From The Grio — An onslaught of new interest can easily see a serious matter shift into something of a spectacle. Understandably, that draws the ire of those who want to make sure the real message doesn’t get lost in all the madness. As people work to see Trayvon Martin’s shooter, George Zimmerman, brought to justice, a few are starting to wonder aloud whether a symbolic and well-meaning gesture has gone too far.

By now you’ve seen it on Twitter, Facebook, gossip blogs, sports sites, and even on your TV screens: people donning a hoodie to signify the item of clothing Trayvon wore when his life was taken away by a self-appointed neighborhood watchman. Members of the Miami Heat, news anchors, city council men and women, state senators, and now even a U.S. congressman have all been spotted wearing one in solidarity.

But while Trayvon’s parents commended Rep. Bobby Rush and others for pleading their case, some are considering it a silly and increasingly empty form of symbolism.


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On a segment on The Daily Show that aired this week, Jon Stewart noted how much of a symbolic gesture it seems coming from stars of the NBA and ordinary citizens, but not so much “these guys” — meaning MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry, CNN contributor Roland Martin, Current TV host Keith Olbermann, and former Michigan governor turned TV host Jennifer Granholm.

It made for a funny Star Wars-themed spoof (Stewart compared the hoodie-clad anchors to Jedis and Sith Lords), but it doesn’t do much in the way of convincing me that those anchors should not have joined LeBron James and your average Joe in rocking a hoodie out of respect.

In fact, even Stewart declared at the end of his rift, “Clearly if all this newfound focus and attention forces a more thorough and just investigation of this tragic incident, we are all be better off.” And that, if nothing else, needs to remain the focus — particularly if one is starting to question the hoodie wearers’ overall effectiveness.

I could focus on people posing topless with hoodies on Twitter, which obviously makes it more about them than the fatally shot teen. Or those stupid parties postured to be in Trayvon’s honor, or maybe some of the more overzealous members of the press. I choose not to, though.


(Continue Reading @ The Grio…)

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  • I had an argument about this with someone on fb who made this same case. At first i saw no harm in the hoodie thing because i personally never separated from the race issue but now i see how the two could become separate things- and therefore distract from the racial perspective.

    • FaSho

      I totally agree. I believe when the college students organized the rally in New York it was a way to bring White’s and Blacks together for the cause. In my opinion the hoodie was geared more toward White people so that they can express their concern for the situation but we all know this was about race. Blacks want to chew Geraldo out about the hoodie comment that the hoodie was to blame. However everytime a black person snaps a hoodie pic it places the focus back on that hoodie perpetuating his statement. We are Trayvon because we are black no article of clothing necessary. I imagine if that young man had on a white tee he still would have been profiled because he was black.

  • BB

    everyone wheres hoodies what is the difference if a white person or colored person wheres one

    • pink

      BB: I started to ignore this….but what the hell. What’s with the “colored” comment? Obviously you are being facetious! And learn to spell!!!.Although you probably did the misspell on purpose. I guess you think people are stupid, and can’t see through your nonsense

  • tt

    Soon enough people will begin to make a spectacle of the boy’s death

  • mamareese

    It has gone to far already….they are sharing this at my son’s school, this boy seriously told me this morning Wait Ma I gotta put my hoodie up and proceeded to do so. I’m like ok what’s all that….my son is young ya’ll and schooled me on the WHOLE case. Like I didn’t know……But please take notice at the media seeking out black congress for comments and coverage and them making fools out of them. Also, let’s stop the hoodie and start helping with funding for the lawyers this family needs and a fund in this young man’s name. Now that’s more helpful.

    • Amanda Williams

      “Clearly if all this newfound focus and attention forces a more thorough and just investigation of this tragic incident, we are all be better off.”

      ‘Nuff said.

  • Whatever

    No, it has not gone too far. This black man in a hoodie looking suspicious has been going on before this case and it is often used to justify profiling. Wearing that hoodie reminds people of Trayvon everyday and this case every day.