A to Z Teacher Stuff ~ Teacher Resources, Lesson Plans, Themes, Tips, Printables, and more
advertise
Go Back   A to Z Teacher Stuff Forums > TeacherChat Forums > General Education



Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 03-23-2012, 06:46 PM
EdEd EdEd is offline
Aficionado
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 3,264
USA
Trayvon & The Hoodie Protests

Not sure if this exactly belongs in the general education forum, but I think it's closely related enough that I thought I'd post here.

Basically, most of us have probably seen the news and seen responses on FB and other social media in response to the death of Trayvon Martin in FL. Over the past few days, a lot of thoughts have been stirring around inside my head, and finally came out in a FB post I made a few minutes ago. I thought I'd share, and see your thoughts:

"My response to the "hoodie protests."

First, I've hesitated writing this for a few days, and finally decided to join the FB discussion of the recent events in FL and subsequent responses on FB and elsewhere.

First, what happened was a tragedy - no denying that, and my post is not meant to lessen the importance of the situation. However, for all those concerned with injustice and racism, we need to dig deeper.

First, while the situation in FL is tragic, tragedy happens on a daily basis in every city across this country on a far larger scale each and every day. How many children receive sub-par educations, no support from caregivers, or are exposed to routine community violence - just as a few examples? Where are the protests for those kids?

Next, the "hoodie protests" are no doubt powerful because of how visually engaging they are, and expressive of a very real issue that occurs in many communities, but I'd ask those putting on hoodies in protest: what's next? Next week, when the hoodie pictures aren't flooding our timelines anymore, where will you be? How many of us protesting will return to our normal lives, doing things like going out and ordering bottle service for hundreds of dollars when schools remain under-funded and families face hunger issues down the street from us?

Please hear me: I'm not against people making a big deal of this situation or participating in the online protest through wearing hoodies or asking tough questions. I think both are great, and I'm 100% supportive. But, what's next? How will you take the next step in making our communities better? Because the reality is that wearing a hoodie online is about 0.01% of what it will take to achieve true change. Asking questions like, "Why hasn't Zimmerman been arrested?" are a lot easier than asking questions such as, "Why do second grade Black males read at lower rates than White males?" Tougher to ask, tougher to answer, and even tougher to do something about.

So, don't take off your hoodie, but while you're wearing it, get online to sign up to volunteer for a project that you care deeply about. In other words, take some time to think about how your life reflects your statements in this case. Do you live your life on a daily, weekly, and yearly basis in line with your passion for community change? Or, is this just a passing trend for you?"
Reply With Quote

 
  #2  
Old 03-23-2012, 06:51 PM
Aliceacc's Avatar
Aliceacc Aliceacc is offline
Multitudinous
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 26,838
NEW YORK
Math teacher
Harry Chapin recorded a piece on one of his albums. Like so much of Harry's work, it wasn't a song, just a story.

He told the story of a Thanksgiving canned food drive. How the principal and the teachers and the parents and the kids got all excited about the drive. How they brought in cans of corn and peas and stringbeans, turkeys and stuffing and cranberrry sauce and gravy. How there was a wonderful Thanksgiving bounty, and no one would be hungry for Thanksgiving and they were all pretty proud of themselves.

Until someone asked: "What will those people eat next week?"





Band aids are good for minor cuts. But when the problem is on the level of a hemmorage, band aids aren't of much help. They make the person who offered them feel better, but they don't help the patient.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-23-2012, 07:03 PM
JustMe JustMe is offline
Guru
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 8,056
In the canned food drive sort of situation, it's more about (in my opinion) teaching children that there are great needs and that those able should give. Pretty valuable stuff, I think.

I think the "hoodie" sort of situation serves a similar purpose for young people. It can be the beginning of activism.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-23-2012, 08:27 PM
lovebeingteach lovebeingteach is offline
Companion
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 164
North Carolina
Special Education Teacher
Totally agree!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-24-2012, 02:56 AM
EdEd EdEd is offline
Aficionado
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 3,264
USA
Definitely some interesting takes on the situatio Alice & JustMe. Hopefully if the responses are just bandaids, they will teach some valuable lessons that will last beyond this one situation.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-24-2012, 05:17 AM
silverspoon65's Avatar
silverspoon65 silverspoon65 is offline
Fanatic
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 2,528
Pennsylvania
High School Teacher
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustMe View Post
In the canned food drive sort of situation, it's more about (in my opinion) teaching children that there are great needs and that those able should give. Pretty valuable stuff, I think.

I think the "hoodie" sort of situation serves a similar purpose for young people. It can be the beginning of activism.
I agree with this.

Think of any era or movement where there has been great change. Look at the Civil Rights era of the 60's. Great change comes from many many millions of small changes. There are people and actions that have become symbols for the movement - Rosa Parks, Dr. King and the Million Man March - but who knows that those people weren't inspired by a simple action like wearing an armband, a letter to the editor, etc. I don't think the best sociologist, historians, psychologists, linguists, or activists could ever tell us how social change really happens. If a million people wear hoodies one day and it inspires 5 people to go out and make a different, and 100 more to write a couple letters, and a 100 more to just change their viewpoints a little bit, hasn't the protest been successful?

