Putting the hood in ‘hoodie’

March 29, 2012

Controversial column removed


The Tech Talk staff and the Department of Journalism faculty have removed a controversial personal column from The Tech Talk online edition. The explanation for the removal is below.


We regret the controversy the March 29 opinion piece has caused. Please note the views presented in the personal column by editor-in-chief Rebecca Spence, “Putting the hood in ‘hoodie,’” are not the opinion of The Tech Talk or journalism staff. This was a personal column that reflected one person’s opinion.


The department and the newspaper take responsibility for allowing the article to be printed without proper review. The staff acknowledges that some of the facts of the case as presented in the column were not attributed and the content of the column lacked balance. We also acknowledge that as time progresses, the facts of the case continue to evolve and be disputed.


The newspaper staff and journalism department support the editor’s right to freedom of speech.

However, we made a mistake and we take responsibility for that. We will review our editing and publication procedures so that this will not happen again.


Despite the controversy caused by this column, we condemn the personal threats Ms. Spence has received.


We understand the need to address issues with sensitivity and compassion. Hopefully, this can be a learning experience that can teach and pull people together.


Please leave comments at techtalk@latech.edu


272 Responses to Putting the hood in ‘hoodie’

  1. st.michael Irving Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    You state
    “So is Martin or Zimmerman the root of the problem? Both of them are. Zimmerman obviously takes on the bigger chunk, for pulling out a gun and shooting, regardless of reasoning. Martin is as well, for acting suspicious. For following Zimmerman, as reports have concluded, approaching Zimmerman and wearing a hoodie with the hood on.”

    I find this to be completely inaccurate and ignorant in statement. Martin was not acting suspicious by walking and minding his own business.
    Am i to be considered speciousness because i am a black male walking from point A to point B. This is simply not true what so ever. Suspicious activity is warranted based on actions like creeping around hiding behind things and looking into windows etc. Wearing clothing is not speciousness and is completely far from the truth .

    What you should do is asses what you are saying , before you write an article and say ignorant things.

    • Nicole Reply

      March 30, 2012 at 3:49 pm

      & the fact that you said artists such as ’50 Cent’ in movies and music videos wearing hoodies tells us that they’re people who are up to no good is what’s ignorant. Media and entertainment are for pleasure and mostly fake, but this young man’s life was taken and that’s real! so after everyone gives you their opinions on your article dont you go feeling and looking suspicious okay?? since you did say you shouldn’t look that way if you have no reason to. Complete ignorance!

  2. KitKat Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Wow. So, out of curiosity, what OTHER random articles of clothing do you associate with the “hood”?

    *gets pencil and pad*

    • Erica Reply

      March 30, 2012 at 2:19 pm

      Since you’re curious and have something to jot this down:
      I associate the hood:
      Clothing that is oversized, i.e. a 3XL Tall shirt on a person that would normally wear a Large. Pants showing undergarments because they’re sagging so low. A hat or any clothing with the tags still on them.
      Clothing with any kind of memoriam of someone on it.
      Also, on females spandex 2+ sizes too small.

    • B Reply

      March 30, 2012 at 2:58 pm

      According to her logic… if your deaf and using sign language, you will get shot for flashing gang signs.

  3. Robert Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    Let me get this straight. Wearing a hoodle is justification for murder? I know some people want to find a way to blame the victim, I get it. But the lengths so people are going to justify murder is sicking.

    By the way, rape victims are not responsible for their rapes either. Same logic.

  4. Trey Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    While I appreciate the attempt to approach this topic from a different angle, perhaps there is a better one than threatening hoodies. Walk into the local high school and you will see one third of the students wearing a hoodie. It’s not threatening, it’s adolescence.

    • Latoya Reply

      March 30, 2012 at 2:22 pm

      You are right, my girls are preteens and they wear there hoodies in the house. Thats a fad that our children are doing. Adults, children, both black and white wear hoodies. That is never a reason to shoot someone. If this young man wasnt posing a threat to anyone then he had no reason to ever shoot him. I hope that justice will be served. So many times people speak and they never think about the victim and there families. Now, what if a black man shot a white child that looked suspicious, I can almost promise that he would be incarcerated.

  5. Robyn Cole Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    First of, you may consider doing more intensive research because there are some details you seem to have gotten confused. For example, Zimmerman was following Martin. Secondly, I have to ask you what about a boy walking home in a hoodie is suspicious? Thirdly, you say hoodies have a negative connotations attached to them (for very questionable reasons), so I must ask you if it were a 17yr WHITE girl walking home in a green Kappa Delta hoodie “acting suspicious” do you think she would have been shot? (Be honest). According to your article anyone is liable to be shot a killed if he or she is wearing a hoodie and walking in the night, or is it just young black men that you are referring to? I only say that because of your references to 50 cent and people from the “hood.”

    • Austin Reply

      March 30, 2012 at 5:21 pm

      First of all, unless/unitl this trial goes to court and they do more investigating, Zimmerman said it was self defense. That person on the news that said they saw it was lying through their teeth. But for the purpose of argument; Zimmerman was following Martin, we heard that when Zimmerman called the police. Any neighborhood that has a neighborhood watch program, and allows the neighborhood watchman to carry a gun; there is a reason the watchman is allowed to carry a gun. Last summer, as a young White Male, I stayed at a hotel that inlcuded a persom in a position similar to Zimmerman’s. One evening, I was trying to find the ice machine, so I was wondering around the hotel. I noticed watchman was walking behind me, so I began trying to lose him in the hotel. He followed me until I went up three floors and into my room. Watchmans take their job seriously. And it is a serious job. But I am white so don’t try to play the race card. At some point, Zimmerman and Martin interacted, Zimmerman said he has medical records to prove a broken nose. Martin got caught with drugs. If Martin had already been caught with drugs previously, he probably was acting suspicious as he was trying to avoid Zimmerman’s company. A teenager period is suspicous while walking home with a hoodie. The white girl in your analogy would be suspicious for a drunk in public. Every watchman has an opinion. You would to. If you were a watchman and responsible for the safety of your neighbor, you would be able to make the call. The author is referring to 50 cent, not Curtis James Jackson III. But even Jackson got shot a few times. You turn into the people you hang out with; and obviously the people Jackson hung out with aren’t the type of people I would want my kids around either. But 50 Cent’s character is portrayed in his songs. So anyone would think 50 was suspicious if he traded places with Martin, while wearing a similar hoodie. And she mentioned people in the hood. People in the hood get shot, killed, beaten, etc. every day. So of course you would think someone from the hood in a hoodie was suspicious. And she mentioned both sides having faulted. You focus on the hoodie but until more accountable evidence arises, Martin physically harmed Zimmerman to the point that Zimmerman pulled the gun and shot. She mentioned that the hoodie caused Zimmerman to take a second look at Martin, then Martin acted suspicious. Martin fighting with Zimmerman is what caused the death.

      • B. Jones Reply

        March 30, 2012 at 7:28 pm

        You sound ridiculous. If there was an altercation, and Martin indeed initiated it, that still isn’t what caused his death. Zimmerman caused his death, by ASSUMING. Zimmerman went against the suggestions of dispatch, got out of his vehicle, and confronted Martin. He should have stayed where he was.

  6. Not Happy Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    are you insane? the kid is to blame for wearing a hoodie because thats ‘thug’ or something? thats like tracking down every guy wearing a turban and shooting them for being affiliated with al qaeda.

    and don’t look suspicious if you don’t want to be seen as such? Zimmerman thought he looked suspicious for one fucking reason and its pretty obvious. do you really believe in this viewpoint, that Trayvon deserves some of the blame for being shot by a bigot?

    seriously, its mentalities like yours that assure these atrocities will keep happening.

  7. Jack Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    “Do not look suspicious if you have nothing to be suspicious about”?!?! So basically what you’re saying is that if I wear a hoodie at night to stay warm, I can get shot and it will be partially my fault?!? Are you crazy ?

  8. Cassidy Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    Really? That’s your conclusion? “Defending the hoodie’s innocence is ignorant”–you’re blaming a piece of clothing instead of ANY of the other variables. That’s insightful.

    And telling people not to look suspicious? Aw HELL no. Trayvon Martin did not choose to look suspicious. (Baby, he was born that way.) Check your privilege–I rarely choose my outfit for a Skittles run based on how “suspicious” I look, and he shouldn’t have had to either.

    Nah. It couldn’t be a race issue. Or anything to do with the shooter’s history of paranoia. It’s probably an unmarked piece of clothing the victim was wearing. Definitely.

    Please realize that your choice of language and incredible victim-blaming is unhealthy and unhelpful to an already broken society.

  9. Glynn Price Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    Ms. Spence,

    I am Glynn Price a graduating senior from Grambling State University. I read your article and I would have to say that I do not agree with what you are saying. First off I don’t think you see the over all picture that a 17 year old boy has lost his live over non sense. I could care less if he was black or white the fact is that his life had ended at a early age and you are somewhat bashing him talking about his flaws. We all not perfect and therefore have flaws being that you are a reporter you are to report all information not only the flaws of Martin but of the man that killed him. You are to focused on talking about the flaws of Martin and you are making his KILLER look like he was in the right.

    Zimmerman say that he was attacked and he was bleeding from his nose and back of the head but when he was arrested and took to the police station there was no sign of blood on him now you tell me how blood can disappear that quick. I am not here to disrespect you at all. I just want to know it it is possible if we all could get together in a professional setting and converse in a intelligent conversation on this topic.

    I can be reached at glynn_price@yahoo.com. God bless.

    -Glynn Price

  10. you dumb Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    you need to get facts straight first zimmerman racist ass was following him secondly hoodies are made to do exactly what martin was using it for to protect him from the rain and cold if he had done what he was instructed to do and not followed him this wouldn’t be an issue. P.s zimmermman had a longer rap sheet it was just covered up.

  11. SiCqora A. Williams Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    I can understand why you would write this, you’re white. I’m sure you or no one in your family has ever been subject to racial profiling. I noticed you didn’t memtiom any white skateboarders who wear hoodies ? Oh thats righy, white people who wear hoodies are innocent. Trayvon Martin was minding his own business. Tbe 911 dispatcher told George Zimmerman to STAY IN GIS VEHICLE. And just exactly why was Trayvon guilty of looming “suspicious” ? Was it because he’s black ? I’m sure if a you.g white girl like yourself wore a hoodie, Zimmerman would not have felt.threatened or that you looked “suspicious”. Dont try to distract attention from.the facts to make this look like anything other than what it is A HATE CRIME. Trayvon’s character had nothing to do with this senseless killing. George Zimmerman knew nothingof Trayvon’s suspensions from school nor was it any of his business. That is completely irrelevant as is this bias article. How does a young white female know ANYTHING about looking suspicious ? Stick to writing small campus stories. You are way out of your league and nothing in this article makes sense.

    • Maggie Olson Reply

      March 30, 2012 at 2:06 pm


      You’re statement, “I can understand why you would write this, you’re white. I’m sure you or no one in your family has ever been subject to racial profiling” saddens me because it reeks of racial profiling. I am a ‘white’ female who has been subject so racial profiling an unreal amount of times. The names I get called, the questions I get asked, the looks I receive, the judgements that are made about me, all because I am naturally tan? It’s pathetic. Let me also add this, there are ‘white people’ who are pale as all get out, that are also victims of racial profiling. We are often called racists and bigots BECAUSE OF THE COLOR OF OUR SKIN. These judgements are not based on statements or opinions we have given, just the color we were born.
      Furthermore, when someone makes jokes about my Jewish heritage, or about the Holocaust–a period in history that lead to enslavement of Jews so that they could be MURDERED– they’re just being politically incorrect. It’s only when a white person is directing this sort of behavior to an African-American is it racist. It’s not considered racist when a white person is the victim. Let’s get really honest for a second, black people are just as racist against white people, but somehow that’s never talked about.

      Racism can only end when there is honesty about what’s really going on and what’s really going on is there is racism and racial profiling on both sides. Don’t believe me? Let me give you an example of racial profiling;

      “I can understand why you would write this, you’re white. I’m sure you or no one in your family has ever been subject to racial profiling.”
      -SiCqora A. Williams

  12. @BEAUTINBRAINS10 Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 10:35 pm


    With all due respect, you can’t bring up Martin’s school record without bringing up Zimmerman’s CRIMINAL record. More research, please…

  13. vaunna Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    Actually Zimmerman approached Martin after being told by police to avoid confrontation. I would think as the editor in chief you would pay more attentiom to getting the details right.

  14. Mark Moore Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    You are assuming like many are. Wait until they finish investigating. You are spreading lies and showing your ignorance. Racist La Tech people I tell ya.

    • John Emory Reply

      March 30, 2012 at 12:45 pm

      Please don’t let this small minded, probable bigot form your opinion of our university. We’re not all like that.

    • tboz203 - BulldogPride Reply

      March 30, 2012 at 3:44 pm

      It’s just this one writer, and this isn’t her first questionable article. We’re as offended and disgusted as you are, and we’re going to do some prodding and see if we can’t get her removed. Don’t get me wrong, we have our idiots and our racists, but don’t let them color your opinion of us.


  15. Brittany Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    Its not about a hoodie, ice tea, or skittles, it’s about a self-appointed individual who murdered a young man. That’s all. Death. Unaccomplished potential.

    PS. Although you may have tried be unbiased in your reporting, you failed to mention Zimmerman’s “criminal history” or lack there of. (his father’s a judge)

  16. Keith Brown Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    So if I shoot someone with a trench coat and just say “he as looking suspicious” is it also his fault?

  17. kollegekidd.com Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    Your op-ed was very one-side. As editor-in-chief, you shouldn’t spew out hate.

  18. roll tide roll Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    “Do not look suspicious if you have nothing to be suspicious about” this statement alone is ridiculous. Also,I would like to know what the child who again who was killed and unarmed previous records have to do with this case at all. You did not mention Zimmermans pervious chargers if you want to spill past incidents you should smear both names involved. Also, a hoodie does not give right to say that person is dangerous just like tattoos or piercings. “The word hoodie sounds suspicious”, I must say this article was quite amusing none the less.

    Student from the Univeristy of Alabama

  19. ME24601 Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    You got some crucial facts wrong. For example Trayvon WAS NOT following Zimmerman. The exact opposite is true.

  20. Jose Saez Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    As a student of the media I am not going to bash you at all. You tackled an important issue. Your points were clearly stated. You’ve started a conversation Miss. Spence.

    What would be possible motives for Martin starting a conflict?

    What are the reasons for citing his high school record?

    Did Zimmerman see him, identify him, and act accordingly to a suspension for an empty marijuana bag? (I read up on it last night)

    Trayvon didn’t look too harmful and I’m sure he was undersized in the physical conflict?

    What about the neighbors that saw Zimmerman start the fight and get his ass kicked?

    If Trayvon was the aggressor why was he shot in the back?

    Just a few questions…

  21. Jose Saez Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    BTW that title is too racially charged for your campus…

    • Rod Reply

      March 30, 2012 at 6:50 pm

      This is the truest comment I’ve read so far.

  22. Anonymous Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    Rebecca needs to resign immediately.

  23. Kristie Williams Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    You are making Louisiana Tech look very ignorant and simple-minded. Do you really think Martin, who was minding his business, was going around looking suspicious? So what if he had a hood on. That gave Zimmerman no right to follow this child and kill him. You do not know how Martin looked walking back to his father’s girlfriend house. Zimmerman was suspicious of young black people period, as a witness stated. “defending a hoodies innocence is ignorant” is a ignorant statement. It was raining, but I guess Martin was suppose to walk in the rain, right. Hoodie sounding suspicious and associating it with hoodlums is what you get off of tv. That would be like me saying rich white people are king pins. Please don’t be so narrow minded.

    • Anthony Gregory Reply

      March 30, 2012 at 3:08 pm

      Making Louisiana Tech look bad? No ma’am, she is typical of the views of many Tech students who are so insulated in their perfect lives that there just has to be a reason that a volunteer neighborhood watch captain who was not on duty would shoot a black kid. I mean come on, didn’t you read that he’s BLACK, everyone knows that we are more prone to violence and crime. This is one of those examples of bigotry that really opens your eyes as to how people feel about race relations in this country. Don’t worry though, this young lady has a very bright future as a Fox News writer.

      • tboz203 - BulldogPride Reply

        March 30, 2012 at 4:05 pm

        I cannot say that all Tech students are not racist or bigoted. I cannot even say that most Tech students are not racist or bigoted; I have no idea.
        However, I can say that I and many of my fellow students are appalled, embarrassed, and ashamed. This article and this writer are not representative of Louisiana Tech University.


  24. Jose Saez Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    For more comments check out my Twitter @LukeKritiph

  25. Rational person Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    You do realize that all of your “facts” contradict even what the Zimmermans and their lawyer say? No reports by any media outlet coincide with anything you say has been reported…please leave your press credentials at the door on your way out

  26. Shante Benion Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    This article should have NEVER been printed in the TECH TALK! Your comments are ridiculous and bias. With that said, if you are going to comment on the Trayvon Martin case you should mention all of the details! Yet you failed to mention the part when the 911 operator told Zimmerman NOT to FOLLOW Trayvon. So who was following who again??? How could it be Trayvon’s fault if he was the one being followed? Some people are so paranoid that they react to anything! Zimmerman was a racist and killed because he could get away with it. How can wearing a hood mean someone is being suspicious? So, if you wear shorts does that give men the right to automatically touch your legs?! Umm, NO it does NOT! If you are going to publish articles in the TECH TALK, you need to do your homework, come with reasonable arguments, and KNOW what you are talking about! Good day.

