Why is George Zimmerman allowed to roam free tonight?

Whether we like it or not, however prevalent it is in fashion, I think the hoodie point Rivera made is one that shouldn't be dismissed out of hand. I'm in my 30s and my parents, in their sixties, did caution me against wearing a hoodie because it made me look like a thug; I'm not black, but people have confused me for Brazilian, Hispanic, Egyptian.

So what? Why should I have to be afraid to look like a thug?

1Dgaf wrote:

Whether we like it or not, however prevalent it is in fashion, I think the hoodie point Rivera made is one that shouldn't be dismissed out of hand. I'm in my 30s and my parents, in their sixties, did caution me against wearing a hoodie because it made me look like a thug; I'm not black, but people have confused me for Brazilian, Hispanic, Egyptian.

You're not? /shocked

SixteenBlue wrote:

So what? Why should I have to be afraid to look like a thug?

More to the point, as several nerds in their 30's have pointed out upthread, and as a 30-something, hoodie-wearing nerd myself, hoodies are not thug-clothing, they're everyone-clothing. May as well claim that sneakers make you look like a thug.

The hoodie was thug fashion that went mainstream.

Funkenpants wrote:
jowner wrote:

Yes clothing can cause people to make a reflex judgement... But your society might be bankrupt when the reflex is shoot first!

The sad thing is that I don't think Rivera believes what he's saying. He just knows the Fox news cycle of ratings success: etc ...

And here's the profit: Fox News Commenters React to Trayvon Martin: ‘Good Shot Zimmy’

I don’t even know what to say about this any more; the comments about Trayvon Martin at Fox News are just unbelievable. This opens the door for more than 3,000 comments from the Fox News audience, packed with whiny right wing victimhood and overt racism. Again.

The article goes on to quote some of the comments. Most of which are too hateful to repeat here.

Michael Zenke wrote:
Funkenpants wrote:
jowner wrote:

Yes clothing can cause people to make a reflex judgement... But your society might be bankrupt when the reflex is shoot first!

The sad thing is that I don't think Rivera believes what he's saying. He just knows the Fox news cycle of ratings success: etc ...

And here's the profit: Fox News Commenters React to Trayvon Martin: ‘Good Shot Zimmy’

I don’t even know what to say about this any more; the comments about Trayvon Martin at Fox News are just unbelievable. This opens the door for more than 3,000 comments from the Fox News audience, packed with whiny right wing victimhood and overt racism. Again.

The article goes on to quote some of the comments. Most of which are too hateful to repeat here.

But it is the liberals and moderates and atheists and immigrants who are ruining America.

ETA:
If a hoodie is thug-wear, every college campus in the country is an absolute hotbed of extreme gang activity. Must be why the Republicans have doubled-down on the anti-education thing.

As Quintin says, the hoodie was thug fashion that went mainstream. But just because normal people wear them, doesn't mean that other sets of normal people have updated their perceptions. My post shows that my parents, older people with a dark-skinned child, not only have preconceptions about what a hoodie is, but are also concerned that it affects their kid. In some ways, that item of clothing overrides aspects of a logical response.

And whether we find it odd, I think we should acknowledge that it's happening. People just have emotional responses to certain stimuli. A decade ago, when I started shaving my head, a boss of mine mentioned he felt a bit uneasy around me because he remembered skinheads in the 70s. Even though he knew I wasn't racist or violent, for a moment what I looked like bypassed his knowledge of me.

Assuming that people will still have these pre-conceptions and misjudge people - though I'm not sure the hoodie was the key thing in the killing - isn't the question how do we deal with this? I'm not sure that 'ignore the connotations that clothing has' is the right answer, as much as we might want it to be.

EDIT:

And Tanglebones, please don't assume you know what my experiences are just because I'm not black.

1Dgaf wrote:

As Quintin says, the hoodie was thug fashion that went mainstream. But just because normal people wear them, doesn't mean that other sets of normal people have updated their perceptions. My post shows that my parents, older people with a dark-skinned child, not only have preconceptions about what a hoodie is, but are also concerned that it affects their kid. In some ways, that item of clothing overrides aspects of a logical response.

And whether we find it odd, I think we should acknowledge that it's happening. People just have emotional responses to certain stimuli. A decade ago, when I started shaving my head, a boss of mine mentioned he felt a bit uneasy around me because he remembered skinheads in the 70s. Even though he knew I wasn't racist or violent, for a moment what I looked like bypassed his knowledge of me.

Assuming that people will still have these pre-conceptions and misjudge people - though I'm not sure the hoodie was the key thing in the killing - isn't the question how do we deal with this? I'm not sure that 'ignore the connotations that clothing has' is the right answer, as much as we might want it to be.

