to curl up in a fetal position and die, but every so often you have to sit and just go ‘what’s the point?’