The Daily Grind Video

So this is happening.

One Harlem business really doesn’t care if it’s raining or snowing or blowing cold New York winter air — they don’t want you wearing hoodies in their store.

To be fair, masks are also on the list of prohibited fashion in the establishment. But banning the hoodie — which in recent years has been become a symbol of discriminative racial profiling and justice in the wake of Trayvon Martin’s death — is seen by many as offensive.

From DNA Info:

“DO NOT ENTER WITH HOODIE OR MASK” read signs posted on three businesses along Frederick Douglass Boulevard, between 126th and 129th streets, warning “IF SO YOU ARE NOW TRESPASSING.”

While businesses see them as a way to stop shoplifting, some residents say the signs are offensive.

“I’m tired of people of color being viewed as criminals for wearing hoodies,” said Andrew Padilla, who noticed signs around 160th Street and Amsterdam in Washington Heights. “If wearing a hoodies makes you a criminal I should’ve been locked up years ago.”

The creator of the signs, Joe Stark of Philadelphia, maintains they are meant to be a form of crime prevention, not a way to racially profile residents in the area.

“We’re trying to put robbers and shoplifters on notice,” he said. “When you get a guy walking into a store and he has a hood up, a mask up, it can be a scary thing.”

Stark has been approaching bodegas, restaurants, supermarkets and other businesses in New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington D.C. He estimated that he’s sold a couple thousand of the signs.

Stark does not believe the signs are racially charged because criminals “can be black, white, brown, yellow, blue or green.”

“The only complaint you might have is from the little thugs selling drugs in the corner,” he said.

Stark adds that it only becomes trespassing when an employee asks the person to remove the hood or leave, and they refuse. He also said he has considered adding “please” to the sign.

Because, you know, racism, microaggressions, discrimination, and ridiculous policing are totally OK when you’re polite.


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