“Putting the Hood in “Hoodie”? That’s the headline you come up with to address a tragic death and an on-going cultural controversy?
I understand the Tech Talk is a student newspaper. That’s why I don’t get enraged anymore about the grammatical errors, typos and incessant misquotes. But this is an issue that affects students perhaps more than any other group. Is a clothing item in and of itself “suspicious”? Was Trayvon tempting fate because of his outerwear?
Ms. Spence has cleared up the confusion over the events of that night, never mind that local and national investigations are ongoing and even the eye-witnesses disagree on the sequence of events. Ms. Spence makes it clear that Trayvon Martin was guilty of being “suspicious”. He had trouble at school, and at least some circumstantial evidence (allegedly) of drug use. Black man, reports of marijuana and a hoodie. Must be a gangster. We all know what 50 Cent looks like, don’t we people?
Iced tea and skittles or a Glock and a bag of drugs, doesn’t matter what you’re carrying. It’s all about what you’re wearing. Or at least that’s what the Editor in Chief for the Tech Talk thinks. And I’m sure she would know. She’s in college, after all. Those college girls NEVER wear hoodies.
I don’t know whether Zimmerman intended harm to Martin or was trying to protect himself. I don’t know whether Martin was needlessly profiled and attacked or was shot in a terrible misunderstanding. The important thing is that neither does anyone else except for Martin, who is sadly unable to tell us, and Zimmerman who is obviously (and understandably) defending himself. A rush to judgement in a college newspaper is silly and unprofessional. But in the weeks and months to come we may realize just how deadly a rush to judgment can be.
Ms. Spence, I worry that you and Mr. Zimmerman have made the same mistake, judging a young man by his hoodie. Thank God all your mistake has done is piss off an alumni. I’ll take hurt feelings over a dead teenager any day.
*Update* The article has been removed and an apology and explanation have replaced it. It’s probably the kind thing to do. But, I’d caution anyone that can put forth an article like this one for publication and expect to find employment as a journalist. It’s one thing to get embarrassed and harassed by the readership of a small college paper. It’s another thing entirely to face the wrath of a major metropolitan population (and the wide world of the internet) over a simplistic and and naive declaration on a hot-button issue.
Be careful what you put your name to in public, people will hold you accountable for it.**End Update**