Million Hoodie March
Never Trust A Dude In A Hood
So, by now most of you have heard about the tragic death of Trayvon Martin, the young black teenager who was shot and killed on Feb 26th by a neighborhood watch commander. That neighborhood watch commander, George Zimmerman, claims he acted in self-defense and has not been arrested.
The circumstances, as reported by the media, seem to indicate that Zimmerman may have acted hastily. However, we were not present so we’ll reserve judgment until more information comes to light.
But this isn’t really the topic of today’s blog, just a set-up to the real topic. Apparently, a chap named Daniel Maree has decided to draw attention to this tragedy by holding a march. Nothing wrong with holding a peaceful protest to draw attention to your cause right? After all, we are firm believers in freedom of speech. However, we are troubled by some of Mr. Maree’s stated goals.
He calls it the “Million Hoodie March” referring to the clothing of choice among many fashion conscious, criminal miscreants. “I’ve been in situations, both when I was in high school and now in New York City, where I’ve been walking down the street in a hoodie and I can instantaneously tell I’m being taken as suspicious or people start grabbing their purses when I walk by,” said Maree who was born and raised in South Africa and college educated in the United States.
Are all people who wear hoodies criminals? Of course not! I own one myself. But I don’t usually wear it while walking alone late at night, or in the middle of July. After all, that would give the wrong impression, right? However, you have to use a little common sense and put it in context. Are all people who wear hoodies criminals? No. Are all young men criminals? No.
But, what if you see a male, or group of males under the age of 25, wearing hoodies, in warm weather? Well let’s take a look at the variables. Males under the age of 25 commit the vast majority of street crimes, so it’s reasonable to be cautious and suspicious around a group of them. An attacker wants to remain anonymous and unseen and they tend to prefer a hoodie to hide their facial features. It’s not as obvious as a mask, yet it does a great job at concealing their identity. So it’s reasonable to be suspicious of someone wearing a hoodie, especially if the weather doesn’t necessitate covering your face, and let’s be honest, it rarely does!
So, a young man, wearing a hoodie, at night, in moderate weather is someone that I would be suspicious of and avoid like the plague. It doesn’t mean you need to give them a MACE shower, just be a little more aware and cautious.
What Maree hopes will come out of this march is a raised sense of solidarity with Trayvon’s parents, as well as the resolve for people to feel more secure in their “personhood” without having to feel their attire criminalizes them. Well I have news for you Mr. Maree, don’t dress like a criminal and you won’t be treated like one. You begrudge people the option of being careful and cautious because your precious feelings are hurt! Get over it!
If your suspicions are wrong, no big deal, all you did was offend someone. There is a wonderful thing that can rectify any unintended offense, it’s called an apology! If your suspicions are right, you could avoid an assault, or perhaps even save your life. Nothing can rectify losing your life. So be careful and don’t be afraid of offending someone, avoid them and keep your guard up if you sense something is wrong. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for being cautious. An effective self defense strategy first involves being aware of potential threats, then acting on it. If Mr. Maree had his way we’d all let our guard down and increase our risk of becoming a victim, because he had his feelings hurt.
If individuals are so concerned about people profiling them as criminals, they should go out of their way to avoid looking like one. And that means not dressing like a thug Mr. Maree!
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