Geraldo Rivera and Trayvon Martin.
Photo: Getty Images
By now you’ve probably heard the tragic story of Trayvon Martin—the 17-year-old Florida high school student who was shot by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman on his way back from a snack run to 7-Eleven. George called 911 because he thought he was “up to no good” and followed Trayvon against the dispatcher’s orders. Trayvon was wearing a hoodie (it was raining that day) and was unarmed, but as George approached him, he pushed him to the ground, fired his gun, and killed Trayvon at the scene.
People have been trying to find a reason as to what would drive someone to pull the trigger on an innocent person, and this morning Geraldo Rivera told the hosts of Fox & Friends that his hoodie was partially to blame. Yep, you read that right, Geraldo thinks Trayvon’s outfit choice may have had a hand in his death. WHAAAAAAT?
Geraldo said, “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.” He continued, “You have to recognize that this whole stylizing yourself as a gangster—you’re going to be a gangster wannabe. People are going to perceive you as a menace.” OK. 1.) So a piece of clothing is as much to blame for an innocent kid’s death as the man who fired the gun (the parallels between this and people who think rape victims’ outfit choices are partially to blame make me want to vomit) and 2.) So white and Asian kids are less likely to get shot because they can’t POSSIBLY be gangster wannabes? and 3.) IS HOLDING SKITTLES AND AN ICED TEA ALSO VERY DANGEROUS BECAUSE IT MAKES YOU LOOK LIKE YOU’RE PACKING?
Geraldo is out-of-touch and ridiculous and his publicist probably wants to throttle him right now. To allocate blame to Trayvon’s clothing choice is obscene and asinine. NYC even held a “Million Hoodie March” on Wednesday night as a stand against such racial profiling and Questlove’s been waging a Twitter war against dude for the last couple hours. It’s obvious whose side we land on. But what do y’all think?
sorry @GeraldoRivera, what i gotta stroll around rocking a tux 24 7 so i can put others who are ignorant at ease? what about the OTHER side
— Questo of The Roots (@questlove) March 23, 2012