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Geraldo Rivera Blames Trayvon Martin’s Hoodie For His Murder

by David Badash on March 24, 2012

in News

Post image for Geraldo Rivera Blames Trayvon Martin’s Hoodie For His Murder

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.”

Hours later, Rivera repeated his comments on KABC. Eric Wemple at The Washington Post details the comments:

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.”

New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow Friday night on the Bill Maher show said in response, “There are no ‘come shoot me’ clothes.”


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chaz11222 March 24, 2012 at 9:59 am

Blame the Hoodie? GIVE ME A BREAK. It was raining…. the kid was running…..and being stalked…….and ….SORRY… but we don't ALL use Totes umbrellas when going to the corner grocery store for a snack! Nor SHOULD we risk losing our very lives while doing so! Mr. Rivera: you should be ashamed of your inane, insensitive comments, and your attempts to create "excuses" for the inexcusable actions of judge-jury-and-executioner George Zimmerman, and those that would imitate him. We are becoming a society that sees threats under every rock; a society that sees danger with every “other” that is not just like us;  a society with control-freaks running rampant (whether politicians or mayors or police chiefs or individuals). Power-hungry people that are only too eager to take advantage of our fears; that are only too eager to get away with anything and everything that they can, as they deprive us of our our liberty (and sometimes our lives)…all in the name of defending it. What a shell game. Were it only a game. For it’s part of a slippery slope that includes the worst provisions of the Patriot Act, the police spying on innocent people, papers-please and stop&frisk gone wild, the “right” to indefinitely detain Americans without trial, and homicidal “vigilantes” such as we have tragically seen here. It’s a slippery slope that ultimately leads to a police state/Orwellian mentality that is more typical of places such as China or Cuba – not America .We USED to stand proud and free, and contrasted our open society to such places. Now we imitate them. Our country is better than this. Our values are better than this. WE are better than this. Don’t blame the hoodie…blame what we are becoming, and allowing, and doing as a society. For we have come to accept things that should NEVER be accepted by a freedom-loving people. It’s time, way past time, to reverse course.

ottomarcos March 24, 2012 at 11:26 am

No surprise… Geraldo's brain signed off years ago!

lepidopteryx March 24, 2012 at 10:55 pm

”There are no ‘come shoot me’ clothes.”

Pretty much sums it up for me.

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