  27. Abbie Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    It seems that proper research was not done before this article was written. The main point that people seem to overlook was that I earlier reports it was stated that it was RAINING the night Trayvon was killed. Who wouldn’t put on a hoodie in the rain? People get so caught up in the media that they don’t bother to do their research. Also, at no point was Trayvon the one following Zimmerman. Zimmerman instigated the confrontation which ultimately led to the death of an innocent teen. Also, I find it hard to believe that a child talking on the phone while eating skittles and drinking a tea can be “suspicious”. So I’m sorry but I have to disagree. Would you not put on a hoodie of you were caught in the rain too?

  28. Jalysa Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    So this article is to speak for Tech’s Student body?…..Wow it’s funny how journalism is the major of this young lady, and yet so much “relevant” information is omitted from it. You’d be a good reporter for the news that shows what the people want to hear and not the whole truth.

  29. tearra Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 11:21 pm


  30. Letitia Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    Ms. Spence, your facts are skewed which would make your whole article invalid. Also, I would like to ask if your campus bookstore sells hoodies. If it does, would it not be correct to say that hoodies are a form of clothing used to show school pride? The hoods on this simple garment protect a person from the elements. Let’s not forget that it is March and if I remember correctly, it was slightly raining the night of this incident. That would give Martin every right to have his hood on, aside from the fact that it is a free country and nobody has the right to tell another how to wear their clothes.
    Once the call was made, Zimmerman had no right to give pursuit. Vigilante justice is not something that should be happening in our country. He should have let the proper authorities handle it.
    On the comments on Martin’s past, they are irrelevant. There is a difference with not being a trouble maker and never being in trouble. You would be hard pressed to find any child in America who has NEVER been in trouble. Don’t blame the victim for someone else’s indiscretions against them. Wrong is wrong.

  31. Whitney Freeman Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    When you are stating how information indicated that Martin started the fight please state how the 911 respondent told. Zimmerman not to follow Mr. Martin. Please and Thank you.

  32. Krystal Wimbley Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    WOW… That’s all I’ll say! You’re a senior journalism major? You should consider another field and you may eat to do some fact checks before going to press!

  33. De'Nita Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    Ok, I have multiple issues with this little article. First off what information are you reporting from because Zimmerman’s call to dispatch clearly reveals Zimmerman was following Martin, not Martin following Zimmerman. Dispatch clearly asks Zimmerman was he following the young man, he replied yes they stated for him to stop and he deliberately continued following this young man. Second how do you have the audacity to even say Martin plays a fault in his death by wearing a hoodie and behaving suspiciously. Let’s clear something with reports, Martin was not suspicious because of a hoodie, he only put the hoodie on after ZIMMERMAN began following him. Thirdly, what is defined as suspicious? Why was he suspicious looking, what made him stand out from any other member of the neighborhood. Maybe Zimmerman was suspicious looking to Martin by following him, I know I would have felt frightened in Martin’s position! For this statement of hoodies are associated with hoodlums is inane. If that’s the case Hollister, Aeropostale, and many more clothing labels should stop selling them. Simple point Zimmerman had no right to follow this young man, and take his life. There is no justifying this I don’t care what Trayvon’s background consisted of. Zimmerman also has negative background history sooo your point is? My point and the entire nations point JUSTICE FOR TRAYVON MARTIN!

  34. C. Winston Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    A good reporter should report the facts and nothing but the facts. In this article you stated that Martin had offenses but what about Zimmerman? It has been “Reported” that Zimmerman had multiple run ins even had an altercation with the police. I think you left out the fact that he not only had a temper but it was reported he had a drinking problem. Martin was not caught with drugs, there was a bag that smelled like marijuana. A good news articles states the facts. I was reading an article yesterday that asked the question can a women that was raped be told it was her fault because of what she choose to put on that day…..

  35. Earnest Jackson Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    I am a LaTech alumni. This article should not have been posted. Students and athletes walk around campus with hoodies all the time. There is no association with hoodies and hoodlum. An unarmed, innocent kid was shot regardless of his record or past. There are no excuses. This is not a good look for Louisiana Tech University.

  36. Tremaine Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    Okay, If that is the case, I am going to need the Klu Klux Klan to remove their Hoodies. Where by chance did you get you information from? It sounds like you just went to one source and ran with it. In Researching, you are suppose to be unbias and report from both sides of the story, not just from the side that you support. Explain tome: How does one article of clothing basically defines the type of person that you are? How does wearing a hoodie transform from an average person into a suspicious character when you can buy a hoodie in just about in every store? Can you say sterotyping?

    • Rod Reply

      March 30, 2012 at 7:00 pm

      If someone was wearing a KKK hood, I would be immediately suspicious.

  37. Robyn Sapenter Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    This should be considered ignorant hate speech. I hope the family comes after you and Louisiana Tech for the liablous slander you have put on this boys name.

    Rebecca, the fact that you actually equate wearing a hoodie to “looking suspicion” therefore giving some weight as to why Zimmerman was right to shoot a unarmed, teenager is (again I say) ignorant.

    Should Justin Bieber be shot? Ellen Degenerous? Riahanna? Miley Cyrus? Do they look suspicious when they wear hoodies? Does popular retailers like Abercrombie and Fitch, JC Penneys’s, and Hollister perpetuate the ‘Hoodlum’ image you spoke of?


    Be honest with YOURSELF and the other majority of Americans that blame Martins shooting on the fact that he was wearing a hoodie on a rainy feburary day: Its not the fact he was wearing a hoodie….its the fact that he was black and wearing a hoodie…and the two of those COMBINED made his a target.

    The craziest thing about the entire situation is, the first men to wear hoodies and look suspicious were acutally committing crimes…and apparently might just be members of the Editors and Chiefs family.

    • Rod Reply

      March 30, 2012 at 7:08 pm

      Libelous slander isn’t a real charge.

      Libel: defamation by written or printed words, pictures, or in any form other than by spoken words or gestures.

      Slander: defamation by oral utterance rather than by writing, pictures, etc.

      You can’t charge an author of an article for slander.

      And yes, Justin Beiber should be shot.

  38. Destiny Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    The person who wrote this article should not speak about the situation and DEFINATELY not on the Internet….I don’t give a damn if he had on a hoodie with pink and yellow lights hanging from it..he is a teenager that’s what we do in the rain..WEAR HOODIES!!! He shouldn’t have lost his life because he looked ” suspicious” that’s by far the dumbest thing I have heard….read up on the ballistics, listen to the 911 tape, TAKE IN CONSIDERATION THE OBVIOUS…ZIMMERMAN IS GUILTY OF MURDER!!!!

    • Rod Reply

      March 30, 2012 at 7:13 pm

      Referring to your first sentence: this is the online version of the actual newspaper. It isn’t a blog.

  39. Shakea Carodine Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    Hi Rebecca,
    My name is Shakea Carodine. I’m a sophomore at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. I recently read your article and I commend you on speaking your mind however, there were a few points that I didn’t agree with. First, you pointed out that both Zimmerman and Trayvon are to blame for the killing of Trayvon Martin. Nobody deserves to lose their life especially a 17-year-old who was just walking to his father’s girlfriend’s house. Also, one of your points is incorrect. You said that Trayvon was following Zimmerman when in fact it was Zimmerman who had been following Trayvon so I thought I should clarify that to your readers. Also, you made a stereotype that says that wearing the hood to a hoodie is connected to the “hood” and hoodlums. That’s incorrect. A hood on a hoodie is simply headgear; it’s to be worn on your head and no matter what your race is, wearing that hoodie or hoodie shouldn’t justify that you’re from the hood or a hoodlum. And finally, you made some statements about some of the trouble Trayvon has been in. Nobody is perfect. We’ve all done things when we were younger that was wrong so pointing out his faults was irrelevant. The point is is that a 17-year-old lost his life because Zimmerman “claimed” that he was looking suspicious and after shooting Trayvon, he claimed self defense. Well answer me this, how is it self defense when Zimmerman got out of his truck and pursued Trayvon? Would you get out of your vehicle to pursue someone you thought was suspicious? I’ll leave you to ponder that question.

  40. Black longhorn Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    Where do you get your news from? First and foremost, Zimmerman stalked and accosted Trayvon Martin as he was walking home. Zimmerman had been asked not follow Martin and not only did he disobey the the dispatch he got out and approached him.

    Onto the hoodie, it was said that night it was raining, what is suspicious about a head covering in the rain? Furthermore, you blame an article of clothing for someone’s prejudiced, violent attitude. To put rappers in the same Category of criminals is also wreck less and shows your own prejudices and ignorance.


    March 29, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    I am Michael Bowden a Graduating Senior matriculating from Grambling State University. I read your article a couple of times and I must say that your facts are one sided. You give the information on how Trayvon Martin record for schools suspensions and being caught with marijuana didn’t make his record a 100 percent clean but you felt to mention Zimmerman record, 7/18/05 resisting arrest with violence and battery on a law enforcement officer, 8/9/05 for domestic violence and again on 8/10/05. You also say that the reason behind Zimmerman not being arrested was because of self defense which I believe is partially correct but you never stated that George Zimmerman is the son of retired Supreme Court Magistrate Judge Robert J Zimmerman and his mother Gladys Zimmerman a court clerk, which was one of the reasons his records were seal. I feel by the article you don’t see how Zimmerman was racial profiling Trayvon by the statement you made (defending the hoodie’s innocence is ignorant.) so lets see if I can put this in a way that you would better understand. What if all African Americans walk in a Wal Mart and assume that all Caucasians were on Welfare? I mean Caucasians do make up 61%. In this article you make it seems as Trayvon Martin was in the wrong for wearing a hoodie. Which confuses me because if its raining outside I would grab a hoodie to protect my head then grab an umbrella to finish protecting whats not covered completely. My questions I raise to you is if you felt like hoodies were associated with hoods are bad pigmentations of stealing and corrupting our youth why haven’t you boycotted stores like American Eagle or Aeropostal or even your beloved bookstore? Why was a neighborhood watch person carrying a gun? Why was the narcotics officer the first to question Zimmerman and not a homicide officer? I respect your opinion but you must not be bias in reporting on a case.

    • Rod Reply

      March 30, 2012 at 7:19 pm

      I would grab an umbrella to cover my head in the rain. That’s just me, though.

      I also don’t think any at Tech would describe the bookstore as “beloved.” It’s really expensive and doesn’t have a very good selection. It doesn’t even have any outlets to plug in laptops!

  42. Anonymous Tech Student Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    As a Tech student, I am very ashamed of this article. I can’t tell if this columnist is auditioning for an analyst position on the Fox News network or if she is oblivious to present day culture. First of all, she doesn’t have her facts straight. Zimmerman is NOT the head of any neighborhood watch. He is not even part of the program. Secondly, Miss. Geraldo Rivera labeled 50 cent as someone “who is up to no good”. Someone please inform this moron what the SK movement that 50 cent started is centered around. He is attempting to feed a billion children in Africa. He does a lot of charity work for the hungry people in Africa. I guess he is a “gangster”. She also stated that Martin was acting suspicious. She must have been a secret witness that saw the whole shooting take place. Overall, this column was full of misguided information and an ignorant-fueled view. This is a prime example on why I don’t pick up a Tech Talk routinely.

  43. sheka Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    This article is baffling. Like sorry, but the association with hoodies and “the hood” is ridiculous. I am an African American female and I sometimes wear hoodies with my hood on to hide my appearance because I don’t really feel presentable. Does this mean I am up to no good and am from the hood and ultimately up to no good? People from ALL walks of life purchase hoodies, of which most of the time are called SWEATSHIRTS, I have no idea why there is a need to call it a hoodie in this case. Nor why the writer finds it so imperative to make the association between who wears them and the apparent reasoning as to why one would wear one. Might I add, I agree with neither. Lastly, I don’t think Trayvon’s school record or anything dealing with his life has any relevance to the fact that he was murdered. Zimmerman wasn’t provided with a fact sheet of this kid’s history, even if he had, that still doesn’t excuse his actions. By the way I’m pretty sure Justin Bieber wears hoodies, is he threatening as well?

  44. mercedes Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 11:53 pm


  45. Destiny Reply

    March 29, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    And REBECCA SPENCE..NUMBER 1: if holding skittles and a sweet tea is considered suspicious to you then let’s go to every middle school and shoot kids….Number 2: “wearing a hoodie can be related to the hood ” is far from the truth because hollester, Aeropostale, A&F, Gap, and hot topic (just to name a few) All sell hoodies and those are predominately WHITE stores…You are a senior in college??? They shouldn’t allow for you to graduate for the pure ignorance you call an article…

  46. Donyelle Davis Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 12:02 am

    This is disgusting. As a former reporter and editor, I think it is completely unacceptable in any context, be it a story or column to state blatantly incorrect facts. I commend Dr. Owens for his contributions to proper and civil race relations and it is sad that this woman’s ignorance has damaged the current state of race relations at Louisiana Tech.

  47. MilaJ Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 12:09 am

    You know what it’s people like you that make black people think some white people are ignorant and by you writing this it proves that you are one of thoes many ignorant people your writing about a case that you didn’t even research nor do you have a clue about trayvon never followed George … George followed him the police even told George NOT TO but no he followed him anyway and you know WHAT IF IM 17 WALKING HOME WITH SKITTLES AND A ARIZONA ICE TEA AND I SEE SOME ONE FOLLOWING ME I AM GOING TO ASK THEM IF THERE’S A PROBLEM AND YOU KNOW WHAT IF THEY DID FIGHT GEORGE STARTED IT! And another thing if wearing a hoodie make you look dangerous that means everyone looks dangerous EVEN YOU YOU INGNORANT LITTLE GIRL BECAUSE IM PRETTY SURE YOU OWN HOODIES WHIT THE HOODS ON THEM TO LIKE EVERYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD AND YOU ALSO LEFT OUT THE PART WHERE GEORGE CALLED TRAYVON A COON! OR DID YOU JUST NOT PUT THAT IN BECAUSE YOU FELT IT WASN’T IMPORTANT OH AND LET’S NOT FORGET PEOPLE HEARD TRAYVON SCREAMING FOR HELP …SCREAMIN FOR HIS LIFE BUT I HAVE ONE QUESTION IF YOU WEAR A HOODIE AND ARE WALKIN AROUND WITH SKITTLES AND AN ARIZONA ICE TEA DOES THAT GIVE ME THE RIGHT TO MURDER YOU

  48. MilaJ Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 12:09 am

    You know what it’s people like you that make black people think some white people are ignorant and by you writing this it proves that you are one of thoes many ignorant people your writing about a case that you didn’t even research nor do you have a clue about trayvon never followed George … George followed him the police even told George NOT TO but no he followed him anyway and you know WHAT IF IM 17 WALKING HOME WITH SKITTLES AND A ARIZONA ICE TEA AND I SEE SOME ONE FOLLOWING ME I AM GOING TO ASK THEM IF THERE’S A PROBLEM AND YOU KNOW WHAT IF THEY DID FIGHT GEORGE STARTED IT! And another thing if wearing a hoodie make you look dangerous that means everyone looks dangerous EVEN YOU YOU INGNORANT LITTLE GIRL BECAUSE IM PRETTY SURE YOU OWN HOODIES WHIT THE HOODS ON THEM TO LIKE EVERYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD AND YOU ALSO LEFT OUT THE PART WHERE GEORGE CALLED TRAYVON A COON! OR DID YOU JUST NOT PUT THAT IN BECAUSE YOU FELT IT WASN’T IMPORTANT OH AND LET’S NOT FORGET PEOPLE HEARD TRAYVON SCREAMING FOR HELP …SCREAMIN FOR HIS LIFE BUT I HAVE ONE QUESTION IF YOU WEAR A HOODIE AND ARE WALKIN AROUND WITH SKITTLES AND AN ARIZONA ICE TEA DOES THAT GIVE ME THE RIGHT TO MURDER YOU

  49. Deanna Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 12:10 am

    You claim that race was not an issue as to why this whole situation took place yet you gave several examples of AFRICAN AMERICAN people regarding the hoodies that are worn in “hood” movies. People wear hoodies with the hoods up everyday in every state including caucasion people. I do not think he was trying to hide his identity. Afterall he was not armed nor was he dangerous. He had a bag of skittles and an iced tea. Why whould he feel the need to wear his hood to hide his identity becaue of this? I don’t think we should wait until April 10th to have an trial for Zimmerman. If he were arrested when all of this first happened there would be ONE story and not all these loose stories all over the place. The word hoodie sounds suspicious? Okay so would it sound better if people said Martin had on a sweatshirt because basically that’s exactly what a hoodie is!! Either way he was unreasonably shot and murdered. Whether Zimmerman is arrested or not. Justice will be given where it is due.

  50. synthia Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 12:16 am

    First off… in no way has the evidence concluded Martin was following the shooter. The shooter got out of his car and followed Martin. Hints the 911 dispathers telling the shooter NOT to pursue. So your facts are invalid. Number two.. this hoodie to blame stuff is a bunch of irrational b.s. Pile of excuses. So because im having a bad hair day and choose to throw on my hoodie im suspicious?? So it would be rational to say because of racism and the role whites play in its history, everytime an unfriendly or any white person for that matter crosses my path i am to lash out for feaer of them being offensive?? This article is ignorant unresearched and low key STILL racist. I wonder if the hoodie would be to blame AT ALL if it was your boyfriend or brother. I think not all youd be screaming is justice.

  51. A.Mitchell Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 12:18 am

    I don’t even know where to begin in response to this senseless article. I don’t understand your reasoning or logic in finding a way to desensitize the issue at hand.. which has been and still is.. that an innocent young man has lost his life due to ignorance. Next time, think before publishing your unsympathetic views on such serious issues.

