When A White Boy Wears A Hoodie

Hoodie
My son wears a hoodie every single day to school. He covers his head faithfully and rarely hears friends say hello as we walk inside or adults saying good morning as he tends to be lost in his own world, muffled by the hoodie around his ears.

My son would do anything for his little sister and happily get her candy. He would even question any adult questioning him for no reason- as we have taught him to stand up for himself, speak out for what is right, and question authority. He would run from strangers. He would feel safe with a police officer.

I think.

My son, however, can do all of these things without fear. He is white. He ‘belongs’ in that suburb. He looks like every other white kid in the area and a ‘neighborhood watch captain’ would easily dismiss his walking down the street as a normal, every day occurrence. As would a police officer. As would the community.

As a white mother to a white son, I’ve never had to explain to him what he should and should not do when confronted by police. I’ve never had to talk with him about how the world views him or prayed he wouldn’t be next.

Yet we live in a world where people deny racial issues still exist. They do not even understand white privilege. They actively cry ‘reverse racism’ as if they are the victim. They even have the nerve to call those who fight for racial equality ‘race baiters,’  ‘racers’ and have attempted to spin and twist and re-write history as if THEY have lost out because Americans owned slaves and those slaves were oppressed for generations, after which they were then oppressed under Jim Crow and then under the institutionalized racism that continues to permeate our culture today.

Yet these NON ‘of color’ victims’ have started a very dangerous trend, a very risky trend, a very uninformed and downright stupid trend that has them looking like very scared white folk, realizing their hold over the majority-and power-is slipping.

You see, as ‘one of you’ I get to hear all about it from family and friends and neighbors and others who seem to think that just because I am white I ‘understand’ what they mean when they say ‘our neighborhood is changing’ and ‘that school has too many kids who don’t speak like our kids’ or ‘you know the high school only recruited him because he can play ball.’

Then there are the comments on blogs and national media calling the NAACP racist, the United Negro College Fund racist, and those who support our President racist because we have the nerve to notice these overwhelmingly white people are angry and saying things and doing things they would NEVER do if the man occupying the oval office were caucasian.

They say all these things while innocent children, carrying candy in a suburb, are shot for walking down the street while black. As Jackie Summers writes,

“This isn’t some fresh new hell; it’s torn open old wounds most would prefer to believe have healed.

The concept that you are suspicious.
The concept that you have to justify where you are and what you’re doing.
The concept that there are people who are so afraid of you, they feel they’re protecting themselves and others, by killing you, even if you’re unarmed.
The concept that those charged with law can show up, knowing exactly what happened, and choose not to uphold it.
The concept that it requires a national outrage to incite justice.
The concept that there are those who would vociferously defend the murderer out of one corner of their mouths, and accuse the murdered from the other.

For no other reason than the color of your skin.”

Yet if you were to read a Right Wing blog today, you would think THEY were the victim or horrible racial attacks. The last I checked, white children like mine, even in hoodies, even walking in a suburb with candy, were not being shot for walking while white.

It is far from time for the white, right-wing to drop this act of victimhood in the American stories of racial inequality. It is embarrassing. It is ignorant. It is offensive.

Trayvon is not the first black child to die, he will not be the last. We owe it to every child to move the discussion on race FORWARD. Forward means NOT back to eras that have long past and have long ago put an indelible mark of hatred and evil on our nation that some on the right seem to think have been made up for, erased, or should be at the very least whitewashed, refusing to feel guilt for something they had nothing to do with. I don’t feel guilt as a white liberal, I feel anger. I feel anger that some conservatives say they see no color, claim to operate on an even playing field, and refuse to even discuss racial implications in any debate for fear they will have to be honest with themselves, our history, and the glaringly obvious fact we have NOT come as far as we would like to think.

We owe it to children of color to know the world MY children have grown up knowing. Where they don’t need to be told that they have to make allowances for other people’s racism because …’That’s part of the burden of being black. We can be defiant and dead or smart and alive.”

It is time to change the conversation, and it starts with the adults. I have no right to send my son to school tomorrow morning in his hoodie without fear, when so many other mothers will be sending their sons off wondering if they will ever come home.

