Old Man Yells At Hoodies

I thought I was out of touch. Jeralyn friend Geraldo makes me look like I'm on top of all new trends:

GERALDO RIVERA: Well, I have a different take, Brian, on that. I believe that George Zimmerman, the overzealous neighborhood watch captain should be investigated to the fullest extent of the law and if he is criminally liable, he should be prosecuted. But I am urging the parents of black and Latino youngsters particularly to not let their children go out wearing hoodies. I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin's death as George Zimmerman was.

Hoodies? Really? Maybe 10 years ago this kind of mindless rant would have been timely. But railing against hoodies is as timely as railing against tatoos. Hell, I have hoodies. (Which makes hoodies pretty uncool if you ask me.) Geraldo needs to get out more.

Speaking for me only

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    Is he still on the air? (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by ruffian on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 10:31:12 AM EST
    I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin's death as George Zimmerman was.

    Possibly the most ridiculous thing he has ever said, and that is saying something. Everybody wears hoodies. Everbody has ALWAYS worn hoodies, even when I was a kid.

    Maybe the problem is that trigger happy cowboys like Zimmerman are not wearing cowboy hats for our easy identification.

    They still have (none / 0) (#5)
    by Edger on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 10:34:22 AM EST
    that 'look' in their eyes...

    It would be very difficult (none / 0) (#17)
    by CoralGables on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 11:52:25 AM EST
    to ever put together a top ten of the most ridiculous things he has ever said. It's an expansive list and would be difficult to pare down.

    Yes, we have all worn hoodies. (none / 0) (#26)
    by caseyOR on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 01:14:13 PM EST
    Of course, back in the day, we called them hooded sweatshirts, not hoodies. Perhaps the additional syllables made them made them less threatening.

    Great title! (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by Dr Molly on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 10:32:42 AM EST

    On the next Geraldo.... (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by ruffian on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 10:44:05 AM EST
    How baggy jeans impair the ability to run away from gun toting neighborhood watch captains.

    Geraldo who? (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by shoephone on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 11:15:02 AM EST

    As a Pats fan (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by BobTinKY on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 11:24:05 AM EST
    I sure hope Bill Belicheck stays out of Florida.

    Geraldo (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by CoralGables on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 01:52:45 PM EST
    lights a spark. Here is a picture released today of the Miami Heat

    in support of Trayvon Martin

    I'd be wary of any one of those guys in the pic (2.00 / 2) (#29)
    by MyLeftMind on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 02:16:29 PM EST
    if he was walking through my neighborhood. They're hiding their faces.

    What's so hard to understand about people reacting to behavioral patterns? Stereotypes don't work, but if we couldn't identify patterns and respond appropriately, we wouldn't be alive today.


    Yeah, but Zimmerman was (none / 0) (#33)
    by Anne on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 02:56:01 PM EST
    safely in his car; he wasn't being followed or confronted by this hoodie-wearing kid.  So, what, exactly did Zimmerman have to fear?  If there was the possibility of harm, Zimmerman put himself in harm's way - which is why the 911 operator told him not to follow the guy, and why in the original Neighborhood Watch meeting that Zimmerman attended with others from his neighborhood, the officer clearly and explicitly explained that it is not the role of Neighborhood Watch patrolees to function as cops.

    Zimmerman went rogue, trying to be some kind of hero, yearning to be one of the men in blue, and a kid is dead because of that decision.


    Not saying Zimmerman is in the right, (2.00 / 1) (#39)
    by MyLeftMind on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 03:16:46 PM EST
    just that we have knee jerk reactions to the possibility of racism. I've seen people who appear to be scoping a neighborhood for theft opportunities. I don't know what Martin was doing, I wasn't there.

    Martin was - by ALL accounts - walking on the (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Angel on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 03:24:57 PM EST
    street minding his own business.  He was heading towards his father's fiancee's house after making a trip to the market to purchase Skittles and Arizona ice tea.  To insinuate that he was scoping the neighborhood for theft opportunities is ludicrous.

    i agree that we all have (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by CST on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 03:26:51 PM EST
    certain prejudices, I know I have definitely looked at people I thought were shady, I couldn't tell you what exactly at this point made me feel that way, but I know I've thought it before.

    But I also know that when I make that gut call - it's a gut call.  So I do what I can to get myself away from the situation, but I would never confront something that I wasn't sure what it was.  Because you have to be aware that your gut is fallible.  Trust it for yourself, fine, but don't trust it so far that you put others in danger absent any conclusive evidence of wrong.  That's not an acceptable reaction to fear.


