Justice for Trayvon Martin…and All Victims of Hate Crime?

I really tried to stay out of the Trayvon Martin case. But people are writing some really dumb things online –particularly about his choice of attire: a hoodie — and my outrage at the truly ignorant and, frankly racist, remarks I’m seeing online prompted me to spout off on the comment threads of these posts, and on Facebook among my friends. But the fire in my belly still burns, so I really need to process this here, with you.

Two things really set me off:

The first was this article about Geraldo Rivera’s remarks equating a hooded sweat jacket (commonly called a hoodie) with “gangsta” clothing. **

Since when does a hoodie translate into full on “gangsta” apparel? Hoodies refer to the hood attached to the top, not where they are purchased and worn! It’s a sweat jacket…and people of all colors wear them for warmth, exercise, and yeah, a relaxed clothing option (like jeans & a t-shirt). Where has it ever been reported that this kid wore “saggy pants?” It’s a hoodie! A common item sold just about everywhere. Further, one of the comments mentions “gang colors.” As far as I know the hoodie was black, and he was not in known gang territory, but rather an affluent gated community where his father’s fiancee had a home. Nor was there any evidence that Trayvon Martin ever had any sort of gang affiliation at any point in his life. Maybe it’s still my simmering anger, but, the incident itself, and the subsequent commentary about it, seem to imply, by extension, that Blacks cannot be wealthy or live wherever they want…the whole reason George Zimmerman found Trayvon Martin’s presence “suspicious.”

The second catalyst for my “day of rage:” Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson the NAACP, ACLU, athletes and celebrities alike are all harping on the fact that it’s taken a month for all of this to trickle out to the press. Just like Bristol Palin questioned when she might receive a call from the President in the wake of “Fluke-gate,” I ask: Why aren’t all these civil rights “heroes” converging on California and sounding the media alarm about Shaima Alawadi? Since the media is largely ignoring the story, I’ll tell you that she’s the 32-year old Iraqi mother who died after being brutally beaten and left for dead, only to be removed from life support and succumbing to her injuries days later.

Whereas the jury is still out on whether the Martin/Zimmerman case was racially motivated (facts are still being uncovered), we do know the Alawadi murder was. Mrs. Alawadi recieved a letter days before the incident, stating, “Go back to your country, you terrorist.” The assumption is, because Mrs. Alawadi was Iraqi and ostensibly wore a hajib (I say that because her daughter does), she is somehow a member of al-Qaeda — the Trayvon Martin equivalent of automatic “gang” affiliation? Just as with Trayvon Martin, isn’t that a stereotype? Is now the hajib the Middle Eastern equivalent of a “hoodie” (now redefined as “gangsta” apparel?).

I have often said that the last three years of all this “conservatives are racist because they disagree with the President (who happens to be Black) must be racially motivated” ca-ca would result in desensitization of — and confusion about — true instances of racism…and here we are. The Alawadi murder is a case of racism, and the Martin case is being pursued as one.

I really do hope that reason, evidence, hard-cold facts and cooler heads prevail in following wherever the trail leads in the Trayvon Martin case. But, as with most things that get stuck in my craw, I had to point out the hypocrisy in the outrage in one instance (Trayvon Martin’s case) and the utter silence of the other (justice for Mrs. Alawadi). I want justice for all crimes — including hate crimes — and without regard to the color, race, religion or orientation of the victim or the perpetrator. Now that’s the real  definition of “post-racial!”!

** I think Geraldo’s words were ridiculous in the extreme. But to say that these comments cost him his “credibility” is equally ridiculous….He lost that years ago with Al Capone’s tomb.

About Marie Stroughter

The traditional bio for Marie Stroughter would be: “Loving wife to hubby of over 20 years, and homeschooling mom to three adorable kids (and one spunky cat!).” Getting a little bolder would be to say that she is an adoptive mom of two, and a freelance writer and copyeditor. Unique factoids might include: social media addict….uh, maven, avid knitter and Founding Mama of her local knitting Guild, and a devotee of all things gadgety. The rabble-rousing version would read: “Marie Stroughter is the activist mom turned co-founder of African-American Conservatives, and, the opinionated, no-holds-barred host of the African-American Conservatives radio show carried on Blog Talk Radio, and, From The Right Radio where she chats weekly with political movers and shakers like Karl Rove, Steve Forbes, Michelle Malkin, Star Parker, Newt Gingrich, Senator Jim DeMint, and other conservative all-stars and rising stars in addition to her contributor status with Breitbart.com and the iVillage #iVoices and iVote projects.” But the latter would be a run-on sentence, so we’ll stick with the others. [wink]
This entry was posted in Activism/Advocacy, Cultural, Current events/topics, Media & Media Bias, Race/Racism/Race Relations, racism and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
Join the discussion!
Roni says:

I read your article and agree with 99 percent of it. I also am tired of hate crimes. I am Cajun-Indian and taught by a loving mother that regardless of my heritage I am a child of God and should be able to go anywhere in this country without being threatened by another. It don’t work that way for me or anyone else. Crime is crime and lurks around any corner. As for hoodies, I think personally they ought to be outlawed. It is a fashion statement that young men are trying to make, that infact makes them look like they are up to no good, the same for slouchy pants. It is a shame that the young man’s death is an object of political gain. Thank you for the article…God Bless.

