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A Hoodie Over Florida’s Image as More National Voices Denounce Trayvon Killing

| April 1, 2012

De rigueur. (keizerstreetart)

The nation’s only African-American governor, Deval Patrick of Massachusetts, this week questioned the reaction by Florida law enforcement to the shooting of Trayvon Martin, whose death last month has exploded into a national debate about racial profiling and self-defense laws.

Patrick is just the latest black politician around the nation to voice support for Martin – or at least acknowledge the troubling aspects of the case, from U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush of Illinois, who was escorted from the floor of Congress for wearing a hoodie in support of Martin, to New York city councilmen and New York state assemblymen who donned the same symbolic jacket, to President Obama, who said if he had a son he’d look like Trayvon.

White politicians have also joined in the outrage – former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm posted a picture of herself in a hoodie on her Facebook page.

“With five weeks’ passage, the fateful encounter between a black youth who wanted to go to college and a Hispanic man who wanted to be a judge has polarized the nation,” The Times wrote Monday. And, it added in reference to Sanford, “now this modest central Florida community finds its name being mentioned with Selma and Birmingham on a civil rights list held sacred in black American culture, while across the country, the parsing of the case has become cacophonic and political, punctuated by pleas for tolerance, words of hatred, and spins from the left and right.”

Patrick has an additional insight into issues inolving race, rights and justice – Patrick headed the civil rights division of the Justice Department under President Bill Clinton.

Describing a “sad, murky” set of facts surrounding the shooting, Patrick praised the Obama administration’s Department of Justice for investigating the shooting.

“I think it’ a really important thing that DOJ, civil rights division has gotten involved, and a troubling thing that law enforcement in Florida has not,” he said during a radio interview on WTKK.

Martin was killed last month by a volunteer neighborhood watchman, George Zimmerman, while walking unarmed and wearing a hooded sweatshirt. Zimmerman has reportedly claimed that he deemed Martin suspicious and tracked him to determine where he was going. Zimmerman also claimed that the two began scuffling and that he fired his weapon in self-defense.

Police never charged Zimmerman, after prosecutors said they had no reason to doubt his claim that he was acting in self-defense, and the decision shined a spotlight on Florida’s self-defense statute – known as Stand Your Ground – in which residents are permitted to use deadly force if they feel they are under physical threat. Questions have emerged about whether Zimmerman, who is of Hispanic descent, racially profiled Martin, and whether police did the same by opting against charging Zimmerman.

“It’s been moving, what the response has been, sort of across demographics,” Patrick said. “The senselessness of this, the notion that you could look a certain way, be dressed a certain way, and be in a certain neighborhood and place your life in jeopardy on account of that is not who we want to be in this country.”

“How we layer assumptions on people is – that’s an unfortunate part of life. And when you add in race, it feels particularly unfair,” Patrick continued.

Asked by WTKK host Jim Braude whether he thinks Florida police erred in not charging Zimmerman, Patrick said, “I know how important it is to review the evidence and talk to the folks and make a judgment and not just pop off based on what you read in the newspapers or see in the news.”

Patrick added that he would veto a bill in Massachusetts similar to Florida’s Stand your Ground law.

“Well, I don’t think that bill is going to move and if it were to move, it’s not going to get past my desk,” he said. “We don’t need a stand your ground bill, and I don’t entirely understand what the argument was for it in Florida.”

Patrick said the shooting didn’t appear to involve self-defense issues.

“The other part of the Trayvon case I would say that is troubling is that it didn’t seem to have anything to do with standing your ground,” he said. “It seemed more to do with a kid being in the wrong place at the wrong time or frankly in a perfectly appropriate place but being assumed to be in the wrong place and being stalked by a guy with a gun.”

Patrick said this week it would be a “tribute” to the Martin family if Massachusetts lawmakers passed a bill to crack down on racial profiling in traffic stops. Those comments came on the same day that a handful of Massachusetts lawmakers donned hoodies to express solidarity with the Martin family and decry some commentary in the wake of the shooting that Martin’s hoodie was partly to blame for the incident.

–News Service of Florida and FlaglerLive

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19 Responses for “A Hoodie Over Florida’s Image as More National Voices Denounce Trayvon Killing”

  1. Pedro says:

    Maybe some will start wearing white hoods. Should be no problem since the politicians and society thinks cover your head and face with “hoodies” is a good, intelligent way to dress.

  2. GoodFella says:

    You can take someone out of the ghetto but you cannot take the ghetto out of them! Talk about racism, are they ever going to let it go? It is all starting at the top now with Obama, even he is pulling the race card. But they are going about it all wrong, the hoodie has nothing to do with it. Its the thug mentalitly that they need to have with the gold grills. Trayvon was not shot because he was only wearing a hoodie. He attacked George, that is why he was shot. And when did they say that Trayvon was half white? Obama said if he had a son he would look like Trayvon? Did Obama forget that his mother is white and his deadbeat father is black? So how would he look like him? All these black politicians, singers, movie stars who are jumping on the bandwagon are all pulling the race card, enough is enough. If they feel that this country is not fair then leave!!! You are all welcome back in Africa, oh wait. Most of you are not even from there anymore, most of you were born here. It was your ancestors that were brought from there hundreds of years ago but you still feel like something is owed to you. The only reason that racism is alive and well in this country is because of the blacks being racist towards us “crackers” as they call us. They are the ones who just cannot let it go, so I suppose the ball just keeps rolling on.

