A mall in central Indiana has stirred up the debate surrounding hoodies and what they represent by posting a sign requesting that all patrons lower their hoods when on the premises.
According to the Raw Story, signs that read, “For the safety and well-being of everyone, please lower your hoodie” are posted at the entrances of the Mounds Mall in Anderson, Ind.
The mall’s general manager claims that the signs were “requested by local law enforcement,” saying that it is for security and stressing to the Herald Bulletin that the mall was not asking potential customers to remove their hoodies, just to lower the hoods upon entering the mall. He also added that as it warms up, the signs would be removed.
Hoodies are specifically mentioned in the mall’s Code of Conduct: “Appropriate, non-offensive attire; shirts and shoes must be worn; no hoodies or other apparel that will disguise identity,” according to the Herald Bulletin.
The manager said that it wasn’t uncommon that other businesses make similar requests, such as financial institutions, which limit indoor use of sunglasses.
Still, reasons aside, some people aren’t pleased. One 21-year-old in particular told the Bulletin that the wording was offensive.
“It’s mainly the younger generations that wear hoodies,” Ranny Hinton Jr. told the news site. “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?”
Hoodies were pushed to the forefront of national news back in 2012, following the killing of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin. When then-neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman shot Trayvon, he was wearing a hoodie. Conservative pundit Geraldo Rivera claimed that the “hoodie [was] as much responsible for … Martin’s death,” insinuating that it stylized Trayvon as a “gangsta.”