Hoodie Ban Law A Trayvon Martin Backlash? Critics Claim Racial Discrimination In St. Louis

The hoodie ban being imposed in multiple areas around the United States instantly reminds many of Trayvon Martin and because of this recognition, some critics feel any effort to impose hoodie ban laws amounts to racial discrimination.

In a related report by the Inquisitr, an Oklahoma hoodie ban proposes to make it a “crime to wear a mask, hood, or other facial covering, either during the commission of a crime, or to intentionally conceal your identify when in a public place.” Republican state senator Don Barrington says, “The intent of Senate Bill 13 is to make businesses and public places safer by ensuring that people cannot conceal their identities for the purpose of crime or harassment.”

Trayvon Martin’s hoodie has become synonymous with the George Zimmerman trial, and when artists depict the event, typically only the hoodie itself is shown in addition to a pack of Skittles candy. A hoodie even graced the front cover of TIME magazine.

For others, Trayvon Martin’s hoodie has become synonymous with hoodlums. For example, back in 2012, Geraldo Rivera famously said, “I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as much as George Zimmerman was.”

Besides the Oklahoma hoodie ban, some Family Dollar stores in the St. Louis, Missouri have been asking customers to not wear hooded clothing on signs posted at the stores. But at least one customer believes this hoodie ban amounts to racial discrimination.

“I would call it discrimination. That’s not right,” Roger Williams said, according to KMOV. “It shouldn’t matter that you’re going in there with your hood on. If you’re not stealing, and you’re buying, purchasing something, what’s the problem? That shouldn’t be an issue.”

Banning hoodies in public places is not a new trend. Back in March of 2014, an Indiana mall banned the garment, and CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin took on the issue by claiming any hoodie ban would be unconstitutional.

“This is about the pretext of being able to stop young African-American males,” she said. “Hoodie is code for ‘thug’ in many places and I think businesses shouldn’t be in the business of telling people what to wear. The Fourteenth Amendment protects us from this.”

Do you think the proposed hoodie bans amount to racial discrimination?

[Image via Think Progress]

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