Did anyone read this op-ed in NY Times by Charles M. Blow? He was on Bill Maher talking about it last night. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/17/op...f=charlesmblow Basically he mentions that as a black teen in this country, you have to be hypervigilant about moving too fast, putting your hand in your pocket, being in the wrong place at the wrong time. And as a father of black teens he is constantly fearing that something will happen every time they leave the house.

As a white female, I know what it's like to be hypervigilant about my tone of voice and the way I am perceived, because I have some character traits that are often unacceptable for a female and I often fear being labeled "The B word." But I don't know and can't understand what it is like to be in constant fear that those words or actions could get a bullet in the back of my head. What a burden for those kids. Some of whom are MY kids. And if wearing a hoodie and carrying some Skittles on Monday helps just one of MY kids understand that I am on his side, I'll do it.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-24-2012, 05:29 AM
Aliceacc's Avatar
Aliceacc Aliceacc is offline
Multitudinous
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 26,838
NEW YORK
Math teacher
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdEd View Post

So, don't take off your hoodie, but while you're wearing it, get online to sign up to volunteer for a project that you care deeply about. In other words, take some time to think about how your life reflects your statements in this case. Do you live your life on a daily, weekly, and yearly basis in line with your passion for community change? Or, is this just a passing trend for you?"[/I]
This is my point.

If wearing the hoodie and carrying the Skittles are the beginning and end of the protest, then it's not about Trayvon, it's about you wanting to be part of something bigger.

If the hoodie protest leads to discussions about perception, about the applications of the "Stand your Ground" law, about the racism that still exists in this nation, about the fact that "walking while being black" is NOT a crime, then I can see its value.

But if it becomes about hoodies and Skittles-- if all people know about the case is that something bad happened to a kid wearing a hoodie carrying Skittles-- then I'm really not sure it's accomplished a whole lot.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-24-2012, 05:37 AM
Cerek's Avatar
Cerek Cerek is offline
Aficionado
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,102
North Carolina
Middle School Math Teacher
I guess I've been out of the loop. I've missed most of the news and furor over this. I had to do some quick research online to learn about it.

From every angle, it is a terrible tragedy and one that should never have happened. I do believe Zimmerman should be arrested and I'm glad to see higher levels of authority have stepped in to conduct the investigation. One news article I read, though, stated it will be difficult to convict Zimmerman because there is a significant lack of forensic evidence. No eyewitness accounts, just the conversation Trayvon was having with his friend and the 911 tape - which has not been released. According to the same article, some parts of the tape will help Zimmerman's case and some will hurt it.

The most important thing is that a thorough investigation be conducted and it appears that is occurring by sources outside any ties or loyalties to the Sanford community.

I understand the purpose of the protests and I'm sure Trayvon's family appreciates the nationwide show of support. I think the protests can serve a useful purpose, but I also agree with EdEd that the protests themselves won't accomplish anything other than making the protesters "feel good" about themselves.

As for Zimmerman, it is important to remember that the lack of arrest does NOT mean he has been cleared of suspicion. The article that addressed the issue the most stated the authorities probably have enough evidence to indict Zimmerman, but not enough to get a conviction. It is very possible the investigators are waiting until they feel they DO have enough evidence to get the conviction before actually making the arrest.

Zimmerman has given no indication of being a flight risk. I feel it is much better for investigators to make sure they have all the evidence they need FIRST, then make the arrest. I know the public is crying out for the arrest "RIGHT NOW!", but those same protesters will be crying out even more if Zimmerman were arrested and subsequently released due to lack of evidence. In that case, they would be screaming "Cover UP" and never accept the fact there was not enough evidence to gain the conviction.

The main thing is to make sure the death of Trayvon is not ignored or swept under the rug and that has been accomplished. The best thing to do now is let the investigation run its course and, hopefully, result in a conviction. If that happens, Zimmerman will spend a lot more time in jail than if he were arrested prematurely.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-24-2012, 06:15 AM
KinderCowgirl's Avatar
KinderCowgirl KinderCowgirl is offline
Phenom
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 4,659
Texas
Kindergarten Teacher
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustMe View Post
I think the "hoodie" sort of situation serves a similar purpose for young people. It can be the beginning of activism.
This is my thought too. So many kids walk around living in their own little bubble-I'm impressed when they take on any kind of protest on their own for something real. And just the attention it's getting is probably opening more people's eyes to the situation, which can't hurt either.

People feel helpless-there isn't much we can actually do in this situation. The one I saw last night they weren't wearing hoodies but were on the school football field spelling out his initials with themselves. I believe that's a way of remembering him and bringing attention to the cause.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-24-2012, 06:18 AM
bandnerdtx's Avatar
bandnerdtx bandnerdtx is offline
Aficionado
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 3,099
Texas
HS English and Driver's Ed
Quote:
Originally Posted by KinderCowgirl View Post

People feel helpless-there isn't much we can actually do in this situation.
Exactly! There's not much I can do to help this family in Florida on a personal level, but I can join them in solidarity so that they are aware that there are other people out there who are listening, who are watching and who will stand beside them until justice is done.
__________________
"Confusion is always the most honest response." - Marty Indik
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
hoodie, protests, trayvon

Thread Tools

Forum Jump

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off




Mr. Rebates

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:09 AM.


Copyright © 1997-2010 A to Z Teacher Stuff, L.L.C.  All Rights Reserved.
Use of this site signifies your agreement to the terms of use.
Questions, comments, and suggestions: Contact Us
Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.