“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” – Andy Warhol
The actual time on a clock is constantly changing, but really it’s all the same. We, as humans, are the ones who have to make each hour, minute, and second different and distinguishable from the rest.
“Once the water is deep enough that you must swim to stay afloat, does it really matter how deep the pool is?” – Seth Godin
After you commit to something, no matter how difficult it gets, you can’t pull back, otherwise you’ll find yourself sinking to the bottom of the pool… unless you’re handed a life vest.
- “I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was.”
- “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.”
- “My own son just wrote to say he’s ashamed of my position re hoodies-still I feel parents must do whatever they can to keep their kids safe”
- “Its not blaming the victim Its common sense-look like a gangsta&some armed schmuck will take you at your word”
I never knew that wearing a hoodie and looking like a gangsta were synonymous. Herein lies part of the problem with Geraldo Rivera’s argument. For some reason, Rivera is fixated on the hoodie being a dangerous article of clothing. A hoodie alone, I don’t believe, can be considered responsible for endangering someone’s life. And looking like a gangsta shouldn’t be responsible either, though, it probably would sway someone to look at a person with a much more vigilant eye.
What we wear, that is, our entire attire, and not just one article of clothing, certainly does influence people to form a particular judgment of us. Society as a whole simply does not hold the same opinion of an individual wearing baggy street clothes and of one wearing more formal attire, especially if the former is of a minority group and the latter is white. Sometimes even the same clothes on individuals of different races will formulate different judgments. Whether we like it or not, someone’s outside appearance and race will determine the type of attention, reaction, and treatment they will receive.
What’s important to remember is that clothing should not fabricate, whether positively or negatively, an individual’s character, and, consequently, cannot adequately determine their threat to society. Wearing gangsta-looking clothes does not automatically mean that someone is dangerous, just like wearing a suit, let’s say, does not mean that someone cannot be dangerous; it works both ways. Ultimately, even if someone looks like a gangsta no one should want to shoot them if they’re not being harmed by them.
Having grown up in a community that is primarily made up of African American, Asian, and Latino populations, I have seen and have been one of those stereotypical hoodie-wearing, young, and dark-skinned males. There was a time when I choose to wear clothes far bigger than my actual size because I was influenced by what I saw around me, but not because I was part of that crowd. Eventually I grew out of that phase and started wearing clothes that actually fit. Part of the reason was because I didn’t want to be associated with negative social circles; deep down I knew that outside of my community people would associate me and my clothing choices with being a gangsta. At no point in time, however, did I stop wearing hoodies.
While I do believe that individuals, especially those from minority groups, should choose what they wear carefully in order to not be seen as a threat, at the end of the day clothing choices is not what kills people. Weapons in the hands of ignorant and racist individuals who make lethal and rash decisions based on someone’s appearance, is what kills people.
Why do people, usually a potential date, ask this in the first place?
On the surface, it’s a compliment, I guess, because this person is essentially saying you seem like a good catch, but deep down it’s really a pointless question to ask. The fact remains that people in general, whether young or old, are single at different times in their life. It happens, so instead of asking why, take advantage of someone’s singleness. Also, depending on who it’s coming from, the question might actually be an insult, as in saying “What’s wrong with you, why does no one want to be with you?”
I’ve gotten this question myself quite a few times. The first couple of times I was taken off guard and didn’t exactly know what to answer. But since then I have prepared a safe answer for it, which leads me to…
There are an array of reasons why someone could be single, ranging from obvious reasons to it’s better not to know reasons. But really, why would you be single? Obviously you’re not going to put yourself down and disclose your negative characteristics, instead you might say:
- “I’m not looking for a relationship right now.”
- “I don’t feel ready for a relationship at the moment.”
- “I don’t have time for a relationship.” or
“I’m way too busy to be in a relationship.”
- “I’m casually dating multiple people, and don’t want to settle down with one.”
- “I’m not the dating type.”
But no matter what, I think the universal safe answer for anyone and everyone is: “I just haven’t met the right person yet.”
Perhaps 50% of the time it’s not that we’re not mentally ready or willing to date, it’s simply that we haven’t met someone who we find to be not just a good catch, but also a good match. The other 50%, let’s face it, it’s that we are difficulty, greedy, and picky… or is that just me? I digress.
I think that if we met someone who we like head over heels, and from head to heels, we would probably do everything possible to make it work no matter what, and if the timing is right, then everything should fall into place. In other cases, if there’s any doubt in either our attraction or compatibility to someone, we might make up an excuse for why we can’t keep seeing them or why we can’t be official.
The tricky part in all of this is finding that person who we find worthy of consuming our time, of requiring our attention, and, ultimately, of suffering for. In the meantime, you should avoid asking this question to anyone you’re dating or are trying to date. Just a suggestion…
“The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for.” – Bob Marley