Pastor, Church Members Wear Hoodies To Church Sunday

2:32 PM, Mar 25, 2012   |    comments
Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, WXIA TV
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Atlanta, GA-- Pastors, ushers and members of the congregation at Ebenezer Baptist Church wore hoodies instead of their Sunday best to protest the killing of Trayvon Martin.

"We're standing as the church of nonviolence to say that a hoodie is not a weapon," said Senior Pastor Rev. Raphael Warnock. "We stand in solidarity with the family of Trayvon Martin. We stand in support of our children who deserve better than to be stigmatized and stereotyped."

Pastor Warnock stood in the pulpit on Sunday wearing a maroon Morehouse College hoodie.

Ebenezer is one of countless churches across metro Atlanta and the nation recognizing this as "Hoodie Sunday."

"All of us have a stake in this, not just black people" Rev. Warnock said. "We are Americans, and we expect the system to work."

Martin, 17, was wearing a hoodie when he caught the attention of neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman, who thought the teen looked suspicious as he walked through a gated community near Orlando, Florida.

Martin was returned from a run to the convenience store.

Zimmerman is under investigation for shooting and killing Martin, who was unarmed.

Zimmerman has not been charged in the case that has ignited racial tensions across the country.

Martin was black. Zimmerman's father is white and his mother is Hispanic.

Zimmerman told police he shot Martin after the teen attacked him.

Here are some excerpts from Rev. Warnock's sermon:

"We have a black man in the White House, but Trayvon Martin can't walk without suspicion through the streets of his own gated community."

"His face looked familiar. He looked like your son, my son, our nephew, our cousin, our brother."

"Here we are, again, staring bigotry in the face, staring racism in the face, staring in the face of old logic that black life is not as valuable as white life."

"Here we are in 2012, and you tell me there's been no arrest, no appropriate investigation? Our lives are not worth more than that? Some of us have been arrested for less than that."

"I wonder what's so frightening about a black man in a hood? History suggests that we have good reason to be frightened. We've been living with hoods for a long time."

"Our protests must always remain nonviolent. Put on your hoodie to protect your spirit. Don't become hard or cynical or ugly."

In reference to the Skittles that Martin bought before he was killed: "America, taste the rainbow. Until you grow up, we're gonna stand our ground for peace and righteousness."

Click on WXIA to follow this story out of Atlanta. 

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