Phillip Drummond says:

Nah.. Don’t think you would’ve mentioned the Iraqi’s death had it not been for Trayvon… Carry on “Ruckus”.. Lol

admin says:

You are welcome to your opinion, Phillip Drummond, however, since you aren’t me, you can’t know what I “would’ve” done. You see here what I have done, but more importantly, what have you done?

I see a lot of people saying negative things about what we are doing, but what are you doing? Do something…anything…then cast your stones. As for me, I’m for justice for all victims, not just those who suit me politically or share my ideology. And, by the way, “the Iraqi” has a name, and it’s Shaima Alawadi. The fact that she’s just “the Iraqi” to you only proves my point.

LQ says:

There was also the attack on the white kid by two black kids who set him on fire, but that’s hardly been mentioned in the news and has not led to angry mobs demanding justice. Also cannot forget Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom and their kidnapping, rape, torture, and murder by five black thugs, (some of whom were out on parole after serving time for violent crimes), apparently without any motive other than race, yet it didn’t even make the national news, let alone be highlighted as a hate crime (which it was). Last but not least, the Duke LaCrosse players! Then there’s Obama coming out and making damaging statements in support of Trayvon Martin, when he doesn’t even know the facts of the matter, as none of us do. It’s very discouraging. Anyway, I agree that ALL racially motivated crimes need to be acknowledged as such and condemned, regardless of who the victim is.

admin says:

“Anyway, I agree that ALL racially motivated crimes need to be acknowledged as such and condemned, regardless of who the victim is.”

You are so right, LQ…thanks for taking the time to post…

Missy says:

Wow, I’m touched, that you posses even have an afterthought about anyone muslim African-American Conseratves, especially after reading the many of your post and comments on your fb page. Interesting how it takes a death of a unarmed Black child to set a spark of any kind in your belly to even bring up Shaima Alawadi’s name. Not once have I EVER saw just one post from you regarding Mrs. Alawadi’s and we’ve been sitting on your page since for the last 14 months. You have a page full of Tea Party Movement members whic continue to say vile, vulgar, discusting things about your own community and the only thing you seem to do is click on the ‘like’ button. You are truly a piece of work African-American Conservatives.

admin says:

Missy: As stated in the article, this incident with Mrs. Alawadi just occurred last week, thus, there would be no way to post about it on our Facebook page during “the last 14 months.” Further, as I am still one of the few talking about it, perhaps you might put your energy into spreading the word about it rather than castigating us for not being clairvoyant! :) –M.

Agreement says:

Nice blog and kudos for bringing up a hot button topic of Mrs. Alawadi tragic death. I did not hear about this though I do tend to avoid the news and the political garbage in it. I also hate hearing to much about the senseless deaths to hatred and greed. Anyway before I start mumbling anymore incoherently I will log off.

admin says:

Thank you for the kind words, readokc4 :) –M.

Dave says:

Unfortunately the die has been cast in the Martin case. Should DOJ find no basis for a hate crime, and the investigation reveals Zimmerman acted in self-defense, Jackson, Sharpton, et al will have to allege conspiracy and coverup because they have gone too far to accept anything less than charges being brought.

admin says:

As I said, Dave, this is the payback for making everything “racism” for the past 3.5 years. I fear your prediction may be on the money, and Mrs. Alawadi still will have her story moved to page 6…

Marian says:


admin says:

Thank you, Marian :) –M.

Great article Marie. There is so much wrong with the coverage of this story. Rushes to judgment, factual mistakes, and some serious emotions getting in the way of critical thought.

There are more than 30 people murdered in America every day. Why is the media making the Treyvon case such a big deal? Ratings. Some will say that it is because the shooter is not in jail. How many of the other 29 murderers that same day are still free and what are their stories? We don’t know.

This whole thing is a mess. Great article Marie.

admin says:

Much appreciated, Paul and for re-posting the link….We really need to talk about this not only objectively, but consistently no matter who the victim or perpetrator is. Again, thanks for your support, as always… –M.