    I've been thinking quite a lot about this (5.00 / 3) (#49)
    by caseyOR on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 05:35:17 PM EST
    whole matter of prejudices and what scares me. I know that I am very wary of men that I do not know well. Skin color is irrelevant. I am always alert around men. This is a product of growing up female and is second nature by now. And I always trust my gut. I am long past the stage of worrying that I am judging unfairly. If my gut says, "Danger," I take steps to protect myself.

    So, I am not sure that is fear so much as instinct for self-preservation. And I mean no offense to all the men here. I can believe all of you, or most anyway, are good and kind men who would never attack a woman.

    But what scares me? Well, teenage boys scare me. Teenage boys in a group. Skin color doesn't matter. Clothing doesn't matter. I have never been attacked by a group of teen boys, but I am very careful around them. Still, it would never occur to me to follow such a group, much less shoot them.

    And, yes, sadly, cops scare me. There was a time, when I was a child, that cops did not scare me. i grew up in a cop shop. My uncles were cops. My godfather was a cop who served for a time as the police chief in my hometown. I had no fear.

    The '60s ended that for me. I saw cops in all their outrageous and violent fury. I never saw or knew of the cops in my family giving into that rage, but I was on the receiving end from others. I remember standing on a corner in Washington D.C. during an especially over zealous police reaction to an anti-war demonstration and wondering "Who do we go to when the cops are the ones breaking the law?" That was quite an awakening for me. And that has stayed with me over these past 40 some years.


    If they scare you (none / 0) (#50)
    by CoralGables on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 05:59:00 PM EST
    come to Florida and stand your ground (preferably with a 9mm in hand)

    Double well said... (none / 0) (#54)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 06:16:41 PM EST
    thanks for sharing Cap'n.

    Everybody uses these instincts everyday...this one over here gives me a bad vibe, this one seems allright, something wrong with this one, etc.  And we act accordingly. Human nature.

    Is it unfair?  Kinda, but we don't owe a stranger anything but a respect of their rights as a human being.  There is no obligation to interact with anybody (except those guys with the guns and badges;).  

    I do think it unhealthy to become obsessed with suspicion of our fellow humans...in my opinion, it may increase your odds of survival, but it is no way to live. You can miss out on being surprised by people in a good way.  You can also embarass yourself.  I think there's a happy medium to be found between being too suspicous of others and being a naive sucker.

    We'd all agree these instincts, prejudices, whateveryacallits can never be used as justification for violence.

    This discussion reminded me of the urban legend Eddie Murphy elevator story...a classic.


    Well said... (none / 0) (#45)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 03:32:56 PM EST
    we do indeed all have prejudices...myself especially.  The trick is to not let them get the better of you and unduly influence your actions.  

    By definition it is a pre-judgement, an assumption.  And you know what they say about those who assume, they make an arse out of you and me.


    I Read Today (none / 0) (#37)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 03:14:36 PM EST
    That he took the test to become a city or county cop, but the two assault charges kept him out.

    But more importantly, when I see a scary dude and I am in my car, never once in my life has it occurred to me to get out and follow them.  And if they were scary enough that I called 911, and if they told me to get out, I would have told them to suck it.  Of course they told him to stay put.

    But what if the kid had not been shot, what was the plan, to hold him down until the cops got there ?  The right keeps saying what he did was fine, but they can't seem to tell anyone what the plan was.  The comment about his hand in the waistband I took as he's got a gun, so the guy approached a kid he thought had a gun... Still what was the point of that, to risk his life for a possible weapons charge.

    The only thing that makes sense is went out there to deliver some sort of justice, maybe not shooting him, but assault as the very least.  People don't approach dangerous people to ask them what's up.  Unless there is something wrong with them mentally.


    You debase this site (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by MyLeftMind on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 03:21:25 PM EST
    with a comment like that Donald.

    I deleted the comment with the (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 02:14:08 AM EST
    links to the photos. They were offensive.

    Memo to Donald: TalkLeft is not the Government, there are no First Amendment rights here. Those photos would become linked via search engines not to you, but to TalkLeft. That's unacceptable.


    Not too pleased with your comments (none / 0) (#46)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 03:33:00 PM EST
    But it would not occur to me to state your comments debase the site.

