Thursday, April 12, 2012

Jesus Wore a Hoodie, Indeed

A friend of mine, Michael Reinhart, is a Lutheran bishop in the deep South. The Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod, to be exact.

I know  Mike through my wife, Diane, who served on a music ministry team with him after college. Though we don’t see him often, Facebook is a remarkable platform for bridging time and tide.

Tonight, I saw a picture in my FB feed of Mike wearing a hoodie — as thousands of people across the country have done to protest the killing of Trayvon Martin. Trayvon, of course, was the unarmed African American teenager who was wearing a hooded sweatshirt when he was fatally shot by 28-year-old man named George Zimmerman in Sarasota, Florida, six weeks ago.

Zimmerman’s race has been the subject of quite a bit of dispute in the media. He has a white father and a Latina mother.

Today Zimmerman surrendered to the police, after being charged with second-degree murder for killing Trayvon. HIs claim of self-defense will test the legal parameters of Florida’s so-called “stand your ground” laws.

How ironic it is how many of America's unresolved racial issues have come to be symbolized by a "hoodie," which covers so much of the skin.

And how curious it is that the furor comes twenty years after the Rodney King riots of 1992. Los Angeles then, Florida now. The more things change, the more they seem to stay the same in a country still in need of racial reconcilation.

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