I understand what you're saying, but the thing is, it's not like this kid was just assumed to be a thug. He was murdered. I agree, what you wear can cause incorrect assumptions about you, but that's rarely a reason not to do it. It's definitely not something you say about a murder victim. I don't think anyone's dismissing the nominal impact clothing can have, they're just dismissing it's relevance to this case.

Edit: Put differently, why are we even discussing what the victim could have done differently? That's not what's important here. As said before, it's just like the "she shouldn't have worn that outfit" argument with rape. It's bullsh*t and insulting.

The city of Sanford posted a report detailing Zimmerman's 911 calls. It's 47 pages long.

What kind of things did Zimmerman call the police for? Just about anything:

-- Driving too slow, suspicion of scoping out houses to break in
-- Driving too fast
-- Playing music too loud in your car
-- Not recognizing a car as belonging to one of the hundreds of residents or thousands of their friends and family
-- Having an argument in your car
-- Kids playing in the street
-- Walking, especially if your a black male or carrying anything
-- Having your garage door open
-- Having people use the community's rec area that he doesn't recognize

SixteenBlue has the truth of it. There are no mitigating circumstances, there was no provocation, there is no legal leg to stand on: Zimmerman hunted down and murdered this kid.

Benticore wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

I think that would be awesome if the computer had an ironic sense of humor.

edit: also, would a cyborg be 3/5 human?

We didn't land on Cyborg rock. Cyborg rock landed on us!
-Malcolm OsX

I love you all so much right now, at this very moment. Thankfully my artificial tear ducts got their update so...

Perhaps I've...said too much...

Just keep your hoodie up, and you should be safe, since no one should notice the metallic sheen.

1Dgaf wrote:

EDIT:

And Tanglebones, please don't assume you know what my experiences are just because I'm not black.

Eh? Didn't make any assumptions about your experience. Just assumed that you were black due to your avatar. An assumption which has now been successfully retracted.

While it goes with out saying this is a travesty I have to ask, where is the outrage or the protest or anything about the 40 shootings in 2 days in Chicago last weekend. 10 dead 30 wounded. Why does that not get talked about 1 of which was a 6 year old girl.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...

WiredAsylum wrote:

While it goes with out saying this is a travesty I have to ask, where is the outrage or the protest or anything about the 40 shootings in 2 days in Chicago last weekend. 10 dead 30 wounded. Why does that not get talked about 1 of which was a 6 year old girl.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...

Did the police botch the investigation? Do they know who did it but aren't arresting them? That's more or less what's being talked about here, not the fact that a kid was killed.

In other words, what is there to protest about?

Saw this in a BBC article:

The Florida politician behind the state's 2005 "stand your ground" law has said in an opinion piece for Fox News that he did not believe the rule was applicable in the case of Mr Martin.

The law "does not provide protection to individuals who seek to pursue and confront others, as is allegedly the case in the Trayvon Martin tragedy in Sanford", said Republican State Representative Dennis Baxley.

WiredAsylum wrote:

While it goes with out saying this is a travesty I have to ask, where is the outrage or the protest or anything about the 40 shootings in 2 days in Chicago last weekend. 10 dead 30 wounded. Why does that not get talked about 1 of which was a 6 year old girl.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...

Because every large city has hundreds of murders a year? Chicago just passed the 100 homicide mark for 2012, which is just slightly higher than previous years (and half of what it was in the 90s).

Also, in the case of the six year-old you mentioned, the CPD apprehended two people and recovered the gun within hours of the shooting. Zimmerman's still free and packing heat.

Huh. I totally just assumed that everybody here was some cyborg element of the "NERD" collective wearing different skins as their earth-missions dictated. Now, NOW I find out that NONE of you are cyborgs? What the hell...

The Fox vitriol and some of the Huffpost comments after Obama said that if he had son he would've looked like Trayvon don't even make me angry anymore. It just makes me tired. Weary. The same way that hyperfundamentalist christians agitating to get science in school replaced with religion and pseudo-history. I know there are people in this country that hold really really stupid beliefs and ideals. Sometimes I forget that though when I'm around this website or my friends and family. Hell, I know I've probably got some stupid ideas and habits as well. But then you see start reminders that there are some folks who with the same mouth claim to follow the teachings of Jesus but believe that you are sub-human... It's...a very difficult feeling to explain. At times it's so absurd that it makes me laugh. Then I remember that people are dying because of these stupid misguided beliefs.

Man, I dunno.

Michael Zenke wrote:
Funkenpants wrote:
jowner wrote:

Yes clothing can cause people to make a reflex judgement... But your society might be bankrupt when the reflex is shoot first!