    Cool your jets dude.


    I believe MyLeftMind (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by Dr Molly on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 06:18:21 PM EST
    was referring to Donald's links, which mock large women's body parts.

    Perhaps you knew that already, I don't know.

    Anyway, it's the only MyLeftMind comment I've ever agreed with.



    Dr. Molly, maybe I need to clarify myself. (none / 0) (#59)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 08:30:36 PM EST
    By posting those links, I was taking issue with some people's notions that teenagers who wear hooded sweatshirts -- or wear low-riser pants, or are dressed in black, etc. -- are somehow signalling that they're looking for trouble.

    Frankly, I find that no less offensive than insinuating that females who dress provocatively in public -- such as these plus-sized women -- are asking to be sexually assaulted.

    Because if we're going to label and profile people because of how they dress, then I demand to be heard, too.

    We can't have it both ways, in which we can freely criticize teenaged boys and young men in "hoodies" for being scary-looking (or worse!), while similar discussions concerning adults' choices of clothing are strictly off-limits.

    As Jane Addams once observed, the essence of immorality rests upon our tendencies to hold and apply double standards. If we don't want to be criticized harshly and insulted on the sole basis of wardrobe, then maybe we should consider refraining from doing the same to others.



    Sorry, Donald, not buying it. (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by Anne on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 09:43:17 AM EST
    When I originally saw your comment with the links to the photos, I knew it was your typical, over-the-top, going-for-the-cheap-laugh response, and had nothing to do with this "reason" you're awkwardly, and unsuccessfully, backing into.

    There were some thoughtful and pointed comments from others about how they feel or react to someone's manner of dress, in the context of the situation Trayvon Martin was in when he was shot.

    You chose to grace the thread with links to the hilarity of the people of Wal-Mart, and I doubt there was a person who read the comment and followed the link who saw it as a commentary on hypocrisy and double standards.

    You would have been better off to have admitted you went too far and just asked Jeralyn to delete the comment.


    Well, he thought (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by NYShooter on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 09:18:06 PM EST
    he could get away with it by not calling them "fat pigs" as he did in earlier post when describing a neighbor of his.

    Yeah, aloha this!


    Muchos Mahalos, BTD. (none / 0) (#47)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 03:52:22 PM EST
    Some people like the concept of free speech only when it's agreeable with their own.

    Yeah, because pictures of fat women (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by MyLeftMind on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 06:20:00 PM EST
    that are posted with the intent to insult them does so much to enhance this legal and political blog. Did you even go to the links BTD? You think it's ok to make fun of women? I state my opinions. Donald posted links to derogatory pictures of women. There's a pretty big difference between his and my posts.

    I'm not going to cool my jets when a commenter is glorifying the degradation of women. That's inappropriate, and I'm disappointed a site moderator would encourage it.


    It's not my intent to insult big women. (none / 0) (#63)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 09:52:09 PM EST
    I posted those photos to mock your previously expressed notion that black guys in hooded sweatshirts constitute some sort of threat, because I think it's stupid to ascribe such malignant characterstics to people on the basis of how they dress.

    All you're showing me here is that you subscribe to a double standard. If I say in jest that plus-sized women in go-go shorts are "scary," that constitutes sexism. But hey, it's perfectly okay for you to say in all seriousness that one should be wary of big black guys in hoodies.

    Lose the double standard, dude, and then we'll talk.


    If that was your point, Donald, (5.00 / 3) (#71)
    by Peter G on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 11:18:57 PM EST
    you made it remarkably obtusely.  MLM and Dr. M are correct on this one.

    Blaming the victim (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by Lora on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 06:09:07 PM EST
    It's just a different take on the classic:  "If she hadn't been showing her cleavage and drinking in a bar, she wouldn't have been r@ped."

    Same blame game, different color and gender.

    No, Geraldo, it's not hoodies (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by Towanda on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 06:09:52 PM EST
    that caused this tragedy.

    It was Skittles and iced tea.  The kid went to the store for Skittles for his kid brother, and also got some iced tea.  And that he had something in his hand or pockets or something near the waistband was cause, in Zimmerman's mind, to accost him and to shoot to kill.

    I await your warning against Skittles and iced tea, Geraldo, or is it against only irresponsible Skittles users and iced tea drinkers?  Inquiring minds want to know.

    fwiw... (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 06:47:19 PM EST
    I think you're mocking scary fashion choices...did you see that guy's shirt in link 2?  Maybe the most hideous camo concoction I've ever seen.