    I am all for self-expression and freedom of speech but as a writer and more so, an “editor-in-chief”, I would hope that you choose to use some discretion in your future articles.

    It’s funny but EVERY TIME I enter Walmart in Ruston, I run into AT LEAST one student of Louisiana Tech and 9 times out of 10, they’re wearing a hoodie (and sometimes sweat pants). Does that make them “suspicious”??? Just curious..

  52. synthia Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 12:18 am

    And excuse the typos.. IM PISSED!


    March 30, 2012 at 12:19 am


    • Rod Reply

      March 30, 2012 at 7:28 pm

      Please. Calm. Down. And. Use. Punctuation.

      • The REAL ROD Reply

        March 31, 2012 at 1:52 am

        To Rod
        I have realized that you are what we call a ” @$&$&)@”, to put as simply as possible. You obviously have some connection to the author of this column and just want to make ” $&$@$@&” irrelevant comments. I suggest you sit down clown. Remember big brother is always watching. Good day.

        • Rod Reply

          March 31, 2012 at 10:42 am

          Not quite sure what language that it, but I’m assuming it’s an insult. Since it is a different language, it is not put as simply as possible since I obviously speak English.

          My comments are, in fact, irrelevant to the article (until you get further down and I talk about people’s logic). Your attacking me more making irrelevant comments is hypocritical because your comment is also irrelevant to the article.

          I am in no way defending Spence. The only connection I have is that I go to Tech. However, your connection between my connection with Spence and my wanting to make irrelevant comments (which is true. I’m trolling for funzies) doesn’t make any sense. If my motivation was connected to my “connection” with Spence, I would have spent much more time talking about how everyone is blowing this thing out of proportion.

          But instead, I wanted to have some fun by making fun of people like Mr. Bonyfield.

          Also, I don’t know why you decided to choose the name “the REAL ROD” but it’s nice to meet other Rods. Is it short for Rodney or Roderick? Mine is short for Rodney. That’s my dad’s middle name.

        • techtalk_seay Reply

          March 31, 2012 at 10:54 am

          Please try to monitor your language as we are trying to keep this site civilized.

          Tech Talk Moderator.

  54. Amber Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 12:20 am

    I commend you on a well written article, but I must say that some things in your article are not facts. For example, it was raining the night Martin was walking with a hoodie on which is probably the reason why he had the hood up. Most people in general, especially males wear hoodies when there is a little rain outside. Also news report shows that Zimmerman was the one who decided to follow Martin although police advised him not to. This article is based on your opinion and regardless if hoodies have a bad reputation or not it doesn’t give anyone the right to judge.


    • Rod Reply

      March 30, 2012 at 7:31 pm

      What’s your source on the hoodie statistic? I personally use an umbrella when it’s drizzling outside.

      • Susan Hendon Reply

        April 3, 2012 at 10:40 pm

        How many 17 year olds own an umbrella? Not a lot. Trayvon was a teen and like most threw on a hoodie just to walk to the store.

  55. Shardae Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 12:23 am

    I’m sorry but this article is so stupid. You need to seriously think before you ever right something so ridiculous again.

    • Rod Reply

      March 30, 2012 at 7:32 pm

      You meant to say “write,” right?

  56. Ophelia James Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 12:24 am

    Good evening/morning Rebecca. My name is Ophelia and I’m a student at Grambling State University. First and foremost, I would like to commend you on writing an article that is recieving such a great amount of attention. I’m not a journalism student, but I’m sure that is a good thing for you. However, I have two questions: from what sources did you gather your information about Martin’s school behavioral records, and why is it that you omitted information about Zimmerman’s legal history? I agree with my fellow Gramblinites when they say that your article seems to be extremely biased in Zimmerman’s favor. I would greatly appreciate an answer to my questions. I can be contacted at opheliashuntel@yahoo.com

  57. Cody Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 12:27 am

    You are horribly misinformed… did you even hear the news story? Did you read any sources? Have you ever heard of bias? Here you go:

    Prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair.
    Show prejudice for or against (someone or something) unfairly: “the tests were biased against women”; “a biased view of the world”.
    noun. prejudice – inclination – partiality – tendency
    verb. influence – prejudice

    You can do that by typing ‘define *word*’ in google, where ‘*word*’ (without quotes) is the word you want to know the meaning of.

    If I were you, I’d learn the meaning of every word you just threw up in that word soup of an article.

    • Rod Reply

      March 30, 2012 at 7:33 pm

      Those are parentheses, not quotes.

      • Soi Reply

        April 2, 2012 at 12:49 am

        Rod go find something else to do besides comment on everyone’s post. Stop being so immature!

  58. Brandon Haygood Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 12:33 am

    After reading this article, I am appalled and embarrassed to call myself a Louisiana Tech alumni. I just can’t understand why we continue to ignore the fact that a young man’s life was taken for no reason at all. Who do people think they are to play god. And to hear the excuse of fear for life is nauseating. A person in fear does not pursue what they fear. I know its cliche to say but you cannot judge a book by its cover. For someones life to be taken over a piece of clothing and an assumption is absolutely absurd. It is 2012, when are we are going to move on past this racists and stereotypical mentality. I pray that my daughter never has fear for her life or scream for help because of the color of her skin and the type of clothing she has on.

  59. Courtney Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 12:37 am

    I see you are getting a lot of hate from this article but I honestly just want to know where you got your facts from cause your story is all backwards. what does his school have to dip with him being killed? Did Zimmerman know his school record? He couldn’t have. Some of the cleanest looking white boys have been suspended from school and do drugs. Do they deserve top be killed to? Zimmerman was actually following Martin. It was also raining that night. How doesn’t try to cover their head when it is raining? I have seen plenty of white boys with hoods on so who it’s going to kill them? I wear sweatshirts with hoods on them, should I be followed and shot too? My record is clean but know I’ve really knows that.

    These are serious questions and I honestly want to know your opinion about what I said.

  60. ayo Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 12:37 am


    I don’t think you are coming from a place of prejudice but your approach to writing this article lacks a bit of depth and research. The hoodie originated from being a fashion statement that is now worn not only by the people like 50cent who you referenced but college students who your magazine caters too. Are they criminals who are hiding something as well?

    I don’t want to assume you were brought up in a state of privilege without an inkling for what prejudice reeks like, but your article strongly moves towards this.

    • Rod Reply

      March 30, 2012 at 7:35 pm


  61. UnderstandThis Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 12:37 am

    Im just saying a hoodie did not justify a gunshot no matter how many ways you turn this scenario. if there is a suspicious young man in your neighborhood late at night and you are watch for your community, if ever verbally confronted by a 17 YEAR OLD MALE, and you should then state your reasons as to why he is being followed. Zimmerman has a right to WATCH OUT for his community…that doesn’t mean shoot any unwelcomed visitors. he should not have been carrying a gun AT ALL, after placing his call to the police he should have let the police do their job.

  62. Courtney Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 12:38 am


  63. Clair Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 12:42 am

    Has anything really been concluded? Don’t you think it’s a little early to be saying this? I’ve seen many conflicting reports in regards to how their finally moments of conflict happened and nothing said conclusively Trayvon was following Zimmerman at any point. We only know for certain Zimmerman was following Trayvon because of his omission of that on the 911 tapes.

    Also, how do we determine a person’s innocence in life? He had several suspensions from school & may have smoked marijuana? What in your eyes does this make him? How does this have any bearing on why he was killed?

  64. Lee Marvin Adams Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 12:45 am

    this is the most asinine attempt at journalism/editorial comment/use of the English language I have ever witnessed, and as a Tech Alumnus, it is doubly disappointing to see it published in a publication associated with my alma mater. Logically then, it also follows that women who wear certain types of clothes contribute to some degree to their sexual assaults too? Two things are immediately very clear. The author of this discourse did very little research or applied very little forethought to what was put down on paper. and the author very likely suffers from some of the pathetically skewed biases we now know Mr. Zimmerman has. Nikita Krushchev said, “Whether you like it or not, history is on our side. We will bury you!” I used to think that was absurd arrogance on his part. This entire sequence of events, and the constant train of veiled diatribe like this that has followed makes me worry.

  65. Joi Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 12:46 am

    So, I’m guessing there will be no more production of Louisiana Tech University hoodies? I’m an alum, and I recall students from every walk of life walking around campus in hoodies – including honors students, organization leaders, members of spirit and support groups, students on the Dean’s and President’s lists… I could go on, but you’ve made it very clear in this article that for many, many years Louisiana Tech University has been fighting an epidemic of thousands of suspicious hoodlums swarming its “halls so beautiful” and “pleasant walks” with their ill-intent and criminal hearts.

    Ms. Spence, you should know better than this.

  66. TONY Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 12:49 am


    • Rod Reply

      March 30, 2012 at 7:37 pm

      Everyone is entitled to an opinion. Such as your opinion that all caps is an effective way to convey a message.

  67. wjwalker Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 12:49 am

    This is quite possibly one of the most ignorant articles I’ve seen by a so-called journalist in sometime. You haven’t looked at the facts of the case that are known at this point. Martin went to the convenience store, Zimmerman was suspicious of him to begin with without Martin even doing anything. Before, the incident even occurred, Zimmerman disobeyed the dispatcher and engaged Martin (therefore, Zimmerman was following Martin)

    Next an altercation took place. Zimmerman claims being jumped from behind and attacked. Yet no marks were on him per video following his detainment, and no marks other then the wound were found on Martin.

    Your logic has it that wearing a hooded sweatshirt, or hoodie, was enough to say “you’re suspicious, you should be watched and harrassed by law enforcement” By that logic, women who were revealing clothing are saying “rape me”.

    Lastly, before you make the inevitable assumptions about this email, I’ll fill you on something. Mr. Martin’s history, regardless of how checkered it is, has no bearing as far as this event. By including that as basis for saying “he’s not a saint” you are in essences saying, “o well, another one is gone.” Also I work in the judicial system and perform evaluations on individuals quite similar to both Zimmerman and Martin, based on the known facts, Zimmerman should be sitting in jail waiting on a trial date for at the minimum a charge of manslaughter.

    • Rod Reply

      March 30, 2012 at 7:43 pm

      Actually, that logic would suggest that women wearing revealing clothing are saying “I want you to approach me.”

      The fallacy in the logic you proposed is that the first case ends in an attitude towards the subject whereas the second case ends in a physical action on the subject.

  68. Genecia Whitney Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 12:51 am

    First off, what about Zimmerman’s domestic viloence issues and his attacking an officer? He is not 100 percent clean either! Secondly, if I see a WHITE person with a hoodie, will they be suspicious and ignorant? May I shoot them for wearing a hoodie too? Walk free? No because I am BLACK. It is most definitely a racial thing! If not, everyone who owns a hoodie would be murdered according to you. As far as the rappers, what about Eminem?? He is WHITE and wears hoodies. Is he ignorant, a hoodlum?? Nonetheless, “looking” suspicious DO NOT give anyone a reason to be murdered. Everyone could look suspicious at night. Zimmerman’s watchman position or Martin’s looks should have not caused Martin his life.

    • Rod Reply

      March 30, 2012 at 7:47 pm

      You defeated your own argument there.
      “Secondly, if I see a WHITE person with a hoodie, will they be suspicious and ignorant?…No”
      “Everyone could look suspicious at night.”

  69. Tee Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 12:55 am

    Zimmerman should have been arrested on the spot because despite of Martins background he still should have not been murdered. People keep saying Martin was suspended , he smoked weed,his twitter name and comments were foul but none of those things pulled the trigger that took a typical 17 yr old male’s life. I can’t think of one student that didn’t do any of those things just to fit in for a day or be known at school. But people seem to pinpoint all the negative things out just to defend zimmerman. Also how was Martin following zimmerman when he made the call and said he was following the 150 pound teenager. Some of these comments are ignorant especially about the hoodie which is Just a hooded sweatshirt how clothing make a person look suspicious maybe it wasn’t just his hoodie. I pray that people look at the facts and that justice is served, wrong is wrong and right is right.

  70. Carlos Rodriguez Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 12:55 am

    Please drop out of school now as you’ve evidently learned nothing about your field of study. Nearly everything you have said in this “article” is wrong and downright blasphemous. I particularly found it hilarious when you lumped 50 Cent into a group “up to no good.” You mean the same 50 Cent who’s a multi-millionaire, who created Vitamin Water, who just bought his own company to design his own headphones, who is associated with multiple charitable organizations? What a despicable person. You are as ignorant as Giraldo if you honestly believe this drivel. I wear a hoodie every time it rains. Should someone accost me on my way to school for looking suspicious?

    • Rod Reply

      March 30, 2012 at 7:55 pm

      1) It was an Op/Ed piece.
      2)How was it blasphemous?

  71. NAUSHA LEWIS Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 12:55 am

    This ARTICLE PROVES THAT RACISM AND PROFILING STILL EXIST! R u serious?? Let’s discuss Zimmerman’s background. U never mentioned that…hmmmm. I wonder y? Because n u own little world(mind) u don’t wanna accept the fact that this grown man is wrong!!!

    • Rod Reply

      March 30, 2012 at 7:56 pm

      I figured the continued existence of the Ku Klux Klan proved the whole racism thing. My bad.

  72. Terrica Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 12:58 am

    Yea I think u are just prejudice because hoodies are hoodies and they are made to wear! They are called hoodies because they are jackets with hoods! For u to say that stuff u said u clearly DNT knw any better and u def DNT knw nothin about the hood to even make a statement about it. Idk what you were thinking when u decided to say this but I trueky believe that u are wrong and u made a mistake cuz nothing that u said about hoodies or wearing hoodies makes sense..DNT u own a hoodie?? Yea thought so!

  73. Joi Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 12:59 am

    Also: http://latech.bncollege.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/SubcategoryView?catalogId=10001&storeId=65097&categoryId=40040&parentCatId=40008&topCatId=40000&langId=-1

    So one might assume from your article and this merchandising (What is that? About 14 different styles of hoodies offered by the bookstore?) Louisiana Tech University encourages its students to look like graffiti artists, rappers, actors playing hood characters in movies, gas store robbers, and other all-around up-to-no-good types.

  74. Monesia Holland Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 1:00 am

    Hi Rebecca,

    I found out about your article from my #GramFam and I must say that I don’t agree with some of your statements. One, because I’m almost positively sure that you have plenty of Louisiana Tech HOODies, our atleast one. So does that make you look suspicious when you wear them? Secondly, it was raining as Zimmerman stated in the phone call, so of course Trayvon was wearing the hood on his hoodie. Wouldn’t you shield your head from the rain? And another thing, if you’re in a neighborhood and someone is following you, would you NOT be looking around (which is one of the reasons he supposedly looked “SUSPICIOUS”)? I would! Also during the phone call, the dispatcher told Zimmerman NOT to follow Martin, or did you miss that part? It seems as if you did because you stated in your article that Martin was following Zimmerman. False! The way I look at it, Zimmerman put himself above the law because he went against what he was told NOT to do from the dispatcher. Whether black or white, no person should ever lose their life over nonsense. Zimmerman should not have been trying to play Cop and should have been minding his business. Or he could have just followed him until he reached a destination, but I dont think he should have followed him at all. No SELF APPOINTED neighborhood watchman should be carrying a gun around anyways. I could go on and on about this case but I just wanted to point out some things you seemed to have gotten confused about. You can’t be a journalist or reporter or even comment on a story when you aren’t stating all of the FACTS! God Bless you!

    -Monesia Holland

  75. Lisa Tomkies Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 1:07 am

    As a Tech alum with a degree in Journalism, I have a difficult time understanding the purpose of your piece. It appears that you only state the facts which ATTEMPT to prove your point (again, I don’t know what it is), and you leave out several significant ones. Are you graduating soon? Is this your first quarter as the editor-in-chief? Have you had an internship anywhere? And I didn’t even touch the punctuation and other mistakes. (You DO know that the “S” in Skittles is capitalized because it is the proper name of a candy, right?) If this is how the Journalism department at my alma mater is being run since dear old Wiley Hilburn left, it is truly a sad day in Ruston.

  76. Robert Powell Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 1:11 am

    this was the dumbest thing ive ever read ever… and thats saying something

  77. EditorialChic Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 1:15 am

    This has to be the most ignorant, factless editorial I’ve ever read. Coming from someone who is an avid blogger and journalist, you do NOT produce a piece without having solid facts on what happened. How do you know that Zimmerman was being followed? Did you look into the fact that Zimmerman called the police 46 times since 2004? Did you look closely at his criminal record?

    “Also, information has leaked that Martin had multiple school suspensions and had been caught with marijuana as well. Martin’s record is not 100 percent clean as previously stated.”

    This is all alleged information. However, you didn’t state that these were allegations, but included it in your article as the mere truth.

    On to the hoodie -WTF? So you’re telling me if that you go into your closet, put on a hoodie, and look in the mirror, you see a hoodlum? PLEASE.

    “Do not look suspicious if you have nothing to be suspicious about.”

    Spoken like a true, privileged white woman. WAKE UP. Minorities don’t have to don the hoodie to look suspicious. They are judged by the color of their skin. Plenty of minorities dress in what you would consider “appropriate,” yet sill have to have generalizations and criticism from people like you.

    Do I believe you’re a racist? No, not at all. But I do believe you are misguided. Next time you try to play devil’s advocate, please take time to actually analyze the case from all aspects, and produce a better, more thoughtful piece.

    Best of luck.

