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Hoodies, shades and the death penalty

From the Editor's Desk

Stephen Bartlett

Stephen Bartlett

Chris Martin always wears pants, sunglasses and a hoodie, pulled tight around his face.

He’s not constantly on the ready to rob pharmacies, even though a local owner of such businesses doesn’t want customers in such garb in his stores, hoodies and shades suddenly absolute indications of criminality after two men involved in area robberies wore them.

Chris Martin suffers from Xeroderma pigmentosum, a rare autosomal recessive disorder that is defined by extreme sensitivity to sunlight. He is not an armed robber, though some might not want him in their store on account of he is different and does not fall into the safe, generalized stereotypes the majority has carved out for itself.

Perhaps hoodies are menacing. I’m usually greeted with, “Hey Stephen,” “Hellow Steve,” and “How are you Mr. Bartlett.” But when I wear my bulky, dark hemp jacket with the oversized hoodie, police stare suspiciously from their cruisers as they creep past me. A buffer zone also appears around me as people passing me offer nervous smiles.

Strange behavior.

Actually, profiling at the expense of innocents to placate the many is disturbing behavior.

And it is contagious and spreads, with tragic results, sort of like the death penalty.

We teach society killing is wrong, yet we make an exception and in turn are shocked when groups and individuals in society make their own exceptions.

So it is with profiling, starting with the exception say, of a hoodie and shades, and then there are more exceptions until everyone with a penis is rounded up and stranded on the island of potential rapists.

More blacks are in prison, so round them all up. The NBT robber had tattoos, so bar anyone with tattoos from public establishments.

Serial killers are often white males. Maybe we could wrap chains around their houses and only let them out to gather up the food dropped from helicopters while trigger happy snipers watch from nearby rooftops.

Reach Editor Stephen Bartlett at stephen@denpubs.com.

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