Zimmerman Before the Trial

Hoodie Nation on the Rise

Zimmerman Before the Trial

I remember when this story first hit the airwaves. The whole world was in an uproar; it seemed. I oscillated back and forth on whether or not to touch the “Hoodie Nation” topic. However my husband went to the barber shop to get his usual edge up. As he entered it was as if he walked into the morgue. As he sat in the chair the barber leaned over and asked how he was holding up during this difficult time. My husband had no idea what he was referencing and asked for clarity. Well, he then said, “I mean how are you holding up with this Treyvon situation”? Then he went on to talk about how he took his son to the store and bought him a hoodie in every color.

I knew then that I would embark upon this emotionally crazed topic. We are actually quite closed-minded about the value of perspectives that run counter to our own but before you close your mind to a view point that may challenge your current thought process at least read on and see if you realize some element of validity to the points presented. Truth is the catalyst of change. Without it we simply relegated to a resolution of what we wish may happen!

My concern was that it appeared that people were making this more about hoodies than the real issue – which would be the gun laws. I watched as the posts flooded Facebook along with the millions of tweets that had graced my twitter account.

There was rally after rally and march after march where people had put on their hoodies in support of the late Treyvon Martin. While this all seems admirable, as it relates to the bigger or real issue was actually minute.

Wearing a hoodie WILL NOT change anything! Try packing out City Hall on weekends or when town meetings are being held in your communities while they are in session passing the laws that will lead to more tragedies will have a much greater impact.

While we invested time, resources and energy on hoodies, skittles and ice tea the gun laws still remain the same. The issue wasn’t either of those three items; the issue was and is that this young man was shot and killed at close range and the person that pulled the trigger had yet to be charged. Let’s keep the main thing the “main” thing!

If I’m walking down the street and see someone with a hoodie on at night I’m nervous too. It’s a shame that people refuse to be honest concerning this issue. Instead people were taking pictures in hoodies and posting them on FaceBook and asking if they look intimidating and the answer for most of the ones I’ve seen is YES, you do! That doesn’t mean you deserve to get killed as a result.

The reality concerning Mr. Zimmerman’s actions are:
• He should never have gotten out of his car
• He should never have followed him
• He should never have had his fire arm with him as he followed the young man
• He should have let the Police do the job they are paid to do after informing them of his suspicion

For some reason the media and authorities involved felt the need to project an image of a ‘Disney Kid’ to somehow proclaim an innocent kid. He apparently wasn’t this “perfect” little boy and had some behavioral issues and questionable character concerns. However, none of these mattered the day he was killed. But America got emotional and bought into the young child image that was displayed on our televisions and computers and got offended when current pictures surfaced.

The real issue in Florida are the loose gun laws; the unopposed passing of laws that affect certain communities. On the front end, we need to learn to protest, instead of all the rallies afterwards. If we don’t handle the front end properly we’ll continue to have temporary “moments” during crisis times instead of a real movement.

Whatever happened to the Jena 6 moment, the Sean Bell moment or the Troy Davis moment? They have faded for the majority of people because they were moments – emotional moments – but not actual movements.

Now what? In the weeks and months ahead what happens? What would we do after we rallied in our hoodies … Will we return to normalcy and await the next injustice or will we exert greater effort to be involved when decisions that affect our lives, and the lives of those near and dear to our circumstance and culture, are being made?

We put too much emphasis on thinking by itself. We have an estimated 40,000 thoughts a day and 96% of them are the same thoughts from yesterday! We have become bundles of conditioned reflexes. Most people are simply prisoners of ‘cultural hypnosis’. This is the cell our family, friends and environment have confined us to.

The refusal to develop strategies lays the foundation for a hope based life and creates an incubator for excuses.

So now here we are again, a year later …the story has surfaced again with the trial of Mr. Zimmerman and most of the protesters have gone on with their lives and had forgotten all about it.

By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia Beach, VA)
Op-Ed

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