The sad thing is that I don't think Rivera believes what he's saying. He just knows the Fox news cycle of ratings success: etc ...

And here's the profit: Fox News Commenters React to Trayvon Martin: ‘Good Shot Zimmy’

I don’t even know what to say about this any more; the comments about Trayvon Martin at Fox News are just unbelievable. This opens the door for more than 3,000 comments from the Fox News audience, packed with whiny right wing victimhood and overt racism. Again.

The article goes on to quote some of the comments. Most of which are too hateful to repeat here.

They did the same thing a while back against atheists, when a rep from the American Atheists appeared on a Fox News program, these are a few of the (many) comments that typify the Fox News viewer:

i say kill them all and let them see for themselves that there is a God - Paul Altum

Shoot them. Shoot to Kill. - Bob O'Connell

TO ALL ATHEIST DIE AN GO TO HELL HAHA IF I COULD ID SHOOT ALL OF YOU IN THE HEAD WITH A 12GAUGE - Joe Martinez

thats easy shoot them - Joseph Sneckenberg

Shoot em. At least we know where they're going, waste of oxygen - Casey M Jones

Nail them to that cross then display it - Mike Holeschek

So this is par for the course for them. This is exactly what the FOX News Hate Propaganda machine breeds. This is who they attract with their lies, and hate filled rhetoric.

Hate to go all Godwin on folks, but this is precisely how the Nazi party began to form. Hate propaganda in a powerful media outlet, tapping in to a natural human inclination towards an 'us vs them' tribal response.

Tangle,

I'm sorry, I jumped to conclusions.

Sixteenblue, Kraint -

Where have I said what the kid was wearing justified what Zimmerman did? Where have I called into question that the kid was murdered? How do you know what my position is on rape and women's dress?

I think you two are conflating the point I made with the kid's killing. They aren't the same thing.

I may dislike someone and most of what they say, but if I think they raise salient points, I'll try to consider them. That's what's happening with Rivera.

People often assume this means I'm taking sides or that I'm putting forward some horrid point. That isn't true. It just means I'm exploring the subject. Trying to understand it better.

An ordinary civilian is allowed to carry and use a lethal weapon and use it with what has so far amounted to impunity and you're arguing whether or not people should wear hoodies?

I own 6 hoodies. None of them are capable of killing anyone.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2012/03/trayvon_martin_killing_when_did_hoods_become_associated_with_illicit_activity_.html

An interesting Explainer on Slate regarding the history of the hood. Seems it's always been mainstream first, thug at some later point.

So, basically, 1DGaf, what Rivera is saying is that he dressed like he deserved to die.

You know what makes you look like a thug? Shooting people cos you don't like how they look.

Malor wrote:

So, basically, 1DGaf, what Rivera is saying is that he dressed like he deserved to die.

It was an assortment of factors beside his clothing, he was a young black male out after dark in a neighborhood being patrolled by a guy who was "fed up" with young black males -- people he associated with with burglaries in his neighborhood.

Trayvon's crime was being black. Put the same hoodie on a pretty white girl and have her follow Trayvon's same path, and I'm betting Zimmerman pays her no mind.

Maq wrote:

You know what makes you look like a thug? Shooting people cos you don't like how they look.

I nominate this for post of the month.

I disagree with Rivera on that point. What I'm saying is worth discussing is his point about perception and society. We don't have to agree with his conclusions, but he might well be tapping into a fear that people have.

And remember that fears don't have to be justified, they don't have anything to do with danger. See phobias as an example.

Maq,

I think it was in Freakonomics where they said swimming pools in the US are responsible for more child deaths than handguns. Of course the law needs to be discussed, but handguns are primarily a threat to Americans. The overall issue of how we appraise people is relevant to many more countries and societies.

FWIW, I think the 'no retreat' law (or whatever its title) is less of an issue in this case than Zimmerman being ready to kill and the police either being corrupt/incompetent/indifferent.

EDIT:

I can't imagine that Zimmerman was weighing up legal pros and cons in that situation. I think it would be accurate to say he wasn't thinking normally.

1Dgaf wrote:

What I'm saying is worth discussing is his point about perception and society.

Right, we should be discussing how you can't judge a book by it's cover, not make sure your cover represents the right book.

I don't think the 'Stand Your Ground' law was necessarily important in Zimmerman's thought process, but it was important in understanding the seeming incompetence of the local police reaction - letting him go, with the loaded gun, while not testing him for drink/drugs.

Is it realistic to expect people to judge books without paying attention to the cover? I think that's ideal, but quite difficult.

My cover is quite tatty and frayed, so I hope people would give me a second chance. But know that's more likely at a party than on the street.

Tangle,

Really? Man, I'm not sure. To me, that just smacks of apathy (at best).