  3. JL says:

    Trayvon did not deserve to be stalked, did not deserve to be attacked, did not deserve to be shot and killed. He deserved to have a life before him. Zimmerman took that away from him. Zimmerman became judge and jury in one moment. That’s not what America is based on. It’s not what America is about. Zimmerman should be arrested immediately and let a jury of his peers determine if he is guilty of murder or not.

    • anonymous says:

      I agree with you 100%! Who died and made him God?? He took actions into his own hands, even when the police told him that he should stand down and not follow the kid, he did it anyway and killed him. And the “stand your ground” law, I thought meant if someone was trying to break in to your own house? Zimmerman followed him, obviously he was not in Zimmermans house. This story is all so annoying!!

  4. KT says:

    I am 15 years old.
    The comments above mine made me cry. How could you speak of other human beings that way? They’re welcome back in Africa? Referring to African-Americans as “the blacks”? I wake up every morning with a faith in humanity. I won’t ever lose it. However, when racism is so blatant in 2012 and I’m shown that people still think like Pedro and GoodFella, it certainly decreases. Do their words encompass the mentality of our world? Calling the father of the President of the United States a deadbeat? Because of increased skin pigment, that’s all – something which, by the way, has no effect on mental capacity.
    Pardon me, I’m going to go pull a hoodie over my blonde head now.

  5. Outsider says:

    I am really getting tired of the hypocrisy of the attention given this case. It was an unfortunate set of circumstances that led to the killing of this man. However, take away the fluff, the hoodie, the black guy and the Hispanic/white guy, and there was a young man on top of another man pounding the heck out of him. The man on the bottom was screaming for help, which didn’t arrive, and he shot the attacker. The same legal system that “worked” and let O.J. walk after slaughtering his wife allowed Zimmerman to defend himself. Remember, there were cheers across the country when that verdict was announced. The biggest irony is that 49 people were shot in Chicago in four days, which resulted in ten deaths including a six year old girl who was beating noone. There is nary a peep from the race baiting whores like Jesse Jackson and the “Reverand” Al Sharpton. Perhaps the reason there is such disgust at the coverage given this case is that many are beginning to realize it seems to be okay with the left wing media, including Flagler Live if a black man kills his white wife, or black men shoot 49 other black men and kill a six year old girl in the process, but it’s totally repulsive if a half white man shoots and kills a black man who is attacking him.

    • anonymous says:

      First of all it has been proven that the “person” yelling for help, was NOT Zimmerman, it was indeed Trayvon Martin yelling for help! Really, an unarmed 17 year old kid, is going to hurt an armed 26 – 28 year old MAN…c’mon, lets get real!!

  6. ANONYMOUSAY says:

    Please do not respond to the undignified stereotypical comments by people that are lashing out in a non-constructive way. These ones are trying to strike a nerve when generalizing by race. It’s funny how disappointed, scared and hateful some people get when minorities stand up for themselves in a non-violent way. These same people that claim racism is dead show what they are about in their comments. No you don’t have to wear a Klan hood to be a racist or show bias or indifference to another human being. A persons own hang ups and preconceived notions are usually enough for the visual separation and lack of empathy to begin. It’s amazing how minorities constantly make adjustments to fit into the majority but if the majority had to go about it the opposite way they would probably commit suicide get so paranoid they would buy guns, claim America is going to pot and protest. Oh yeah that already happened when President Obama got elected. First he’s too black than he’s not black enough, whatever. Just because YOU claim racism is over and is in the past does not obviously make it a fact. Here’s a little experiment for all those on this superiority kick, we don’t even have to make it race how about STATUS/CLASS. Go mingle with some local millionaires. Visually you may get through the guard at the gate entrance but when they inspect you a little closer and find you don’t have what they have YOU are viewed as nothing but trash like the rest of us. You really should be outraged that the State Attorney representing Sandford could be so stupid and think he would get away with this. This young man was and is being treated like the usual suspect. It’s not JUST the “hoody“ it’s the composite of this whole case. In your comments the impression is given that if you can’t visually relate to someone it’s okay to approach and treat them anyway you see fit. If it wasn’t for the continued speaking up from people in the media we would have never heard of the case. Find something else to complain about other than O.J., Jesse and Al. After all the atrocities the so-called founders of this country allowed and are responsible for it takes a truly sad and weak person to spew some of the hateful comments posted. It says a lot. I can almost put my life on it you wouldn’t dare to publicly tell people of Jewish descent to get over their plight. But yet and still you blame minorities for YOUR insecurities. It’s okay for O.J.’s case to still bother YOU but black people are supposed get over daily subtle, direct partiality or discrimination. Your comments prove things are not equal. Laws on paper can be changed but the hate within you must be erased by you from the inside. Take the blinders off and grow up.