  78. Bob Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 1:24 am

    I can’t believe you are in college and wrote this. Have you payed any attention to this case? Zimmerman was NOT followed, he was doing the following in his vehicle! Even after he was told to stop by the 911 operator he continued to follow the boy and then got out of his vehicle to confront him! He claims self defense but there is not a mark on him and a young unarmed boy is shot dead.

    You have no business writing drivil like this unless your future is with Fox News.

  79. Lisa Tomkies Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 1:33 am

    Since my response is awaiting moderation, I politely posted it on Facebook for the other readers who were also sickened and embarrassed to see it.also

  80. elle Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 1:42 am

    How can a hoodie be blamed for a death? What do school suspensions have to do with murder? You have reported every negative detail that you could find about Trayvon Martin but say nothing about allegations made about Zimmerman. You say that if Martin had not been wearing a hoodie, he might still be alive. What a sickening display of victim-blaming.

    Though it is irrelevant, I feel compelled to mention that hooded sweatshirts are immensely popular items of clothing, made for decades now, and not solely worn by “people who are up to no good.” I would also point out that quite a few people up to no good walk around in business suits–remember the condemnation we’ve been heaping on Wall Street guys for half a decade now? Perhaps you’re too young for words like “Enron” to have any meaning, but surely “Madoff” rings a bell?

    I am so very saddened that the newspaper at my alma mater would print this. I cannot believe the editor can get away with using vague/”weasel words” like “information indicates” and “reports have concluded.” And this ridiculous sentence: “Even the word hoodie sounds suspicious and can be easily associated with hoodlums and the hood,” completely ignores the fact that the term hoodie derives from the fact that the shirt has a HOOD. I’d be interested to hear your definition of “the hood,” though it is clear what and where you mean. And that you imply that association “with the hood” is a negative thing undermines the falsely neutral tone you pretend to take here.

    People are not speaking out about Zimmerman solely because he mentioned a hood in his 911 call. People are speaking out about Zimmerman because he killed a boy and justice is not being served. People are speaking out because this case speaks to a long history of racial profiling, of who will be considered suspicious, of who must in some way be guilty of something, of who will be regarded, to use your careful term, as an outsider.

    That you resort to an item of clothing and unrelated infractions to conclude that someone had a role in his own brutal death reflects a twisting of logic long-practiced to justify such events.

  81. Diana Sepulveda Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 1:54 am

    Before I begin I would like to inform you in some standard ethics of being a reporter in this society.

    The following come from the textbook, Media Ethics: Cases and Moral Reasoning (Chapter 2 Truthtelling pg 47)
    “Virtually every code of ethics begins with the newspersons’ duty to tell the truth under al conditions.”
    “Credible language is pivotal to the communication enterprise.”

    I would like to begin with that you are wrong about Trayvon “following” George. Eye witnesses said they heard a young boy crying for help and it stopped once they heard a gun shot. In addition George himself told police that he was following him and he was told to not follow him. If you disagree with me http://www.youtube.com has the phone conversation. The following website is also proof that George was not being followed.

    In conclusion if you want to taking journalism seriously and to another level i suggest that you check your source more than once and also from a different site. I would think that they told you that at Louisiana Tech because they are at Grambling. However this could be a learning experience because Mike Gallagher got fired for publishing lies. (pg 65)

  82. Hope Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 2:03 am

    First, I just want to say this remedial attempt of exposition does injustice to the entity you’re representing. It appears that you have not done your homework. I’m surprised that as a Senior, you wouldn’t know to cite your sources or “information” as you so ignorantly put. But then again, your type of person doesn’t do much research at all, regarding these types of issues, because you have a preconceived notion that anything that isn’t white isn’t right. It’s funny how you give an example of 50 cent but not Mark Zuckerberg, “actors from the hood in movies” but not Brittany Spears. Name your favorite entertainer and I’ll upload a picture of them wearing a hoodie. Many robbers wear hats and sunglasses when committing crimes so I guess I should stop walking around with those too huh!? Your racist mindset speaks volumes for itself so I won’t dwell on things that are a result of your improper upbringing. 

    What alarms me more than anything is your pseudo-account of the details. People like yourself are the cancer of the media; leaving key things out in order to justify a story that supports your bigoted ideologies. If you listen to the Zimmerman 911 call, the dispatcher tells him not to pursue after Zimmerman revealed that he was indeed chasing Martin, he then ignores the dispatcher and follows Martin anyway. As far as Martin attacking Zimmerman, let’s assume that he did attack when Zimmerman cornered him. I wonder what you would do if there were a man chasing you around the neighborhood and cornered you? I would hope, if you could not out run him, that at some point you would turn around and be ready to defend yourself as well.  

    Then you have the nerve to mention Martin’s record of suspensions (which weren’t violent related) and smoking weed and not Zimmerman’s record of resisting arrest with violence and battery on an officer (2005) nor his record of aggression with his neighbors? Not to mention the drastic weight difference; Zimmerman weighing 250lbs and Martin weighing 140lbs? It is not rocket science and you would see that if you weren’t so busy trying to justify the reasons why people like you and Zimmerman operate in racial profiling.

    Who are you to say “if Trayvon had not have been wearing a hoodie his life would’ve been spared”!? If you did your research you would know that Zimmerman had a history of aggression with black males in his sub-division so to just say it was strictly the hoodie is an assumption to big to make. For you to have the audacity to end the quote previously mentioned with “his life would have been spared”, shows an even deeper elitist ideology. You wrote spared as if he was not worthy of his life to begin with, as if it’s something that is rewarded for conforming to a majority view. Then you say “do not look suspicious if you do not have anything to be suspicious about”!? Who gave you or Zimmerman the right to decide what’s suspicious and what’s not? So I guess one day I could say women wearing tank tops are suspicious and I would be justified in harassing and murdering them? It sounds silly but that’s exactly what you’re saying. Aside from you being über-racist, as Editor-and-Chief, you should be ashamed of the quality of this article and its one-sidedness; unless, of course, you were trying to come off as a feeble minded racist.


  83. Amelia Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 2:10 am

    It’s suspicious that Ms. Spence is the editor-in-chief of an English language publication though does not have the communication skills of a native speaker.

  84. Ashley Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 2:50 am

    So what you are saying is, if I wear a mini skirt I deserve to be raped? That’s basically what you are saying, people who wear hoodies deserve to die. I have a government issued United States Navy hoodie that was given to me in boot camp as part of my pt gear. So when I put my hoodie on I go from being a regular citizen to a gang banging thug? The new type of racism is denying racism.

  85. David Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 4:00 am

    Does The Tech Talk employ any type of a fact-checker? Because if this article made it past them, they need to be fired.

    As editor-in-chief I would have thought you would have taken on the responsibility yourself at least, but clearly you did not.

  86. Ashley Mayes Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 4:11 am

    Wait, what source do you have that says Martin followed Zimmerman? Of all the national and local stories I’ve read, yours is the first one that has ever made that statement and I’d go so far as to say you have fabricated facts. I’m not one of these protesting folks, but I do appreciate good journalism and, I’m sorry, this is definitely a far cry from it. I pray the Journalism office issues a retraction for such sloppy journalism on such a contentious issue.

  87. Christopher Washington (La Tech Alum and currently not proud to be) Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 5:14 am

  88. MRS t Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 5:58 am

    First of all black are not the only ppl that wears hoodies 2 it was raining out my dear ane he was on his cell with a girlfriend a 3 his school records don’t have anything to do with it and last whites wear hoodies two and if the shoe was on the other foot martin wouod have got his ass beat and in jail right now so shut up

  89. Casey C Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 5:58 am

    So, would you use this argument for rape victims if they were wearing any revealing clothing?

    • Russell Reply

      March 30, 2012 at 2:53 pm

      Rebecca Spence has made the argument for rape victims wearing revealing clothing:

      • Lilly Reply

        March 30, 2012 at 6:57 pm


        I think its time for Miss Spence to step down. She is confusing her own bigoted views for facts.

        Justification for rape and murder have no place on a college campus (or anywhere). I urge the university to ask for Miss Spense’s resignation. Do not let one person speak for the university.

    • Rod Reply

      March 30, 2012 at 8:15 pm

      you would use this argument to suggest that people who wear revealing clothes are promiscuous.

  90. Jasmine Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 6:06 am

    This is a sick sad world we live in today–and this is a pooly written biased peice of trash editorial. Your ‘I’m gonna take the other side’ approach here is just a thinly veiled racism. George Zimmerman followed an innocent 17 year old and shot him. Whether Trayvon wore a hoodie, hit him first, smoked weed and was suspended from school has NOTHING to do with it. A BLACK child can’t go to the store and get iced tea without looking suspecious? Sweetie you need a clue and fast. And if you think this is really about a hoodie, you’ve missed the point entirely. Open your eyes.

  91. Amy H Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 7:11 am

    This article’s atrocious misuse of logic embarrasses all Tech graduates. Would Ms. Spence blame rape victims for wearing skirts? No item of clothing (or drug use or racial ethnicity) justifies becoming a victim of a crime.

    Ms Spence claims that “Even the word hoodie sounds suspicious and can be easily associated with hoodlums and the hood.” By that flawed logic, Fort Hood, car hoods, hoodwinking, hood ornaments, knighthoods, adulthoods, childhoods, and falsehoods can all be associated with hoodlums and the hood and are therefore all suspicious. When I attended Tech, students would have been taught how to make an argument that did not employ guilt by association, ill-founded generalizations, and false analogies.

    I strongly suggest Ms. Spence be removed from her position as editor-in-chief, as she has prepared an opinion column that reflects poorly on the education received by Tech graduates. I hope that Ms. Spence experiences more tolerance at Tech than she has shown for Trayvon Martin and any other hoodie-wearer.

  92. Stephanie Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 7:14 am

    Actually Zimmerman was following Trayvon and was asked by the 911 operator he called NOT to follow him. Secondly evidence suggests no such thing, Zimmerman claimed Trayvon had broken his nose and bashed his head against the pavement…yet strangely there were no marks or signs of a struggle on Zimmerman, at all. Eye witnesses heard Trayvon not Zimmerman pleading for his life. The kid was seventeen and a grown man twice his size pulled a gun on him. Trayvon placed his own 911 call saying someone was following him.

    The “leaked” information you are talking about was actually the work of white supremacist who hacked Trayvon’s accounts in an effort to make him look bad. Being suspended from school or using marijuana recreationally in no way reflects the quality of someones character and even if it did, Zimmerman had no way of knowing any of those things about Trayvon before he started following him–for wearing a hoodie. Additionally, with those “leaked emails” about marijuana and suspension, there were also e-mails from colleges and SAT testing centers– things any normal kid who makes mistakes but is also looking forward to a bright future would have.

    Wearing a hoodie with a hood has a bad connotation for young black men specifically, a point that you yourself made since you saw fit to use 50 cent and “actors from hood movies” as examples of why hoodies have bad connotations. Why did you choose to use specifically black men, or things mainstream society associates with African-Americans (i.e. hood movies etc.)? If you wanted to prove that hoodies are an all around bad choice for everyone and anyone wearing a hoodie bears the risk of being shot you failed with your examples. All you did was in essence prove what everyone else’s point was– a white man wearing a hoodie with the hood up would not have gotten the same treatment… “like it or not”.

    “Even the word hoodie sounds ignorant and can easily be associated with hoodlums or the hood” Really? And let’s not forget the connections you made to the hood in speaking about 50 cent and hood movies which pertain specifically to African-Americans…So what are you really trying to say? It sounds like you’re saying he had it coming for being black and wearing a hoodie.

    Instead of defending this way of thinking and simply saying Trayvon shouldn’t have been wearing a hoodie we should be asking why people like you think it’s ok to judge a young black man for wearing a hoodie. Especially when you know a white man wearing the same clothing wouldn’t have been met with the same fate. Whether you want to accept it or not this whole issue started because Trayvon was black and walking in a neighborhood someone felt like he didn’t belong in. As a result, he was followed, attacked and subsequently shot.

    But you are so quick to believe that a young seventeen year old black man was the aggressor and that his much smaller self put a twenty-eight year old man who weighed 200 and something odd pounds in such a perilous predicament that he had not choice but to take his life. And let us not forget you made sure to add several facts that have nothing to do with the point you were trying to make–i.e. Trayvon being suspended etc. Tell me again what his “non-squeaky clean record” has to do with someone deciding to follow him for being black?

    You have an extremely poor understanding of race relations and the fact that you cannot recognize your own inherent prejudice is sad. In addition to that, this was a poorly researched article that is really just a weak defense of racist thinking.

    I guess it’s true…everyone’s just a little bit racist. Even people that call themselves “journalists”.

    • Anon Reply

      March 30, 2012 at 12:07 pm

      Blaming an article of clothing for the racial inequities and systemic racism in the U.S. is your first mistake. Furthermore, not only are your “facts” incorrect but you have wrapped them in privileged ideology that has been influenced by false images from the media.

      College students wear hoodies all the time. I’m sure you own one. So are college campuses “hoods”? Are you a “hoodlum”, Ms. Spencer? You’re not. You’re not because the privilege of being a harmless white woman says you aren’t. You are proof that a belief in the “politics of respectability” are paralyzingly ignorant and foolish.

      There is nothing that Trayvon Martin or any man in a brown body can wear in America that will make them any less suspicious. History says so. Men in brown bodies have been murdered in work uniforms and suits for years. Encouraging young adults, of any color, to self-police themselves into not exercising their right to self-expression perpetuates the system that keeps those in power, in power.

      I would suggest you take a step back and take into consideration how you have been socialized to think that a hoodie makes someone deserving of being gunned down. It sounds a lot like the idea that a woman in a short skirt is deserving of being raped.

      You should also reconsider your major and career path. Good luck!

  93. Anonymous Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 7:44 am

    “The shooting started with a suspicion; it was dark out and a person in a hoodie was following Zimmerman”

    This statement is backwards. Zimmerman was doing the following.

  94. aaron Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 7:44 am

    You wanna point out Martins school suspension like it had something to do with him getting killed…what about the aggressor Zimmerman who was arrested for assaulting a police officer or even his two domestic violence arrest. This guy was told by police dont follow Martin and he pursued him anyway..your hood in hoodie argument is stupid too because if you would have done your Research you would.have known the night Martin was killed it was raining in his neighborhood…nothing suspicious about wearing a hoodie in the rain is it? Your article shows your ignorance or we’re you to lazy to actually research the case before you put this piece out? Clearly without saying anyone can read this article and see your pro Zimmerman and you have your picture posted to let the world know and see your ok with a little innocent black child getting killed because he “looked suspicious” right?

  95. Twila Dotson Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 7:55 am

    This is the most distasteful article I have read thus far concerning the events that surround the death of Trayvon Martin. How dare you even attempt to place ANY blame at this child’s feet about this tragedy!

    Your article lacks ANY true elements of journalism and is pregnant with assumptions,no facts!!! Therefore, you should be made to print a FULL retraction! Anything other than that should find your butt off of the newspaper or even better suspended/expelled from the university!

  96. Twila Dotson Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 7:59 am

    This is a HORRIBLE article! It lacks ANY elements of true journalism and is pregnant with assumptions! A FULL retraction should be made or the author of this trash should be suspended/expelled from school for her comments! How dare you place ANY blame at Trayvon Martin’s feet for this tragedy!

  97. Lynda Woolard Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 8:06 am

    This is frivolous and exceedingly poor journalism. There has been ZERO conclusive evidence that Martin followed Zimmerman. To the contrary, Zimmerman was told by 911 NOT to follow Martin and he disobeyed that. Martin’s girlfriend was on the cell phone with him until 1 minute before his death, and their discussion was about the weird guy that was following him. It was raining, we often wear head gear when it’s cold or rainy. If people followed your “logic”, Justin Bieber would have been shot by now. An armed adult shooting an unarmed child… THAT is the thug behavior. Period.

  98. j Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 8:14 am


  99. jo Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 8:18 am

    You actually should be ashamed for distorting information. You are not a journalist. No where has it been stated that martin followed zimmerman, in fact the OPPOSITE IS TRUE.

    Shame on you for this sham piece of journalism.

  100. Amber Chenevert Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 8:20 am

    One fact that’s key to consider here, is that actually Zimmerman called 911 about Martin, let the 911 dispatcher know he was in pursuit of Martin and the 911 dispatcher told him “we don’t need you to do that.” In other words, do not pursue him. In spite of this direction, it was Zimmerman who got in his car (unmarked and also in plain clothes) and began following closely behind Martin as Martin was walking. He got out of his car, and approached Martin. Now what happened after that is where the facts get muddy.

    Now Rebecca, I’d like you to imagine that you were walking or even jogging down a street and a strange man in an unmarked car was following closely behind you. Then he got out of the car and approached you. What if he got close enough to put his hands on you? What would you do? Try to run? Maybe Zimmerman did walk away as he said. Maybe he did not. What we do know is that he pursued Martin first. He’s claiming self-defense, but maybe Martin could have too–had he survived.

    Also, on that day, it was raining. I don’t know how things are down where your are, but at UT–when it’s raining–I hardly ever see men under the age of 30 with an umbrella. They have on hats, their hoods up on sweat shirts or jackets, or are rushing around with no protection from the rain at all.

    So…the point of people taking pictures in hoodies to show support is that a lot of people wear hoodies and most of them aren’t committing crimes when doing so. They can be quite helpful in inclement weather.

