Florida campaign promotes ‘hoodie Halloween’ following death of Trayvon Martin
Daily Mail: A campaign in Florida fears one of the scariest Halloween costumes this year may be one already in your closet.
Fuelled by the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin who was shot while wearing a hoodie, the Halloween Hoodie Campaign is hoping to encourage a stand against negative stereotypes by donning the same hoods this season.
‘I’m a black man, are you afraid of me now?’ a YouTube video captures men and women of various races, including family of Trayvon, asking the camera as they cover themselves with a hood.
‘The hoodie is this ubiquitous piece of clothing that everyone wears but when black people wear it, it’s interpreted as a symbol of criminal activity,’ one of the campaign’s creators Gauis Benbow told the Orlando Sentinel.
Mr. Benbow and his partner Rochelle Oliver, both of Miami, hope it’ll inspire discussion, especially in connection to Halloween and what people perceive to be the scariest costumes of today.
‘This isn’t about being pro-Trayvon. It’s about being anti-stereotyping,’ Ms Oliver told the paper. ‘Seeing someone wearing a hoodie on Halloween will hopefully allow people to examine what they are feeling if they are scared or why they may be judging the person as a threat.’
Making a cameo in the short minute-and-a-half film is however Trayvon’s uncle, Ronald Fulton. Confined to a wheelchair as a quadriplegic, black male, Mr. Fulton says he already has a number of challenges against him, but when it comes to stereotypes, the list can go on. ‘People think that because I’m in a wheelchair that I’m stupid or slow but when you get to know me, you’ll realize how wrong that is,’ Mr Fulton told the paper.
‘I think this can lead to constructive dialogue about the issues surrounding my nephew’s death,’ stereotypically he said, without going into the criminal case. ‘I’m still a black man,’ Mr Fulton says in the video while donning a hood. ‘Are you afraid of me now?’
Trayvon Martin wasn’t shot merely because he was wearing a hoodie. But never let an unfounded crisis go to waste.
Seems to me the ones that are perpetuating stereotypes are these folks. A black guy walking on the street wearing a hoodie is automatically considered to be committing a crime? A person in a wheelchair is automatically assumed to be stupid? How insulting to law-abiding black kids and intelligent folks that use wheelchairs.