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Rivera’s Hoodie Tangent

While Rivera had not been ill intent, his approach towards the issue was not exactly eloquent. Instead of telling the parents to be careful, the hoodie becomes the proverbial core of the issue which illicits a stereotypical response akin to fear for the people who perceive the one wearing it as having bad intentions. My first thought to this tangent is that the hoodie isn’t the core issue – the core issue is the fear that people feel upon seeing a stranger wearing “gangster” clothing in a neighborhood at night and because of that, I don’t agree with his advice. Instead of disspelling the prejudice, Rivera pulls back from it, telling parents not to let their kids wear it because, without a doubt, they will be perceived as someone who is bad. To be fair, in light of the current situation, it is easy to say that not everyone who wears a hoodie is bad but to everyone who has been antagonized by “gangsters” who happen to be wearing a hoodie, they might not think so. That said, I feel that Rivera is dodging the issue because in today’s times, it is crass to directly point out that racism might be playing a role in the situation.

Now in relation to Lorde’s text, I think what he is doing is counter-productive. Lorde mentions that anger is the key to pushing forward. People should be responding to issues of injustice with anger because how else are the ignorant going to finally learn? Fear, on the other hand, will only fuel the ignorance and let the oppressor run all over the oppressed. So I find that in relation to Rivera’s bit, he is being counterproductive and it would be making people recoil in fear (No more hoodies!?).


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