    Now, considering you’re studying journalism, I will also challenge you to review media effects theories that have much data to support them–particularly cultivation theory. It states: “Cultivation theory in its most basic form suggests that exposure to television, over time, subtly “cultivates” viewers’ perceptions of reality.” Even in the newsroom, all stories good and bad, don’t make it on air. Somebody has to choose. Consider all the decisions that go into what makes it on air. Are they only reporting what’s true, what sells, or both? Consider how much of your ideas of reality are actually shaped by fiction or sensationalism. Media research also tells us that brown-skinned minorities are over represented in violent crime in fiction and non-fiction television versus their actual statistical involvement.

    The assessment that someone walking down the street in a hoodie must be up to no good, is likely mostly true on a popular crime drama, but that’s not mostly true in real life. If walking down the street in a hoodie while talking on a cell phone, is acting suspicious…then a lot of us are in big trouble.


    Amber Chenevert
    PhD Student-Advertising
    The University of Texas at Austin

    • Maria Reply

      March 30, 2012 at 11:00 am

      Thank you, Amber, for articulating the problem points in this article in a way that I would like to, but don’t have the skills for(particularly, that based on the 911 call, sounds like Zimmerman was following Martin, not the other way around). It’s disturbing that a journalism student, editor in chief, no less, makes so many jumps in logic and does not support their statements with any sort of facts or data to support those statements. You can’t just take a fact or allegation and take a giant leap. Also, I had never even heard of hoodies having a connotation with “hoods” “gangsters” “crooks”. As pointed out, many young people (and old – my mother wears hoodies) wear hoodies, with the hood pulled up when it’s raining. They are a functional piece of clothing that is quite universal for many types of people. You’re entitled to your opinions, but I really hope this isn’t how you present your journalistic work.

  101. Tamika Edwards Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 8:33 am

    As a Louisiana Tech alum, I am very disappointed that this article was published. I wear a hoodie in the rain, so according to this article, that means I deserve to be shot as well because it makes me suspicious. My advice to Rebecca–widen that narrow minded point of view of yours. You never mentioned how Zimmerman called Trayvon a coon or the N word during that call. THAT’s what caused uproar. The man pursued Trayvon, left the safety of his vehicle when the dispatcher told him not to.

    There was absolutely no fact checking. This article displays poor journalism.

  102. Jhon Lweis Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 8:34 am

    What a great article i agree completely

  103. thomass Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 8:37 am

    Rebecca, before you write an article about the death of a child. why don’t you at least take the time to get the facts of the story right. You mentioned more than once,that Martin was acting suspicious and following Zimmerman. When did you ever hear that Trayvon Martin was ever following Zimmerman. Do you realize that Zimmerman was in a car ? So please tell me, how the hell do you follow someone, who is in a car and you’re on foot.You seem to have the facts a little backwards,the stalker was Zimmerman and the person being followed was Trayvon Martin.Your article is an embarrassment to your university. You really need to edit your article and correct the facts. Report the facts don’t make them up. ” Cowards Shouldn’t Carry Guns “

  104. Kentrail Rushing Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Hey REBECCA SPENCE, I really think you should re-track this article. You have some facts wrong. You should go listen to the 911 phone call that was made by a neighbor, in which u can hear a young man scream for help. and also Trayvon Martin was wearing a hoodie that night because it was raining. KNOW ALL YOUR FACTS!!!

  105. Rublind Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Never mind the fact that it was raining outside and the fact that the dispatcher told Zimmerman not to follow martin. How many gangsters do you see wearing hoodies. Stop looking for reasons to stereotype and look at this for what it is. Mr. Martin did not know Mr. Zimmerman. He was a stranger and there was no reason that he should have heeded the calls of a stranger for fear of danger or abduction. It seems as if many are going to great lengths to justify Mr. Zimmerman’s actions and it’s scary given the number of people that are abducted and murdered on a daily basis. Stop looking at the world thought white glasses and talk to a person of color about their struggles.

  106. EssEffArr Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 8:45 am

    This article is so poorly written, I find it hard to believe that Ms. Spence is a senior, majoring in journalism and speech. She really needs to brush up on her grammar skills, or else she won’t go very far in that career path. And she has her facts completely wrong. It was Zimmerman who pursued Martin, not the other way around. Martin’s school records have absolutely nothing to do with the case. Did Zimmerman know about his school records or possible Marijuana residue when he pulled the trigger? Martin doesn’t appear to have a criminal record.

  107. sarah kings Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 8:50 am

    The word hoodie is associated with he hood? I’m guessing you mean an environment filled with black people when you say hood. Have you ever been to a so called “hood” before? Or are you going based off movies? If it were a little chill outside most of tech’s campus which is would be wearing a hoodie…so does that make tech a hood? Making inferences like that without experience is IGNORANT.
    Thank you

    • Rod Reply

      March 30, 2012 at 8:23 pm

      A hoodie definitively has a hood, therefore it is associated the the hood. Mainly because a hood is what separates a hood from a “jacket”

  108. CB Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 9:09 am

    I am usually open and welcoming to opinions and other’s thought. I tend do be respectful of space, time, and feelings; however, in this situation I am totally taken by this article. I am totally dismissing everything you wrote. This article has not depth or factual information. I thought journalist/journalism, especially editors-in-chief, suppose to be bias.

    Putting the Hood in ‘Hoodie’ — I cannot believe this. You all just undermined the whole movement. This is a very insensitive article and overwhelmingly lacks couth.

    I am not sure why the editor-in-chief of The Tech Talk would write such a horrible article. But the one thing I appreciate about this article is that it highlights the lack of knowledge dealing with race-relations in society. I think it is really pointless to point out everything you said, but there are two things I must mention.

    “Hoodies with the hood on have a bad connotation, like it or not” — I have several Tech hoodies! Is this a crime? Would I look suspicious walking around campus? Hoodies are sold world wide so I guess everyone looks suspicious. The question I guess is “Do the hoodie look suspicious?” or “Do the black boy in the hoodie looks suspicious?”

    Secondly,” defending the hoodie’s innocence is ignorant.” I take it that you are calling everyone who is supporting this movement, justice, the people who died for civil rights and civil obedience, and his family ignorant? I personally think the person who wrote this article is ignorant.

    I did not know which quote is the worst. There are several throughout this article that is questionable; nevertheless, I hope this article sparks a discussion and debate about the Travyon Martin’s case, race relations on and off campus, and the fact that this issue happens everyday all day. There is an issue in American dealing with racism, class differences, stereotypes, and discrimination. This article just added to the ignorance towards these issues. This is a relevant issue that clearly is misunderstood. I just can not understand why you all would print this.
    In closing, I pray that the view of the editor-in-chief is not the view of the whole Tech Talk staff or the students of Louisiana Tech University. I hope that all the students step up and speak out on this article. The contributor definitely has it wrong.

    • Linza Reply

      March 30, 2012 at 12:36 pm

      Isn’t she the same person who wrote the article about how women in miniskirts should expect to get raped?

      • Linza Reply

        March 30, 2012 at 12:42 pm

        Oh right! Here it is. Her attempt at attaching herself to an ideology based in faux-nostalgia. If women who wear miniskirts should take 50% of the blame when we get raped, and black men who wear hoodies should take 100% of the blame when they get shot, WTF should we wear? I vote we all go naked. The world is full of rapists and murderers who should react from base and vile places lower than souls should sink.


        And apparently, it’s full of girls who want to be radio talk show hosts when they grow up. That’s a not-so-proud tradition stretching back decades; publish or air things likely to be distasteful, and you’ll have a lot of listeners/viewers/hits on your Tech Talk article, right?

        • Rod Reply

          March 30, 2012 at 8:25 pm

          I second your vote.

  109. S. Daniels Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 9:12 am

    “If Martin was not wearing a hoodie with the hood on, his life could have been spared. Hoodies with the hood on have a bad connotation, like it or not.” So if I’m in Alaska and it’s freezing cold, does it make me supicious if I have on a hood? If I’m in Seattle on a rainy day, and I have on a hood to protect my head from the rain, does that make me supicious? Is Justin Bieber up to no good when he wears a hoodie? You are make a very vague generalization about hoodies/hoods. Your OPINIONS are irrelavant to the Trayon Martin/Zimmerman situation.

    • Rod Reply

      March 30, 2012 at 8:26 pm

      You should carry an umbrella if you are in Seattle.

  110. Crystal Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 9:20 am

    I understand that this is Spence’s opionin but did she really research before writing because if she looked at one news article she can see her facts are wrong. Plus I feel that the whole argument is ignorant because everyone wears a hoodie even on tech campus. So are you saying if I am wearing a hoodie I am therefore suspicious or up to no good? No maybe I just want to wear a hoodie, it is evident that the writer could not understand the point of this case because how do you tear down Martin his suspension has nothing to do with his murder so it’s irrelevant. This whole Martin case is based on pure racism and stereotyping and until justice is served I will wear a hoodie everyday and night and be suspicious and hiding my face as this writer so puts it..

  111. CB Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 9:32 am

    Correction******* I tend to be respectful of space, time, and feelings; however, in this situation I am totally taken by this article. I am totally dismissing everything you wrote. This article has not depth or factual information. I thought journalist/journalism, especially editors-in-chief, suppose to be unbiased.

  112. Angelica Washington Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 9:39 am

    I can’t believe you actually think this okay to print. It is not consider a race thing but when you state a hoodie is suspicious….really it’s a fashion statement and where in the HELL did you get your facts from….Yes as a Journalist your suppose to piss some people off because your telling the truth or voicing your opinion but not because you totally got a story wrong.

  113. Deon Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 10:10 am

    “The shooting started with a suspicion; it was dark out and a person in a hoodie was following Zimmerman. Would you be suspicious or a little frightened if a person was following you in a hoodie, regardless of race? I know I would.”

    Zimmerman said in the 911 tapes that he was following Martin…

    “So is Martin or Zimmerman the root of the problem? Both of them are. Zimmerman obviously takes on the bigger chunk, for pulling out a gun and shooting, regardless of reasoning. Martin is as well, for acting suspicious. For following Zimmerman, as reports have concluded, approaching Zimmerman and wearing a hoodie with the hood on.”

    It was raining (hence the hood being on) plus he was minding his business…

    I can’t say if Zimmerman was completely guilty or not because I wasn’t there, but Martin was obviously profiled, and the police told this guy not to follow him. He ignored this warning, and now a teenager is dead. Also, to say that people shouldn’t wear hoodies with the hoods up is about as irrational as saying that people shouldn’t get tattoos or tongue piercings. Do people with arm sleeve tattoos need to be careful because they may get followed and shot?

    When did walking become suspicious?

  114. Matt Johns Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Get your FACTS straight before writing articles like this! Unless you’ve been living under a rock for that past month, you should know that Trayvon WAS NOT following Zimmerman. That is the exact OPPOSITE of what happened that night. It isn’t hearsay, speculation, or an assumption. It’s a FACT that was RECORDED and documented since the days following the tragedy. Zimmerman called 911 while siting in his car because he thought that Trayvon looked “suspicious”. He then got out of his car and began to follow Trayvon AFTER the dispatcher had advised him NOT to FOLLOW and made it very clear that numerous units were on there way. Oh and let’s not forget one important detail you forgot to mention. Zimmerman was NOT an official head of any neighborhood watch program. He was “self-appointed” meaning there was no actual program.
    Since you want to use “logic” in this case, let me ask you… Now that you know the facts, do you still stand behind your reasoning. If Trayvon, who we now know had EVERY right to be in that neighborhood, is being followed by a strange grown man does he not have the right to defend himself!!

    In the case of the “hoodie”: Like you said Zimmerman didn’t go door to door saying to look out for young men who appear to be outsiders he said look out for young BLACK men. He mentioned nothing about a hoodie. Why would a black person automatically be an outsider when we now that black people lived in that community! In case you haven’t noticed, Trayvon, myself and every black mans in America’s own SKIN IS our hoodie!

    Get out from under your rock!

  115. Patricia Bee Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 10:23 am

    No doubt you are being barraged with emails pointing out the many discrepancies in your editorial.

    “it was dark out and a person in a hoodie was following Zimmerman. ”

    No, it was Zimmerman who was doing the following, as was recounted in every media story about the case. Where have you been? Have you actually read any legitimate media accounts of this story?

    “If Martin was not wearing a hoodie with the hood on, his life could have been spared.” (It should be “If Martin WERE not wearing…”)

    This is ridiculous. First of all, clearly your prejudices preceded you when you wrote this opinion piece, for you say:

    “Members of Zimmerman’s neighborhood told authorities that before the shooting he went door-to-door warning residents of the neighborhood to look out for young black men who appear to be outsiders. Martin fit this description and suffered his life because of it.”

    Martin suffered because he didn’t know that someone was going around his father’s neighborhood telling residents to watch out for “young black men?” Do you not see, just as the hapless Geraldo Rivera, that you are saying that any black male in a hoodie looks suspicious to members of the majority race, therefore black males should not wear hoodies because members of the majority can’t be responsible for assuming that any minority male in a hoodie is a criminal and is justified in taking action to protect his/herself? You really need to take a course in logic while you’re in college. And in race relations. YOU are the one who, for whatever your reasons, are afraid of young black males, but you wrote an opinion piece for your newspaper assuming that all the folks like you must think the same. Well, I’m just an old Caucasian woman, and I certainly don’t.

    Allow me to also point out that the teen’s girlfriend who was talking on the phone with him throughout his being shadowed by Zimmerman recounts part of the conversation: “He said this man was watching him, so he put his hoodie on. He said he lost the man. I asked Trayvon to run, and he said he was going to walk fast. I told him to run but he said he was not going to run.” http://abcnews.go.com/US/trayvon-martin-arrest-now-abc-reveals-crucial-phone/story?id=15959017#.T3XKVK7QJ6o

    So if her account is true, the hoodie wasn’t on when Martin initially attracted Zimmerman’s attention and began following him. He was targeted simply for being black.

    “Martin’s record is not 100 percent clean as previously stated.”

    Martin had NO criminal record. These were school suspensions.

    Finally, you say, “So is Martin or Zimmerman the root of the problem? Both of them are.”

    According to your imperfect logic it is the responsibility of members of a minority race to know their place in the world and to be acutely aware of every misunderstanding of their culture by the majority race so that a member of the majority race doesn’t misunderstand, accuse, and punish. Ever hear of blaming the victim? Do you also agree that women who wear what some might call sexy clothing are responsible of they are raped?

  116. Sheila Krishnan Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 10:28 am

    I wholeheartedly agree with Amber’s comment. Writing on a topic as racially charged as this one requires the reporter to be acutely aware of your own biases and prejudices. I’m disappointed that the advisor of your paper or whoever gave guidance on writing this piece did not alert you to the deep biases that you revealed. I think it would serve in your benefit to consider what Amber mentioned and reflect upon how your beliefs have been influenced by the media you consume and the life experience you’ve had if you aspire to write anything of depth in your future career.

  117. C Wils Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Miss Spense
    While your opinion I can respect I must point out to you that you have failed to consider all the facts involved in this case to come to your deduction. Facts show the poor young man was shot and killed in a WINTER month where (even in Florida) its colder when the sun is down. BUT because its florida, there’s no need for a wool, or feather down coat, gloves and a skully simply a heavier hoodie… with the hood pulled up to shield the wind. Because you have only considered part of the facts, your report on this issue cannot be taken seriously by a larger audience… which is a journalism no no. I received my English degree where I concentrated on writing and journalism cum laude two years ago and my professors would have been appalled at my lack of consideration of everything before publishing this article. I too served as editor of my campus paper during my senior year and you as editor owe your reading public all sides of the truth… not just one which fails to show an eleveated amount of depth. Please consider more carefully your writings in the future.

  118. CJ Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Um maam i don’t mean to come across rashly or anything and i appreciate your commentary on the issue but it seems you have some false information. It has been obviously stated that it was apparently raining that night, hence one would pull a hoodie over ones head so as not to get wet. And more evidently trayvon was not following zimmerman rather zimmerman spotted the boy called 911 and was told by the cops not to follow the young man which he did regardless. I hope this little information can help with further editorials or a re-edit. Also trayvons girlfriend said he called her and was talking to her during his last moments telling her he thought he was being followed and he was scared as any individual would be had a car been tailing you down a street. (And side note an officer said that it sounded like zimmerman was under the influence when talking on the phone)

  119. Kimberly Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 10:42 am

    I honestly just have to say that most of the comments that were made kind of were directed towards African Americans in a bad way. Clearly, also the opinion stated was more biased towards Zimmerman and what was said wasn’t all the way true. If the research for the article was done thoroughly many could see that Zimmerman made a call to the authorities about Martin. In the recording, he states nothing of the sort about this young man following him sweetheart. The authorities knew he was crazy. They even told him to go home. If he was the one being followed, why did the call go the way it did. He states that he sees a young man who looks suspicious. It makes no sense. Why would this man come after this young man with a bag of skittles and some tea? He shot this young man and got away with it. Trayvonne screamed for help. This man clearly needs psychiatric help. But, the lack of knowledge for each culture leads many of us to believe certain stereotypes. It also doesn’t help that the children are learning the ways of their parents. But, it all boils down to this. In the beginning God created us all from he same womb. We share the same blood and are going to the same heaven. If you can’t love me down here. I am sorry but heaven isn’t segregated. You might want to try hell.I love everyone and have no problem with race. It’s very ignorant. And as for the hoodie situation, everyone knows it would have been different if and young white male had one on. Clearly he was racial profiling and needs to be in prison. This article even states that he was only looking for black males. White males steal too. They just get away with it more. Like I said though, there is a big lack of knowledge about different cultures and many misunderstandings. People are always, in general, afraid of what they don’t know or understand. Good bye. Be Blessed. 🙂

  120. Eazy Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 10:48 am

    Your article is over the top ignorance! Don’t go skiing in a ski mask or they will think your robbing a bank, especially if your black. Don’t put anything over your head if its raining! Pure stupidity. Mam, please choose a different career! We don’t want your articles brainwashing ameriKKKas youth!

