Trayvon Martin: it’s NOT about the hoodie

It’s the fact that even in a 3-piece suit, you can’t hail a cab;

That you’ve shopped and been followed as a risk;

That you can’t congregate without raising suspicion.


And the fact that you have to defend against being thought/called a racist;

That there’s never an opportunity to “talk” about race relations;

That it’s easier and possible to pretend like everything is equal.


I wonder if we will use this latest “incident” (Trayvon Martin) to talk about what really ails us as a nation. So far it’s not looking that way. Everyone is lining up in their usual corner: name calling, casting aspersions, leveraging for monetary/political gain, etc. What happened to the “teachable moment” talk?

I don’t need you, these figureheads or talking heads to tell me we have a serious problem and that the way Trayvon Martins are seen is a symptom of that much bigger problem. Or that the ONLY reason we are taking about Trayvon Martin is because the perpetrator is NOT Black. Because to the media, Trayvon Martin is just a story with a perfect lead in (racial strife); one that will likely fade from the public imagination as soon as something “better” comes along. But to me, Trayvon Martin is more than a story with an expected outcome. He was a person who suffered the lethal consequences of our inability to talk about race relations, inequality, stereotypes, media bias, historical implications and easily anticipated consequences.

Are we even capable of TALKING to each other anymore? Or better yet, are we capable of hearing each other? We can lock up the accused but we still have to have this out – preferably in conversation – hopefully sooner than later.


2 Responses to “Trayvon Martin: it’s NOT about the hoodie”

  • I also believe it is impossible to eliminate racism. My book came about as an attempt to help, in part because of the ongoing of expectation/burden for Black people to educate, ease the way, constantly have to defend against being sensitive, make others comfortable, etc.

    Anyway, I don’t promote or agree that it’s socially acceptable for Blacks to be/behave racist but you shouldn’t believe that the magnitude of “communal uproar” around Trayvon Martin stems from this one incident. But I do agree ALL people are highly emotional as we are wont to be whenever issues are cast in Black/White terms (pun intended); all logic goes out the door. BUT in this case we’d first have to agree that he “may have done nothing wrong” as a premise before we could have a conversation. I always have a problem with lethal force (even from actual law enforcement) and the way it is disproportionately applied to Black people. But again, that’s another conversation.

    As far as I’m concerned you could/can say whatever you want about OJ and many such statements were/are in fact made. We do still have room to grow but I don’t understand how you think we CAN grow if you believe the ball is ONLY in the court of the Black community(?) As I said in the beginning, for many of us, that’s where the ball has been and always ends up. From that perspective, the growth we seek is not going to happen.

  • South Carolina CWP holder:

    If Trayvon was attempting or causing the other subject harm, he had the right to use deadly force (shoot him) but either way, I wish the media would not jump all over race vs race conflicts, instead worry about more important issues like the war or the economy. -.-

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