The historical significance of hoodies


Assistant state attorneys John Guy, left, and Bernie de la Rionda, right, display the hooded sweatshirt worn by Trayvon Martin the night he was shot by George Zimmerman. (Credit: AP)

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”–MLK


Do you suppose the great Martin Luther King Jr. ever imagined civil wrongs leaders of today would concern themselves with wondering what will become of a hoodie?

Do you further believe he would be OK with a museum built to honor and remember a segment of the American population solely because of the color of their skin?

Hard for me to speculate on what Dr. King would say about what is going on today but I don’t think he would be entirely pleased we haven’t made much progress on the racial front in the past 50 years and black America is a big part of the reason why.

Anyway, more on the museum later but first, the absurdity of a “mythical” hoodie.

“I get goose bumps just thinking about it,” says Michael Skolnik, who sat next to Martin’s parents on that morning, the day before the Fourth of July.

Skolnik, the political director for hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons and a member of the Trayvon Martin Foundation board, felt as if he were in the presence of something as consequential and iconic as Babe Ruth’s bat or the Declaration of Independence.

“It’s like this mythical garment,” he says.

You read that right, a hoodie that was worn by someome who was likely a common thug is considered mythical and as equally  significant as The Declaration of Independence or Babe Ruth’s bat.

“I would like to see it preserved,” hoping Martin’s hoodie will end up in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, expected to open in 2015, the Rev. Al Sharpton said into a cellphone on his way to a White House meeting about voting rights with President Obama.”

Wonder if they discussed that race relations have declined, and might even get worse, since Obama took office, something Obama himself admits.

“Racial tensions won’t get better; they may get worse, because people will feel as if they’ve got to compete with some other group to get scraps from a shrinking pot. If the economy is growing, everybody feels invested.”

Is all the fuss about the Shroud of Turin of garments simply a means to widen the racial divide because progressives need enemies to advance their agenda? I maintain that,  since Sharpton is involved, and that no one should care about Trayvon Martin, and that the Obama quote above is lousy with class warfare and racially divisive language, that division is the goal. The death of Trayvon wasn’t  treated like a local crime as it should have been, it was personal because the likes of Sharpton and Obama made it so.

Right around the time of the verdict, I wrote that Trayvon Martin was not just a murder victim like any of the 202 others at that point in Chicago that no one nationally seems to care about. Trayvon Martin wasn’t just a statistic, he was made into a representative of every minority in American who labors under the myth of crushing and unjust institutional and judicial racism that plagues them all.

Trayvon Martin wasn’t attacked that night, all minorities were. And with Trayvon’s death, all minorities died a little, their freedom died a little, their civil rights died a little, justice died a little, and it all happened at the hands of a white Hispanic racist acting on behalf of all white people.

I also wrote that.

Day, after day, after day in America the wheels of justice turn in courthouses right around the corner from where we live, work, shop, and go to school and no one seems to care. People are stabbed, gunned down, beaten, and raped and, outside of a mention on the local news, no one pays much attention.  People are charged, tried, acquitted, plead out, cop to lower charges, testify in exchange for immunity, get off on a technicality, get convicted, paroled…and no one is interested.

Think about any of the many murders you have seen on your local news in the past few months and then name even one that every media outlet in the country has covered incessantly since the day it happened and then pick one the President of the United States himself has weighed in on. You Can’t, can you?

So, why did Barack Obama, Eric Holder, Al Sharpton, et al., and their media race propagandists pick a fairly uninteresting shooting in which no crime was committed and make the victim a poster child for racial justice that was not served?  And no, it’s not simply because the victim was a black child. Note the lack of tears, concern, and appeals for justice for the 11,000 plus nameless, faceless, and forgotten blacks, including children, that have died needlessly since Trayvon was made a household name.

What were any of the over 11,000 wearing? Why is one garment as significant as the Declaration of Independence when 11,000 get a collective “meh” from the entire civil rights movement? Wouldn’t Dr. King be proud?

Hint: The Martin case had a racial element that could be exploited to advance an agenda.

And now, the “mystical” hoodie will serve as the symbol of this exploitation for, if Sharpton gets his way, generations to come.

And serve as a symbol in a museum that, according to their own about page, “The National Museum of African American History and Culture will be a place where all Americans can learn about the richness and diversity of the African American experience, what it means to their lives and how it helped us shape this nation. A place that transcends the boundaries of race and culture that divide us, and becomes a lens into a story that unites us all.”

Think about it, a symbol of manufactured racism in a museum supposedly there to unite us all.

Here is more from Reverend Al.

“Martin is this generation’s Emmett Till, Sharpton says. He calls the unarmed teenager’s death by a bullet that first pierced his hoodie, and then pierced his heart, the first civil rights flash point of the 21st century.”

And his hoodie is central to that distinction, an item of clothing that Sharpton says was used to profile Martin as a criminal. “The hoodie now represents an image of an urban street kid that either embraces or engages in street thug life,” he said. “I think it’s unfair.” By wearing hoodies at rallies, Sharpton says, he and others are seeking a redefinition.

Really? Addressing racism by redefining what people think of an article of clothing? Wow, talk about missing every point that could be made about the death of Trayvon Martin.

