Geraldo Rivera gave his opinion on Trayvon Martin’s murder this morning. As the father of a brown boy himself, he feels that his advice on how to avoid being gunned down in the street as a black or Latino teenager is particularly effective: just don’t wear a hoodie. In fact, while Rivera said on Fox News that Zimmerman should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, he later tweeted, that “his hoodie killed Trayvon Martin as surely as George Zimmerman.” Hunh?

When you see a kid walking down the street, particularly 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 what’s the instant identification, what’s the instant association? It’s those crime scene surveillance tapes. Every time you see someone stickin’ up a 7-11, the kid’s wearing a hoodie. Every time you see a mugging on a surveillance camera or 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 wanna? Well, people are going to perceive you as a menace. That’s what happens. It is an instant reflexive action.

…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, you know God bless him, he was an innocent kid, a wonderful kid, a box of Skittles in his hands. He didn’t deserve to die. But I’ll bet you money, if he didn’t have that hoodie on, that nutty neighborhood watch guy wouldn’t have responded in that violent and aggressive way.

I’m going to take a moment to give Geraldo the benefit of the doubt and assume he’s just participating in shock journalism; it’s easier to believe that these statements are mere attention grabbers considering that this is the man who famously appeared on television with a broken nose after a brawl with Neo-Nazis and orchestrated the most hyped and least interesting investigative journalism story ever by opening Al Capone’s Vaults on live television.

Ok, that moment of benefit of doubt just passed.

Here I’ve been all this time thinking that hoodies do things like keep people warm and protect them from rain (which, interestingly, was the weather on the evening of Trayvon’s murder) and what do you know — they’re actually gangsta wannabe wear. Not only that, but apparently fitting the disgusting stereotype of a “bad guy” — being young, black, and male — isn’t enough to trigger an aggressive murderous maniac. It’s his hoodie, not his race or gender or this country’s long history of connecting both to criminal behavior, that got Trayvon killed. And he could have prevented the entire incident by simply not wearing a hoodie, because it’s normal for high-functioning American adults to make assumptions about people based on race or gender or hoodies and then resolve those assumption with a gun. Thanks Geraldo. Race problem solved!

Oh, and he also warned those of you participating in the Million Hoodie Marches to leave your hoodies at home, lest you become the victims of completely reasonable fashion profiling. I’m not kidding. Watch the video of his appearance below for more.

What’s your take on these remarks?

  • chanela

    The hell????

  • http://sisterescape.blogspot.com Fiore Scott

    bull fricken fracken shit. gtfoh. i am so angry at how ignorant people continue to be. it was way more of a race issue than a hoodie issue. if he didn’t have his hoodie up zimmerman still would have followed him. he’s black. he’s a coon- and they always get away (zimmerman’s words- not mine)

    stop the foolishness.

  • CurlySue

    That is such an old-man thought process. “Those kids and their damned hoodies!” 70 years ago it was “Those kids and their damn rock music!” Men like that will always find a way to blame societal issues on teenagers, which is ridiculous. Teenagers have been upsetting their elders and wearing things considered inappropriate by Grandpa since the beginning of time.

  • http://pervertedalchemist.blogspot.com Perverted Alchemist

    FOH, Jerry Rivers, LMAO!!!!

  • MsQuita

    SMH

  • Dean

    This is abosultely crazy!

  • QoNewC

    He has a point though. I constantly tell my male relatives NOT to wear their hoodies if they dont have to. A baseball cap would be better. It sucks but thats reality. Im not blaming the victim either. Wearing a hoodie is no excuse to be killed and for the record- Trayvon Martin pulled his hoodie up for protection, to evade a stalker. In his case he was completely justified.

  • lostluv224

    well….im a female college graduate and i rock my alumni hoodie all the time…so does that make me a wannabe gangsta too?

    Geraldo sit you old ass down. Next

  • mile’s mommy

    Have a seat Geraldo. Get him out of here. Might as well tell companies to stop making hoodies! How about hey neighborhood watchman you took your job too serious and you’re racist. These people have a hole in their face and feel the need to use it to say bullshit

  • http://blackonpurpose.blogspot.com/ gryph

    “He has a point though. I constantly tell my male relatives NOT to wear their hoodies if they dont have to. A baseball cap would be better.”

    would you have the same advice for a potential rape victim?

