Geraldo Rivera visited Fox & Friends this morning where he gave himself a pat on the back for "correctly" concluding that Trayvon Martin was profiled by shooter George Zimmerman for wearing a hoodie “thugwear,” not because of race. In making his self-serving declaration, Rivera ignored evidence that Zimmerman does have at least some racist leanings. Regardless, Rivera went on to use his “insight” to suggest that the real racists are civil rights leaders who disagreed with him. Not surprisingly, nobody on the curvy couch challenged his conclusions.
In a discussion about the awful spike in murders in Chicago, Rivera suddenly veered off to bring up Zimmerman and Martin. It was clearly a strategy to tout his own self and malign black leaders:
Now we look at George Zimmerman’s interviews with the police – he didn’t profile Trayvon Martin because he was black. He profiled him because he was wearing a hoodie. He was a strange kid – didn’t recognize him, wearing the same garb as previous perpetrators of house break-ins in his community. So the headline is, “Zimmerman is not a racist. Trayvon Martin would be alive today if he wasn’t wearing thugwear or if he wasn’t wearing that hoodie.”
…Every civil rights con in the nation – Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Ben Jealous of the NAACP… protesting the purported racism that underlied the tragic death of the unarmed teenager, 17 year-old Trayvon Martin… Where is that same outrage, where is that same feeling of concern in Chicago where 275 African American kids have killed each other this year alone?
Not one of the three Fox & Friends hosts seemed to notice any of the various things wrong with Rivera’s proclamations.
First, how likely is it Zimmerman would have told the police that any racist feelings were in play when he shot and killed Martin? Second, there is other evidence pointing to Zimmerman’s bigotry which Rivera and his Fox & Friends hosts conveniently ignored. A Huffington Post article reported yesterday:
In interview after interview, colleagues and friends of Zimmerman said that they did not know him to harbor racially biased views. Former colleagues described Zimmerman as professional, mild-mannered and courteous. One former co-worker, who spoke with Zimmerman the day after the shooting in the lobby of their workplace, said that Zimmerman looked “absolutely devastated.” Another described him as “beat up physically and emotionally.”
…According to the (investigators’) report, (one) friend described Zimmerman as “a person with strong character but not very street wise,” and that he’d never known Zimmerman to be in a fist fight or to be prejudiced against people of other races or religions, a contention that is contradicted by evidence released in prior reports.
Third, Rivera's statement that Martin "would be alive today" if he hadn't worn the hoodie puts all the onus on Martin and takes it away from Zimmerman. Even if Rivera is correct that Zimmerman never racially profiled Martin and had every reason to be suspicious of him based on his attire, Zimmerman still has a lot to answer for in shooting and killing the unarmed Martin who was walking home from a convenience store in the rain. Funny how Rivera treated that point as if it were irrelevant.
Fourth, what disturbed the African American community about the Trayvon Martin killing had everything to do with race and it went beyond a suspicion that a teen was killed for walking while black. It was also about an inadequate police response that smacked of a presumption of Zimmerman's innocence and Martin's guilt. That’s an important part of the outrage that Rivera – in his harping on the hoodie – continues to ignore.
Lastly, the Chicago murders are about gangs, not civil rights. If Rivera wants to argue that those murders should receive the same kind of concern and attention from civil rights leaders as the Trayvon Martin killing, fine. But instead of making that argument straight up, he deliberately demonized three figures highly respected by African Americans. To smear Jackson, Sharpton and Jealous as “cons” while misleading about the real racial issues in the Martin case - all for the sake of smearing them with the murders in Chicago – says more about Rivera's racial grudges than anyone else's. And that of Fox hosts Steve Doocy, Gretchen Carlson and Peter Johnson who either didn’t notice or didn’t care.
I’m an out patient at a clinic most people can’t afford. I get ideas talking to other patients …
You mean the “hoodie thugwear” you’ve worn yourself on more than one occasion, Jerry?
Also, after the racial angle got blurred, I couldn’t help but notice that Zimmerman’s adoptive father is a retired judge that’s rich enough to be an area one percenter, and even looks like the racist characature “Judge Whitey,” which brings up how much of Georgie’s past is “report this or else!”…
I mean, he got off the hook for this just that before the outcry, right? What else has he done that never got filed?
Oh, and I’m still waiting on Fox News to report on Zimmerman’s magical headwounds that vanish for multiple photos, then don’t look the slightest bit similar by any stretch of the imagination when they re-appear.
*The only real fly in the alt-reality scenario I can envisage is that, with ALL other factors being identical to this reality, Black-Zimmerman wouldn’t have had a permit to carry any kind of firearm. As I recall, “our” Zimmerman had already been involved in some sort of incident which, for almost anyone of a darker skin tone in Florida, would’ve resulted in their being denied a gun permit (and which, IMS, was only avoided in this reality because Zimmerman’s dad pulled some strings to keep his son’s record “clean”).