It was inevitable that Fox News was going to find a way to play the race card against Trayvon Martin and now, thanks to Geraldo Rivera, they figured out a way to do it: Have the (half ) Latino guy blame Martin’s hoodie. On this morning’s Fox & Friends, Rivera said, “I'm not suggesting that Trayvon Martin had any kind of weapon or anything, but he wore an outfit that allowed someone to respond in this irrational, overzealous way and if he had been dressed more appropriately, I think unless it's raining out, or you're at a track meet, leave the hoodie home.” For extra Fox race-baiting points, Rivera likened the situation to Juan Williams saying he gets nervous when he sees Muslims in Muslim garb on a plane. Of course, Williams got fired from NPR after that remark. Rivera, in all likelihood, will get a Fox News pat on the back via lots of air time. (H/T reader Alan)
In fact, Rivera’s appearance on Fox & Friends coincided with a column posted today on Fox Latino that made the same points – suggesting that Fox has already given him its seal of approval.
The entire segment must be watched to get its full effect. But here’s a partial transcript of the discussion:
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 (undoubtedly feigning ignorance): 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: 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. Every time you see a mugging on a surveillance camera where they get the old lady in the alcove, it's a kid wearing a hoodie. You have to recognize that this whole stylizing yourself as a gangsta. You're gonna be a gangsta wannabe? Well, people are going to perceive you as a menace. That's what happens. It is an instant reflexive action. Remember Juan Williams, our colleague? Our brilliant colleague? He got in trouble with NPR because he said Muslims in formal garb at the airport conjure a certain reaction in him or response in him. That's an automatic reflex. Juan wasn't defending it. He was explaining that that's what happens when he sees these particular people in that particular place.
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. Trayvon Martin's you know, God bless him, he an innocent kid, a wonderful kid, a box of Skittles in his hand. He didn't deserve to die. But I'll bet you money, if he didn't have that hoodie on, that -- that nutty neighborhood watch guy wouldn't have responded in that violent and aggressive way.
… Stop wearing it! Don't let your kid -- you know the old Johnny Cash song, ‘Don't Take Your Gun (sic) To Town, Son, Leave your gun at home.' There is some things that are almost inevitable. I'm not suggesting that Trayvon Martin had any kind of weapon or anything, but he wore an outfit that allowed someone to respond in this irrational, overzealous way and if he had been dressed more appropriately, I think unless it's raining out, or you're at a track meet, leave the hoodie home. Don't let your children go out there.
Huddy: Perception is reality.
Rivera could have made the same point in a far less inflammatory and in a far more sensitive way - and at a far more appropriate time. An entire nation of African Americans is grieving - as a huge number of people of other ethnicities grieve right along with them. Yet Rivera picks this moment to blame the victim and black culture. Classy.
Look for Rivera on Fox News prime time tonight.
Guns Save, Hoodies Kill.
The NRA hasn’t seen a single piece of RESPONSIBLE gun control legislation that it hasn’t opposed. If the NRA had its way, the entire country would resemble the (mythical) Wild West, where everyone would pack heat (preferably while concealed)—except, of course, for the “criminals” who are, somehow, managing to get handguns with such ease. (Essentially, the NRA want “law-abiding citizens” to be able to get handguns just as easily as “criminals.” Of course, the “criminals” are getting their guns through illegal methods.)
You really stepped in it this time Geraldo. This is really stupid. Every generation has its styles, fashion, music and slang. When I was a teenager in the seventies I had long hair and had to hear get a haircut you god damn hippie from the older generation all the time.
You should know better.
What Rivera said reminds me of Bill O’Reilly’s comment about how a murdered rape victim was asking for it because she was wearing what he defined as suggestive. (“So every predator in the world is going to pick that up…”). She was wearing summer attire because it was hot. Trayvon was wearing a hoodie because it was probably comfortable and it was raining.
Bottom line – Minorities shouldn’t have to dress a certain way in order to avoid confrontation with white racists. It’s those who are threatened by hoodies who need an attitude adjustment. It is sad that parents of minorities need to coach their children about how to avoid getting hassled by those who see color. Is this American exceptionalism?
@ Wuzup and Yakki, yep, a FOX “news” talking head has been there/done that with regards to clothes..
On the rape/murder of Jennifer Moore: in addition to sayng that she was drunk/alone, BOR felt the need to make sure and tell the folks that “she was 5-foot-2, 105 pounds, wearing a miniskirt and a halter top with a bare midriff. Now, again, there you go. So every predator in the world is gonna pick that up at two in the morning.”
Gawd, Geraldo – your remarks are just as warped as those of BOR and Juan Williams.
To clarify, I believe responsible adults should have the freedom to own both hoodies and firearms. But it’s clear that one poses a greater threat than the other if it falls into irresponsible hands.
So, if a black guy on his way to or from a track meet and is wearing a hoodie (which Rivera says is “appropriate”) and he gets shot, that would result in the shooter’s automatic arrest? Or if he’d been heading somewhere and thought there was a chance of rain (again, Rivera says that would be “appropriate”) and got shot, that the shooter would be immediately arrested?
Why do I get the feeling that Rivera would find some OTHER flimsy excuse for reasoning to blame the victim?
While it is quite possible that Zimmerman carried some prejudice against Martin because of his clothing, to suggest that we must dress a certain way in order to appease irrational idiots who might shoot us because they don’t like our clothes spits on the concept of freedom and the American principles laid out in our Constitution.
Geraldo is suggesting that we continue to feed the paranoia that is destroying the social fabric of our country. I say f*ck Geraldo.
Lookie: Even Geraldo’s son Cruz thinks he’s full of shit: @GeraldoRivera My own son just wrote to say he’s ashamed of my position re hoodies-still I feel parents must do whatever they can to keep their kids safe