 

Comments

  1. Love this. Thank you for speaking up. As a woman of color, I cheer on every person of color who speaks for themselves but I also cherish every white ally. Because things change from the inside, and we need diverse voices with the same message– to stand up against discrimination, against racial and all kinds of bullying.

  2. thank you Erin I knew you would write an excellent article like this. As a mother of 3 black boys, Treyvons death has left me in tears daily. I am worried what others will do to them, I know many people already think of them as something they are not & it hurts dearly. I just want them to live, live life as kids not worried about running in public and someone might think they have stolen something. I would like them to go to a store and people not worry they will steal. I know they won’t but I cannot make everyone believe the fact of how sweet and innocent they are just has your white children are. We have not come that far when people still fear the young black male, for just being a young black male. We just want our children to live a and be children is that so much to ask? I guess it is!!!

  3. It is frightening. I see the look of sheer terror on my husband’s face when he talks about Trayvon or other boys we know of who have been gunned down, regardless of circumstance. Our son is only two. But we are scared. We have to prepare him. We have to prepare ourselves to prepare him. I do not want to prepare. Not for this. But I know we have to. Our oldest daughter is 11. The discussions she’s having at school with her friends are amazing; I’m glad there is this dialogue. But damn if I didn’t wish it weren’t for this reason.

    While I understand the Florida law, I feel with every fiber of my being that its application in this instance is a strech Mr. Zimmerman should not have been awarded. I cannot fathom that officers arrived on the scene of a dead child and simply said oh, he said it was self defense, he “stood his ground” because he was being threatened. But how, as the pursuer, can you then claim defense? Wouldn’t YOU defend YOURSELF if YOU were being pursued? I get his wanting to protect your neighborhood. But what scares me is if he did outright shoot him (meaning there was no struggle, it was not accidental (as in, I’m just going to show him the gun to scare him off)), he has the ability to do this again. He is free. He still has his gun. What’s stopping him if this was not accidental? (And yes, I have a hard time wrapping my mind around it being accidental).

  4. Johanna you SHOULD be able to raise your children without the fear – just as I raise mine. It is NOT fair. And I do blame our inability to move forward largely on the racial discussion had in politics right now because of President Obama. Some can’t handle it. They need to own it so we CAN move forward.

  5. Thank you. Very well expressed and written. So, so many in my state feel white privilege, the way you describe, it’s so discouraging, daily.

    I thought back to my own son, grown now.. but when he was 17? Skittles and Arizona Iced Tea might well have been his snack of choice. He always (still) wears hoodies too. But he is white so I never had to worry.

    I personally look forward to the day when whites are no longer majority in this country. I hope I am alive to see it with my own eyes. I know I am in the minority in this, here. Thanks for speaking up and speaking my mind, too.

  6. Thank you for writing this. Its nice to know that there are white people out there who know, recognize, and are willing to speak out against the racism that still plagues us today. It is so hard to fight against something when so many people refuse to even acknowledge that it exists.

  7. I’m the step-mom to two Latino teens. (Peruvian) People always ask me why we choose to live in Peru instead of come to the US.

    This is why. I don’t want to take my boys to live in a country where they may be killed because of the color of their skin or the way they were dressed. Yeah, there’s discrimination against Peruvians of darker skin here in Peru, too. But the worst that’ll happen is they won’t let them enter some upper-class nightclub. They won’t be shot because of it.

  8. Thanks so much for sharing this. It brings great appreciation that someone who is not white has taken the time to analyze and feel our pain. Even took it a step further to step outside the majority and take a stand for the minority. You spoke nothing but the truth and we need more people to step out on this kind of faith for whats right. Very well put good job and thank you again! May God Bless You!

  9. Randy Johnson says:

    +1.

    Truth.

  10. Thank you for this lovely and brave essay! The more people speak honestly and clearly on this issue, the better we can all become. God bless you and your wonderful little boy!

  11. Thank you for writing this and it was humbling to read. we need to hear this more. It is dismissed from those of us who are Black and voices like your are so important. Thank you

  12. Thank you, thank you, thank you….as a black woman raising my only child, who by the way happens to be a male, I respect you and appreciate you for writing this because you didn’t have to speak on it but because you did says alot about you as a person, a good heartrd person. Continue to raise your son right and install these good values in him as well. I will continue to live in fear for my son but I leave it in God’s hands and continue to pray daily!

