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Should The Manner In Which Young Black and Brown Men Dress Put Their Lives At Risk?

Should The Manner In Which Young Black and Brown Men Dress Put Their Lives At Risk?

Given the comments made about the manner in which Trayvon Martin was dressed when he was followed and killed by George Zimmerman, should young black and brown men be more mindful of how they dress outside of their homes? 

 a) To reduce the risks of being negatively stereotyped, should black and brown men avoid wearing certain types of clothing?

 b)  Is there a correlation between how black and brown people are depicted in the media, and how they are perceived by others?

 c)  In testimony being presented at the current trial, George Zimmerman repeatedly referred to Trayvon Martin as the suspect!  What determined Trayvon to be a suspect?

 d) Are black and brown people inviting hostility by dressing in a certain manner such as wearing a hoodie?

In OneWorld's Feb. 2013 Black History Month TV forum professor Antoinette Brim asked these and other questions of six high school students.  At the video linked below, we invite you to watch and listen to their thoughtful responses.

In a story reported by the LA times on July 1, 2013 and linked below, the police seemed to be helping Zimmerman to get his story 'straight' by pointing out inconsistencies in what he is telling them. Is this normal police procedure?  There seems to have been many comments and references to the manner in which the 17 year-old Martin was dressed.  Had he not been wearing a hoodie, do you think that would have made a difference?  Had Martin been white, but dressed in the same manner, do you think he would he have been perceived differently?

"At one point, Serino tells Zimmerman that his statements of being hit 25 to 30 times were "not quite consistent" with the level of his injuries from the confrontation with Martin.

Serino is also heard telling Zimmerman to expect officials to scrutinize the shooting carefully because of "the profiling aspect of the whole thing." Martin was black; Zimmerman identifies as Latino.

Serino acknowledged that he discussed the racial aspects of the case with Zimmerman, asking him whether he would have acted the same way if Martin had been white. Zimmerman said he would have, Serino testified in response to questions from defense attorney Mark O'Mara."

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