Kids in Hoodies are asking for trouble?
Leave it to Fox & Geraldo to start another firestorm. I was disgusted tonight when I finally got a chance to sit down and watch this video. In a discussion with Fox News, Geraldo tells co-hosts that he has a different opinion about the Trayvon case. Here’s some of what he said…
“I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was.
What’s the instant association? It’s crime scene surveillance tapes. Every time you see someone stick up a 7-11, the kid is wearing a hoodie. Every time you see a mugging on a surveillance camera or they get the old lady in the alcove, it’s kid with a hoodie . . .
Trayvon Martin, God bless him, an innocent kid, a wonderful kid, a box of Skittles in his hands. He didn’t deserve to die. But I bet you money, if he didn’t have that hoodie on, that nutty neighborhood watch guy wouldn’t have responded in that violent and aggressive way.”
Watch the video:
Wow. Ok, so just like we blame rape victims, we can now blame people of color for provoking the police by wearing an outfit that may bring stereotypes to mind? I’m sorry, but it’s not the hoodie that’s the problem. Would this have happened to a white girl in a hoodie? I think not.
Earlier I shared a post from Racism Review by a mom who worries for her son and is saddened by the fact that she should have to teach her biracial son to be overly cautious to keep him safe. I understand the concern, I have similar concerns about my daughter being stereotyped, but we have to be just as careful that we don’t create a mindset in our child that THEY are the problem, because they most definitely are not. I think that’s what the author was getting at. But where do you find balance…between protecting your child and making the point to them that this problem of racial profiling is on society’s shoulders and not theirs?
I came across a great article from Dominion New York called, “Stop Racism, Not Hoodies” that I recommend.
I have to agree. The answer is not to stop wearing hoodies. It’s much deeper than that and it requires people to look deep into themselves, at what they believe and buy into. Something Geraldo absolved us from with his hoodie speech. In affect, he’s telling us, “Don’t worry your pretty little heads about it. Your racism isn’t the problem, it’s black and brown kids’ in hoodies.”
I’m disappointed that Geraldo is essentially normalizing prejudices by telling us to “leave the hoodies at home”. How does this work for Latinos who speak Spanish, for example? Don’t speak Spanish in public because you may be profiled? My husband is stereotyped and discriminated against for this often. Should he stop speaking Spanish? Should we refuse to teach our daughter out of fear that she will be profiled as “illegal” or marked as an outsider, as my husband’s grandparents did to protect their children? Where do we draw the line? When can people of color just be human??
What do you think? How can we protect our kids from being profiled? How can we help them to understand that they are not the problem?
© 2012, Chantilly Patiño. All rights reserved.