Yet our neighborhood has a Facebook neighborhood watch page (as I’m sure a lot of other neighborhoods probably have as well), and the other day, someone posted up a picture of a teenager wearing a hoodie and called him a thug and accused him of being up to no good.
Admittedly, it’s 90 degrees out, so wearing a hoodie with the hood up is kinda weird. But I know plenty of special needs kids who would be wearing nothing but their underwood on a cold winter day and only long sleeves and ski pants during the middle of the summer. I don’t judge because someone is wearing something I consider too hot or too cold for the weather. You can’t know what the full story is.
Other people called out the original poster of the image, who responded by saying that the brother of the teenager was indeed a criminal (he has a record for burglary and other B&E type crimes), but this boy, to the best of my knowledge, has never been convicted, and having a sibling who has committed crimes does not seem, to me, to be enough to convict this teenager of doing anything wrong other than breaking some fashion laws.
So far today, I have not been called a thug. True, the day isn’t over – there are a few hours left – but I have a feeling that I won’t get called a thug if anyone sees me. I guess it could happen. But someone I don’t think it will.
Why did I bother wearing a hoodie? Why did I bother posting this?
Because, people, stop being assholes! Being related to a criminal does not make you a criminal, and choosing to wear something that other people don’t like doesn’t make you a criminal (or criminal in the making). Seeing a black teenager in a hoodie does not make him a thug, but you calling him one does make you judgmental and a racist.
Think before you publicly call someone out because someone else (like me) might call you right back.