  121. Elliot Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 10:48 am

    Rebecca, I can see you wrote your story based on some information received through the news, but I think you left out a great deal of information when you presented your case. Think about everything. If it was at night and this person was wearing a hood, it was probably because the weather was cold or there was a light precipitation occurring. Zimmerman was apart of the neighborhood watch. He was supposed to be watching what Treyvon did. He was in his truck following him. Zimmerman called 911 to report Martin. That means he spotted Martin first and was following him. Zimmerman reported he was attacked by Treyvon and suffered a bloody nose and an injury to the back of the head. If this was true, paramedics would have checked him out at the scene and a report should have been made. None has been produced. Also, police video of when Zimmerman was taken to the police station afterwards, does not show any bruises on Zimmerman’s head or face. Seems odd to me a person is attacked and beaten and doesn’t have scratch one on them. Also, this is a free country. Zimmerman made 47 calls to 911 to make reports on black people. Obviously he has something personal against blacks. He claims robberies were occurring in his neighborhood, but no one was ever charged, and yet he thought black people were committing the robberies. Yes, Treyvon isn’t the model citizen, but neither is a person that commits assault and battery on a police officer like Zimmerman. To suggest that Treyvon’s attire put him in this situation is just like saying every woman that wears a short skirt shouldn’t complain if they are raped or called derogatory names like hoe. Their clothing suggest that they like sex and people should use them as they please. No that isn’t correct. Why only take Zimmerman’s side that Treyvon approached him. What about the report that his girlfriend was on the phone and told him to run away from Zimmerman? What about how she reported Zimmerman came to Treyvon? Did you take that into consideration or just the fact that Zimmerman said he came after him? Also, tell me what is “looking suspicious?” Being black in a predominantly white neighborhood walking to your home with a hood on? If he doesn’t have a car, how else is he supposed to get to where he needs to go? You say defending a hoodie’s innocence is ignorance. I guess you feel that if a person wants to be treated like respected citizen then they should dress like one. Ok. As a parallel, defending a short skirt’s innocence is ignorance too! If a woman wants to be treated like a well respected lady, then she should dress like one. GTFOOH!

  122. Andrea Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 10:49 am

    Im sorry, this article is pure ignorance.

  123. Aggravated Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 11:12 am

    This is the most ignorant piece of garbage I have ever read… First, According to the 911 call Zimmerman placed, he said many racial slurs to prove that he targeted Martin. Second, He follows the guy!!! Third, He shoots him when clearly Martin had no weapons. I don’t care how you try to place the blame on Martin, wearing a hoodie has nothing to do with this issue. Ms. Spence I’m almost certain that you own a hoodie; does that mean that you are associated with the hood? Does it mean that you walk around carrying a gun? Does this mean you should be murder because you are wearing a piece of clothing that most Americans and half of the world own? Would you like to be followed because your clothing looks suspicious? I think you need to research this story more, Ms. Spence, before you post these unrealistic of views.

  124. L. A. Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 11:20 am

    I really think you should have read all the facts and looked at all angles as a journalist before writing this story. I’m sorry, I don’t think that both people are at fault. He could have reported what he saw and waited on police to come not pursued the person. The police even told him not to pursue. There were so many other options for that man. Its not even about color, someone life was taken because this person was careless and made assumptions. If we let this go on so many people will lose their life on assumptions. Its truly sad that people believe this man was justified just because of a hoodie. I pray you never walk at night on a phone with a hoodie on and someone makes assumptions.

  125. Beth Parrozzo Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 11:20 am

    How this article made it past the editing process or was even written to begin with is beyond me.
    It is ignorant, much of it has very little logical processing involved, and it is quite honestly poorly written.
    I am not saying this to be mean-spirited, because I have no reason or desire to be unduly harsh to you, Ms. Spence. It is quite deserved — and I should hope other writers and people familiar with journalism would agree — considering the poor quality of this article and the lack of professionalism it displays.
    One would hope that when reading an article written by an Editor in Chief, evidence of that individual’s qualifications and worthiness of their title would be obvious. Instead, from the very headline, I kept asking myself, “How on earth is this young woman an Editor in Chief?” and “How did this article make it through to be published at all?”
    I support free speech, but in the interest of your school and your newspaper, this needs to be taken down. Immediately. If you want to submit it elsewhere through another medium, go right ahead, but this is damaging (in many, many ways) in this context.

    Beth Parrozzo
    Copy Editor
    Rider Research

  126. Matt F. Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 11:32 am

    As a pharmacy student on rotations for my final year of school, I trade out my white coat for a hoodie as soon as I get back to my apartment nearly every day. There is absolutely no correlation between wearing a hoodie and being up to no good or trying to conceal one’s identity.

  127. Becca Fence Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 11:40 am

    So like, I’ve been hearing a lot about this like, hood guy who was totally, like, shot? And so like apparently he was shot because he was wearing a hoodie or something, which, you know, lots of criminals wear hoodies too? So I don’t really see like what the big deal is about supporting hoodies on the news and stuff because hoodies aren’t even in style right now or whatever because what does that even have to do with getting shot, okay y’all, so just chill and stop wearing hoodies because it’s not fashionable and you totally make me nervous when I’m walking to my car and you’re wearing a hoodie and I can’t even tell what color you are because you’re wearing a hoodie because of your stupid hoodie movement or whatever!

    • Anonymous Reply

      March 30, 2012 at 1:40 pm

      LOL. I have been so furious since i read this article. I appreciate the comic relief.

  128. Adam Dixon Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 11:46 am

    This is a terrible column, as I’m sure many have noted. Terrible. Like, factually inaccurate terrible–not to mention full of logical fallacies a third grader could avoid. If this article was submitted as a freshman comp I assignment, it would get an F. It’s just that bad.

    You have a bright future ahead of you at a Fox news outlet.

  129. David Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 11:52 am

    I had a serious urge to pray for you Rebecca. To try and rationalize, or even pretend to be objective about Trayvon Martin’s murder is a testament to your character, and a complete shame.

  130. Brigitte Garza Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 11:56 am

    This was disgusting. Please retire from journalism.

  131. DatChykB! Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    You should have re-read your article! So hoodies are associated to HOODlums huh? Now you know you have about 30 Louisiana Tech HOODies but you wanna say its associated with the hood! So that would make you a HOODLUM right! I learned about this article through my #GRAMFAM and I so disagree with your article! You sound foolish for bringing up his school record when that has yet to be proven! I do take that you are saying standing up for justice is wrong? You must be crazy! I know you wear HOODies when it rains! So you are suspicious as well! I wear HOODies all the time when it rains, when it is cold, but that doesn’t mean I’m being suspicious! You need to wake up because to me you are being racist! Not a good Look! You think defending the HOOdie issue is ignorant that means you have never I mean NEver voted for
    anything! Or stood up for anything at TEch! Which I know is
    a lie! Your OPINIONS are very irrelevant!

  132. Jane Doe Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    This is a poorly written article and a horrible reflection of Tech and their views. Hardly anything that was said I expected from the Editor-in-chief of a university newspaper let alone published for the masses to see. Seeing this article is very one- sided, hopefully Tech Talk will decide to publish an article from a different point-of-view without the facts being misleading. As a minority Tech student, it is very disturbing to see such “opinionated” articles as i flip through my school’s newspaper.Regards.

  133. Lauren Coleman Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Oh, spare me the outrage. Or, rather, don’t be so surprised that Spence would strike again after writing this previous little bundle of joy regarding women who dress a certain way and a similar “don’t want to get raped? Don’t wear a mini-skirt!” attitude, viewable here: https://www.thetechtalk.org/?p=603.

    The Tech Talk will only change when its readership actively demands that it change, with oomph behind it. Otherwise, you might as well get used to the same old rhetoric and poor journalism.

    I for one will not be donating to any general LA Tech fund until this is rectified.

  134. Kayla Williams Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Since the dozens to comments prior to mine summarize the total shock and disgust for your poor writing and racist mentality I will not repeat what has already been said. By now, you know the backlash in which your article has caused for not only you, Rebecca Spence but your dear Louisiana Tech University. You can single-handedly dragged your university and newspaper’s name through ignorant and racist mud. As editor-in-chief you also have a responsibility of being a “voice” for the student body if you will, and in this case it would have been better had the voice CHOKED or KEPT QUIET.

    Louisiana Tech faculty and President Dan Reneau should seriously evaluate just what exactly they are teaching in their journalism program to date. However, do not think for a moment that you are not responsible either. Because I will not assume every journalism student at Tech has the racist mindset like you. You, Rebecca have turned the TechTalk into your very own personal blog. You stated false facts and bias opinions that anyone could very well do had it been on a blog site. You failed to realize when you clicked “submit” that your words REPRESENT YOUR UNIVERSITY. The TechTalk’s credibility is certainly in question at this point on.

  135. Candance Williams Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    This article is horrible. Have you taken Journalism 101 or National Enquirer 666?? Please make sure you state the facts before printing anything. Trayvon Martin is not fully or partially to blame for his death. KKK members walk around with white hoodies on, does that give me as a black woman the right to kill them because they will probably harm me? Absolutely not!!!!! This young man’s suspensions at school and his attire has nothing to do with his death. I can tell you that his murderer has had 3 arrest pertaining to battery and resisting arrest from an officer but the cases were dropped because his dad is a former judge and his mother a City Clerk. Security Guards do not carry guns so why would a Neighborhood watchman (who by the way is not registered with the Neighborhood Watch Commission-but voluntarily took this role) carry a gun? At this point it doesn’t matter if Trayvon was African American, White, or Hispanic-the point bottom line is someone’s child is murdered because a degenerate was allowed a gun. I wonder if your article would be written in the same tone if this were your brother, father or friend?

  136. Linza Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    This… might be the most ridiculous thing I’ve read all year. I guess this is what happens when you cut Ethics out of the university curricula.

    Put it this way. In Iran, running about in a tank top with your hair hanging out like a (insert gender slur here) gets you beaten to death with rocks. Maybe you should put on a hoodie and pull the hood up so you don’t get hit with rocks by passing students familiar with that custom?

  137. George Martin Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 12:55 pm


  138. Dr. Nashawna Joseph Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    As a former graduate of Louisiana Tech University (class of Spr ’04)I am in a state of disbelief that Tech would allow the posting of such a one sided article for all to see. I feel that this is more hurtful to the relationship amongst the different races at Tech instead of bringing more unity to the campus. Louisiana Tech (and specifically the writer of this article)…you may want to consider the written reactions of many and remove this post. I think that people should continue to speak up and protest what Tech has allowed to be posted.

  139. anonymous Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Great article! I agree completely. Don’t wear a hood if you aren’t trying to hide!

  140. BU doc Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Thank you Ms. Spence for this piece. Now I know where not to send my kids for college. Obviously, Louisiana Tech didn’t provide you with the correct college education.

  141. Nakia Nelson Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    I can just see the sponsorships pulling away from this school! Not to mention all the different tournaments that are hosted there. Why did you not read this before you allowed her to publish it or are your views the same as hers! Yes, you have the freedom of speech, but some of your language will destroy you. AND I THINK IT JUST DID!

  142. Jose Olivares Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Ms. Spence,
    Congratulations! You may have written the most flawed, stupid, unprofessional, insensitive, and unsupported article in journalism history.

    It is such a shame that someone with your limited capacity for research, reasoning, and critical thinking becomes the editor-in-chief of a newspaper, even if it is a small college newspaper.

    As a Tech graduate myself, let me tell you that I love hoodies, I have many of them and I wear them all the time. However, there is nothing threatening about me. I do not “threat” people’s lives, I actually try my best to improve them or sometimes save them (I’m in Medical School). So I suggest you retake all your journalism lessons again and this time try to learn something so you can be a less mediocre journalist one day.

    Have a good day and buy yourself a hoodie. They can be very comfortable

  143. RU Kiddingme Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    As one Caucasian Southern Belle to another…I am ASTONISHED with your er…for lack of better word…”articulation” of this matter. I mean, if for NO other reason than the fact that you and I are both as White Bread as they come….even I know that the GAP and Old Navy…made an entire Fall Line campaign from “Hoodies.” For goodness sakes, sugar…you think I would have been caught DEAD in one if I had known they meant “hood?” Bless your precious heart. I would recommend sociology as your new major…but OMG if THIS is your best at journalism….

  144. Jake Long Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Miss Spence, you’ve got a long way to go. This is clearly a cut and pasted opinion from Fox News with proven inaccuracies in facts. Fox isn’t a news network by the way, it’s a conservative propaganda machine. If you had bothered as a journalist to get the facts then you probably would have formed a totally different opinion.

    You seem to think that since some people have been up to no good while wearing hoodies, that “proves” that hoodies can be justifiably seen with suspicion (your words not mine). If that’s the case then everyone wearing underwear could just as easily be seen to hold hostile intentions. After all hundreds of murders and robberies have been committed by criminals who wore underwear.

    You’re a racist, Miss Spence. If a middle aged black man, with a criminal background and history of violence, disobeyed explicit police orders and followed a 17 year old unarmed white boy, and gunned him down. You, Faux News, and the rest of the ultraconservative media would be screaming for blood.

    For the record: I’m white.

  145. Ray Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Wow…I am not able to follow your logic in this article. You are saying that Trayvon Martin was partially at fault for this incident bc he acted “suspicious”??? How? Because he was walking home from the Seven Eleven wearing a hoodie with the hood on in the rain???? Every teenage boy I know, and I work with teenagers of ALL races, owns hoodies and they tend to wear them as rain gear. Your argument is weak, unintelligent, and down right ridiculous. And this is an article written by a college student, it reads like an 8th grader (at best) wrote it.

  146. Brian D Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    I understand your point of view, but please do your FULL research. I my degree is in journalism and I even attended Louisiana Tech for a period of time, but your research is NOT up to par. 1. Zimmerman was following Martin. Listen to the many 911 calls from neighbors calling local police before the shooting occurred. Even Zimmerman himself says in was following Martin. 2. Note the weather. It recently rained, therefor a hoodie seemed to be reasonable attire. 3 again with the hoodie. Who say that people wearing hoodies are “up to no good. Who says that rappers and actors from the “hood” are up to no good? We are not all fortunate enough to grow up in gated neighborhoods with both our mothers and fathers in a big happy family. The “Hood” is NOT a bad place as you and the media may think. I’m not even sure as to why I am responding to this because you would never understand anyway. I suppose it’s my fault that I grew up in the “Hood.” Even though I now have a college degree, have no criminal record, and have a great job. The “Hood” does NOT represent mischief.

  147. Angelika Jones Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    This is one of the most ignorant articles I’ve read in my many years!

  148. Quinell Wilson Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    I am a Grambling Alumni and I would like to say you’re very wrong. I’ve listened to 911 calls with this young man screaming for his life there is no justification for that. I guess all teenage boys should carry umbrellas on a rainy day? When has protecting your self from the rain been micro observed? All sense is not common but valuable research would have saved you from this social suicide.

  149. Kimberly Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    This article is going to hunt you for the rest of your life. Every time you interview for a job, we as HR Professional will google your name and this article will come up along with the comment. You used poor judgment and your facts are wrong, which in my option, you didn’t do your research.

  150. Jeff Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    It’s unfortunate you’d post an article like this. It’s troubling to see that you’re making comparisions of both people without drawing facts out. You’ve given Louisiana Tech a bad name and you’ve give yourself a bad name. If that was your intention, good job.

  151. Madina Robinson Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Ok um, you are making me ashamed to be a tech alumni! Someone should take away your right to have that opinion. So should tech students & athletes be shot for wearing their hoodies with the hood on!? Because thats all over campus. Do you own a hoodie!? Im sure you do. So when u wear it with the hood on, are you suspicious? Or is it just that he was an african american with the hoodie on? As an african american woman and a humane person in general I find your article offensive and extremely closed minded. Congrats! This is your 1st if not one of many of your epic fails.

  152. History of the Hoodie Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    “Hoodies with the hood on have a bad connotation, like it or not.”–Tech Talk Quote

    “But hip-hop trendsetters used the hoodie also to cloak and isolate themselves, and lent it a sinister appeal.”–New York Times Quote


    The major difference between the two articles is Mr. Denis Wilson’s ability to present an article with objectivity.

    • Rod Reply

      March 30, 2012 at 8:55 pm

      I think this is what she was trying to prove.

  153. Steph Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    I truly hope you do some deep reflection Ms. Spence–especially considering you are writing for “the student voice” of your university…It’s not a good look. At all.

  154. MAD ASS PERSON Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    y would u print something so one sided n ridiculous??? u r editor in chief, did u really agree with printing this??? REBECCA SPENCE you need to drop outta school cuz u wasted your time on “attempting” to get a degree in the journalist field….

  155. NEED 2 KNOW ONLY Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    I cant believe after all our ancestors went through that we are still on this. Plain and simple, it was a racial thing. And since you had the nerves to mention 50cent, what about Eminem…he wears hoods as well. No one see him a a threat. And I would expect a response as such to come from TECH..the same school where another students were spray painting racial slurs on people automobiles.


  156. Ran Support Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    I commend Rebecca on this article, her statements aren’t facts due to the fact that this story is an opinion piece. Like she stated, if someone was following me suspiciously in a hoodie I’d feel a tad threatened as well. That however was no good reason to shoot a 17 year old boy. But the bigger picture of this whole feud is that Rebecca was not being racist at all. In no way, shape, or form was anything stated in this article discriminating against any race. The story would be the same if Trayvon was white, Hispanic, or Asian. Get off your high horse and stop feeling victimized by anything that has racial issues involved.

