A Shout Out to the Hoodie

March 22nd, 2012

(Photo: Courtesy Facebook)

It’s hard to motivate to find something snarky to say about the multitudes of snark-worthy offenses that have been taking place. One (black) TMZ staffer saying “Welcome to the dark booty rebellion” after another (white) staffer said he normally doesn’t care for big butts, yet after seeing Minaj shake hers in a bikini in Hawaii, he “liked it.”  There is plenty to say about that.

Also a lot of sarcasm to throw at the insistence on playing up every single hot Latina mami stereotype when going gaga over Sofia Vergara’s lingerie-clad Esquire magazine cover. Plenty to say about that, too.

But it seems disrespectful to poke fun when fashion got a chance this week to step up as a symbol of something meaningful. The #millionhoodies hashtag has taken over many Facebook and Twitter feeds, as celebs, everyday folk, young, old, white, Black and everything else pulled up their hoodies in a show of solidarity with murdered 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. What happened to Martin is best described here on the Colorlines website: “Martin was visiting a friend of his father’s in a small gated community outside of Orlando, sporting a gray hoodie and armed with a pack of Skittles and a can of iced tea,” writes Jamilah King in an article that places his death in a long line of socially condoned lynchings of African-Americans. “Along the way he became a target of nearby resident George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old member of the local Neighborhood Watch, who thought the teen looked ‘suspicious.’ Zimmerman then shot and killed Martin—and, so far, it’s been with legal impunity, protected in part by Florida’s expansive definition of self-defense.”

So as the law conjures more “reasons” not to arrest a man for the murder of a child, angry, frustrated protestors put on their hoodies. Some, like the multitudes who flooded New York’s Union Square area on the night of March 21st including celebs like the Roots’ Questlove, literally took it to the streets. Others posted photos of themselves on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, showing their solidarity on social media.

So, today, snark-free and dripping with exhausted earnestness, wear your hoodie and realize that a single type of clothing usually relegated to ballgames, chilly beach parties and hip hop videos can be a visual representation that Trayvon Martin died alone but is in the hearts of millions.

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