Some thoughts about hoodies

Guns don’t kill people, hoodies do.

Or at least that is what Geraldo Rivera would have us believe. I’m sure he is printing up bumper stickers now. He claimed on national tv that the hoodie a teen was wearing is as much to blame as George Zimmerman, the man who pulled the trigger and killed Trayvon Martin.

I wear a red hoodie with “Stanford” emblazoned across the front. Am I a target? My daughter has a red hoodie, too, with (inexplicably) “Red Sox” across the front. If she is armed with a can of iced tea and a package of Skittles will she catch a bullet instead of the rainbow? No, this is about more than wearing a hoodie. It’s about fear, vigilanteism, and a culture where young people of color are first seen as a threat.

Yesterday on talk radio, one of the voices had two topics open for discussion. The first topic was an exploration of Pat Robertson’s statement about the Bronco’s trading Tim Tebow once they signed Peyton Manning. Robertson said that if Manning gets injured, it serves the Broncos right. They treated Tebow “shabbily.” Did Robertson express any outrage over Trayvon’s murder? I haven’t heard it, if he did. The radio guy said, though, in introducing the second topic, that Rev. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton were on the bandwagon of protesting the shooting. When did expressing outrage over an apparent injustice become a bandwagon? I’m not necessarily a fan of either man, but if one cannot express moral outrage over the death of an unarmed teen, what issue is worthy of such outrage?

I don’ t know. When we can have a talk radio show where a trade between football teams gets the same attention as a shooting of a teen, we may have elevated sports stars to too lofty of a level. Or perhaps we have reduced the value of a human life.


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