  13. It’s nice to have someone who may not necessarily know firsthand how you feel, at least try. Well written and appreciated. You have a new follower.

  14. TwelveTigers says:

    You seem to fix on the hoodie as the key element in this whole story, and maybe you are responding to Geraldo Rivera’s comment with that. But the hoodie does not have much to do with this whole story. Black dudes had been breaking in to houses in Zimmerman’s neighborhood, and there is evidence that Treyvon initiated the violence between him and Zimmerman. Unless your son grows up starting fights, and giving surly attitude when someone asks him “what are you doing in this neighborhood”, he is (and should be) safer.

    Treyvon was not shot for walking down a street while black. He was shot for being on top of the other guy, smashing his face in. That doesn’t deserve death, obviously, and perhaps Zimmerman committed a convictable crime. But it’s a more complex situation than you (and many liberals) make it seem.

    “The concept that you are suspicious, The concept that you have to justify where you are and what you’re doing … For no other reason than the color of your skin.”

    It was not just because of “skin color”. Black dudes were breaking into houses in Zimmerman’s neighborhood.

    “Yet if you were to read a Right Wing blog today, you would think THEY were the victim or horrible racial attacks.”

    According to the FBI, of the nearly 770,000 violent interracial crimes committed every year involving blacks and whites, blacks commit 85 percent and whites commit 15 percent. Blacks are an estimated 39 times more likely to commit a violent crime against a white than vice versa, and 136 times more likely to commit robbery.

    Also: slavery happened a long time ago. Germany spent centuries getting stomped on by the France of Louis XIV and Napoleon, but nobody cares about that now, or uses it as an excuse for anything. There is a statute of limitations for these things.

  15. asoutherngirl says:

    Incredible essay. Thanks you. @TwelveTigers – you are the neighbor many fear. Slavery didn’t happen “many” years ago – for my family it was 3 generations ago. My mother graduated from a segregated high school and she’s only 60 years old. My university forced us to have 2 casts in our spring musical….one with white leads, the other with black…that was in 1993. Live in a bubble if you choose…for many of us, the racism lingering from slavery is still a daily reality.

  16. Thank you so much for saying this. I loved it. There has been so much support equally from non people of color as there is people of color and i love it. Because through it all we are humans black white purple green this was a young unarmed teenage boy in high school who was gunned down for NOTHING. I am not a parent but every parent every child every human with a pulse should be outraged by this because it could to anybody. But the fact that this happened to a child you are right we as adults been to change because it starts with us. The responsibility to choose our next president is on us not our children the responsibility to choose their next school superintendent is up to us not our children the responsibility feed bath and provide a stable home environment is our responsibility not our children so the same to create stable safe clean communities where children can play outside together go to school together and make it home safely is just as much our responsibility not that of our children. We, adults, Trayvon Martin was our wake up call!

  17. I posted a Trayvon vid that I think ppl can appreciate & bring attention 2 the situation, please pass it on… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlgALlSubMA

  18. We are Americans we are our own worse enemies and at the rate we are going Obama or Bush no matter the leader no matter the economy we are our own terrorists

  19. If black kids/ppl didn’t act like hoodlums ppl wouldn’t be so prejudice pull ur fucking pants up get ur butt off welfare and get ur butt up and get a job.
    My taxes shouldn’t pay for u to sit on ur butt and pop out kids while ur slinging weed and crack.
    Maybe if as a majority they didn’t act like heathens then we wouldn’t treat them that way.

  20. Thank you so much for writing this essay! I can appreciate your compassion because your a mother! As a mother of a black male (he’s 2 years old), hearing this story breaks my heart. I couldn’t possibly imagine what this young mans parents have had to go through, and what’s worse are the spiteful ppl who can say Trayvon deserved it! This is a modern day Emmitt Till, racial profiling EXECUTION! Your damned right my son will learn to defend himself if a stranger is following him! I’m quite sure Zimmerman’s father had many talks with his son about protection in many circumstances! Its sad, and all I can do is pray for this corrupt world! @Jessica its because of ignorant people like you that prejudice and racism still prevails! Thank you foro further proving the point off this essay! :-)

  21. @Jessica Your ignorance is a part of the problem. Fact – their are more white ppl on welfare than blk. How can u judge an entire race based on the actions of a few. Not all african americans wear their pants low, only a minority, and for every blk kid with low pants their is a white kid in all blk with tons of earrings and such (goth style) . for every blk crack or weed dealer, their is a white meth or pill dealer. Every race has those who do not live up to their potential, but do we judge them all because of it???? Heathens come in every color jessica!