    • Cheylon Reply

      March 30, 2012 at 7:08 pm

      The issue I personally had with the article is the way she butchered the actual facts. If she had the facts correct I would hope it would not have been such a problem. Even though it is an opinion piece she still has a duty to report the actual facts. She is a journalist.

  157. Rose Jackson Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    Ms. Spence, I suppose that you are delighted in all the attention that your article “Putting the hood in hoodie has gotten.

    Next time, please do your research. I usually do not respond to stupidity but you went a little too far this time. African Americans and I do believe that I speak for most, know that you are profiling young African American men. That’s what the incident stemmed from. You don’t shoot people because of suspiciousness.

    People of all races dress different and not only African American young men wear hoodies. Some of the shooters at various schools were white young men who dressed different, acted different and wore long black trench coats, etc. Being employed in the office of financial aid at Louisiana Tech, I see all types of clothing, peircings, and colored hair that catches my attention. I can not label them as suspicious. A piece of clothing can not be labeled as partial blame for taking the life of Trayvon Martin.

    Yes, I wore a hoodie during the GSU rally on yesterday. Please come up-stairs to Financial Aid and judge me and while you are here, I would like to school you on facts before you write.

  158. Lyndey Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    This is shameful. Enjoy your white privilege with a side of Strange Fruits, Rebecca Spence.

  159. Jason Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    What happened to investigative journalism? I thought before someone, especially the editor in chief, writes an article that Little research is done on the topic . Your article states that Zimmerman was followed by Trayvon. Unless you have been under a rock and not around a radio or television, you would know that Zimmerman let his home to follow Martin against the Will of the 911 operator. This fact alone shows that you got your facts from a friend or a.biased news station.
    Your article also leads me to believe that no one in your family or anyone that you know has ever worn or will ever wear a hoodie due to a hoodlum stigma. Are you not aware that hoodies are sold in stores such as Old Navy, Gap, Macy’s etc that are frequented by people who would never classify themselves as hoodlums?
    Hopefully you will ever not be graduating anytime soon because you still have a lot to learn. What you wear shouldn’t lead to your murder. Even if you wear a shirt that says “shoot me please! Seriously! I really want you to shoot me! No joke! Do it now!”. Even then, would that person deserve to die?
    Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but its opinions like yours that keep us from eliminating racism in our society.

  160. Anonymous Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    As a proud student of LA Tech Univ., I must say that this has to be the darkest day in the school’s history. As an African American, I am completely ashamed at the foundation of this article and the racial stereotypes that still define the opinions and beliefs of people in modern society. I am not offended by the opinions expressed about Mr. Martin. Instead, I am very offended by justifying murder regardless of race.

    • Rod Reply

      March 30, 2012 at 9:05 pm

      I would bet the darkest day was when the power was knocked out all over the campus.

  161. Latoya Turner Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Apparently the bar isn’t set very high to qualify as editor-in-chief at this university. Ms. Spence, you should be ashamed of yourself for more reasons than I care to give you. Your lack of knowledge of the actual facts surrounding this case (including the important facts you neglected to include in this disaster you call an article) leads one to think that you were either unable or unwilling to do proper research prior to posting this rubbish. Unless your intent is to work for Fox News, I suggest you take this backlash as a learning experience, or find another career field altogether.

  162. Professional Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    So while many boxers and professional fighters are jogging and running they are acting suspicious also? They use the hoods attached to the sweatshirts to help them sweat and lose water weight. They even wear them in the gym sometimes.

    Not to mention hoodies are a huge style landmark. Almost every school ranging from elementary to universities sell hoodies to students because they’re popular. Should the fundraisers stop selling hoodies because it supports the “hood?” Where would the funding for your organization (The Tech Talk) come from if your school didn’t have money to give you?

    Your publishing is hardly literate and the writing shows little education on your part, both about the subject and about writing in general.

    You definitely harmed public relations for not only yourself, but also every staff and faculty member of your organization, every student member of your organization, every staff and faculty member of your university, and also every student of your organization. As an editor-in-chief it’s your job to make sure that doesn’t happen, and you did just the opposite. You need to double check this post as a whole and do it in the future for everything you post, IF you get to keep your position.

  163. grambling student Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    i, for one, agree with ms. spence.
    that is all.

  164. Mary Margaret Edmonson Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    I am an alumna of Louisiana Tech, a Sigma Kappa and an English major. You have embarrassed our university, our sorority and our profession. I’m disappointed to find your article is not only inarticulate, it is prejudicial, immature and inaccurate. I was also disturbed by your article about the “Slutwalk” (www.thetechtalk.org/?p=603) from last summer. I was a victim of sexual assault from a stranger as I waited to get into a cab at an airport. I was wearing a loose-fitting oxford shirt and loose-fitting, lined linen pants. Sexual abuse and rape is not about sex; it is about exploitive power.

  165. C.Miller Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    As a Louisiana tech student I am really ashamed that this very controversal subject was even addressed. It’s very obvious that there was little to no overhead opinion introduced into the research and development process of this report. It’s even worse that techs name is now on this subject. Hoodies are hoodies u can buy them anywhere they’re not illegal and everyone has one.
    Dr. Reneau this is a subject that unfortunately you should address personally by issuing a formal apology for the ignorance of one of your students. This story should have never made it to the press I don’t care if ms Spence is editor in chief. Or not…..that’s why we have committees so that there us more than one opinion.
    Anyways think before you do….

  166. Justin Beasley Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Rebecca Spence needs to release a letter of Apology to the Students and Alumni of Louisiana Tech University OR Submit a resignation letter immediately.

    • Rod Reply

      March 30, 2012 at 9:07 pm

      For having an opinion or for publishing a poorly written article?

  167. M. D. Elliott Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Rebecca let me first commend you on creating buzz with the Tech Talk, a campus paper that many Louisiana Tech students (me being one) find irrelevant. I challenge you to do a few things:

    1. Do more research.I found this timeline to be an excellent starting point http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/30/justice/florida-teen-shooting-timeline/index.html?iref=allsearch

    2. Consider the racial conflict that could have been involved. I find the sociological definition of minority and majority to be a superb starting point

    3. Consider more than your own perspective of the situation. An open mind is a marvelous starting place.

    Feel free to contact me at matthewdelliott@yahoo.com

  168. Alisiah Muhammad Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Rebbecca, If you own any tech hoodies which im sure you do most white girls at Tech buy them, and im sure you probablly pledged to some organization,then you will be probablly be called suspicious and you’re a “hoodlum” according to what you said which IS NOT TRUE!!!! I go to Tech and you make Tech look stupid and racist for saying something like that and I’m sure you feel like what you said was smart, but in REALITY YOU ARE DUMB because you based your articles on STEREOTYPES!! You know he got killed cus he was black by Zimmerman. You should’ve left it at that and said I hope his family can get through this. But instead, you accuse him of being a thug..Typical from a racist girl at Tech…You probally think racism does not exist but apparently it does cus of what you said.

  169. Becky Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Mrs. Spence,

    To start, great job on getting the attention you were seeking from writing this article…only I think you are getting a different type now. I am a proud graduate of Louisiana Tech University and hold a Bachelors and MBA…Another proud fact about me is that I am an African American woman. Now, the first question I have for you is this…On your current Facebook cover photo, you have a photograph of a little girl with a pink fleece hoodie on her head. Obviously, this is someone you care deeply for since this is your cover photo. Would you say she looks suspicious and would deserve the same as Trayvon? Would you say she was “hood” or a “hoodlum?” Probably not. So, be careful of the things you say because they always come back and apply to you in some shape, form, or fashion. During my time at Louisiana Tech, I purchased several hoodies out of the bookstore with LA Tech, Bulldawgs, etc. on them, and I am sure you have too. This article says alot to me…it says you are biased, uneducated on racial profiling, and in a lot of ways a hypocrite. Please do more research before posting articles on sensitive subjects like this. La Tech needs to retract this article because this is not the type of attention our University needs.

  170. Becky Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    To start, great job on getting the attention you were seeking from writing this article…only I think you are getting a different type now. I am a proud graduate of Louisiana Tech University and hold a Bachelors and MBA…Another proud fact about me is that I am an African American woman. Now, the first question I have for you is this…On your current Facebook cover photo, you have a photograph of a little girl with a pink fleece hoodie on her head. Obviously, this is someone you care deeply for since this is your cover photo. Would you say she looks suspicious and would deserve the same as Trayvon? Would you say she was “hood” or a “hoodlum?” Probably not. So, be careful of the things you say because they always come back and apply to you in some shape, form, or fashion. During my time at Louisiana Tech, I purchased several hoodies out of the bookstore with LA Tech, Bulldawgs, etc. on them, and I am sure you have too. This article says alot to me…it says you are biased, uneducated on racial profiling, and in a lot of ways a hypocrite. Please do more research before posting articles on sensitive subjects like this. La Tech needs to retract this article because this is not the type of attention our University needs.

  171. anonymous Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Wow. I think most people responding to this article have forgotten that it is an op-ed. Rebecca should be commended for taking a stand that is controversial. Unfortunately people let their personal feelings get in the way of realizing the point Rebecca is making. She is not making a racist comment, just exploring another side of the issue. Keep it up Rebecca!

    • Megan Reply

      March 30, 2012 at 6:55 pm

      It’s one thing to take a stand with correct information, which can be commendable BUT it’s another thing to take a stand and have incorrect information. She needs to “sit down”.

    • A 5th Grader Reply

      March 30, 2012 at 7:02 pm

      I think you should put your real name up on here if you’re so intent on commending Ms Spence. Why be anonymous. She will thank you in her acceptance speech when she wins her Pulitzer Award and I’m sure she won’t forget you in her Nobel Peace Prize speech as well. Just saying.

      • Rod Reply

        March 30, 2012 at 9:10 pm

        so “A 5th Grader” is your real name?

        • A 5th Grader Reply

          April 2, 2012 at 8:20 pm

          Yup! Look me up..I’M Listed. Is Rod yours or did you just change it for your last few posts?

  172. Answer This Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    I guess you don’t read, listen, or comprehend well. Martin DID NOT follow Zimmerman. So you may want to try again and rewrite your entire article since your conclusion was partly based on that blatant error. Did you not hear the 911 call? Since Zimmerman was following Martin, who is more to blame, the person following someone he subsequently shot and killed or the person walking home in the rain with a hoodie who subsequently died as a result of walking home from the store after going there to get candy for his little brother?

  173. Jason Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    What happened to investigative journalism? I thought before someone, especially the editor in chief, writes an article, that little research is done on the topic . Your article states that Zimmerman was followed by Trayvon. Unless you have been under a rock and not around a radio or television, you would know that Zimmerman left his home to follow Martin against the will of the 911 operator. This fact alone shows that you got your facts from a friend or a biased news station.
    Your article also leads me to believe that no one in your family or anyone that you know has ever worn or will ever wear a hoodie due to a hoodlum stigma. Are you not aware that hoodies are sold in stores such as Old Navy, Gap, Macy’s, etc. that are frequented by people who would never classify themselves as hoodlums?
    Hopefully you will not be graduating anytime soon because you still have a lot to learn. What you wear shouldn’t lead to your murder. If someone was to wear a shirt that says “Shoot me please! Seriously! I really want you to shoot me! No joke! Do it now!”, would that person deserve to die?

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but its opinions like yours that keep us from eliminating racism in our society.

  174. Alysa Foster Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 3:22 pm


    I understand that your are trying to look at the situation at a different point of view. But in order to do that you have to have your facts straight.Since we are on the subject of hoodies…you forgot to mention the thousands of WHITE BOYS who skateboard at night with hoodies and walking around acctually looking for trouble but they don’t get called suspicious or “hoodlums”. according to what you wrote you are basically saying that every BLACK guy wearing a hoodie is supicious and a “hoodlum”. Honestly I don’t wanna hear a different point of veiw. Zimmerman should be in jail. And you know whats funny is that the people of your same race see that this article is nonsense and inaccurate. And even if there are some white people who may agree with you,I don’t think that they would be so stupid as to write an article like this. You make white people look stupid here at Tech University. I wouldn’t be suprised if they called you stupid dumb and ignorant to your face. And for someone who is cheif and editor how the heck did you come up with this logic? This is a junior high article not a college article. I could go on and on but I think I’ve proven my point by showing you just how ignorant you made yourself look.

  175. Michael mason Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 3:31 pm


    • techtalk_seay Reply

      March 30, 2012 at 3:40 pm

      Please monitor your language.

      • LSUGirl Reply

        March 30, 2012 at 3:59 pm

        Respectful? Have you not read this article?

  176. Ernest Lambert Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    This article should not have been written. I can’t believe the bias and none truth that you are spreading. You are the editor for Tech Talk? Your superiors needs to take this position from you!!! A editor is supposed to see the big picture instead of being closed minded as you. How in the world are you so bias that you can’t print the truth about social profiling? I know why, because you are so caught up in your small little world that you can’t see the picture that if i don’t dress like you, speak like you, walk like you, or even act like you that I am suspect!!
    You could not live in my world wear I live. I have two bachelor degrees, fought for this country in the US Navy, and come home an can’t get a job. If I walk in front of a little old white lady’s car at a stoplight while dressed in a corporate attire only to see her hit the door locks in fear. Are you kidding me?!!! There need to be a discussion in this country about race and social profiling. Racism is everywhere and racial profiling is a huge problem that won’t go away after this case is over, but will only get worst. It’s not tied to only one race but all races. How do we solve this problem in America?!
    Young lady you should be ashamed and you need to open your eyes and see the world as it is and not through the few network programs like Fox News that you watch! Editor in Chief needs to be fired!!!!

  177. Just Wondering Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    If you were an African American saying this, how many of these comments bashing you would be different?

    • Amber Reply

      March 30, 2012 at 4:25 pm

      They would indeed be worse.

      Are you implying that Ms. Spence is only under fire because of her race. Because I’m pretty this isn’t the first time African Americans have been victim of discrimation, and false report by the media.

      Thank you.

    • Steph Reply

      March 30, 2012 at 5:11 pm

      If she were an African-American woman I would feel the same way about the ignorance of these comments. However, I doubt if she were one, and had brothers, cousins, a father etc. she would have ever drawn the same bigoted conclusions. Racism is painful and it’s scary. Her mother has never had to worry about her son walking out of the house and being shot for being “suspicious”, which is code for black in a white neighborhood. I have a brother and we grew up in a white neighborhood. I can tell you each and every occasion something happened our door was knocked on first. It was painful and humiliating for my mother–knowing her son had been at home minding his own business, but nevertheless, was still being profiled and targeted first. Can you imagine what that does to the psyche of a child? And they say the black men in our society are angry…Gee, I wonder why?

      In high school my brother was arrested for being in the wrong place at the wrong time (being the only black kid around a group of reckless white kids). The police department had to drop all the charges– AND in addition to that, my brother was physically harmed and tased…FOR NO REASON. Which resulted in an investigation, court etc. Can you imagine how my mother felt? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen her cry just because society has been so unfair to her son. The times she’s had to come up to school because my brother was accused of plagiarism because no black kid could be smart enough to write so coherently. Or the times she’s stayed up all night because she’s afraid for him, when all he’s doing is hanging out with his friends, something anyone should be able to do without fear. I’m sure Ms. Spence parents don’t worry about those things, and neither does she…obviously.

      Yeah, if she were a black woman I HIGHLY doubt she would be singing the same tune. Trayvon was somebody’s baby. Remember that.

  178. Give Respect to Get It Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    To the person who just made the comment about this being a respectful site and watch your language…What did you expect from a controversial topic such as this? How many people do you think felt disrespected when reading this article? I think the article is more offensive and disrespectful than any comment posted.

    If Tech or Rebecca want respect, you start by giving it.

    Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. #GoldenRule


    Tech Graduate ’07

  179. JR Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Hey Anonymous,

    You said:
    “Wow. I think most people responding to this article have forgotten that it is an op-ed.”

    We haven’t forgotten that this is an op-ed. It’s just that op-eds should be well-researched, based on facts, and free of bias and racism.

    Your logic is easily extended to women wearing short skirts deserving rape. Think again.

    • Rod Reply

      March 30, 2012 at 9:18 pm

      The logic in this piece are easily extended to women wearing short shirts being thought of as promiscuous. Spence says that wearing the hoodie made Martin look suspicious, not that the hoodie made him deserving of being shot.

      Zimmerman should not have shot the boy. But his reasoning for following (and subsequently shooting) was that he looked suspicious, IN PART because of the hood on his head.

      • Rod Reply

        March 31, 2012 at 10:44 am

        *is easily extended
        *short skirt

  180. Dorothy Brown Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    This article honestly is a prime example of the media cycling misinformation. You’re facts are misguided, and your “unbiased report” favors a self appointed murder. Where’s the justice in that? How can you report the criminal history of the victim but not of his killer? Also what does 50 cent have to do with anything? Once again, you’ve proven that you, Ms. Spence, (appointed spokes person for Louisiana Tech University) also has a ignorant perception of Blacks and our African-American society. So, please enlighten me, how can I, a black female, tell my sons, and brothers “Don’t be look suspicious”, if the mass of American society is misinformed and holds an inaccurate perceptions of Black culture?

    I don’t advise to remove this article, but I am personally offended and I demand an explaination and apology for your “white hood” like actions.

  181. White guy Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    This author obviously didn’t do her research and has been watching way to much Fox news. She probly watches Fox and would vote for santorum. Since when did a hoodie make it reasonable to shoot someone? The dude has a sketch background and obviously did the wrong. He should be in jail without doubt. The fact that he didnt even get a trial is absurd.

