Hoodies, Hijab and Hatred

Askia Muhammad | 3/29/2012, 5:02 p.m.

These days, there is plenty of hatred going around in America.

Haters are trying to defend the indefensible. They are trying vainly to deny the undeniable. And they are trying to avoid uttering the unspeakable.

There is no explanation except race hatred to explain the conduct of self-appointed neighborhood watch patrolman George Zimmerman when he stalked and hunted, confronted and eventually murdered unarmed Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida more than one month ago. Such behavior is indefensible.

Suppose a black person in a rapidly gentrifying inner-city neighborhood followed a white jogger, or bicyclist, or person walking a dog and then confronted that white person because, let's say, the person did not tidy up after his pet, and the white guy ended up dead. If you can imagine such a scenario, it's not hard for you to already see the black person being put under the jail for such an offense.

That the state of Florida and 15 other states have passed laws permitting persons to "stand their ground" and use deadly force to "defend" themselves whenever they feel threatened, is clearly a racist law, intended to give legal cover to white vigilantes like George Zimmerman, and like New York City subway shooter Bernard Goetz. That's undeniable. You just don't have armed black militiamen going around tracking the white criminals who rob black neighborhoods, going and coming, night and day.

Oh! What criminals you might wonder? They are the mortgage bankers who stole at least half of the accumulated black wealth from homeowners and families in the space of five years, from 2007 through 2012. They are the tradesmen who operate liquor and convenience stores, charging highway robbery prices for inferior products, and then put their thumbs on the scale to secretly up the weight on the rotten meat they peddle. That too, is undeniable.

And black people tip-toe around facing these uncomfortable truths, quick to forgive, and beseech any other white adjudicating body not involved in the altercation to referee the dispute and reason with the offending white race-haters to convince them to behave like civilized people and treat black folks like human beings. It's never going to happen. That's unspeakable. It never has. It never will.

Black people: White people just aren't "into you."

So if a black person wears a hoodie--a hooded sweatshirt--for example, then that justifies any gun-toting white vigilante to conclude that said black person is "up to no good."

Black people just don't get it. Forget the hoodie.

If a black man stands on a corner in a suit, it's very, very hard for him to get a taxi to stop for him.

If he goes into a high-end department store, a store detective or clerk will find some shelving to do next to each aisle in which the black potential customer browses, so he can be followed and carefully watched until he leaves the premises. It's not about the hoodie, black people.

If a black person wears a tuxedo into a showroom of a fancy European automobile, those sales people ignore him, assuming the black guy can't afford any car sold there. So, forget about the hoodie. It's not about the hoodie. It's about the black person. Get it?