My son is just 4 weeks shy of 17 years old.
My son frequently walks to the neighborhood store for a drink and some candy.
My son often wears a hoodie. Most recently a Stanford hoodie.
My son puts the hood up when it’s rainy or chilly or if he just feels like it.
Would you question his motives?
Of course not.
Because from reading this blog you know that he is
And comes from a 2 parent household.
He plays the violin, for God’s sake.
There is no reason to be suspicious of him. You know him.
Taken out of the context of this blog, taken out of the “safe” labels of #middleclass #intelligent #2parenthousehold, and now just a nameless brown boy, hood up, walking in YOUR neighborhood…..
What do you think now?
(If I had a dollar for every neighborhood-watch email that begins with “there’s a suspicious black male….”)
Don’t be surprised and don’t get it twisted. This is real. Even for intelligent, middle-class brown boys like mine. It does not matter who he is or where he comes from. The suspicion, the fear and the profiling is very real.
Trayvon Martin could have been my son.
So my hoodie is up
For all the brown boys who are watched when they enter the store
Or take a short-cut through another neighborhood
Or cruise around in their parent’s car on a Friday night.
My hoodie is UP.