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Posted at 12:50 PM ET, 03/28/2012

Travyon Martin ‘Am I Suspicious?’ campaign launched at Howard University


Jasmine Gordon, 19, of Detroit, L, comforts Krystal Leaphart, 20, also of Detroit, during a vigil for Trayvon Martin on the campus of Howard University on March 22, 2012. (Jahi Chikwendiu - Washington Post)
The shooting that left 17-year-old Trayvon Martin dead and sent the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot him into hiding has sparked a national outcry from family, friends and supporters who want to know why it happened at all. A video launched by hoodie-wearing male students at Howard University asks a different, more complicated question: “Do I look suspicious?”

The video begins with Skittles falling into an outstretched palm. The shot pans up to a graduate student wearing a black hoodie. He looks the camera dead in the eye, confronting the issue of racial profiling head-on.

“Do I look suspicious?”

“Unfortunately, for Trayvon we will never know what was in store for him,” Howard University alum Howard Conday says into the camera, ”all because America believed this innocent child was suspicious.”

Neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman has told police that he shot Martin in self-defense.

The hooded sweatshirt has been thrust headlong into the national spotlight as a symbolic rallying cry against racial profiling, and has been adopted by local supporters. At a candlelight vigil held Monday evening, supporters lit candles and stood in silence at the square at 14th and Park Streets NW before departing.

Last weekend, supporters pulled hoodies over their heads, chanting “I am Trayvon Martin” through the rain in a rally at Freedom Plaza.

But Howard has been a particularly vocal part of local vigils by residents joining the call for a deeper investigation into the circumstances surrounding the shooting.

“When you think of injustice, I look at it like cancer,” Harris told The Post’s Clarence Williams during a rally held March 22. “As we stand here today . . . we have to be the chemotherapy.”

Wednesday morning, hoodies made high-profile appearance. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) was scolded for donning a hoodie and sunglasses on the floor of the United States Congress when Rush called for a full investigation into Martin’s death.

As the gavel sounded, Rush yelled, “May God bless Trayvon Martin’s soul.”

By  |  12:50 PM ET, 03/28/2012

Tags:  trayvon martin, howard university

 
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