A central Indiana mall recently posted a sign indicating that shoppers wearing upturned “hoodies” aren’t welcome.
Signs prominently posted at the entrances of the Mounds Mall in Anderson, Indiana tell potential patrons that “[f]or the safety and well-being of everyone, please lower your hoodie.”
The mall’s general manager, Braun Roosa, told the Herald Bulletin that the signs were “requested by local law enforcement. It is for security and ID purposes only. We don’t ask them to remove the hoodie, just lower it.”
Roosa said that the policy is similar to those enacted by financial institutions which ban the wearing of sunglasses inside.
One mall patron, Ranny Hinton Jr., said of the sign that “the wording is offensive.”
“It is mainly the younger generations that wear hoodies,” Hinton said. “I don’t think they should have it on there at all. There ain’t nothing on there about ski masks or beanies. Why does it matter about hoodies?”
The “hoodie” became a flashpoint for conservative critics of black youth culture after the killing of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman. Geraldo Rivera even blamed the “hoodie” itself for Martin’s death.
“I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was,” he said. “You have to recognize that this whole stylizing yourself as a gangsta — you’re going to be a gangsta wannabe, well people are going to perceive you as a menace. That’s what happens. It is an instant, reflexive action.”
He later apologized for waging what he called “a life-saving campaign” against “hoodies.”
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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