- Parent Category: Politics & the Law
- Category: Social Commentary
- Created on Friday, 23 March 2012 17:54
- Last Updated on Friday, 06 July 2012 20:09
- Published on Friday, 23 March 2012 17:54
- Written by A C Powell
- Hits: 829
Geraldo says that black and Latino youngsters should not wear hoodies unless it is raining. Well, it was raining the night George Zimmerman pursued, shot and killed Trayvon Martin. Geraldo seems to justify the association of black and Latino males in hoodies with crime by iterating a generalization that “every time you see someone sticking up a 7-Eleven, the kid’s wearing a hoodie … .” To be sure, not every person robbing a 7-Eleven while wearing a hoodie in this country is a black or Latino kid, but that is the association, nonetheless. Why? Geraldo continues by suggesting that black and Hispanic kids who choose to wear hoodies are “stylizing” themselves as “gangstas”. So, because the Mainstream American media has chosen to stylize black males, en general, as vicious, over-sexual, heartless, murderous criminals, we should all be suspicious of any dark-skinned young person wearing a hoodie? The whole notion of being a “gangsta” may have been created by West-Coast rappers, but it found its largest and most viral support in Corporate America. Let’s be real. Without America’s insatiable appetite to consume images of the black male as a stylized outlaw, there would be no “gangsta” rap or “gangsta” anything, which is why Jay-Z sells more records than Talib Kweli and Common combined. America must become mindful of the message being sent with regard to the prevailing stereotypes of African American males. Jay-Z wins Grammys, while Common receives harsh criticism from Fox News for supporting a member of the Black Panther Party. Think about it. The comparison seems to suggest a preference by white parents toward their children listening to Jay spin tales of slinging crack in the ghetto and murdering other black males rather than Common spit lyrics of love for all people and respect for women.
Do not be confused. Geraldo got it right. Anybody attempting to be a “gangsta” is just pretending. Al Capone was a real gangster. Charles “Lucky” Luciano was a real gangster. These men controlled hundreds of millions of dollars in commerce and influenced local politics at will. Trayvon Martin no more stylized himself as a gangster than Bernie Madoff. As we all know, Madoff revealed himself to be a true criminal. Madoff probably escaped notice for so long due to the fact that he wore a suit. Why do we not then instantly associate Catholic priests with pedophiles? They wear hoods. According to Robert Zimmerman, George Zimmerman’s father, George Zimmerman served as an altar-boy. Perhaps that is the real reason he pursued young Trayvon Martin. He saw the hood, had a flashback of a bad encounter with a priest and went berserk.
In all seriousness, racial profiling is wrong! Every American parent should be appalled by the fact that the other “talking-heads” on the program were co-signing onto Geraldo Rivera’s passionate yet irrational comments. Without drawing too much attention to his own race, President Barack Obama eloquently personalized the tragedy of the circumstances surrounding Trayvon Martin’s death. The president simply related that if he had a son, this child would probably resemble Trayvon Martin. Pundits can spin the president’s comments however they see fit, but the bottom line becomes this: Every parent in America should see their child as resembling Trayvon Martin. Unfortunately, the racial divide in America relieves white parents from having to face this tragedy in such a personal way. Apparently, young white males are free to roam about wherever they please wearing whatever they wish. Do we really believe that young white males never commit crimes? Or have the American people been inculcated to believe that young white males are simply kids acting out because they are in desperate need of attention but young black males are actually hardened criminals from birth because they grow up in homes without fathers? According to Geraldo Rivera and his colleagues, black and Latino parents need to understand that their sons can be unjustly targeted by an overzealous vigilante who watches too much TV and devotes too little time to getting to know his fellow Americans who look like Trayvon Martin or Barack Obama. While tragic, that is just life in America.
Amir Clayton Powell is an author, advocate, entrepreneur, father, husband, servant of God, and warrior. By the by, he also happens to be the Publisher of The Old School Journal™ (TOSJ) as well as the Founder & Chairman of A C Powell & Co. LLC. Find A C on Twitter: @AClaytonPowell. Follow TOSJ on Facebook & Twitter.
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