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A Black Man’s Thoughts on The Hoodie

A man in a police uniform scares me more than the biggest strongest dude wearing a hoodie ever would.
Lets be honest, its not a hoodie, nor is it a puffy starter jacket that people fear.  Black men were feared way before the modern day hoodie was invented so please try again. 
Can we just talk about the elephant in the room.  Don’t tell me that you are scared of me because I have a hoodie on.  You are scared of me because I am black.  Its a tradition for one group of people, to fear black man.  Its also a tradition to kill, detain, and police black man.
The original purpose of the Police in the south directly after slavery was to arrest and re enslave black people.  The only justification needed to lock black people up was the color of their skin.  This tradition lead to alienation, objectification, and ultimately incarceration and death for black men especially.
Instead of addressing it, they ignore the real problem and blame black people for not dressing properly.  Whats sad is we have a group  black people that buy into this theory that you have to look a certain way to be accepted.  I agree to a point, but ultimately disagree for the simple fact that Europeans murdered millions of people based on the idea that the indigenous groups of people they encountered were bad due to looking different.  Clothes, language, religion, basically culture all over the world was destroyed based on this very thought process.  


This is funny to me, but to some this is an extremely scary sight.  

Its okay when I look like this, I noticed while I am cooking I am okay.  This is an acceptable role.  White people do not feel as threatened by me when I have this uniform on.

I love cooking.  This is what I am suppose to look like.  In a position of servitude. 
I was praised and admired for playing basketball.  This was an acceptable role for a me to play as long as I did not show too much emotion.  As long as I was just a basketball player, and not a kid that actually used his mind, this was okay.  I learned that even as a basketball player the fear is still present.  The only reason that I was not considered a threat is because I was playing basketball.  The minute I stepped off the court, I transformed back into a scary guy I guess.

           

This is okay, because I am entertaining.

What upsets me is that I grew up in a neighborhood where joining a gang was an option, selling drugs was an option.  I avoided all that stuff for the most part.  I grew up being harassed by cops despite not being a criminal.  As I grew older I started to feel like the racial profiling was an unnecessary, unacceptable, disrespectful practice that humiliates black man and makes us feel less than.   I didn’t avoid all of that stuff just because.  I avoided all that stuff to avoid being treated like a criminal.  Little did I know that no matter what I did, I was going to be racially profiled, and judged based on the perception white people have of my skin color. 

This treatment creates a sense of resentment for law enforcement in the black community.  This feeling of resentment comes off as weird to white people due to the fact that they do not receive similar treatment. This is an example of structure dictating culture and ultimately alienating black people.  

As a result of years of harassment, false imprisonment, beatings, and murder due to racism , resenting the police has become a part of black male culture.  Songs like “911 is a Joke” by Public Enemy,  “F!*k the Police” by NWA are only two examples of how black people living in the inner city feel about the police.  Although these songs were made twenty years ago the resentment is still present due to the fact that the treatment has not changed.   

 I have been pulled over as a result of being black.  I have been stopped on the street as a result of being black.  The excuse that I look like a thug when I have a hoodie on is absurd.  We live in Seattle, a hoodie is acceptable clothing especially considering the fact that it rains 8-9 months out of the year. 

  Attack hip hop culture?  Take a look at where hip hop comes from!!!!!! Hip Hop culture started in a cold climate. It started on the streets of New York. If you watch the weather channel you will notice that it rains, and snows in New York, even when there is not some form of precipitation it can be very cold.  

Kids hanging out on the corner for hours at a time in cold weather. What are they suppose to wear? 

Although hoodies and thick coats have been associated with criminal activity, the origins of these social uniforms actually come out of necessity. It was different, it was cool, and as a result people stopped wearing them due to the weather and started wearing them to look cool and fit in.  Even with that said, the hoodie is not gang wear.  Its style, but it does not make a person a gang member.  

Ask Mark Zuckerberg who runs a 70 billion dollar business in the comfort of a hoodie.   

Stop being scared  and ignorant, and use common sense.  Unthink and break the tradition of fear.  


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