Posted by: C J | April 2, 2012

You can be misjudged by…

Was it really all about the hoodie?

    the clothes you wear!

New England Patriot Coach Belichick is known for wearing his hoodies on the sidelines. I chose his photo to make a point. No copyright infringement intended.

The tragic American story of Trayvon Martin brings back scary memories for me. We lived in Pueblo, Colorado from 1978 to 1997, where the black population was 1.6 percent of the total population.  And when my son Rod Johnson was about 13 years old he went to visit a white classmate/friend, while he was there at their home, his friend Lance decided to go to the local convenience store 7-11 to get Rod, Lance’s little brother John, and himself something to snack on (like Trayvon did for himself and his brother). Well Rod thought Lance was taking too long so he picked up the family’s pet dog and walked out into the yard to check. While he was standing in the yard looking for Lance, a neighbor called the police and reported that a BIG black man is breaking in the house next door.

Thank God, Rod picked up the pet dog and put down the toy gun he had played with before going outside. Two or three police cars came to the friend’s house to check on the BIG black man breaking in. The police officer knocked on the door before walking in and when he saw Rod he asked, “What are you doing in this house?” Rod replied, ” I am visiting my friends.” And John the brother kept trying to tell the officer that this is my brother’s friend. They ended up calling the mom at work and she told the police , “Roddy is a family friend and is not a BIG black man but a teenager just like my son.”

The police officer finally satisfied with the situation  left without drawing his gun, without taking my son’s life, but it so easily could have ended differently.  It is a sad day for us all each time a child is killed because of the clothes he wears or the color of his skin. I am so proud of the outrage most Americans are making of the Trayvon Martin tragedy.

I am just wondering what each of us can do to help this type of situation. What story do we need to share with our friends and family to help the message get delivered? What do we need to tell the youngsters who ask what did “he” do wrong, to help them to understand?

Many adults don’t even understand the situation and sometimes they say stupid things.  As I listened to Geraldo Rivera’s statement about a hoodie being at fault in Trayvon’s murder. Really is Geraldo saying the style of the clothes is the blame? When I look back at my teen years I used to say, “We should’ve been shot for wearing those butterfly collar shirts and bell bottom jeans”, our style of clothes for that time; but I did not mean it literally.

What if it was your son or grandson who dressed in Goth clothes or like  Justin Bieber and that cost him his life? Does this American tragedy make you look at what your teens wear any differently? Do you believe it is possible to make a difference for this type of situation? I really don’t know what kind of sensitivity training needs to be done for anyone carrying a gun. Can we train empathy?

                       What I know for sure:

  • This type of incident calls for a deeper cry
  • This steals a piece of my joy
  • Repeated behavior patterns express who/what  you are
  • No one is exempt from pain
  • We obey pain
  • Life is too magical to waste
  • I am sending love, life, light, and positive energy

Come back soon for another cup of comfort…


  1. Very very true. It is a sad day in America, when you can’t be yourself, can’t go where you want to go and return home safely. The outcry is needed to draw attention to the shape America is in. Lord help us and have mercy.

  2. WE as American citizens should not need a hall pass to travel from point a to b. Those that are supposedly in charge of our well being should have extensive training in how to interact with every group in our society.

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