  7. B. Claire says:

    KT… this blatant, uber-ignorant racism will stop. The likes of the posters you mentioned will be replaced with a new generation, your generation.

    Thanks for standing up & speaking out against such intolerance

    …and being my ‘ray of hope’ for the future.

  8. ANONYMOUSAY says:

    Here is an unfiltered look at an experiment done by ABC’s 20/20 “What Would You Do?” This is the basis of why the subject of race relations has a long way to go. Please watch parts 1 and 2.

  9. JL says:

    Outsider, you were assuming the fat hispanic was the one being pummeled by the lanky 140 lb teen? Well, experts – yes I said EXPERTS – have listened to the tapes with special equipment and determined the person yelling for help was TRAYVON. Huh, imagine that. Trayvon was the one being beaten. But you know what? They hurried up, took him away, and kept him for 24 hours before anyone contacted his family. Of course, they probably could have looked at his phone and looked up under his contacts “Mom” or “Dad”. But they didn’t. Let’s see Trayvon’s face when they carted his poor body away. Trayvon was the one yelling help, and I’ll bet the poor kid was trying to punch this overweight bully, while he was FIGHTING for his life. I’m shocked to see so many racists living in PC. And disappointed. Trayvon deserves justice. We all know, if he were a white kid, none of this would have happened. And if it had, for some reason, Zimmerman would be in jail. The headlines would have read “Hispanic man murders white kid”. People, let’s be honest. We all know this to be true. And it’s sad. RIP Trayvon, justice will be done.

    • anonymous says:

      um…. HELLO!! With a name like ZIMMERMAN, how can you think he’s HISPANIC!!

    • Chuck says:

      It has not been found that it wasn’t Zimmerman yelling for help. If I read the same report you did these experts said there was 49% chance that it was Zimmerman that was screaming for help. That doesn’t prove a thing. Does your voice always sound the same when you are scared, mad, happy, ill, or being attacked.

  10. Sherry Epley says:

    It is terrible that we will never know the details of what actually happened on that night. Try to imagine YOURSELF as a kid walking around with Skittles in your pocket. You notice that a big fella seems to be watching and following you. You start to feel in danger. Then somehow you come face to face with this man who confronts you for some reason. A scuffle happens. . . you try to defend yourself. You are shot and your life is over. All of it is nothing short of senseless. . . man’s inhumanity.

    Think about the shootings on college campuses these days and the killing of a man in Flagler Beach over barking dogs. Why isn’t anyone talking about gun control? If guns were not as easily acquired as bread and milk, some lives would be saved. Yes, I certainly know it’s not guns that kill people. . . people kill people. Now extrapoliate that out to why it would be dangerous for Iran to have nuclear weapons. Hey, its not bombs that kill people. . . people kill people, , , RIGHT????

    If all human beings were perfectly sane and reasonable and always did the “correct thing” for the “common good”, we wouldn’t need rules/regulations/laws. . . and those that enforce them. The thing is, we are gloriously fragile humans, filled with imperfections. Our humanity is what makes us magnificent and tragic, at the same time. . . far different than the robots that may inhabit this planet in the maybe not too distant future. We need protection from the weaker sides of ourselves.

    Hopefully, our citizens will learn from this incredibly horrible incident and begin a dialog that will shift away from fear, racism and hatred from all sides, and towards compassion, civility and responsible (regulated) gun ownership.

  11. GOP says:

    re my posts going to be released????????????????

    [When you dispense with the gratuitous insults of commenters and try a bit more civility.FL]

  12. Outsider says:

    JL, I wasn’t assuming; the witnesses said they saw Zimmerman on the ground being beaten by Trayvon. This is not implausible; Trayvon, while much lighter than Z, was an athlete. Z, apparently, is something less than that. I weigh 200 pounds, can bench press 300 pounds, but I wouldn’t want to take on the world’s lightest professional boxer; I wouldn’t have a prayer. I think we all want the truth; if independent scientists determine it wasn’t Z screaming, and Z claims he was screaming, then that would put a different light on Z’s credibility. The fact is, none of us really have all the evidence and are basing OPINIONS on what information trickles out. Regardless, all of our opinions here are inconsequential. The bigger problem is that many in the media, who have no more information than we have seem to know exactly what happened and what the individuals involved were thinking at the time of the event. Equally disturbing is when some less than brilliant, elected so-called “leaders” get up in front of the nation and claim Trayvon was hunted down like a dog and murdered in cold blood. They couldn’t know that; I don’t know that, and you don’t know that.

  13. Howard Duley says:

    Who cares about what people think especially politicians. What is important is what is the real truth as best as it can be ascertained by an honest person.

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