There is so much noise surrounding the tragic death of Trayvon Martin, but this has to be the stupidest, most out-of-touch commentary of all. Anyone who listens to the 911 tapes of Zimmerman calling Martin suspicious, on drugs, muttering how “these a**holes always get away”, before defying instructions from 911 dispatch not to pursue the boy and eventually shooting him dead for having skittles can not seriously believe that Zimmerman used appropriate force in self-defense of anything. Yet the unflappable journalistic beacon of Gerlado Rivera shines this light on the issue: he “think[s] the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as much as George Zimmerman was.” Irresponsible people with guns don’t kill people, sweatshirts do.
Do you understand how many young people of all backgrounds wear sweatshirts? How innocuous that choice of outfit should be? How failed logically it is to state that an article of clothing somehow bears any responsibility for the death of a teenager? The clothing isn’t the problem, profiling is the problem. Stereotypes are the problem. Complicit cops are the problem. Bad gun laws that give too much leeway to the one pulling the trigger are the problem. Sweatshirts do not kill people.