I have 17 hoodies in my closet.
Two are from my college fraternity, three are from Surf City (Huntington Beach, Ca.), others are from various universities (Texas, Ole Miss, SMU, UCLA, Virginia, George Mason) and one is from the Buddy Holly Museum in Lubbock, Texas.
I wear them nearly all the time when the weather is cool enough to merit it, and if I don't often wear the hood portion up over my head, I would never fault anyone for doing so.
Yet we now have this ridiculous controversy because some underachieving redneck in Florida got to prove he was a real man by shooting a young black man who was wearing a hoodie.
As it turns out, George Zimmerman is apparently a 28-year-old law enforcement wannabe who was constantly pestering the police with reports from his (unregistered) Neighborhood Watch organization.
Indeed, on the night he shot and killed Trayvon Martin, he had called the police about Martin. He was ordered to leave Martin alone and not follow him. He disobeyed that order, and shot Martin despite the fact that the young black man was unarmked and was heading home.
This isn't a gun control issue. Heck, I'm not even sure it's a racial issue beyond the obvious. What bothers me the most about it is that I don't think Zimmerman had enough positive things in his life to have any real pride in himself.
So he bought guns.
And used them.
The great irony of life in America is that so many poor and working-class white people display racism when the fact is, they have far more in common with poor and working-class black people than they do with rich whites.
Call it divide and conquer, because if all the people who are getting screwed by the mega-rich in this country ever figure out who the real enemy is, blood will flow in the streets.
Trayvon Martin had a lot more in common with Zimmerman than he did with Lebron James or Dwayne Wade, and Zimmerman's life was far more like Martin's than it is with the Koch Brothers.
Jim Fisk had it right in the 1880s when he said he could hire half of the working class to kill the other half.
As long as that's true, it isn't our America. It's theirs.