Was It Really the Hoodie?

My thoughts are racing, I questioned, was it really the hoodie? While standing there at the car, my imagination rolling, I can see the police pulling up. Leaning against the car, they pat me down. Wow! Unintentionally my thoughts speak, “I am Trayvon Martin.”

I was surprised when I received the call. It was cold yesterday morning. So I decided to wear the heaviest clothes I could. I slipped into my Under Armour HeatGear®, then my black sweat suit. To block the wind, for good measure, I put on my mid-length pullover. This weather called for layers. With my skull cap on and gloves and earmuffs in the pocket, I headed out.

Was It Really the Hoodie?

From porch to the car, I had to pull my sweat suit hood over my skull cap. Yes, it was a hoodie! I warmed the engine. In twelve minutes, I am standing outside my daughter’s house, looking at her tire. It was not completely flat. It was a simple job for my portable air compressor. Starting at PSI 10, the compressor began inflation.

It was at that moment; the thoughts entered. Nothing in my mind made me believe I looked suspicious. As the compressor presented PSI 20, my mind paints a picture of what could end up being an arrest. Without much time to share that this is my daughter’s car; my hands are against the car; my legs spread. “Cut!” Reality arrested my pondering, and I am now standing in amazement wondering, “Where did those thoughts come from?” Was it really the hoodie?

Racism Lives

Notwithstanding having a great imagination, I, nevertheless, realized that this was not existent only in my mind. I do not believe I am the only African American grown man, while engaged in some similar activity, who found himself considering the possible consequences of having on a hoodie. Yes, it is real–wearing a hoodie while black, driving while black, walking slowly or perhaps, running while black. As a pervasive element of social justice, racism lives. It need not be a discussion that divides, yet it need be a discussion.

I Will Fear No Evil

Consequently, the prisons and penitentiaries tell a story. It is a story of many pushed through the judgment halls, paraded before magistrates, and given what feels like a speedy death sentence. We are not now just talking about the new Jim Crow. Rather, we now speak of One who, years ago, went before us.

Especially relevant, as quickly as these thoughts entered my mind, two minutes later, so did He, Jesus. Reaching PSI 30, I concluded that I just might someday suffer such a fate. I will not suffer it alone. My heart reminded me in an instant, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me” (Psalm 23:4).

So it is! My musing introduced it, “I am Trayvon Martin!” My outfit gave evidence, “I wear a hoodie.” In comfort, my heart believes it, “I am the younger brother of the Resurrection and the Life.” In faith, I claim it, “I wear His robe of Righteousness.” The truth is, He is also Jehovah Sabaoth, the Lord of Host. I will not be afraid. I will fear no evil, yet I will still be cognizant of it.

President, Director at Adam Restored Ministries, Inc.

Charlton Alexander, the founder of Adam Restored Ministries, Inc., is passionate about reaching others who may not know that depth of love that God has for fallen humanity.He believes gender, marital, and sexual wholeness can be achieved when one’s eye is single toward God’s glory.

Originally published at adamrestoredministries.org on March 16, 2017.