“Trayvon Martin’s hoodie is as much to blame for his death as George Zimmerman was.”
Those who argue that Trayvon Martin’s death wasn’t a racially-motivated hate crime or that he somehow “had it coming” because of what he was wearing are participating in what this country has been doing for centuries: denying the reality of life in a society that is still driven by hatred, racism, ignorance, and imposed otherness.
When individuals like Geraldo Rivera blame an article of clothing for the death of whoever wears it is not only feeding the aforementioned tendencies but is also perpetuating a trend by which those who should be held responsible for the crimes they commit are somehow exculpated for their actions while their victims, however counterintuitively, are somehow to blame for their own demise.
I’m pretty sure a hoodie can’t hold, let alone use, a gun.
Rivera’s statements rightly came under fire almost immediately and have since been compared with similar arguments that what women wear makes them responsible for their own rape and sexual abuse.
What Trayvon Martin was wearing is not the problem. Countless young, middle-aged, and old men, women and children all wear hoodies and are not gunned down because of their attire. These crimes happen because racism is very much alive in today’s world and will continue to do so unless people confront this reality as well as their role in perpetuating, silencing, or ignoring these issues however actively or passively.
I have to say, it’s getting more and more difficult to leave my room and go out into a world in which people are too afraid to own up to the truth of these crimes.