  22. @twelvetigers: If you’re any kind of person with a backbone, when questioned by a stranger about what you’re doing in a neighborhood, the appropriate response should be “surly.”

    Do you not see in your attempt to prove it wasn’t his skin color that caused the events, you prove the opposite? “Black dudes” have been committing crimes so any black person should be approached and a suspect. This is by definition “racial” profiling. Are black dudes now to assume that if any lighter-skinned Latino or White approaches them that he is armed with a pistol and assumes they are a criminal??? Furthermore, since Zimmerman referred to Martin as an asshole on the 911 tape, I’m sure he approached him with the utmost respect.

    Slavery ended in the 1860s but segregation ended in the 1960s. Im sure that’s the end of it right. Racism has been cured. Seems like Jessica is living proof of that or do you agree with her depiction of black people? She’s not stereotyping at all. Sorry, sarcasm is how I deflect anger.

  23. justice_for_trayvon says:

    Why do we have to encourage animosity toward white people to accomplish social justice? There’s a reason racism is denied by all the white folks in this country who haven’t been as fortunate as yourself. They don’t want to hear about their privilege because it’s nowhere near the privilege elite whites in suburbs have. You will NEVER get through to them about racism as long as you consider “white” a big, privileged, monolithic experience.

  24. Just Wondering says:

    First off, id like to say, I think people are forgetting that a young man was murdered, it doesnt matter the color of his skin that is not what defined him or made him who he was. Second point the man that murdered this young man was Hispanic, so why all the post about claiming this was white on black stereotyping or racism ? My prayers are for this young mans family, due to the loss of their child which can not be brought back or replaced, not because he was a child of color. I hope each and everyone can find their way back to the incident that happened and unite in prayer for this family for loss of a child before his time.

  25. Mother of a 17 year. old Africian American male honor student. Naval Academy mid-shipmen says:

    At least we are talking. It’s not funny but to see in print that racism is not only alive It’s rampant.

  26. Laura R. Charron says:

    Very well written. Lots of commentary from both sides. I have several questions. Do all of you KNOW the people in your neighborhoods? Next door? Down the street? Upstairs? Downstairs? I do. My nearest law enforcement is 45 minutes away. They get here after the fact IF they come at all.
    I take issue with all the assumptions. Were ANY OF US physically present when Mr. Martin was killed? Do we know exactly what Mr. Zimmerman said/did? No.
    Do you KNOW your male child will be mistreated if they dress/act a certain way or do you base it on what happens the next block/town over?
    When you say a person is racist/on welfare etc…do you know them?
    Do you vote? Do you seek to change/improve groups/laws you take issue with?
    It’s well past time for more KNOW & less no.

  27. I too wonder why all of the white/black talk when the man who shot him was Hispanic?!?!?!?! Someone please explain this.

  28. foster mom says:

