Friday, March 23, 2012

What to wear?

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?’

Monday, March 19, 2012

Unacceptable Vigilantism

When I saw what happened with Trayvon Martin it broke my heart. It broke my heart because it could have been my nephew, a 17 year old kid who has a pretty big appetite and known to make a stroll to the local store to get a snack. It broke my heart because it could have been me. Numerous times throughout my teen years I was approached asking why I was somewhere. As if something about me said that I shouldn’t be there. After hearing the case of young Trayvon it looks like I am one of the lucky ones.

What was this young man’s crime? What did he do that was so bad he was shot and killed like an animal? His big crime was being somewhere he didn’t belong apparently. You can hear it on the 911 tapes when self appointed neighborhood super cop George Zimmerman says “There’s a real suspicious guy. This guy looks like he’s up to no good, on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around looking about… These assholes always get away.” What assholes? Teenagers with a case of the munchies?

I can sit here and express disgust and some will still say “well Brian, you know you weren’t there.” “He could have been acting in a suspicious manner.” And you know what, that would be a fair point to bring up. But here are the facts, if you are so alarmed you call the police, why would you follow this young man? Why would you get out of your car and confront this young man? On the 911 tapes he says that Martin began to run. You know why he ran? Because a weirdo in a car was following him on his way back home!

I get protecting your home and neighborhood from people who wish to bring harm to you and your neighbors. But that doesn’t give you the right to execute a kid who weighed 100 pounds less than you and was armed with nothing but a bag of skittles and a can of tea. This wasn’t self defense. This was murder. And claiming it was self defense when you literally ran this kid down who was screaming for help is a joke. When things like this still happen in this day and age you feel helpless. You tell the younger guys don’t put yourself in situations where you are in danger, apparently getting a snack will have to be added to the list of dangerous situations.

My heart weeps for the family of this young man, by all accounts a very intelligent kid with a bright future who was forever silenced by an overzealous wannabe cop. I can only hope that this doesn’t happen again, and thank God everyday that as a skinny 17 year old myself I didn’t run across a George Zimmerman.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Welcome to Chicago Brandon Marshall. Hot Dougs is on me.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Seriously Rick...

"Most people agree a continuation of the current [welfare] system will be the ruination of this country. We are seeing it. We are seeing the fabric of this country fall apart, and it's falling apart because of single moms."
-Rick Santorum

Seriously Rick, do me and the rest of this country a favor and shut the hell up. How dare you blame the decline of a nation on some of the most hard working people the country has to offer? My mother raised me and my sisters alone, and to the best of my knowledge we're not criminals. I have friends who were brought up by Mom alone and turned out phenomenally. Working hard to provide a life better than the life they lived, sacrificing so much to ensure we are able to have the things we needed and some of the things we just wanted. You didn't just spew ignorance, you insulted the women who should be uplifted. And for that sir you are worse than the Urban Dictionary definition of your name.