Looking Beyond the Hoodie, even as Bobby Rush is Booted off the House Floor

Today Congressman Bobby Rush from Chicago got kicked off the House Floor for wearing a Hoodie. He like many others had dawned the attire to bring attention to the case surrounding Trayvon Martin. It was a noble gesture. It helps keep the case in the spotlight, but this has got to go beyond Hoodies. Too many of us are focusing on that and not some of the larger issues at hand.

For example, all of us should be asking; ‘whats the story behind Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee?’ Most of us protesting around Trayvon don’t  know his name. All we know is the police chief stepped down and very few of us are bringing him up in conversation and demanding he be brought to task? He’s just as guilty as George Zimmerman.

Sandford Florida Police Chief Bill Lee

Why was Chief Sanders and his department so sloppy with the initial investigation? Why didn’t they follow standard police procedure of collecting evidence like; keeping Zimmerman’s  gun and running ballistic tests or checking to make sure Zimmerman wasn’t high or drunk? We need to know why Standford police didn’t notify Trayvon’s family for after he was killed and his body was in the morgue.. Martin’s father found out after he filed a missing person’s report. We are just finding out that one of the early investigators wanted to charge Zimmerman with manslaughter. Why wasn’t that allowed to happen?

We need to know what’s the deal with State Attorney Norman R. Wolfinger, why didn’t he press charges? We need to know if there’s a connection with George Zimmerman’s dad Robert Zimmerman a former magistrate and the lawmakers here in Florida?

All of us should be asking those questions and when we see a Congressman like Bobby Rush wearing a hoodie on the house floor, he is not only asking those questions but ideally if he’s being escorted off  the floor it’s because he’s attempting to hold hearings where many of those questions can get answered.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ougHdwR8PhI

We need to see Rush and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus hold more briefings and hearings like they did with yesterday’s  Protecting a “Suspect” Community: Racial Profiling & Hate Crimes. We need to see hearings on police misconduct. We can start with the frequent leaks coming from the police departments designed to smear Trayvon’s name. In many states, including Florida, they have in place a Policeman’s Bill of Rights. In many places those Policeman’s Bill of Rights make it difficult to get a hold of personnel files to review complaints against an officer  (I’m not sure if Florida has the same provisions as California where officers are shielded).

In any case all of us need to continuously connect the dots.. Trayvon’s killing can’t be seen in isolation to last week’s brutal vigilante killing of Shaima Alawadi in Lakeside California or the ‘drive by’ shooting death of Rekia Boyd by an off duty Chicago cop who claims he saw a man standing next to Boyd draw gun. Boyd was an innocent bystander yet her shooting was deemed justified even though the police found no weapons on the scene.

These incidents and scores of others need to be investigated. We need to make sure that these incidents are not connected to a larger more sinister plan of action. Are we experiencing co-ordinated and deleibarte terrorist attacks or are people just angry and acting out? Hopefully Rush and the CBC can lead the charge on Capitol Hill and start to really dig into those questions while we start looking into this amongst ourselves in our communities.

Lastly, lets not get caught up in the hoodie thing as if Black people are only suspicious when wearing them.. Try driving a nice car and your suspicious… Try walking around a nice department store and your suspicious.. Try cashing a large check and your suspicious..

Racist People are suspicious of President Obama, with or without a hoodie

This suspiciousness is rooted in racist people holding on to the notion that Black people not being in ‘their place‘ when they do something that defies stereotypes. This is why we see the racial attacks on President Barack Obama who is constantly under suspicion..We already seen the disrespect directed to him by business mogul Donald Trump, who demanded to see the President’s birth certificate. Even after it was shown, we now have Arizona sheriff Joe Arpiao conducting an investigation to make sure it’s not fake..

Sadly we are suspicious of each other..Long after this Trayvon/ Zimmerman thing dies down, even if he’s arrested and convicted, many of us are still gonna be running around not trusting the Black repairman, the Black lawyer, the Black accountant.. Black men will claim they can’t trust ‘skeezing, gold digging sistas and sistas will say they can’t trust these ‘trifling scheming azz’ men..and nobody trusts the kids..How do we intend to change that?.

