On February, 26 of the year 2012 Trayvon Martin, a 17-year old African American boy was shot causing his death. As the video from Fox News mentions, Trayvon was wearing a hoodie, which is a sweater with a hood. Perhaps, Trayvon was cold since it was raining that day.
The shooter, George Zimmerman, the captain of the neighborhood’s “Community Watch” program where Trayvon was shot proclaimed he pulled the trigger because of self-defense. The police, going by his account did not arrest him, and did not test him for drugs or alcohol abuse.
According to a Spanish News Channel ‘Telemundo’, this police department had another incident in which the son of one of their chief officers was caught in a video violently kicking a homeless African American male leaving the male with missing teeth, however, the aggressor was never arrested. This raises many questions, specially to a personal level, and it makes it even more visible for me that this is a racism issue.
The Geraldo Rivera, urges the Latino and African American communities not to let their children wear hoodies because they put themselves at risk and being associated with a criminal. He goes on and mentions that “The hoodie is as much responsable for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was”. In this case, the American people should pass legislation banning hoodies, because wearing a hoodie means you can get shot, it doesn’t matters if it is raining, or cold, Latinos and African Americans should not wear hoodies according to Rivera. I wonder if people from other races are not stereotyped because they wear hoodies.
I do have to say, not only as a young male but also as a Latino, that wearing a hoodie is not a sign on my forehead saying I am a criminal and I deserve to be shot. People wonder if it was a White male, wearing a hoodie on a rainy day coming from the gas station 7/11 with a pack of Skittles and a can of iced tea, Zimmerman would of have done what he did to Trayvon. Friends of Zimmerman mention over an over again that he is not racist, however there are records of multiple calls by Zimmerman to 911 reporting “suspicious persons” which happened that all of them were African American. There is also the audio of the call Zimmerman made before the death of Trayvon Martin, in which he says “Fucking coons” at minute 1:51 under his breath. The audio is presented here:
According to ABC News “A 16-year-old girl tells Benjamin Crump, the Martin family’s attorney, about the last moments of Trayvon Martin’s life. Martin was on the phone with her when George Zimmerman began following him. She recounted that she told Martin to run, then she heard some pushing, then the line went dead.” which would explained Trayvon running from Zimmerman, specially since Zimmerman was carrying a gun and following Trayvon.
If after hearing the audio, and the evidence of Mr. Zimmerman calling repeatedly 911 for the past year reporting only African Americans as “suspicious persons” still do not think this crime was a product of racism, I have to admit that it would make me extremely sad. Instead of blaming the hoodie, people need to start recognizing that we still have racism around us, even in the 21th century.