When Black Folks Don’t Get The Trayvon Issue, We’ve Got A Problem
Written by Elon James White on March 21, 2012
To raise awareness about the #millionhoodies march in memory of Trayvon Martin and general online campaign I’ve posted the picture you see to the left on my social networks. This was the response on one of them:
[NAME REDACTED]: This guy IS suspicious. I would totally purse clutch and traffic dodge to avoid and I’m not sure of the message here. March for hoodies?
[NAME REDACTED]: I grasp the point racism is racism, no dress code needed. But we need to watch our PR and how our message is distributed. The above is not helping or helpful to disseminate the message. It’s an image of a thug in a hoodie. Treyon was not a thug, he was a child and this is the image that should be used. And the main goal is to make the “point” as EASY to grasp as possible. We can march and protest and leverage petitions, but if our attitude is, “read between the lines to get my point,” then we move no one. We also need to utilize the most powerful, personable images we have. This guy is not one of them.
ELON JAMES WHITE (me): Oh HI [NAME REDACTED]. I’m the image of the “Thug in a hoodie.” Do you know who I am? Do you know what I do? You said that THAT’s an image of a thug in a hoodie and TREYVON WASNT A THUG. Ma’am, I’m not a thug. I’m an engaged political commentator with a background in I.T. I throw dinner parties and build studios from scratch. But YOU saw a thug in a hoodie.
Do you understand the problem now?
[NAME REDACTED]: I’m sure you’re very accomplished, and my comments don’t take away from that. But I see a thug in a hoodie. You may not like it, and I don’t know you, but I can ONLY see the photo. We disagree. I can stomach that.
ELON: Can you read your own words? The type of thought process you have right now is why Tayvon Martin was stalked and killed. He “looked like a thug” even though he wasn’t. To MANY people a Negro in a hoodie is a thug. That is not right. That is not okay. That is the POINT of the march today. That is the point of the online campaign to wear hoodies in solidarity.
Under no circumstances should I or ANYONE be looked at as a threat because they put a hoodie on.
And by the way? [NAME REDACTED] is black.
And we have a serious problem.