'Hoodies' Defended By Surprise Figures

Youths have been controversially banned from wearing hoods in some UK shopping centres. But they have found two unlikely establishment allies. The Church of England’s second in command wore a red 'hoodie' himself when he addressed a Bradford Diocese conference on youth work. Outspoken Archbishop of York John Sentamu said the hoodie had been given to him by Birmingham teenagers. And now the UK's Tory party leader David Cameron has lept to their defence.


Archbishop John Sentamu
Sentamu, Britain’s first Black archbishop, asked people not to unfairly judge those who wear hoodies which are popular among young people who follow American rapper-inspired urban culture. But the hoods are also worn by some trendy middle-aged people in the community like Chief Inspector George Rhoden, who is head of the Metropolitan Black Police Association. Rhoden says security guards at shopping centres have sometimes given him a wary look because of his hoodie. But he has been able to reassure them that he is not a ‘stereotypical mugger’. 

Meanwhile, .new Conservative Party leader David Cameron, desperate to cultivate a trendy image among voters, says that  teenagers who hide under hooded tops are trying to "blend in" rather than appear threatening. In a speech he described them as "a response to a problem, not a problem itself". And he argues that while teenage criminals must be punished, they should also be shown "a lot more love".

Hooded tops have come to be viewed by some as a symbol of social disorder. Last year the Bluewater shopping centre in Kent banned people wearing hooded tops, and said youths were using the hoods to shield their faces from CCTV cameras while committing crimes.

"We - the people in suits - often see hoodies as aggressive, the uniform of a rebel army of young gangsters

Archbishop Sentamu said: ‘Ninety-nine per cent of those who wear hoodies are law-abiding citizens.” A political exile from his native Uganda, he has never been scared to break with tradition. At his inauguration as Archbishop of York he invited bare-chested dancers and played African drums.  

Sentamu has also criticised police for their racially-biased ‘stop and search’ tactics which have targeted Black people, including himself.


1 Response to "'Hoodies' Defended By Surprise Figures"


Wed, 05/24/2006 - 17:08
<p><strong>Sia Gholami writes:</strong></p><p>Why should people 'run in terror', as some media commentators suggest, if they spot someone with a branded hoodie? I would like to advise people to stay well clear of commuters wearing pin striped suits. These people are rich and hold deep contempt for human life. Wait, I wear one myself sometimes. Being part of the urban hip-hop culture that is so feared, I wear branded hoodies, baggy jeans and trainers regularly. One can't always be bothered to look neat. However, I get stared at for the entire duration of my one-hour commute if I wear a hoodie. I think it is unacceptable that I have to be harassed and judged by 100 people in the train carriage every morning, simply because I wear a top that has a hood attached to it. You pin-striped suited commuters need to learn that you are definitely wearing something that hoodies have a problem with.<br /></p><p>&nbsp;</p>