National Hoodie Day march in Sacramento today brings back the 2009 fashion statement: many hoodie jackets and a few sagging pants
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National Hoodie Day march in Sacramento today brings back the 2009 fashion statement: many hoodie jackets and a few sagging pants

Sacramento : CA : USA | Apr 10, 2012 at 1:32 PM PDT
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It's national hoodie day in Sacramento today, with a march to the state attorney general's office, and a rally at the north steps of the state Capitol at 1:30 p.m. this afternoon.

In the morning marchers wearing hoodies (and some with sagging pants, but not all) began as early as 10:30 a.m. downtown in Sacramento at Southside Park, Sixth and T streets, and proceeded to a rally at 13th and K streets, according to a news release. See the April 10, 2012 Sacramento Bee article by Cathy Locke, "Sacramento activists will hold 'hoodie day' march, rally."

Only this time, Occupy Sacramento groups and a variety of activists from various community groups are observing the new, national (and local) hoodie day to protest the shooting death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin and at the same time commemorate those who have perished in officer-involved shootings in Sacramento and the Bay Area.

It's a march for social justice, according to a press release, not a protest against wearing hooded jackets. This is not the first time Sacramento has seen a divide between marchers wearing hooded jackets.

Back in 2009 Arden Fair mall banned hoodies and sagging trousers. See, New Arden Mall Dress Code Bans Hoodies, Saggy Pants - KTXL. The rule not to wear hooded clothing and sagging trousers went into affect back in October 30, 2009. Also see, Arden Mall Sagging Pants, Hood Ban Goes Into Effect Today - KTXL.

In 2009 a ruling told customers customers who wish to shop at one of the many establishments inside Arden Fair Mall that they must pull down their hoods and pull up their pants. FOX40.com reported about Arden Fair Mall's controversial "Hood & Sagging Pants Ban" in September 2009, which back then stated customers who patronize the mall would not be allowed to wear hoods over their heads or pants that are sagging below the waistline.

Hoodies are worn by women and men. About the sagging pants issue, hip-hugging jeans were frowned upon by some as others wished for a return to jeans and slacks that reached to the waistline not to the hip (baring the navel when wearing tank tops) as was the popular fashion in the 1990s. Dress codes at malls are controversial as the marches.

The dress code in schools and some restaurants may also extend to having shirts tucked in unless a blouse for a woman is hiding a tummy, as in a maternity fabric fold. But the march isn't all about fashion as much as it's in the name of social justice and commemoration.

When marches are in the name of social justice they sometimes create a divide between those who dress as if they were going on job interviews or showing up in court when visiting a mall, bank, or other area of public interaction and commerce and those who want to wear what the designers put out for the majority of people looking for comfortable clothing.

Sagging pants as a fashion statement took hold on youth and the public in general copying TV shows that depicted prisoners who had their belts taken away and wore their pants low because there was no way to hold up their trousers, jeans, or similar garments. And hoodies took hold as a fashion statement because they were worn by sports trainers such as joggers and runners to keep warm without a hat falling off while running or jogging on windy days.

The issue when it comes to safety, according to the shopping malls that don't like hoodies say that back in 2009 the rule was implemented in the interest of public safety. Arden mall in 2009 implemented the dress code because some patrons said it was offensive.

The issue is on a sports trainer, a hoodie is not perceived as offensive, not anymore frightening than wearing a baseball cap while jogging or working out. Should the hoodie be limited to the gym? That's not what current Sacramento marchers are saying. In 2012, the hoodie has become a symbol of the march for social justice and human rights.

As for sagging pants, patrons aren't amused by pants that reveal underwear or the lack of it while sitting in a bus watching someone standing next to them with a half-bare butt in their face. And at shopping malls, pants that are below the waistline, exposing a subject's underwear, have been banned at many schools and restaurants because they could come across as offensive to other patrons. Hoodies have a ring to the sound. To the ear of some people they are perceived or heard as 'hood' as in hoodlum.

They conceal the face and make people around them feel unsafe, say some patrons, including some people who work at banks and similar businesses. No one pays attention to a hoodie in most supermarkets, but in shopping malls, some people complain of the 'ambiance' of the hoodie as being unfriendly and closed rather than open to friendly behavior. Is it psychological?

Or do hoodies have a reputation beyond being used by sports enthusiasts in which to work out, run, or jog? Do hoodies belong on a track, in the field, or in a gym? Or do they belong in shopping malls and banks? As for today, there are more people marching for hoodies than against them.

Most people who are marching are those who buy hoodies to wear for comfort because the hood keeps your head warm on windy days when hats or baseball caps would be blown off unless pinned to your hair.

The hoodie in 2012 has a different message than the safety message touted by malls and banks in 2009. This year's hoodie is about social justice and the right to wear clothing without dress codes deciding which garments look safest to the eye of the beholder. Hood is also a popular abbreviation for neighborhood. There's the denotation and the connotation in the statement.

Today's march in Sacramento is to protest the shooting death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin and at the same time commemorate those who have perished in officer-involved shootings in Sacramento and the Bay Area. The march moves beyond what not to wear in public. The issue is what you wear often is perceived by the public to imply your attitudes, behavior, or intentions.

In Sacramento, some banks and credit unions often have posters on the doors saying, "No sunglasses or hats." Some businesses do have dress codes for the public as in the restaurant signs that often say, "No shoes or shirts, no service." There always is the option to tuck the hood inside the jacket when entering a mall or bank versus the freedom to wear clothes, including the hoodie, as they were sewn. But it's not about fashion, say the marchers. It's about social justice and a commemoration.

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US Rep. Bobby Rush said, "Just because someone wears a hoodie does not make them a hoodlum"
US Rep. Bobby Rush said, "Just because someone wears a hoodie does not make them a hoodlum"
AnneHart is based in Sacramento, California, United States of America, and is an Anchor for Allvoices.
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