Not to digress too much… Again we must be clear and push forward with justice and the dismantling of institutionalized racism and oppression as a goal. Our hoodies have got to be connected larger political agenda or understanding. Are we wearing a hoodie to show solidarity?  If so, who or  what are we in solidarity with? Are we wearing the hoodies as an act of defiance? If so what exactly are we defying?   All of us should learned the lesson of what happened after Obama got elected. His historic victory was quickly erased by this onslaught of racist killings all over the country. From Oscar Grant to Trayvon and beyond. If we’re not mindful of this, we will quickly find ourselves back at square one even if Zimmerman is carted off to jail for life or given a death sentence. Bottom line: What good is a symbol if its not connected to a larger politic and plan of action?

written by Davey D

Comments

  1. Unity Powell says:

    we are asking those questions, they are not being answered. The hoodie is representation of those questions. The hoodie represents Justice for Trayvon.

  2. In any case all of us need to continuously connect the dots.. Trayvon’s killing can’t be seen in isolation to last week’s brutal vigilante killing of Shaima Alawadi in Lakeside California or the ‘drive by’ shooting death of Rekia Boyd…

    ____________________

    exactly. different communities, same problem. across cultural lines, the power structure still looks at all so-called minority communities through cross-hairs. when we all get on the same page, we’re not the minority.

  3. FRUITOFISLAM19 says:

    Interesting I smell a huge coverup by racist pigs in blue. The videotape released showed Zimmerman handcuffed, but no broken nose, cuts, black eye, not bloody shirt what so ever. This racist devil will get what’s coming to him one way or another.

  4. Davey,

    I really enjoyed your “Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman & This Country’s Culture of Suspicion” article. As always it was really well thought out piece that was coming from a historical perspective that you normally don’t see that much of these days.

    In this case I would argue that Zimmerman wasn’t subscribing so much to a culture of suspicion so much as someone who was drunk with a small amount of authority, who had previously caught a burglary in progress and now thought he was Dirty Harry looking for his next adrenaline rush like a crackhead looking for rocks. I think we all know the type.

    But what I am curious to hear is your take on this culture of hysteria. You have people like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson who are very familiar with the hysteria that follows events like these and who also have never apologized for their roles and accusations in previous false hysteria incidents like Tawana Brawley or the Duke Lacrosse rape case.

    At least when Spike Lee does something incredibly careless, stupid, and destructive, he apologizes for it. But Al Sharton and Jesse Jackson, who are old enough to know better, never have and instead fuel that hysteria.

    Any thoughts?

  5. Great article Davey D, thanks for it. I really think it is important to refrain from the hysteria. We are being bombarded with all kinds of incidences that lead to hysteria but no real resolve. I say, instead of hoodies and skittles (who made a killing on sales last week, btw) that we remain vigilant and forward moving on these issues and demand that this country and our President who is lambasting other nations for their crimes against humanity, make a real statement about his position on human rights in his own country. (Cause if you look at what has happened to the OWS protesters, you get an idea of what this country is doing to its own people.) There is some question about his position as President and whether or not he can “legally” make any statement or take any action, but that line of argument falls short for me, after he took it upon himself to align with European countries against Libya without congressional consent. Which they are now debating in Congress as to whether or not he could “lawfully” do such a thing. I’m just saying that the culture of hysteria, has us looking away from the true issues and gathering around a flagpoll like sheeple herded towards what? I say, boycott. Start with the business that are operating out of Sanford. Heck, boycott Skittles, crack candy!! Something!!! This culture of ethnic cleansing of the so called “undesirables” will not change as long as we continue to consume the products produced by this culture. Here’s the deal, if they feel it in their pockets, they will lobby in the legislature to get certain bills passed or rescinded. This is where the real law making takes place, not by votes or by politicians. The lobbyist know they can buy any politician they want. But if these corporate lobbyist are representing a company that took a serious fall due to boycott, they will urge fairer laws, not because it’s the right thing to do, but because it hurts their pocket. Take off the hoodie, stop buying skittles and hit them in the pocket, where it hurts. Here’s a link to a petition, READ THE PETITION LETTER. IT MAKES SENSE. http://www.change.org/petitions/why-ain-t-you-angry

  6. @Raven
    Don’t EVEN go there with Tawana Brawley and Duke!! Please nobody gets all outraged when a white person lies and says a ‘black person did it’ and there are also MANY stories of white women lying about being raped by black men. Like the nun in New York last year then there are the 4 boys in the CentralPark jogger case who spent 13 years in jail for NOTHING where’s the outrage for that?!!

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