  • http://www.womanist-musings.com/ Womanistmusings

    This is nothing but victim blaming. Nothing that Trayvon did caused Zimmerman to act. Geraldo is trying to be relevant but all he is doing is missing the point, but then when you work for Faux news, I suppose that’s all you’re capable of doing.

  • Tonton Michel

    Lol, yes this was an old man way of thinking.

  • au napptural

    +1

  • Dalili

    +2

  • Justina

    Geraldo deserves to be punched in the nose again for that statement. The wearing of a hoodie has nothing to do with why Trayvon was killed. It is quite obvious that Geraldo has never visited a white university (ie: Penn State). If he had, he would have seen that generally the whole student population of mainly white students wear hoodies. Does this mean that universities like Penn State, Hopkins, Harvard and etc are being run by the Bloods and the Crips? I think not. Geraldo is utilizing the same racist thinking that whites have used against us for far too long. It isn’t right nor is it a fair accusation. It also minmizes the fact that Trayvon’s death is a tragedy that shouldn’t have happened. Even though Geraldo was bold enough to say that on tv, I am willing to bet that he wouldn’t say that in person to Trayvon’s parents. I wish people within the media took time to measure their words and consider their impact rather than saying any foolish thing that comes to mind in order to garner ratings.

  • Cia

    It definitely (fyi I am a woman) made me think twice about wearing my hoodie and wearing my hood up. I was jogging yesterday and even thought it was nice and clear it was a bit cool so I wore my grey hoodie…when I went past a cop I def stopped and thought for a minute…I usually run with these 1lb weights and I felt glad that the weights were bright green rather than black…don’t need them confused with a gun or something. BUT the hoodies are not the issue. I think the reality is that until things change if you dress how people in the area usually identify thugs, etc. it might help to do what you can to keep yourself safe. IT is a SAD SAD reality…sigh

  • apple

    i understand what he means but your clothing shouldn’t have to be the reason why youre killed in the street…
    but sadly thats how it happens.. my mom taught me when i got in stores never put your hands in your pocket, always keep your hands visible because your black and they think we all steal.. has that stopped people from profiling(mostly foreigners) me? no, but yet i still keep my hands where you can see them just in case.

  • Terri

    So I guess that means that if I go outside in the spring time wearing shorts I’m liable to be held down and raped by any guy that sees my shorts as a tease and a turn on. O.o

  • Socially Maladjusted

    Well I’m a grown ass man – and I wear my Hoodie coz

    I wish

    a muvva would do suttin.

    btw – didn’t know the Hoodie craze had traveled stateside and made it big. I thought it was strictly an innercity UK thing.

  • Socially Maladjusted

    +3

  • mamareese

    This fool…so wearing a Hoodie made him look like a criminal? Clearly this is not true because that tie and his glasses do not make him smart. PLEASE….Oh but George Z’s mug shot makes him look creepy and sick….wait he is.

  • some truth to it

    My heart goes out to Trayvon’s familly…I hope and pray that his killer gets put behind bars soon…HOWEVER, if he doesnt..then I’m SURE that his life will be horrible anyway..everyone knows who he is and what he did..so he will definitely pay one way or another.

    On the other hand, there is a lot of truth to the hoodie..I think ppl would not be reacting to Geraldo’s words so harshly had a Jessie Jackson said it. As a young black woman, I will admit it…hoodies can be scary..esp at night..esp on a young black or latino man.
    I am well aware of the media and how they can portray things and effect how we think of each other..it is unfortunate. However, THIS DOES NOT EXCUSE HIS KILLER..IT JUST SHOWS HOW EXTRA IGNORANT AND RACIST HE IS.

    As a black woman with a serena-esque shape, I know that I cannot wear certain clothing if I don’t want men slowing down in their cars trying to talk to me…and this is mainly due to how we are portrayed in the media (particularly women of my shape)…so I dont wear clothing like that..even if I am going to the club…I keep it classy.

    So yes…the way we dress as black people plays a HUGE part in how others see us.

  • tss

    @some truth to it, As a mother of a 20yr old and Two teenagers, you are right, i totally agree with you.

  • Ms. Terious

    @mamareese, you betta stop it! “…his glasses do not make him smart”

    #Dead. Someone carry me out hogstyle because I am DONE.

  • http://afrikanmami.blogpsot.com African Mami

    @ mamareese,

    Girrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrl, you done slayed me with your comment!!!! onward bound to heavenly glory!

