Geraldo Rivera Friday several times blamed Trayvon Martin‘s choice to wear a hoodie for his murder. Martin is the Florida 17-year old who was carrying an Arizona iced tea and a bag of Skittles and shot to death by George Zimmerman because he supposedly looked suspicious.
“I am urging the parents of black and Latino youngsters, particularly, to not let their young children go out wearing hoodies,” Geraldo Rivera told his coworkers at Fox News Friday morning. “I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was.”
Moment No. 1: Caller protests that Geraldo’s approach to hoodies amounts to blaming victims for the trouble they encounter. It’s like blaming a female rape victim because she dresses provocatively. Geraldo responds:
It’s different because the sexy girl . . . is no threat to anybody. If you see a girl dressed in a provocative way, she’s no danger to you. If you see someone in a hoodie . . . you’re going to walk to the other side [of the street].Moment No. 2: Caller comes on the show and starts screaming at Geraldo, in a way that the Erik Wemple Blogger couldn’t hear, let alone understand, though it was clear that the caller wasn’t happy with Geraldo. We could understand only what Geraldo was saying:
I’m a racist? Do you know anything about me?Moment No. 3: Geraldo promotes himself as a humanitarian:
Racist killings have gone on in this country and they’re lamentable.. . . I’m trying to save lives.Moment No. 4: Geraldo’s hoodie ban applies only to neighborhoods that are rough and tumble. A “retirement community,” he says, isn’t the setting he’s talking about. A “college campus,” he says, isn’t the setting he’s talking about — “that’s not nighttime in the neighborhood.” So the Retreat at Twin Lakes, the gated community in Sanford, Fla., is the “neighborhood”?
Moment No. 5: Geraldo says that “with crazy people carrying guns, the last thing you’d want to do is give them a reason to call it . . . justified.” Which is where the hoodie comes in, obviously.
Moment No. 6: Caller claims that it was raining around the time that Martin was shot dead. Geraldo responds: “I have heard that and it would explain why he had the hoodie up.”
Friday, Think Progress noted:
This morning on Fox and Frends, Fox contributor Geraldo Rivera remarked, “I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman (his killer).” While he agreed that Zimmerman “should be prosecuted,” Rivera also blamed Trayvon’s parents for letting him go outside wearing a hooded sweatshirt. Media Matters flagged the exchange:
BRIAN KILMEADE KILMEADE (co-host): Let’s talk about the Trayvon Martin case and what’s going on in Florida right now.
GERALDO RIVERA: I believe that George Zimmerman, the overzealous neighborhood watch captain should be investigated to the fullest extent of the law and if he is criminally liable, he should be prosecuted. But I am urging the parents of black and Latino youngsters particularly to not let their children go out wearing hoodies. I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was.
JULIET HUDDY (guest-host): What do you mean?
RIVERA: When you, when you see a kid walking — Juliet — when you see a kid walking down the street, particularly a dark skinned kid like my son Cruz, who I constantly yelled at when he was going out wearing a damn hoodie or those pants around his ankles. Take that hood off, people look at you and they — what do they think? What’s the instant identification, what’s the instant association?
STEVE DOOCY (co-host): Uh-oh.
RIVERA: It’s those crime scene surveillance tapes. Every time you see someone sticking up a 7-11, the kid is wearing a hoodie. [...] When you see a black or Latino youngster, particularly on the street, you walk to the other side of the street. You try to avoid that confrontation.
And The Huffington Post noted:
After making his original comments about Martin’s hoodie on Friday morning, Rivera weighed in again in a series of tweets. He revealed that one of his sons disagreed with his stance. “My own son just wrote to say he’s ashamed of my position re hoodies,” he tweeted. Rivera also told Politico that his son, Gabriel, “broke [his] heart” and had said that he had “gone viral for all the wrong reasons.”
However, he maintained that Martin’s hoodie was to blame for his death. He deniedthat he was “blaming the victim” and called it “common sense” for minorities to avoid wearing hoodies. He said that he was “reminding minority parents of the risk that comes with being a kid of color in America.”
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