“There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps… then turn around and see somebody white and feel relieved.” – Rev. Jesse Jackson
While listening to the radio on my way to class this morning I caught a news report covering a new movement known simply as the Halloween Hoody Campaign. Upon further review I realized that this is another Trayvon Martin publicity stunt. This time it is people wearing sweatshirts to fight against stereotyping.
The YouTube video that sparked this movement was typical liberal mush that politicians and liberals alike have been vomiting out for over a decade. The video depicts all different races of people wearing hooded sweatshirts and saying, “I am a black man, are you afraid of me?” The answer is no I am not afraid of African American males; however when looking at what people are afraid of you must understand that people are afraid of what statistics and common sense tell them to be afraid of. To pretend like these statistics don’t exist in the name of political correctness is utter stupidity.
Since the Trayvon Martin incident, the term “profiling” has began to be kicked around again and people use it as a derogatory thing when in reality it is an invaluable part of self- preservation and police work. When you look at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, they have an entire team of investigators and their whole job is profiling people.
As far as self-preservation goes, we need to look at some crime statistics. According to The Color of Crime: Race, Crime and Justice in America, African Americans are seven times more likely to commit murder and eight times more likely to commit robberies. This is not to say that all African Americans are criminals but that there is strong evidence that African Americans commit more violent crime. Therefore when people see young African American males walking around at night with dark sweatshirts on it makes them nervous.
In order to fully understand this phenomenon we must understand that to ignore this is to only make the problem worse. We as a nation need to spend more time focusing on how to fix this problem of increased criminal activity in the African American community rather than condemning those who bring it up by saying it is “stereotyping.”
I, like most Americans, am saddened by the loss of a young person like Trayvon Martin; however to just rubberstamp it as racism is to only play into this racially divisive culture that has been allowed to breed in our society. So, at what point will we be able to have an open and frank discussion about the ideas shared by the Reverend Jesse Jackson in the opening quote?
In the opinion of this writer, I don’t feel that to raise this question is racist. Why is it that it is okay for Reverend Jackson to feel this way but for everyone else it is somehow a racial indoctrination that we receive in our childhood? It is not indoctrination it is common sense. This is where we are.
Stereotypes exist because of things that are at least in some part true. For example, a stereotype that says white people can’t dance is funny and is at least in part fairly true. So, when a woman is walking alone on a dark street and sees a black male in a hooded sweatshirt and gets nervous, it isn’t racism, it’s the brain equating the statistics that she hears and knows to the man following her on the street.
Finally lets look at uniforms. We all wear uniforms in our daily life. If you are going to a job interview, you wear a dress or a suit. If you are going to play basketball, you would wear shorts and a shirt. If you were going to rob a bank or a person, what would you wear? Most criminals tend to prefer a hoody and dark pants. This goes back to the common idea of perception. You dress the way you want to be perceived, if you don’t want to be perceived as a criminal then don’t wear the uniform.
So, instead of wearing a hoody to combat the faux-racism and stereotyping, lets get together and discuss this problem like adults and figure out ways to combat these problems of violent crime in these communities of people and stop hiding behind racism in order to ignore our responsibilities.
Image: courtesy of SteelAvenger; public domain