I try not to be too terribly political on my blog, but I cannot believe that presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton made a remark referencing young black men wearing hoodies as eliciting fear in us poor faint of heart white folk.
The exact statement was:
“I mean if were to be honest, for a lot of well-meaning, open-minded white people, the sight of a young black man in a hoodie still evokes a twinge of fear.”
If someone is really open-minded they are not going to make judgmental assumptions about individuals based on the clothing they do or do not wear let alone their skin color. Also, how are you going to be scared of someone just because A) they are wearing a hoodie and B) they are black? I can’t help but read that statement as an ignorant and racist word vomit spewed forth from someone’s mouth before their brain was capable of telling them to stop.
I’m more worried about the 22 to 45-year-old white Tea Party fundamentalists with a hard-on for Republican Jesus* than I am some kid wearing a hoodie no matter what color his skin tone is. I happen to like hoodies; they are rather comfortable and extremely warm in the winter when you can’t afford to buy a good coat. (I spent two winters having nothing more than a black and gray striped hoodie for a coat because we couldn’t afford to buy me a coat and I sure as hell wasn’t going to let my two boys go without coats.)
The last four mass shootings in the United States were all carried about by white cis-gendered men, with the exception of one (still not a BGIH [Black guy in hoodie] that carried out the shooting).
June 17, 2015 – Charleston, South Carolina
After sitting with a bible study group for about an hour, 21-year-old Dylann Roof opened fire on the people around him killing nine members of the church and wounding one other person. Roof left the church and evaded police for a short while, but was ultimate captured and now faces charges for Federal hate crimes. His reason for the shooting…he wanted to start a race war.
July 16, 2015 – Chattanooga, Tennessee
At two separate military recruiting facilities (approximately eight miles apart from each other) Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez shot and killed a total of five military personnel. He was later shot and killed when Chattanooga police officers “actively and enthusiastically” engaged in a firefight with Abdulazeez.
July 22, 2015 – Suwanee, Georgia
Thirty-two-year-old Matthew Fields shot and killed his wife, her two children (ages eight and nine) and wounded his wife’s father before turning his weapon on himself and ending his own life. This happened less than a day after police had been summoned to the house on a domestic violence call. Fields was a convicted felon with multiple convictions for burglary, forgery and violation of probation and should not have been able to legally purchase or carry a firearm.
July 23, 2015 – Lafayette, Louisiana
A 58-year-old “drifter” named John Russell Houser opened fire in a movie theater methodically shooting the patrons. He killed two people and wounded nine more before turning the gun on himself and ending his own life. He had planned to escape after the shooting, but the police showed too quickly.
All four of these shootings were carried about by men of non-African descent. A total of twenty-two people lost their lives in these four incidents and none of the killers were black men nor did they wear hoodies. Making generalized statements about any group of Americans, touting them as threatening, violent or in some way evil, doesn’t help anyone sleep better at night. Demonizing black men wearing hoodies is only going to teach the young men growing up that because they “hear black people are scary when they wear hoodies” on television or by someone in power, that it must be true.
Shame on you Hillary Clinton. Shame on you for continuing to add fuel to the fire when it comes to the tensions between people who have darker skin and those that don’t. Maybe before you make assumptions about a class of people, you should first remove that silver spoon from your mouth.
*Republican Jesus: A fictitious representation of the Christian Jesus, unlike Christian Jesus, Republican Jesus hates the poor and blames all of the world’s problems on them. He doesn’t believe in the Ten Commandments, nor does he believe in pretty much anything else in the bible unless it is focused on elitism of cis-gendered white men, and representation of anything “non-traditional” as evil and going to bring about the apocalypse. Republican Jesus is often pictured as a typical white male with a scruffy devil-may-care kind of beard and hippie John Lennon haircut. Republican Jesus may be illustrated with firearms, more specifically the kind that can mow down a schoolyard full of children who live in poverty, because “Fuck the poor.”