It seems that people are showcasing their misunderstanding of what a "hoodie" is and how it is worn. Sirius XM radio host/personality Dan Graca said some pretty inflammatory things on his syndicated program this past Saturday concerning the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. But first, a quick precursor of what a "hoodie" is, and what it is not. A hoodie is an article of clothing that is worn by every race—White, Black, Hispanic, Asian, and Geraldo. What it is not is a means to use as an excuse to make an already incendiary situation more fiery. Graca not only said that he "guaranteed" Martin would be alive if it weren't for his hoodie, but that LeBron James and the Miami Heat's tribute to the Martin family was a publicity stunt.
When a Black man puts on a hoodie, in the eyes of Zimmerman, police, Geraldo, or even Graca, he becomes a thug, gang banger, suspicious of dubiousness, and a criminal. What most fail to realize with these tribute photos from celebrity and regular Americans alike is that the masses are more than just a stereotype. Wearing a hoodie doesn't give anyone the right to assume and take action into their own hands; it isn't a green light to shoot to kill. But what Graca, Zimmerman, Geraldo and others fail to realize is that it doesn't matter if Trayvon wore a hoodie, had pictures of him with gold teeth, or even suspended from school—he was minding his own business and did not deserve to have his life cut short.
After listening to Graca's commentary about the clothing and the athlete reaction to the tragedy, do you believe that we will ever be able to have a healthy discussion about race in America? Or will it be politics as usual?