Speaking of missed points, I wonder, and this is pure speculation on my part, what other points the place where all Americans can learn about the richness and diversity of the African American experience will miss, what will be on display there, and what won’t.

Will there be a display of some of Al Sharpton’s civil rights handiwork concerning Tawana Brawley?

Will there be a Twitter exhibit featuring stuff like this to show that racism exists among blacks too?







If there is a slavery exhibit, and I’m sure there will be, will it tell the whole story or just the parts that make only white people look evil?

“After kidnapping potential slaves, black merchants forced them to walk in slave caravans to the European coastal forts, sometimes as far as 1,000 miles. Shackled and underfed; only half the people survived these death marches. Those too sick or weary to keep up were often killed or left to die. Those who reached the coastal forts were put into underground dungeons where they would stay, sometimes for as long as a year until they were boarded on ships.”

Depending on the story they want told it would be easy to conveniently overlook the fact that black slaves were victimized by their own people before they were sold for profit to evil whites.

Speaking of evil whites, will there be anything commemorating the evil white guy who had a large part in ensuring blacks would be enslaved, even to this day, to government entitlements handed out like candy by a party they are blindly loyal to?

“I’ll have those niggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years.”
—Lyndon B. Johnson to two governors on Air Force One

“These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days and that’s a problem for us since they’ve got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we’ve got to do something about this, we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.”


Perhaps there will be an exhibit lauding the contributions to black culture in America by an organization near and dear to the hearts of both Obamas, Planed Parenthood.  Maybe with a few quotes from their founder.

*On blacks, immigrants and indigents:  “…human weeds,’ ‘reckless breeders,’ ‘spawning… human beings who never should have been born.”

-Margaret Sanger, Pivot of Civilization, referring to immigrants and poor people     

*On sterilization & racial purification: Sanger believed that, for the purpose of racial “purification,” couples should be rewarded who chose sterilization.   
-Birth Control in America, The Career of Margaret Sanger, by David Kennedy, p. 117, quoting a 1923 Sanger speech.    

*On the right of married couples to bear children: Couples should be required to submit applications to have a child, she wrote in her “Plan for Peace.”

-Birth Control Review, April 1932    

*On the purpose of birth control: The purpose in promoting birth control was “to create a race of thoroughbreds,”

-Birth Control Review, Nov. 1921

What about the KKK? Surely they played a part, albeit not a good one, during the Civil Rights Movement in the American South.  Would the museum account be similar to that of Dr. Eric Foner, renowned liberal historian and DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University?

“On page 146 of his book, Professor Foner wrote: “Founded in 1866 as a Tennessee social club, the Ku Klux Klan spread into nearly every Southern state, launching a ‘reign of terror‘ against Republican leaders black and white.” Page 184 of his book contains the definitive statements: “In effect, the Klan was a military force serving the interests of the Democratic party, the planter class, and all those who desired the restoration of white supremacy. It aimed to destroy the Republican party’s infrastructure, undermine the Reconstruction state, reestablish control of the black labor force, and restore racial subordination in every aspect of Southern life.”

Next to the KKK exhibit, would there be one for Rob Williams?

“In 1956, Williams took over leadership of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), which was close to disbanding due to a relentless backlash by the Ku Klux Klan. Williams canvassed for new members and eventually expanded the branch from only six to more than 200 members.

Williams also filed for a charter from the National Rifle Association (NRA) and formed the Black Guard, an armed group committed to the protection of Monroe’s black population. Members received weapons and physical training from Williams to prepare them to keep the peace and come to the aid of black citizens, whose calls to law enforcement often went unanswered.

With his fellow NAACP members, Williams waged local civil rights campaigns and brought the conditions of the Jim Crow South to the attention of the national and international media. Williams led an ongoing fight to integrate the local public swimming pool and opposed the condemnation of two young African American boys for the “crime” of kissing a white girl during a harmless child’s game—a cause that had been deemed too controversial for the national NAACP.”

Or, will Mr. Williams be overlooked because his story is counter to the meme that the NRA is the new KKK?

What about black Americans who have realized an incredible amount of success, like Clarence Thomas, Dr. Ben Carson, Herman Cain, Allen West, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, E.W. Jackson, and Star Parker, among many others? Will their stories be included as beacons of hope for young blacks or will they be disregarded as the history of black America has no time for those who wander off the plantation?

As Mackubin Thomas Owens, a professor at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, R. I. wrote.

“For the modern liberal Democratic racist as for the old-fashioned one, blacks are simply incapable of freedom. They will always need Ol’ Massa’s help. And woe be to any African-American who wanders off of the Democratic plantation.”

Will there be an ode to long time pals of Al Sharpton, The New Black Panther Party?

Surely, in the spirit of “uniting us all”, they would earn a spot in the museum, right?

I could go on and on speculating about what may or may not be in a museum all day but assuming it will get everything wrong about race relations is as absurd as a hoodie achieving mythical status.

Read more from the author here.

About I 53:5 Project

My chief concern is to be a humble, earnest Christian


One thought on “The historical significance of hoodies

  1. Wow. What a disturbing state of affairs our nation is in. How sad that most of a race is being held down while voting for and embracing the very people who are holding them down and wanting to kill the people who would rather just have race not be a factor.

    Posted by Cucciolo | August 2, 2013, 4:38 pm

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