    Don, next time choose more thin People of Walmart models.  Preferably male. Maybe some more racial diversity too, do you have something against whitey?

    Speaking of suspect fashions...how could we forget the Santorum sweatervest?  I see Santorum in a sweatervest with some skittles walking down my block my instinct might be to hide the neighborhood children.

    Comment of the day in every way (none / 0) (#58)
    by Towanda on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 07:01:01 PM EST
    That is, that the photos primarily mock women of girth, and ought to be disappeared from this site for Jeralyn's sake, from what she has said about potential impact for her even of naughty words.

    And that Santorum in a sweater vest is scarier.


    I can find plenty of things for which to ... (none / 0) (#60)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 09:33:19 PM EST
    ... criticize Rick Santorum. His obvious affinity for sweatervests ain't one of them. If he likes it and he's comfortable, then who am I to say anything otherwise?

    Let's face facts here, and be real. One's sense of personal fashion is perhaps the most subjective sense of all, and personally, I believe our ability to be comfortable with how we present ourselves to the public often reflects how we perceive ourselves.

    I bet some of those plus-sized mamas in go-go shorts proabably think they're some of the hottest things going. And I say, good for them if they do.

    If we're honest with ourselves, we'll admit that we've all had our fashion-challenged moments. As long as observations and comments are not delivered with malicious or hostile intent, we can and should have fun with it, and be able to laugh at one another and also at ourselves.

    I have an old Banana Republic green cotton windbreaker, an oversized multi-colored patchwork shirt and a shopworn Univ. of Washington purple baseball cap that only I love, and it doesn't bother me in the slightest when my wife and daughters roll their eyes whenever they see me wearing them. (If I really want to get a rise out of them, I'll wear all three at once.)

    That said, it has always bothered me to hear people ascribe negative or noxious personal characteristics to others -- especially teens and young adults -- on the basis of how they dress in public.

    Specifically, over the last few days, I've found preposterous the notions that: (a) someone can profile a young black man adversely as a "gangsta" or "thug," just because he's wearing a hooded sweatshirt and / or a N.Y. Yankees baseball cap backwards; and (b) a white person can perhaps be excused for lashing out with potentially deadly consequences on the sole basis of his or her own irrational response to someone else's looks.

    As I told Dr. Molly, if MyLeftMind can state that big black guys in hoodies are scary and / or intimidating, then I demand my similar right to tell others what I find "scary," too. And if that constitutes mockery, well, yeah. The most effective tool to counter irrational fear is our own laughter.

    Aloha. Have a great evening.


    Where is the NRA... (5.00 / 2) (#76)
    by Repack Rider on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 02:27:42 PM EST
    ...telling us that Trayvon should have been packing a .357 when he walked through a strange white neighborhood?

    Sheesh. (none / 0) (#1)
    by Edger on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 10:26:49 AM EST
    Good thing bell bottom blues are out of style, eh?

    They can't help themselves... (none / 0) (#4)
    by Addison on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 10:33:23 AM EST
    ...this doesn't even have to be a partisan thing (as Rep. West showed yesterday), but if they see certain people lining up to demand justice there's just this reflexive attempt to blame the victim.

    The underlying "blame the victim" strategy here is more absurd than usual, though, as it attempt to blame the future victims as well. It implies that responsible parents of black and Latino children will stop their kids from wearing a common piece of clothing lest they get shot and killed. And if they choose not to heed Geraldo's advice, well...

    I'm all for being a realist and working with the society you have, but even on those terms: plenty of black and Latino kids have been killed wearing all sorts of clothing -- I don't think that is the problem here.

    Silly Geraldo... (none / 0) (#6)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 10:35:29 AM EST
    hoodies don't kill people, people do.  Sh&t if anything the mistake Trayvon made was not covering more of his skin.

    Is he telling parents not to let their daughters wear short skirts too?  

    There would be no violent crime in the world if the dang kids would just dress to Geraldo's standards.

    Title of this post (none / 0) (#8)
    by star on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 10:43:18 AM EST
    I really like how you titled this post BTD.. I am really ???? Hoodies ????

    You probably also have (none / 0) (#10)
    by me only on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 10:47:43 AM EST
    a visor.  (The ultimate in uncool headwear.)

