A hoodie is not a death sentence. A miniskirt is not an invitation to rape. Clothes, social position, age, gender, none of these are justification for the dehumanization or objectification of another.
In the United States the intellectual powerhouse and talkshow host Geraldo Rivera has sparked a massive frakas over the hoody’s connection to Treyvon Williams execution by the coward Zimmerman. He has implored parents of black and latino kids to not let their kids wear hoodies.
Let us be clear. The implications of one’s clothing, whether they accurately reflect social position or not is utterly irrelevant to a persons fundamental humanity. A sweatshirt is not some magical garment that excuses us from our obligation to treat the wearer as an equal.
Simplistic calls for action over utterly meaningless choices of attire detract from the real issue of the Williams execution — why was a bully allowed to carry a gun? Why were the police so intent to excuse his actions? Perhaps the real issue is why the only qualification for making a decision to take a life is a high-school diploma and a C average (if that)?
No. It is not the hoodie that needs to be banned. Its the gun. The undeserved sense of authority it gives. Systems of authority that have de facto control over life and death are the issue. The fact that we have granted some people special dispensation to commit homicide in the name of something as vague as public order or public safety — this requires examination. What is not all that relevant are the consumption and fashion choices of teenagers.