    WHERE TO START!??? First thank you for what you posted. your article is brave, and I am inspired to join in! It is brave to stand up and say “this is WRONG!” the reason it’s brave is that as a member of the white race, you know how quickly you can be ostricized by peole you call family. I have spent my whoe life listening to the insensative ramblings of my friends family, and nearly every other person who sees me, and thinks we have some common bond against the “drug slinging, kid breeding, welfare black chick who drives a cadillac, or the 85% of inprisoned males are black, so that just proves they are all dangerous” mindsets! WE DONOT HAVE THAT IN COMMON! I am aware of welfare statistics! Your poster child for why to keep on hating people for their skin color is the small minority of the actual people who “have their hand out” . Your blatant refusal to accept that even when the national laws of segregation ended only 50 years ago, local state laws were allowed to maintain the staus quo for YEARS!!!
    Now onto the FACTS, so I guess i missed the video tape of the skinny 17 yr old beating in the face of the adult who was chasing him through the neighborhood. All I had access to was the 911 tapes of both the accused, and a couple of neighbors who were calling in that someone was being beaten,and screaming in a high pitched (young male) voice for help… so maybe as a liberal, I am blocked from the proof that it was in fact the larger man being beaten and screaming in the background. When the pictures of Mr Zimmermans beaten face are finally released, we can all go backto pretending there are no racialproblems inour country. as for the statement that 85% of violent crimes are commited by black (thank you twelve tigers for the most recent statistical input) did it ever occur to you that you are 85% more likely to get stopped by a police officer if oyu are black? That the majority of all serialial killers are white males? Using lines of reasoning to defend your hate which base themselves on random statistics is a failed argument. If those statistics hold true, then you would also have to agree that the majority of the population is living in poverty. (which it is, according to FOX about 55% of citizens don’t “pay their fair share of taxes!) The majority of those people live on less than 24k a year. Then you would have to follow that line of thinking to the next level, and reach the statistical fact that most violentoffenders come from violent households, and poverty! ergo, the prison population is full of victims of poverty! Now here is where my own family decides to chime in “well we grew up poor, but you don’t see us holding up a liquor store” so there ya have it. proof positive that only black people are violent! (it makes me wonder about all those women’s shelters and why they seem so full of white women and kids… they must ALL have married black! right?) here,, chew on this:
    In the last decade (since 2000) the homicide rate declined to levels last seen in the mid-1960s.
    Based on data from 1980 and 2008, males represented 77% of homicide victims and nearly 90% of offenders. The victimization rate for males (11.6 per 100,000) was 3 times higher than the rate for females (3.4 per 100,000). The offending rate for males (15.1 per 100,000) was almost 9 times higher than the rate for females (1.7 per 100,000).
    (or to shorten it, males are far more dangerous than females!) wonder what would happen if us gals decided to shoot any guy we see walking at night, after giving chase and screaming that they just might rape us! how many men would be dead in a week? (sorry, feminist humor tangent)
    here are a few more fun facts:

    In nearly 90% of hate crime victimizations occurring between 2003 and 2009, the victim suspected the offender was motivated by racial or ethnic prejudice or both.
    In about 37% of violent hate crimes the offender knew the victim; in violent nonhate crimes, half of all victims knew the offender.
    Eight hate crime homicides (murders/non-negligent manslaughters) occurred in 2009.
    The majority of violent hate crimes were interracial while the majority of nonhate violent crimes were intraracial.
    There is a point to all of this.
    A boy was killed walking through a friends neighborhood. He was 17. He had some candy in his pocket, and he was wearing a hooded sweatshirt in February! He was CHASED by a resident of the nieghboorhood, who called the police. This neighbor tended to call the police frequently. This neighbor was armed. this neighbor was TOLD BY POLICE NOT TO CHASE the kid! That neighbor shot someones teenaged son. Take statistics and race completely out of it. WHO WOULDN”T BE FURIOUS! step right up and admit it, if they were both white, that guy would be in jail! If they were both black, that guy would be in jail, but less than half the people who care now would care at all. THAT IS WHAT THE PROBLEM IS!!!!!!!! That is what this article was about! There should not be a difference! much less an argument. THAT is why we are upset!

  29. Very well written. I totally agree with you. As the mother of very light-skinned bi-racial boys, I was feeling relieved that because of my sons’ light skin color they were not likely to attract the attention of someone like Zimmerman and I was feeling so bad for all the boys out there whose dark skin makes them a target. It should not have to be that way. I also agree that the making excuses and false victimization of the right wing is an outrage.

  30. I feel sorry for people like Jessica & Tiger12, or whomever you are. Maybe your parents didn’t raise you properly Jess. Hopefully, you don’t run into the type of black person you are speaking of.lol. But anyway, I have an Italian best friend who is married to a black guy. Her grandpa is a minister Tiger12. He disowns her because of her husband. Yet, he’s a pastor that ministers to blacks.(That’s this present day.) Thats hypocrisy at its finest right? Newsflash, racism exists whether or not we like it or are in denial, & I think you are just in denial. I think it’s well past the time for everyone to swallow that bitter pill and move on with it,because everyone bleeds the same, so it doesn’t give you superiority because you have less pigmentation in your skin. I’ve worked front desk at hotels and I experience it from whites all the time. Funny thing is, it’s always the from the “Christians.” How do you think Jesus would feel about that? You know, the bible says.Oh & by the way Jess, my husband is a 26 year old black man that makes over six figures a year, & I’m a student at a very prestigious university in this country. Not to mention, our closest friends are dentists, lawyers, pharmacists, etc. So maybe you just listen to everything you hear. Anywhoo, here’s a scrip for all concerning this matter; The bible says -Woe unto those magistrates who make unjust laws, and give unjust sentences. You guys be blessed & I pray that God have mercy on some of these people with hardened hearts.