    Wearing a hoodie in a convenient store in the middle of summer is, ya know, slightly different than wearing a hoodie on a cool, rainy January night, outside.

    Climate (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by star on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 11:00:40 AM EST
    do not have too much influence on how teens dress. My 16 year old will wear her spaghetti strap summer dress and shortest of shorts in mid December in NY city because it 'looks' cool and good in pictures!!

    Anyways, this is a free country and we are all free to dress as we please and not fear getting shot because of what we wear.. Geraldo is beyond stupid to frame this argument.


    Heh (none / 0) (#14)
    by CST on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 11:15:20 AM EST
    I wear hoodies in the summer.  Maybe not on a 90 degree humid day with long jeans, but if I'm in a breezy area (like the beach) or it's after 4pm, or it's only 75 out.

    So yes, while there are certain times and days that I probably wouldn't due to the heat, they are the exception by far, not the rule.  In any event, I've never had anyone look at me funny for wearing a hoodie.  Even in a convenient store in the middle of the summer.  I wonder why...


    The only time I got looked at funny... (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 11:27:15 AM EST
    for rocking a hoodie was in the casino...pit boss asked me to remove the hood at a blackjack table.  My guess was it interfered with the prying eye in the sky.

    I too wear hoodies in the Summer. (none / 0) (#27)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 01:15:30 PM EST
    Even when its 90 degrees out as I'm a translucient-American and I don't like hats.

    Hoodies keep me from getting fried and help keep me cool so I don't pass out from heat stroke.  


    Gator orange hoodie. Now (none / 0) (#12)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 11:14:05 AM EST
    that's an image.

    Which (none / 0) (#18)
    by CoralGables on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 12:00:09 PM EST
    do you prefer





    No. 2 (which I wouldn't wear in public). (none / 0) (#19)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 12:08:46 PM EST
    In Florida (none / 0) (#20)
    by CoralGables on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 12:11:23 PM EST
    there are two major reactions you'll get from wearing that hoodie...a Gator Chomp...or shot.

    Or perhaps (none / 0) (#21)
    by CoralGables on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 12:15:09 PM EST
    you'd prefer to risk being shot by Geraldo wearing one like

    my daughter sports


    My 70 yr. old male neighbor (none / 0) (#70)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 10:33:31 PM EST
    Walked by this morning w/ his hoodie up. Walking tiny white dog. I've known this man since 1973. But I tools second look .

    I need to ask Geraldo (none / 0) (#22)
    by CoralGables on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 12:35:04 PM EST
    At what age is it safe for a white male or female to wear a hoodie? And should I take my daughter's away from her and toss mine out?

    I am of the age to qualify for Medicare, (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by MO Blue on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 12:54:27 PM EST
    and one of my favorite pieces of clothing are my two hoodies.

    Need to petition Geraldo, "Don't make wearing a hoodie legitimate grounds for being shot."


    Don't toss it out, (none / 0) (#23)
    by KeysDan on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 12:47:14 PM EST
    just store it in Al Capone's safe--there is plenty of room in there.

    3 times the killings! (none / 0) (#24)
    by BobTinKY on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 12:48:10 PM EST
    "George Zimmerman, the man who shot Martin in late February, has avoided arrest by evoking the Stand Your Ground law in Florida, which allows individuals broad latitude to claim self defense in wielding a firearm. Florida is one of 21 states with such laws, which have since come under intense scrutiny even by previous supporters. Prior to that law being passed in Florida there were 13 'justified' killings in the state each year. Since then, there have been 36."


    Fyi, re 21 states having the law (none / 0) (#51)
    by Towanda on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 06:06:31 PM EST
    -- the Stand Your Ground law -- that number also was used, and I think first, by MSNBC on the Lawrence O'Donnell show, with a map, and it's incorrect.  I know at least two states on the map designated as having the law that do not.

    I think that there is confusion with the Castle Doctrine laws -- which also are awful, but they are more limited.

    Just an FYI to anyone who might want to use the "21 states" line.


    The Million Hoodie March (none / 0) (#30)
    by DFLer on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 02:19:49 PM EST

    at Truthdig (link function not working for me at this moment)

    Oh, honestly! (none / 0) (#32)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 02:55:34 PM EST
    And were Fox News addicts to follow Geraldo's prescient logic to its natural conclusion, they can now fall all over themselves to claim that bellbottoms, embroidered blue jeans, tie-dyed t-shirts and halter tops bore equal responsibility for the Kent State tragedy with the Ohio Nat'l Guard.

