Howard University students' video PSA campaign: Do I look suspicious?


#1

A video featuring young men from Howard University speaking about racial profiling and the killing of Trayvon Martin. More information on the efforts of the Howard Community to raise awareness can be found here. READ THE REST


#2

Wow, very well done. Hats off (and hoods) to y'all.


#3

I'm only suspicious of people on top of me, pounding my face in.


#4

Nicely said.

Confession time: I'm a NYC kid. I'm not racist, as far as I can tell (I'm not going to cite evidence, which would sound defensive)... but I do have to admit to a classist streak that catches up with my when I'm not paying attention, and my youth conditioned me to hearing inner-city black dialect as an underclass dialect. Combine that with an awareness that I don't feel I know enough about black subculture to read social cues reliably, and I don't interact as easily with strangers when they're black as when they're white.

That caught me out particularly badly a few years ago when I was in Louisville and was running on automatic at the end of an extremely long day. Northeastern inner-city dialect is essentially a southern dialect, so I didn't have that cue to help me break the bad starting assumption. I did own up to it and apologize. (The apology was not accepted, which I consider fair, but at least they knew that I knew that I'd been an ass and that I was trying to stop being one.)

So... Yeah, my gut reaction is that the hoodie does make folks look suspicious. But (a) I'm fighting that, and (b) I think I'd find that the hoodie, in weather which didn't call for a hood, made a young white guy look suspicious too. It's just become too stereotypically gangsta.


#5

Uh oh! You might be in danger, be sure to resort to deadly force as your first option! Stand Your Ground!

It's a shame we can't carry around portable nukes.. it's the only way to be sure.


#6

No, the only way to be sure is from high orbit...


#7

You can avoid that scenario by taking police advice and quit stalking and starting shit with people who were minding their own business and doing nothing wrong. Getting rid of your gun may help dissuade you from false courage and wanting to play cop vigilante as well.


#9

Smfh. Love how Zimmerman fanbois make even more racist comments when they try to defend him.


#10

When I think about it, I suspect a lot of White America thinks African-Americans look suspicious -- hoodie or no.


#11

GTFO

Especially given the lack of solid evidence for the conclusion you've apparently jumped to.


#12

You mean like, a young, black, and male?

Shit. I guess that's all your type needs to go on. Sucks that there's still so many of you. And that so many of you are, ironically enough, armed and dangerous.


#13

Nice to know that the only way to not be "a potentially suspicious person" is to be an angel.


#14

#15

I feel like one element of this incident keeps getting left out of the equation. Yes, the initial problem was that Zimmerman thought Trayvon met the description of perps for several local robberies. At least he was of the same skin color as the suspects. But I think the second is that Trayvon likely reacted badly to Zimmerman acting like an authority figure and probably telling him police were on the way. No doubt Trayvon had plenty of reason to distrust police and white bullies in general. That lack of trust kept him from having the reaction that would have diffused the situation. Which would have been, "I am staying here with my dad at the end of the block and I hope the police get here soon because you are a fucking creep!" If only our cops didn't have a full time job harassing lower income folks for minor drug possession and distribution and instead dealt with genuine robberies, fights, and murders.


#16

We don't know what his reaction was. Zimmerman made sure of that. We do know that Martin is alive today if Zimmerman didn't decide to play cop, arm himself, and stalk (against the wishes and pleas of the real authorities) and confront a completely innocent person. Zimmerman is the one at fault here. It is only because of him that an innocent person is dead.


#17

Sigh. "Blame the victim" all over again.

Your comment reminds me of Geraldo Rivera saying how important it is that we tell young men to stop wearing hoodies.


#18


Especially with sunglasses. Those guys are just asking to be profiled.


#19

Too true. If it wasn't for their lack of melanin, they'd look just like coke dealers.


#20

That must be why Mark Zuckerberg is constantly being harassed by police. (And by "constantly" I mean "probably never.")


#23