King Rat (gkr) wrote,
King Rat

A Million Hoodies for Trayvon Martin

Have you been following the news about the murder of Trayvon Martin? He was a young teenager who was followed, confronted, shot, and killed by an overzealous neighborhood watch captain who thought Trayvon looked suspicious. There’s almost nothing to say about the tragedy that someone else hasn’t said better, so I haven’t commented about the incident itself or the failure to arrest the perpetrator, George Zimmerman. However, it will come as little surprise that I think the police probably haven’t done their job and have now gone into a reflexive mode where they aren’t going to re-assess their mistakes because to do so would be to admit they were wrong. People find it hard to admit when they are wrong, and when a lot of people will notice, it’s even harder. So many people’s course of action is to cherry pick everything that shows they are right and find ways to minimize things that indicate they are wrong. But, I could be wrong about the Sanford police.

Anyway, a fellow named Daniel Maree has organized A Million Hoodies March for Trayvon Martin. It’s part march/rally/protest, and part what I thought as slacktivism. The march is in New York City later today. Of course I have opinions on marches and protests, but they are conflicted and not based on any kind of actual evidence at this point so I am not going to express them because they are likely wrong.

The second part of the Million Hoodies event is that the organizers have asked people across the internet to take pictures of themselves wearing hoodies to show your solidarity with Trayvon Martin’s family. My initial reaction was Ack! Not more slacktivism!. But my initial reaction to the posting of people wearing hoodies was wrong, as illustrated by this exchange posted by comedian and political commenter Elon James White.

Elon James White:
Elon James White wearing a hoodie
Um no. This guy IS suspicious. I would totally purse clutch and traffic dodge to avoid and I’m not sure of the message here. March for hoodies?
I grasp the point racism is rasicm, no dress code needed. But we need to watch our PR and how our message is distributed. The above is not helping or helpful to disseminate the message. It’s an image of a thug in a hoodie. Treyon was not a thug, he was a child and this is the image that should be used. And the main goal is to make the “point” as EASY to grasp as possible. We can march and protest and leverage petitions, but if our attitude is, “read between the lines to get my point”, then we move no one. We also need to utilize the most powerful, personable images we have. This guy is not one of them.
Elon James White:
Oh HI [REDACTED] I’m the image of the “Thug in a hoodie.” Do you know who I am? Do you know what I do? You said that THAT’s an image of a thug in a hoodie and TREYVON WASNT A THUG. Ma’am, I’m not a thug. I’m an engaged political commentator with a background in I.T. I throw dinner parties and build studios from scratch. But YOU saw a thug in a hoodie.

Do you understand the problem now?

If there are a bunch of pictures of people wearing hoodies to point out that too often a black man looks suspicious but the equivalent white guy does not, well that’s a bit more than the usual slacktivism. Why do you think that guy (Elon up there) looks dangerous, suspicious, and thuggish, while this guy

Me wearing a hoodie

just looks like he has no fashion sense.

crossposted from King Rat.

Tags: opinion

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