The New Yorker’s Tribute to Trayvon Martin

There’s no publication in America that does more with its cover and interstitial art than The New Yorker, whether it’s Art Spiegelman’s lovely, heartbroken commemoration of the September 11 attacks, his commentary on the Crown Heights riots in 1993 or Barry Blitt’s wicked satire on the so-called “terrorist fist bump.” So it’s a pleasure to see them do it again this week with a series of illustrations interrogating Geraldo Rivera’s idiotic declaration that wearing a hoodie made Trayvon Martin seem more legitimately suspicious to George Zimmerman.

The magazine’s hoodie-wearing figures include an older man with a cane, a woman in elegant heels, a child, a vigil attendee. In their quiet way, they illustrate how irrelevant the piece of clothing is—a hoodie can be a tool for a playful peekaboo or a shy glance out at the world, a solemn frame, or a simple convenience. And you can look beyond the hoodie, and still fail to see the full humanity of the person underneath it.