  31. Brittany Johnson says:

    This is a really powerful article! Queen of Spain, I want to thank you so much for writing it. No one should apologize or feel guilty for the privileges that come from being white; no one on this planet chose their particular race. I commend you for taking the time to look at the situation and understand it. The changes that need to happen in this world will only begin when we begin to embrace what unifies us instead of what divides us.

    For those that posted under this article with hatred in the hearts, I pray for you. I pray that one day whatever God you pray to, opens your eyes and softens your hearts. Please please be careful before you cling to the generalizations and the stereotypes that you hold so dear. If everyone thought like you, Jessica and TwelveTigers, we would all miss out on some pretty amazing people.

  32. Thank you for your heartfelt,compelling truth’. Even in big cities, like New York, where I live, this continues to be a fact of life. I always see police stopping young black men, simply because of the way they look. My heart is broken for this family. How does one recover from from such a tragedy? Your words will give hope to many, who may believe that all or most white people hate blacks and or any minority,who may look different because their skin is a shade different! Thank you!

  33. Thank you for being so honest and truthful. Search yourself and speaking the truth that lies with in is so hard for people black or white. Even as an african american woman with 2 african american children — a boy and a girl– I even have to pull the truth out of myself of the prejudgements that I make of my own black men which I love. I’d rather you tell the truth that everyone knows exists than to lie and say you don’t see my color or that your “not afraid” by the black hoodie wearing boy. Be honest — and own up to the prejudgement so we all can work to change it. Again I thank you for being candid on the world that you live in.

  34. Margaret says:

    Great article. I admit I suffer from white guilt and the reason is mainly because of morons like the above posters (Jessica & TwelveTiger). I want everyone here to know they are the minority and hopefully most people do not feel the same way as they do. It’s embarrassing! Just when I think the world is turning into a better place I read posts like that and it truly angers me!! I want my son to grow up in a world where people respect one another and I want him to judge people by their character not the color of their skin, religion or politics. The bottom line here is that a child was murdered for no reason. No one has the right to take a life of another and that man should be in jail right now. I can’t wrap my head around why he is free.

  35. This needs to be shared everywhere.

  36. It is so important that articles like this are being written, that coalition building is happening, and that we are able to have a dialogue about privilege and oppression in the face of tragedy. I commend you for a well-articulated post.

    When writing about privilege, one has to be very aware of the ways in which they are careful to not silence other voices. You do a phenomenal job of this. Thank you for writing this, and solidarity with all of those who are forming coalitions through race and class lines.

  37. First of all the reports I have seen have indicated that no one has been arrested in the local home break-ins, so how does anyone know that it was black guys? How do we know it was not white girls, or hispanic transgendered people if no one was arrested?

    Secondly as mentioned by other Zimmerman referred to martin as an @sshole, and possibly a “coon” so he obviously was not approaching the situation from a neutral perspective he clearly assumed the worst of this young man based solely on his physical appearance, whether it be the hoodie and/or the color of his skin.

    Also as many of you should be aware racism exists between blacks and hispanics. Also many lighter skin colored people do refer to themselves as “white” but really whether Zimmerman is white or Hispanic does not matter, Martin was the victim of a racial profiling incident. My opinion is that Zimmerman called martin a “coon” and if correct that is clearly evidence of racism.

    I thank the author for this article it should be plastered all over the internet.

  38. That was beautiful. Thank you for writing this!

  39. This is so refreshing …. thank you for sharing, thank you for caring!!!! God Bless you & your family.

  40. As a tri-racial minority who went to school both in the ghetto and in the suburbs I know what both worlds look like. I know what its like to be told your not “black” enough and what its like to be made fun of because my slang and music choice was diffrent. I also know that there are good people in the world. My friends and I,who if we really looked at it make up ever religion,nationality,race,sexual orientation and gender all have the same idea “everyones and asshole until proven otherwise”

    I will say it does bother me that I still get funny looks when walking through my parents suburb town in long island or followed when I go into a store because I’m dark skinned but I remind myself that I am educated,well spoken with a real career and I am not like these ignorant people in the streets who’s behavior makes it harder for their own kind and others like them.