    Oops, pardon me -- it looks like the Catholic bishops have already usurped the "Blame the dirty hippies" mantra. My bad ...

    Well, Hoodie or Not (none / 0) (#34)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 03:00:17 PM EST
    Dudes that big scare me and I am 6'3".

    But that beside the point, some people are freaked out by clowns.  The point is where your irrational fears intrude on others rights.  You can be scared the grass for all I care, just don't come packing and shooting up the park when I'm trying to grill me some lunch.

    I was at a bar once and half the Rockets where there, let me tell you even white a$$ Jason Collier is a scary dude, at least to me.  I'm used to being the tallest and he's got damn near a foot on me, but they all seemed like giants.

    But I am not about to pack heat at the bar because my irrational fears.  And without a doubt would I ever follow a person I found scary, that is just plain dumb.

    Maybe 'cuz... (none / 0) (#35)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 03:09:53 PM EST
    I'm used to being the smaller guy, or at least the skinnier guy...big guys don't scare me just by being around...stepping to me is a different story.  Most cases I can out run them if push comes to shove...pretty fast for a caucasian;)

    A hoodie?  Please, who is scared of fashion, except for maybe Lady Gaga or Nicki Minaj.

    Nobody is scary like a police officer is scary...like Hitchcock once said "they are the only people on earth who say 'come with me' and you have to go."


    Heh, yeah cops can be scary. (none / 0) (#36)
    by MyLeftMind on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 03:10:34 PM EST
    Let's face it, the field of law enforcement tends to draw (or promote) many guys who are abusive by nature, even nasty thugs. But I've met my share of nice cops, that is, cops who are actually OK people. Cops who are polite, respectful, even caring people. I see I've been low rated for my comment above, but I'm guessing your stereotype of police is OK on this site.

    What many people don't realize is that stereotypes can be learned experientially. They're not always taught. When people experience certain behavior from multiple members of any group, and that group can be identified by skin color, clothing choices or even an accent, they start to respond to the pattern they see. Given my experiences in the world, a young man of any skin color who doing anything secretive such as hiding his face with a hoodie or like following me down the street would appear dangerous to me. It's human nature to identify those things that are good and those that are dangerous. Sometimes it's behavior, sometimes it's the way a person looks. Even babies recognize their own group by skin color. If we couldn't do that categorizing, we'd be dead. Squirrel good, lion bad. This root good, that one makes you sick. Young man hiding face on a dark street, scoping the neighborhood for theft opportunities, dangerous.

    My point is that sometimes we bend over backward trying to deny our innate biological tendency to identify and group. Our instincts kept our ancestors alive. Now we need to understand our nature if we're to help people resist our natural tendency to stereotype. Obviously, blanket stereotypes aren't useful or functional in today's world, but pretending there's no natural basis for the groupings we make won't get us anywhere either.

    I'm not excusing the shooting. The security guard might have been a mean, dangerous, racist jerk. Or the teen might have approached him menacingly. Who knows? I wasn't there. Hopefully, we'll get more details eventually. Until we do, I'm not willing to stereotype either one of them.

    The "security guard"? So, he's morphed (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by Angel on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 03:22:07 PM EST
    from a neighborhood watch/cop-wannabe to a security guard?  Please.  Clarify your language.  He was a private citizen with no authority to do what he did which was stalk and shoot an innocent kid who was doing nothing more than walking down the street minding his own business.  

    I don't think it's a stereotype... (none / 0) (#40)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 03:21:15 PM EST
    police are given truly awesome powers...the power to arrest, chain, cage, tase, and sometimes kill.  It is natural & wise to fear that.

    A civilian in a hoodie?  That's a stereotype imo.  Maybe it depends on where you live but in my neck of the woods hoodies are far too common to automatically associate them with being up to no good.


    Sigh of relief (none / 0) (#48)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 04:02:22 PM EST
    I pass inspection.  I made sure my kids were pasty enough to wear the hoodie.  What about being stalked from a car though?  How pasty do you have to be before the guys in white hats start wearing black hats?

    Aw Jeezz......whyyy whyyyyy..... (none / 0) (#72)
    by desertswine on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 11:48:56 PM EST

    I'm 52 (none / 0) (#75)
    by Chuck0 on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 11:41:02 AM EST
    and quite proud of my new Reason Ralley hoodie.