Houstonian says Trayvon Martin Case is Becoming an American Cliche
By Serbino Sandifer-Walker
Naisha Hobbie just had to do something. She didn’t know him but she said she felt like she did.
On a sun-soaked day in Houston’s Alief community, Hobbie stood before a group she had called via social media. Like a choir director in a baptist church, Hobbie flung her hands up, down, left and right; every move punctuated with emotion as she instructed little boys, girls, moms, dads, brothers and sisters to pose for the cameras.
“Trayvon Martin is my brother,” Hobbie said with firm conviction and a slight squint of her eyes, “ he’s my son; he’s my cousin; he’s
my best friend; he’s my classmate.”
As the cameras flashed, there was a collective sigh from the group, all tight lipped seeming in deep thought.
They had come for what Hobbie had organized and called the “Million Hoodie Photoshoot” in memory of 17-year-old Martin, who was wearing a grey hoodie and was killed by a neighborhood crime-watch volunteer on February 26 in Sanford, Fl. claiming self-defense.
“I saw a lot of people posting their pictures with the hoodies on, changing their default pictures on Facebook,” Hobbie said, “and that inspired me to get everyone together to do one huge shoot [in remembrance of Martin].”
The Million Hoodie Photoshoot in Amity Park was just one of dozens of events that have been held across the nation in remembrance of the slain teen.
Many believe the man who killed Martin, George Zimmerman, 28, should have been jailed immediately instead weeks after the shooting. Zimmerman, who is biracial [Hispanic and white], spotted Martin, who was African-American, walking through the gated Sanford, Fl. community and called 911. He told police dispatchers that Martin looked like he was “up to no good.”
Zimmerman pursued Martin even after he was advised not to by the police dispatcher.
There was a face-to-face confrontation between the two. Martin ended up being shot by Zimmerman. Zimmerman said he feared for his life; however, when police arrived at the scene, they found a bag of skittles and tea next to Martin.
Martin had just left a convenient store and was heading home.
Hobbie said Martin’s case is becoming a cliché in America.
“This shoot first and ask questions later is becoming to common now,” Hobbie said. “It has happened in Houston.”
Hobbie hopes her grassroots initiative will promote an honest discussion in the community about race, class and stereotypes.
“We need to be honest about what’s going on in our communities so this does not happen again,” said Hobbie.
Shay Williams agreed with Hobbie and added that the Houston community must not be afraid to discuss the Trayvon Martin case.
She said Martin could have been anyone of them at the photo shoot.
“It’s just senseless,” Williams said, while holding a bag of skittles and tea.
Cynthia Zamarripa brought her two daughters to the photo shoot. She said there are many lessons to be learned from the Martin shooting.
“I believe he was killed because of his skin color,” Zamarripa said as she clung to her daughters, “and that’s just not right.”
Ernie Agbobock is a college student and said America is becoming a scary place to live especially for young black males.
“The message I want to send is that never judge a book by its color,” said Agbobock.
Hobbie hopes that Houstonians will learn something from the Million Hoodie Photoshoot.
“You don’t have to be a big name person to do something like this,” Hobbie said. “We just want Trayvon Martin’s family and everyone in Houston to know, we care.”