Saturday, March 24, 2012

How To Properly Wear A Hoodie

There are lots of photos in this post and yeah, I am making you read a lot before you get to see them!

The Trayvon Martin murder is a real tragedy and there are so many layers of it, there have to multiple posts to unpack a lot of it.
But something that happened from this is a lot of commentary about what Master Martin was wearing at the time George Zimmerman confronted and eventually killed him.
And that is what this post is going to focus on.
Apparently, Master Martin was wearing a hoodie.
OK, I don't get all worked up over it. Most kids Master Martin's age have at least one and yeah, they wear the hood over their head even when it is clearly not necessary.
But it is a part of a look that, in total, is totally stupid and dumb.
How many pubescent boys do you see with a hoodie, a baseball cap, hoodie on head and pants down practically to their ankles? The pants are so damn low that one can see undies, boxers, whatever the hell the kid is wearing.
The above is total trouble to even your humble blogger.
As I noted, I find it really boorish. But it is encouraged in a lot of ways by what passes for "music" today. You know, the crappers, er rappers, and that crowd.
The dirty secret is that most of the boys and young dudes with that look are really nothing but wussies. They are probably scared of their own shadow.
But there is serious talk of this look by none other than Geraldo Rivera of the Fox News Channel.
Also, my friend An Unmarried Man agreed with Mr. Rivera about what he said about hoodies and a certain look popular with boys and young men.
Both are Hispanic. And both at some point, as in the case of Mr. Rivera, are taking a lot of heat.
So what did Mr. Rivera say to rankle people? The following:

“I have a different take, Brian, on that,” Rivera said on Fox and Friends, “I believe that George Zimmerman, the overzealous neighborhood watch captain should be investigated to the fullest extent of the law and if he is criminally liable, he should be prosecuted. But I am urging the parents of black and Latino youngsters particularly to not let their children go out wearing hoodies. I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was.”

“When you see a kid walking down the street, particularly a dark skinned kid like my son Cruz who I constantly yelled at when he was going out wearing a damn hoodie or those pants around his ankles,” Rivera said. “Take that hood off. People look at you and what’s the instant identification? What’s the instant association? Its crime scene surveillance tapes. Every time you see someone stick up a 7-Eleven, the kid is wearing a hoodie. Every time you see a mugging on a surveillance camera or get the old lady in the alcove, it’s the kid with a hoodie. You have to recognize that this whole stylizing yourself as a gangsta — you’re going to be a gangsta wannabe? Well, people are going to perceive you as a menace. That’s what happens. It is an instant reflexive action.”

In and of itself, Mr. Rivera is rather correct. When non-white kids are wearing a hoodie a certain way, it does lead to suspicious hackles being raised. And it is not just by White people. FTR, I would get worried being around a group of hoodie-wearing guys no matter their race. An individual not so much.
What I am trying to say is that hoodie-wearing is OK. But one should not go out of their way to look stupid and menacing when wearing a hoodie.
Let me state I am not particularly a fashion expert. I do know styles that I like and dress accordingly. And I have more than a rare occasion to wear at least a coat and tie and have that wardrobe. So I guess my style is Cali casual. And part of it is wearing a hoodie.
Below are some photos of your humble blogger is hoodie

So, photo number one to your left is the standard way that I wear my hoodie. A white Quiksilver hoodie. I have a gray one very similar with the wave a black and white plaid. But this does the job for illustration. As far as I am concerned it is the way one should wear a hoodie.
In looking at photo number two, I do have the hood on. The only time that I have the hood on is when it is raining. Shocking, isn't it? To use the hood for what it is made for.
But photo number three is the young boy, wannabe tough dudes look. You know, you have to wear a baseball cap, right. OK, in and of itself, no prob. But what in the hell does one throw on the hood on top of said hat?! As noted, I think that it looks stupid. Hell, it is stupid. But this is the look that Mr. Rivera and An Unmarried Man were referring to.
And photo number four, even though I am wearing shorts, gives the outfit a total look of "F--- you!" Note the unbuckled belt and I intentionally am wearing the shorts way below the waistline. And try not to notice the somewhat large waistline!
That is what the two gentlemen are trying to point out. And imagine a group of young boys and or post-teenage dudes walking down the street, often but not always with skateboard in hand and you look and wonder, hmm. What will these punks do if I don't even acknowledge they are there.
So, once there is some clarity, it appears that all three of us are onto the same thing.
It is not wearing a hoodie that is an issue. It is how one wears that hoodie that gets people, usually older people, worked up and yeah, worried when around said people.
No matter what, it is no excuse for anyone to do what Mr. Zimmerman did. We know at the very least that he was following Master Martin. Master Martin seemed to be concerned to mention to his girlfriend that he was talking to that he was being followed. Mr. Zimmerman was told not to continue to pursue Master Martin. A confrontation occurred and Mr. Zimmerman fired off one shot killing Master Martin.
If one of the reasons Mr. Zimmerman was following said Master Martin is because he was wearing a hoodie in and of it self, it is bad. If Master Martin was wearing it a certain way, all that had to be done was wait for the police and let people with a modicum of a clue take control of the situation. Amateurs like Mr. Zimmnerman should not be doing what he was doing.
But wearing a hoodie.
There is a right way and a wrong way. And that is the issue. Not just wearing one.


An Unmarried Man said...

Hahaha, well in the hoodie you do look sorta unsavory still, but more in the molester style LOL

Anonymous said...

Blame the Hoodie?..... walking while black with a hoodie, punishable by death? GIVE ME A BREAK. It was raining .... the kid was running .....and being stalked .......and ....SORRY, but we don't ALL use Totes umbrellas when going to the corner grocery store for a snack. Nor should we risk losing our very lives while doing so! Mr. Rivera: you should be ashamed of your inane, insensitive comments about Trayvon, and your attempts to create "excuses" for the inexcusable actions of judge-jury-and-executioner George Zimmerman (and those that would imitate him). We are becoming a society that seeks and sees threats under every rock; a frightened society that sees danger with every “other” that is not just like us;  a manipulated society with control-freaks running rampant (whether politicians or mayors or police chiefs or individuals). Power-hungry people that are only too eager to take advantage of our fears; that are only too willing to get away with anything and everything that they can, as they deprive us of our our liberty (and sometimes our lives).....all in the name of defending it. What a shell game. But were it only a game. For it includes the worst provisions of the Patriot Act, the police spying on innocent people, “papers-please” and stop&frisk gone wild, the “right” to indefinitely detain Americans without trial, and out-of-control homicidal vigilantes such as we have tragically seen here. It’s a serious, slippery slope... one that ultimately leads to a police state/Orwellian mentality that is more typical of places such as China or Cuba - NOT the America that I know and love. We USED to stand proud and free, and contrasted our open society to such sorry places. Now we imitate them. Our country is better than this. Our values are better than this. WE are better than this. Don’t blame the hoodie......blame what we are becoming, and allowing, and doing as a society. As Shakespeare once said: the fault is not in our stars, but in ourselves: For we have come to accept things that should NEVER be accepted by a freedom-loving people. It’s time... it’s way past time, to reverse course.

An Unmarried Man said...

Anonymous, I agree with you in principle about what is wrong with our society and where it is headed.

Idealists need to be pragmatists, too. Geraldo wasn't saying you shouldn't wear hoodies, but that if you do, you risk eliciting reactions from nuts. This is a hard truth. It's not a good thing, but it is the way it is. You can do what you damn well please but be prepared to live with the consequences.