  • Hugh

    It is a very sad day in all of our lives when we try to minimize the murder of an innocent child by saying he was dress the wrong way.
    I know a lot of people who I don’t like they way they dress, but I would not try to have an argument about it.
    I am very sad for the parents and family members; it must be hell going home at nights and not seeing your son there.
    Hang in there; it gets better with time

  • jamesfrmphilly

    i am an olde man and i do not think that way…….

  • jamesfrmphilly

    +4

  • http://changecomesslow.com/2012/03/23/black-like-me-oh-wait-youre-not/ Nikesha

    If we were to take Geraldo’s observation and apply it in reverse, should I assume every White person with bad teeth, bad skin and stringy oily hair is a meth head? Should I assume every bald White guy is a skinhead?

    The hoodie is not the cause of death. The hoodie was not the trigger for death. The hoodie was and is a piece of clothing. The snacks in Trayvon’s hands and pockets were not the cause of death nor were they the trigger. They were the items he picked up from the store.

  • CurlySue

    Lol, James, we know your outlook on life is one in a million.

  • CurlySue

    A meth head? No. Just British, probably. I kid, I kid!!

  • Jinx Moneypenny

    I guess my s/o should stop rocking hoodies then… seeing as how he has a dozen of them and feels at his most comfortable with one on.

    Too many empty seats available for you to have Geraldo. Not today.

  • RachPar

    I’m tired of people fishing, searching for any reason to justify the death of this young man. I don’t care what he was wearing – he did not deserve to be killed. Period.

    Instead of asking people to change and stop wearing hoodies, why can’t we ask racist, close-minded people to change the way they think, judge, and perceive others. That is what he should be teaching his son.

  • QueenofNew

    @gryph

    If hoodies protected against rape than yes.

  • QueenofNew

    @Socially

    Hug a Hoodie! Its always raining in the UK. I prefer a hoodie or a hat over an umbrella I could potential lose.

  • binks

    Agreed, they are looking for excuses loot Trayvon could have been naked or in a three piece suit and Zimmerman would have engage and shot him regardless. A hoodie didn’t kill Trayvon a mad man did. So the next time I wear my hoodie around campus going to my night classes that means I am fair game too?…gtfoh Geraldo

  • Thoody

    Take a look at zimmerman’s past 911 calls, most of the “suspects” were black, “hoodies” was not a factor -skin color WAS!

  • Guest

    @QoNewC: this is waht he said- “People look at you and what’s the instant identification, what’s the instant association?”

    well, people profile me and other blacks all the time simply b/c we are black. should we change the color of our skin too? this is typical geraldo BS. i my brothers and my future sons to wear what the hell they want w/o fear of people killing them for nothing!

  • omfg

    there’s new blog called geraldoinahoodie.tumblr.com…

    lol. it’s pictures of geraldo wearing hoodies.

  • Greg

    “Not only that, but apparently fitting the disgusting stereotype of a “bad guy” — being young, black, and male — isn’t enough to trigger an aggressive murderous maniac. ”

    Yet enough to trigger Clutch EVERY week. hmmmm

  • Brasilia

    +5

  • C.Sheri

    Does anyone remember when Geraldo Rivera went by Gerry Rivers to avoid being outed as Latino thusly to gain approval from his white counter parts. Is this the reason for his asinine remarks?! Gotta be! And I’m pretty damn sure that there is a picture of good ol’ Gerry wearing a hoodie at a sporting event with Bill O’Riley…. Just sayin.

  • http://furahaproject.blogspot.com Furaha

    Yep, ever since I heard that I’ve given the dude major side eye. Gerry Rivers, lol. Denying his heritage, denying hoodies, what next, lol.

  • http://pervertedalchemist.blogspot.com Perverted Alchemist

    “Does anyone remember when Geraldo Rivera went by Gerry Rivers to avoid being outed as Latino thusly to gain approval from his white counter parts.”

    It’s largely the reason why referred to him as such earlier in the post. Ever since Bette Midler outed him over 20 years ago, anything that has to do with his opinion on the issue of race is negated by that fact.

  • Bridgette

    Trayvon could have been wearing a prep-school blazer and tie w/penny loafers and I truly believe that he still would have been pegged as “suspicious”. He wasn’t wearing the wrong clothes;he was wearing the “wrong” skin color.

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