At the Million Hoodie March, a protest to end racial profiling, thousands flooded New York City’s Union Square Wednesday evening wearing hooded sweatshirts in honor of Trayvon Martin, a Florida teen who was unarmed and wearing a hoodie when he was fatally shot on Feb. 26.
Rallygoers expressed their concerns and anger about the horrors of being brown in America. Their outrage stems from the killing of Trayvon, the 17-year-old who lost his life at the hands of George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old neighborhood-watch volunteer who shot the teen in the chest. Florida authorities did not charge Zimmerman because he claimed self-defense.
“As a young black man, you can never feel safe,” New York University law student Kadeem Cooper told The Root.
Occupy Wall Street organizer Karanja Gacuca said that despite being taught that you can be anything you want to be in America, nothing is promised to you if you’re black. “It could be any one of us. It doesn’t matter how well educated, how well spoken [you are]. It doesn’t matter if your pants are at your ankles or if you’re always in a suit.”
Lisa Stiffler, a white mother whose children are teenage boys of color, echoed those same sentiments: “[My kids] can’t be themselves.”
Check out the footage from the march below and share your thoughts in the comments section. Also, check back on The Root for more coverage of the Million Hoodie March and the latest developments relating to the search for answers in the death of Trayvon Martin.