    Thankyou for being understanding and for speaking up about what really does happen but its not just within white communities,its all races who do it about another race,sadly racisim will never end,even if everyone ends up mixed someone will find a way. To segregate taht

  41. TellingTheUndisputedTruth says:

    Hispanics can be either Black or White. Hispanic is an ethnicity not a race.

  42. Joy Lynn Lewis says:

    You speak, so well, for this mother of a “white” boy.

  43. I think this is a powerful piece and I’m glad I followed the link! I would love to share it on my own blog – verbatim – with your permission! thank you!

  44. First of all, I applaud the author of this piece. I think it’s phenomenal. The evidence of the level of racism that’s so ingrained in our society is well evidenced by some of the ignorant, defensive comments in response to this article. They tell the story perfectly, even if unwittingly.

    Second of all, this response is written with reverence to Trayvon Martin’s family and friends, and to every parent of a dark-skinned black male child.

    I would like to respond to Chad, because he asked a question that hasn’t been addressed yet.

    @Chad regarding why all the black/white talk:

    I am a non-black person of color who can say that racism in this country is far more intense toward dark-skinned black men than it is for any other group in our society.

    Dark-skinned black men are the target of racism more often by more individuals and groups, white or otherwise. Although the motivation is different and comes from a different place than whites, when non-black people of color are racist, the damage is still devastating.

    Do non-black people of color experience racism? Of course we do. Does any group experience racism anywhere near the level dark-skinned black men do? Absolutely not.

  45. LateToTheParty says:

    Personal opinion, that shooter was just plain crazy. Seriously, who just appoints themself a neighborhood cop, arms themself, stalks people around the neighborhood, and then kills one of the people he has been stalking? Whole lot of crazy up in there before we even get to anything about race. If I were those cops, I’d have arrested him for impersonating an officer to start with the first time he spent an evening calling us every time someone walks through the neighborhood, and then we wouldn’t have this poor family without their son because he’d have been in jail by then. If I saw that guy stalking people around my neighborhood claiming to be the neighborhood watch, I’d sure as shooting be asking the police to come protect me from him. Those cops knew he was crazy, too, and you can tell it from the phone recording. At this point, the only thing that needs to happen is to get him in front of a jury. Lets get some clearer heads to examine this.

  46. Regina G says:

    Tears…I have tears in my eyes just reading this… Thank you. simply thank you.

  47. Patrick Moore says:

    The only thing I will disagree a little with is the statement regarding things being said about the President being just because he is not white. I believe it was that things are said that never would be said if he were white?

    I won’t touch on whether deserved or not, but some of the things said about our last President were at least as bad as things said about this one, and the last one was white. I think things said even back to Clinton were as bad, so it is not even a Dem vs Rep thing. I think it goes with the territory and because of the racial factor that is there now it is more sensitive. It was ok to say Bush looked like a monkey (and some did, even caricatures are out there showing that) but nobody would ever say that about President Obama because of the inherent racial implications in that insult, for example. I think him being a public figure, in the highest office in the land, opens him to criticism that no other person (white or otherwise) usually has to face. I respect him immensely, and all others before him, for how professionally they handle the level of insults they get.

    As I said, that is the only thing I find a little off…otherwise, totally agree!

  48. Very well-written!!!

  49. Mrs. Sammy says:

    Thank you so much!!!!

  50. Somehow, I stumbled across this while looking up technical documentation. How the fuck I landed here, I am not sure, LOL!

    I reread this soapbox bleating about three times and all I could take away was the writer’s

    May i suggest a new title for this banter: ‘I’m White and I’m Sorry…’

Trackbacks

  1. [...] and white privilege that often goes unacknowledged, to read a blog post by Erin K. Vest, “When a white boy wears a hoodie.” It matches up nicely to what I would also [...]

  2. [...] the internet again. Derbyshire wrote a piece about having a “talk” with his children, as many of us have, after the shooting of Trayvon Martin: Avoid concentrations of blacks not all known to you [...]

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