As protest rallies prevail throughout the nation, British, reggae, band Steel Pulse released a musical tribute to Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old Florida resident whose death and recent trial has sparked renewed racial tensions.
Penned by lead singer David Hinds, the song’s title “Put Your Hoodies On (4 Trayvon) supports protest and promotes the wearing of a similar garb that may have contributed to the perception that the teenager might been a suspect in crimes reported in the Sanford residential community security guard George Zimmerman patrolled.
Zimmerman, 26, was acquitted of second degree murder and manslaughter in the shooting death of the Black youth. However, Hinds, the Grammy-winning group and a segment of the American public believe he got away with murder.
They are determined in the belief that Martin was profiled for his race and that the wearing of the popular clothing item could have made him suspicious to the half Peruvian, half white security guard.
The band leader resides in the United Kingdom and recently toured the US performing at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans and here in Queens where the band replaced Toots & The Maytals, the group initially billed.
The group performed their last U.S. concert in California on the day the verdict was rendered. They are now in France but on the pulse of news and committed to exposing what they believe to be a baffling outcome of the case.
Hinds said he is bothered by the notion “that anyone in America can be killed in 2013 for wearing a hoodie.”
“It is a plea for justice” Hinds wrote on his web portal, “a reminder of the FACT that an innocent teenager is dead, shot by a man who was playing ‘vigilante’– pursuing the teenager around the neighborhood despite being advised against it by the authorities …”
“We sensed the result but despite the outcome of the trial, the truth remains the truth, and the ghost of justice will haunt this town of Sanford, Florida,” Hinds said.
The 17-year-old Martin, wore a hooded shirt when he was allegedly attacked and killed by Zimmerman, February, last year.
The hard, driving, reggae beat is dominant in the music. However, most engaging are these lyrics, voiced by Hinds:
Ain’t no doubt in Jim Crow’s South
Won’t shout my mouth it’s all about the hoodies
No matter your religion
You make it your decision
But if it takes collision
We’ve got the vision
For Equal Rights
Cannot wait another night
But I’ve got this bitter taste
Don’t let this court case go to waste no no no
He was only seventeen
Only seventeen no
(Woe woe shot down)
Like a dog in the streets.
Catch You On the Inside!