When Mark Zuckerberg wears a hoodie he’s a genius, but when Trayvon Martin wore one he was a hoodlum…what’s the difference?

This morning on the Today Show Star Jones said something that I had been discussing with my husband the other day. Facebook founder mark Zuckerberg loves his hoodie. He wears them everywhere. He had to be told to ditch it when he went to a meeting at the White House, but he is viewed as a talented genius. Even if he pulls it up he is not seen as a criminal, but when Trayvon Martin wore that same article of clothing he was viewed as a criminal. The hoodie was demonized. Well not the hoodie but the person wearing the hoodie. When Jones articulated this point Donny Deutsch said why do you have to make this into a black white issue? Why because it is.

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  • irwinchusid  On May 17, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    “Why because it is” is not an argument or a refutation. Why is an article of clothing a black/white issue? And what proof is there that Zimmerman viewed Martin “as a criminal” because of his manner of dress (or his race) rather than because of what Zimmerman perceived (legitimately or not, which is yet to be determined) to be suspicious behavior? Furthermore, Zimmerman is part-black, so there’s nothing black/white about the incident. Zimmerman’s presumed “racism” and “criminal” actions are based purely on speculation, hearsay, punditry, sketchy evidence, and in some cases demagoguery. What actually happened will hopefully be determined at trial. But that trial should not be adjudicated by the media.

    • Rush River Media  On May 17, 2012 at 3:49 pm

      Nita, if it was a white kid that got shot would you stand up and shout “foul play” from the rooftops. I think not. You perpetuate racism. You like to keep the argument fresh in our faces. Hell, just mentioning the term “Black America” proves my point. “Black America” is not what I consider a unifying statement. Look, be proud of your heritage, of your background and what made you who you are, but stop crucifying the white man for the very distant past, a past that no longer has an affect or hold on a young black man growing up in America.

  • Rush River Media  On May 17, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    WHAT?! Who gives a SH** if he wears a hoodie. Who gives a SH** if he wears a polo?! What does Mark Zuckerberg have to do with the Travon case?! Just keep perpetuating the hatred Joni. Just keep it going and see where it gets you. Oh by the way, it was a Mexican that shot the boy, not a white man.

    • Lorena  On May 22, 2012 at 3:53 am

      Why don’t you get it straight, Zimmerman is not Mexican, he’s half Peruvian. It’s frustrating when people outomaticaly think a person with Hispanic or Latin background is Mexican. Please get the correct information before opening your mouth. It’s a shame that this poor boy lost his life in such way. Nobody deserves it PERIOD!

  • nita  On May 17, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    I was proud that Star Jones stood her ground on this issue….and I was offended that her white counterparts were downright dismissive….they were blatantly rude to her and are completely out of touch with Black America.

    • mstee  On May 21, 2012 at 8:50 am

      You are so right Nita! Blatant disregard for the TRUTH in her statement.

  • irwinchusid  On May 17, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    @Nita: There is no “Black America.” There’s no “White America.” There’s just “America.” The only people who use phrases like “Black America” are those who believe in racial segregation.

    And if there is a “Black America,” who speaks for all Blacks? Obama? Clarence Thomas? Sharpton? Larry Elder? Farrakhan? Star Parker? Walter Williams? Derek Jeter?

    • mstee  On May 21, 2012 at 8:56 am

      You are totally misrepresenting the intent behind Nita’s comment. There is no one who speaks for all Blacks, but whether you believe in segregation or not, segregation does exist in America! Residential segregation is real. And it contributes to disparities in schools as well. Certainly all of Black America is not monolithic, but what is meant by “Black America” since you don’t seem to know, is that there are experiences that African Americans share by virtue of the landscape–political, social, economic and cultural–of this country. To deny this is to show a very basic “fear of a black planet.” Really it’s not that deep. Black America is simply a larger ideal of community that is based on the FACT that there are disparities and distinct perceptions and experiences based on race. Look at any poll recently that continue to show absolute opposite perspectives on political and social issues based on race! That is what is meant by “Black America”, “White America” and so on. Really, stop the madness.

      • irwinchusid  On May 21, 2012 at 5:34 pm

        @mstee: The phrase “Black America” and your reference to “a larger ideal of community” imply unity and commonality of purpose. Please define that unity and commonality. Then explain how the phrase “Black America” relates to dealing with people as individuals rather than on the basis of their skin color.

        Because about 95% of Blacks voted for Obama, does that mean “Black America” supports other black public figures? Does “Black America” support Clarence Thomas? Michael Vick? Cory Booker? Thomas Sowell? Star Parker? Allen West?

        Segregation does indeed exist in America. Look no further than all-black dorms on college campuses, black student unions, and the Congressional Black Caucus, all examples of racial self-segregation.

        And since you seem to think, in your own words, that there are such things as “White America” and “Black America,” to which does Obama belong? How about George Zimmerman? Is inclusion calibrated by genealogy?

  • Bill  On May 17, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    Zuckerberg is regarded as a talented genius because there is ample evidence to support that claim. On what are you basing your claim that he is not seen as a criminal even when he wears the hood up? The only way that could be gaged would be for him to wear the hood incognito and then people’s responses to him are measured.

    But the fact is, it is not deemed acceptable for him to wear the hoodie unrestricted because he is white, as is evidenced by his being told not to wear it to the White House as you pointed out. He was also roundly criticized by many financiers on Wall Street when he went on his campaign to sell the IPO for his company. This goes to the issue of the image he projects and has nothing to do with race. This is the exact same consideration that I explained to my boys, who are black, when they were youth. I tried to help them understand that fair or unfair, we will be judged to a great degree by the image that we project. That is an issue that people of all races are confronted with whether they know it or not.

  • irwinchusid  On May 17, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Most eloquent, Bill. And solid common sense.

  • masoncoleman  On May 17, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    I agree with Bill…well said. I have two very young daughters. We often wear uniforms, even when we don’t realize it.

  • mstee  On May 21, 2012 at 8:47 am

    I don’t know if it is pure ignorance, denial or cognitive dissonance that is leading people to claim that Star Jones’ point was way off base. As she stated, just a few months ago, the hoodie was deemed suspicious and “gangsta” and Geraldo Rivera was the main one harping on this point. The fact that her co-“professionals” would jump in and instead of dealing with the racial assumptions and contradiction, they call her “wacked out” and act like she is “ranting.” Live in the truth! I applaud Jones for bringing up the obvious and disrupt these fantasies of a raceless, colorblind existence. Live in the truth, whether it makes you uncomfortable or not. and “don’t hate me cuz I’m brown!” She told the truth. Trayvon was not shot because of a hoodie, he was shot because he was a Black male who was deemed “out of place.” Yet, people talked about the hood as if it was his own fault that he was deemed suspicious. Now we all of sudden have amnesia as if this conversation never happened? Yeah, ok. Keep trying to create your false realities and racial mythologies. People like Jones will continue to blow it up in your face. Unfortunately, she will be pegged as crazy and “wacked out.” But the truth will persevere.

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