  182. Ashley Collins Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Im a 2nd year law student and my criminal code does not list wearing a hoodie as a crime. THere are plenty of people who get into altercations but a life is never ended. A 26 year old man has to shoot a 17 year old boy in self defense?? really? I dont now many 26 year old men who would find a 17 year old boy a threat, especially one that screams help, with a bag of skittles in his pocket and an arizona ice tea in his hand. The sad thing is, there are so many people who want to undermine the fact that a heinous crime has been committed and would stoop so low as to blame the victim. Kids wear hoodies; black, asian, hispanic and white. What if a white boy was walking around and some racist black person shot and killed him?? Negative connotations??? This is clearly a product of too much television. This girl should be ashamed of herself. THe only stereotype she is uplifting is the “dumb, ill informed” cheerleader, whose spoiled and knows absolutely nothing about life and that a family is missing their INNOCENT BLACK child because some person acted out of hatred.

  183. Ta'Kori Harris Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 4:39 pm



  184. Nikki Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    This was written by a high-schooler, right?

  185. Really? Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    At initial read, I immediately began forming a lengthy comment in mind to address the one-sided, biased tone of the article, but after reading everyone else’s comments, I decided to sit back. You all have said everything I would’ve said and then some. Hopefully, the comments will encourage the writer to be more careful with her writing and spend more time with research. I certainly would after all of those comments…or find a new major.

  186. Suzanne Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Im totally embaressed to say that I attend this racist ass school….. Ive been a student at tech for a few yrs now and I have seen a couple of racial slurs made by my peers…. Its gotten swept under the rug but not this time. I must speak….. U PEOPLE ARE WRONG AND I PRAY THAT YOU ALL WILL GET SOME BETTER UNDERSTANDING SOON….

  187. A 5th Grader Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    Ms Spence, I have a few questions for you.
    1.Do you realize that you failed to properly investigate your chosen subject of discussion?
    2. Have you resigned yet from your position as..dare I say it “Editor In Chief” at the Tech Talk? If not, do you plan to?
    3. How many Black…let me rephrase that, How many Ethnic or culturally diverse friends do you have?
    4. Are you smarter than a 5th grader? Because I’m certain a child in that class group can find a site with valid information on the issue and present it to me.
    In light of the unimaginable level of unprofessional-ism you have exhibited in your position, which led to the colossal weight of Shame that members of the College and your Organization has had to endure as a result. I will say this, I feel sorry for any other organizations that you are a part of. I can only imagine that your sorority is also a victim of your broadcasted ignorance. It seems the only group that has escaped your public display of mental incapacity is the LATech Women’s Soccer Team that you have long since been relieved of representing. Despite the fact that I am an avid supporter of those girls and attend their games regularly to notice your absence, a Google search containing your name and the school provides this information. I won’t even go so far as to blame your Journalism teacher’s and overseers for your actions however please do the world a favor and either learn from this experience or quit journalism all together. Thanks. You sure showed your a** on this one!

  188. keri Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Reading this article makes me sad. I also read this article:


    This naive young girl has no clue what she’s saying.

    My question is…who is the professor/adult in charge of the Tech Talk? Is no one proofing or okaying these articles? Are they free to write anything they want with no reprocussions? I think she should be removed from the staff and new policies and procedures should be instituted.

    -One sad alumni

  189. Rod Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    This is the online version of an actual newspaper, not a blog.

  190. Cheylon Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Im sorry, but after reading a number of her articles Ms. Spence is either classicist or racist. I mean really. She is a prime example why op-eds are a bad idea…and maybe Tech should re-evaluate the standard of of English majors that they are sending out into the world…

  191. Rod Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    You defeated your own argument there.

    “Secondly, if I see a WHITE person with a hoodie, will they be suspicious and ignorant?…No”

    “Everyone could look suspicious at night.”

  192. Olivia Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    Please do not let this girl’s horrible excuse for journalism form your opinion about Tech students and Tech in general–she does not represent us all.

  193. Daniel Brady Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    Come on now Tech Journalism staff!

    The article was clearly inappropriate. I am for free speech but come on no-one deserves to get killed like (Martin). Have a heart. Shame on Louisiana Tech. I am disappointed.

  194. Brandi Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    I agree this should not have been published in the Tech Talk. I first read it this afternoon in my Friday edition of The Ruston Daily Leader. Apparently they chose to run it as well. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out now that it’s in print to half of Lincoln Parish.

  195. Beware Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    OK black people just walk around naked when its cold at night so the white folks don’t have any wiggle room to justify shooting our asses dead. 🙁

  196. It doesn't matter Reply

    March 31, 2012 at 12:07 am

    Rod we get it….Your trying to defend your friend, lover, sibling, etc. I don’t know but yes you got love for Rebecca! (applauding) Now sit your $2
    &$& down! Sorry but every 2 to 3 comments you got something slick to say…Tech Talk asked for feedback so let the students do their job.

    • Rod Reply

      March 31, 2012 at 10:31 am

      How exactly am I defending her?

      I had literally 3 hours to kill, so I decided to go through here and correct logic and add some comic relief.

      And if you’re going to try to add some facetious comments, please take a page out of my book: think it out, make a clear argument, and please learn the difference between your and you’re. Here are a few examples:

      You’re probably still in high school based on your use of grammar.
      You’re not very up on internet lingo based on your use of parentheses instead of asterisks when signifying some sort of action. *facepalm*
      You’re not correctly using symbols to substitute letters in curse words you @$$.
      Your argument for my defending Rebecca has less proof than her argument that the hoodie made Martin look more suspicious.
      Your lesson was free. You’re welcome.

      • techtalk_seay Reply

        March 31, 2012 at 10:52 am

        curse words are being replaced by me the moderator.

        • Rod Reply

          March 31, 2012 at 1:23 pm

          makes perfect sense now. Thanks!

  197. Me Reply

    March 31, 2012 at 1:45 am

    Did not get to see the article but I saw a comment stating that watchmen are allowed to carry a gun. That is false. We have a right to bear arms. Being a watchman speaks for itself you WATCH!! Now no matter how you try to justify it is a hate crime! He is going to be found guilty of a charge may not be what the public wants but he will get time no doubt. Before commenting and using your right to freedom of speech you should first investigate and gather evidence. As far as you thinking that hood clothing is wearing things to big or to small many peopleof all races fldo that. Including models and actresses. Are they hood as well? We do not judge clothing that has been rip which too by the way is worn by different races. So I ask you why pick or continuously try to put black persons down? When the truth is that whites are just as violent and cruel. Blacks make up less than half of the worlds population. And if we are such bad people why try your best to look brown and darker. My guess is to imitate what you fear, to blend in to look it.

    • Rod Reply

      March 31, 2012 at 10:32 am

      Why are you commenting on and attacking the article when you didn’t get to read the article? Most of what you’re attacking is based on someone else’s interpretation of the article.

  198. Ahmed Reply

    March 31, 2012 at 5:28 am

    I know people would LIKE to assume Trayvon was a good innocent kid who did nothing but walk home. However, the facts are facts. He wasn’t shot because he had skittles. He was shot because he was beating a man and attempted to take his gun. His twitter account is relevant because it is revealing. Sure, his parents say he was never in trouble and was absolutely innocent. His suspensions for possession of drug paraphernalia and possible robbery and everything in his twitter account suggest otherwise (references to ho’s, “head”, sex, “plants”, shooting, robbing and violence). I live in Brooklyn and I see kids like this all the time – 17, skinny, chip on the shoulder and fists of fury on the train.

    • Grace Reply

      March 31, 2012 at 9:46 am

      Ahmed, You are ignorant, so I’d like to inform you that Regardless of Martins background, zimmerman was the aggressor. The 911 operator told him to stay in his vehicle & he got out and followed martin & calling him a f##king coon. evidence also shows that zimmerman had no marks on him nor did martin have marks on his hands. there was no sign of a struggle. martin was minding his own business walking home. His background is irrelevent. zimmerm should have never followed him & drew a gun. sounds like racial profiling of gun happy man that didn’t make it as cop. now you are not as ignorant as writer of article. be blessed

  199. A 5th Grader Reply

    March 31, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Ahmed, If one of these kids that you see in “Brooklyn” all the time (and lets just assume that you are not only talking about the black population which I detect is the majority of the contingent). If one of them decides to follow you, assault you and call you a no good dirty *insert derogatory racial slur here* would you either wait for them to shoot you or go down with a fight? Im sure Trayvon passed more than one white male on his entire route before he encountered Zimmerman, yet he did not assault them. What’s so special about Zimmerman?
    Being from Brooklyn/NY area you should also see a lot of white men in trench coats on the subways and Jewish men. You should also see kids who wear a lot of Gothic clothing, black makeup and have aggressive piercings maybe even a shirt that says “death is the answer”or a skull image. Are we to assume that neither of these people have a violent past, has never done drugs, or isn’t involved in some kind of illegal activity. For all you know, that businessman on the subway could be a pedophile and have some young girl in his basement for the past 8 years. Lastly, I have reason to doubt that you truly live in Brooklyn but I will give you the benefit of the doubt. In any case, the only reason I can see for you bringing up Trayvon’s past which is arrest-free by the way and not reference Zimmerman’s past as well is that you and Ms. Spence clearly have the same news sources. Congrats, you have now reached the level of ignorance required to become her co writer on a future project. Oh and Trayvon’s twitter account is a perfect platform for freedom of speech. A right that you still have the privilege of enjoying. Just take a listen to Eminem’s Cleaning out my Closet, Nikki Minaj’s Stupid H** or Lil Wayne’s 6 foot 7. How many different races recite those lyrics? Quote them even? I guess that all makes them hoodlums, they should be shot and their twitter account used as evidence supporting their death. Good luck in Life Ahmed. You have a long one! Maybe you will learn something soon.

  200. Matt Reply

    March 31, 2012 at 10:50 am

    I just read the original document. I don’t know anything more about this story than what I’ve been exposed to after having obtained it and don’t have speculation to add to the masses above. My concern is how poorly written it was. Miss Spence is the editor-in-chief and a senior journalism and speech communication major? This doesn’t speak well for the judgement of whatever authority has been mentoring her or allowed her writing to be the representation of their paper, department, or even school.

    • A 5th Grader Reply

      March 31, 2012 at 12:58 pm


  201. Christopher Reply

    March 31, 2012 at 11:09 am

    Nobody knows precisely what happened in this case, and there is a massive rush to judgement. Race hustlers like Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson, who won’t even show up to protest without being paid a huge fee (as was the case in Claiborne Parish a few years back), are fanning the flames of racism because they feed off of it.

    There is a legal process that is taking place to determine the facts, so everybody just needs to cool off until those facts are known.

    Having said that, if the journalism department at Tech regrets the publication of this article, then why were there no safeguards to prevent its publication in the first place? Was somebody asleep at the wheel? (I could ask the same of the Ruston Daily Leader staff, who chose to run this column as well).

    More than likely, this Rebcecca Spence person is probably a very young woman who has a lot to learn about how much power she has as a mass communicator. She probably didn’t mean any harm by this column, and I’m certain she’s quite startled at the reaction among the black community. I’m quite certain this will be a learning experience for her and she will try to make some sort of amends for it. She’s probably very scared and feels badly about all of this!

    I just wish the column had been about the hypocrisy of people like Sharpton, who always show up to complain about white on black crime, but never speak out on black on white crime, or black on black crime. Sharpton could expend a lot of his energies trying to make things better in the black community, encouraging at-risk black males to choose a different, better path, etc…..and instead he calls for violence in case Zimmerman isn’t prosecuted! What a waste of a human being he is!

    Very sad indeed that only a few people can recognize Sharpton for what he really is.

    This Spence girl is young and naive…..someone should write a rebuttal….and just let this one go!

    • LSUGirl Reply

      March 31, 2012 at 7:51 pm

      No, we’ve let too much go. Y’all are used to black people not saying anything. She knew exactly what she was saying when she said it. She got what she deserved.

      • TechSavy Reply

        April 1, 2012 at 5:08 pm


        I am afraid you are jumping to the same conclusion about the writer of this article as the shooter in this tragic incident is being said to have done. My personal opinion about what actually transpired in this case is irrelevant because all I know what what we have all been told through the media. All I do know for sure is that a young man is gone and I cannot possibly imagine what his family is going through.

        Does it matter to you that the advisor to the journalism department is black and approves the copy for the paper? The advisor guides the content and is a mentor / professor to the students. It does not matter to me what gender or race incompetence is, because I think the advisor should have more sense than to encourage these types of subjects regardless of gender or race, for a school paper. The students are here to learn, make mistakes and grow from their failures and accomplishment. While I am sure this has been a learning experience for all, is it worth turmoil? It is worth the threats against any young person like those that have been made against the writer? I am very sad to believe that you would really want harm to come to someone.

        You really do not know what motivates another person or what was in their mind when they do anything. I am sure I am many decades older than most folks commenting here and having personally lived through the race riots, I have seen the ugly truth of racism I still cannot tell you what motivates people to do the horrible things they do. I can tell you we are light years away from those times although you would not know it from the sensationalism attached to it today.

        Racism is a learned behavior. Children who are not exposed to it do not care what color, race or creed their friends are. We should not either.

        You may jump to conclusions about my race, gender and creed and motivations. You would probably be wrong.

  202. Christopher Reply

    April 1, 2012 at 9:20 am

    I don’t know what went on in her mind anymore than you do.

    Concurrently, you don’t know anymore of the full details regarding the Zimmerman/Martin case than I do.

    Public opinion, however, seems to have shifted dramatically in favor of Zimmerman (more and more people are starting to believe his side of the story, despite all the marches and protests against him).

    And I reiterate what I said about Al Sharpton being an opportunist who relishes any opportunity to get in front of a television camera to decry the injustice done to some poor black person at the hands of someone who is white.

    Well, if he wants me to take him seriously, he should look inward and spend more of his energies trying to address black on black crime (instead of the much rarer white on black crime), the high number of black men in prison, drugs in the black community, the high number of suspensions of black kids in public schools, etc.

    Instead, he is a race hustler, and he is the type of person that Booker T. Washington warned against many decades ago.

    (do you spend more time worrying about what this silly girl wrote than you do the problems within your own community?)

    But, to get back on track, I don’t know what happened in Florida. You don’t know what happened in Florida…..and neither does Rebecca Spence.

    If there were a pattern of racism at the university (and trust me there is not — LA Tech bends over backward for diversity) then a march or a protest against the school is surely in order. But to do anything other than write a well-written article rebutting what Ms. Spence said seems overboard.

    It’s just one article written by an immature young woman in her early 20s (and somebody forgot to edit it carefully — I bet that never happens again) So — choose your battles carefully.

  203. Linza Reply

    April 1, 2012 at 10:28 am

    So they’ve taken down the article, but not the comments? How does that make sense?

  204. Ashley Mayes Reply

    April 1, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    It is disingenuous for you to say that you are taking the article down simply because it was not balanced. It’s an opinion column, no one expects balance. So first and foremost, don’t insult the intelligence of your readers by rewriting the reason for the indignant responses. We opposed the article because the author fabricated facts. A proper retraction doesn’t blame the readers for the retraction, it simply retracts and apologizes. I understand that at an institution like LaTech, there is a genuine sense that this “race stuff” is blown out of proportion, so when there is an uproar, the general response from authority figures is to either shrug it off or tell people to get over it. But the condescension and arrogance of this retraction is almost as bad as the article itself because it accuses those that were upset at it as being too narrow-minded to appreciate it’s value. We all appreciate different opinions, that’s why we were willing to read an opinion article in the first place. What we don’t appreciate is lying to make a point. If she believed hoodies were suspicious in and of themselves, she could have simply said so. And if the Tech Talk editors believe the whole Trayvon Martin situation is an exhibition in overreaction, it should say so. But don’t talk down to us. I demand a retraction of this particular retraction.

  205. Pingback: Finding peace, pulling pieces and seeking justice « Faithspeaks

  206. Rico Rivers Reply

    April 13, 2012 at 6:52 am

    Isn’t Zimmerman a Jewish name? IF so, why is the the murderer, George Zimmerman, being portrayed only as a Hispanic male in the media? Could it be a ploy to further convince the public that a Hispanic (a fellow ethnic person) could no way be racist? If he were to be referred to the race of his father (White, with a Jewish faith) would this drum up more Black and Jewish division? I don’t know about many of you, but when a Mexican/Latino is “light enough” they go under the banner of white. Hell, some of them are almost as brown as I am and still claim to be white. White supremacy has impacted people of color around the globe. I will bet you a dollar to a donut, that Zimmerman does not consider himself to be Hispanic. I would love to see some old job applications to see what box he checked in the category of race/ethnicity. For him to consider himself Hispanic (eventhough his mother is Hispanic) with a white and possibly Jewish father who is a judge, would be a step down racially and ethically for him. He has lived the life of a priviledged white man. I just can’t see himself describing himself as a proud Hispanic. We have the same denial going on in the black community. Hell, alot of these blacks don’t even have white parents and are in denial about their race. So, I know Zimmerman, in his mind, does not connect with his Hispanic roots/culture. That night, a Hispanic did not ignore the 911 operator when he plainly and directly told him, “We don’t need you to pursue the person.” It was an arrogant, racist White/Jewish man who ignored that directive in order to carry out his mission of murdering a black man. Wow! Talk about the not so secret relationship between blacks and Jews.

    Rico Rivers
    GSU Alum 94 and 96

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