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Geraldo Rivera Thinks Trayvon's Death Is About A Hoodie (Video)

Geraldo Rivera recently fell into the victim blaming trap of "well ... what were you wearing" in the Trayvon Martin shooting death case. While saying that he believed George Zimmerman, the 28-year-old man who shot and killed Martin for walking-while-black, should be investigated thoroughly, he fell into the same logic trap many people fall into -- telling victims to modify their behavior rather than staying focused on the self-appointed Batman who stalked and shot a kid.



From Huffington Post:

"But I am urging the parents of black and Latino youngsters particularly to not let their children go out wearing hoodies," Rivera insisted. "I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was."

When asked to clarify his remarks, Rivera said that he cautioned his own son against wearing hoodies. He explained, "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?

This is right up there with being a rape victim and being asked about your skirt length. Never mind the fact that according to the girl Martin was on the phone with at the time Zimmerman was stalking him, Martin DIDN'T have his "hoodie" up. He told the girl, later as he was being pursued, he was going to put it up to hide his face from the strange man following him.

From The Orlando Sentinel

The 16-year-old girl, who was not identified, said in a phone call recorded by ABC News this morning that as Trayvon was walking he told her "some man was watching him" so he pulled his hoodie over his head.

She told attorneys she then heard the 17-year-old ask "What are you following me for?"

Based on Geraldo's argument, if you're black and brown and a boy (or man) you should just never wear a hooded sweatshirt. But does that also mean you shouldn't wear jeans, overalls, coveralls, anything smudged with dirt (even if you're coming home from your job in construction), tennis shoes, jogging pants, sweatpants or anything "casual" in public unless they want to get accidentally mistaken for a robber. Black and brown men should also not go out alone, especially on walks, to walk their dogs, go running or otherwise be outside unless they are being escorted by a white person. If they can't be escorted by a white person, they should carry "I'm not a criminal" papers.

Aaaaaand suddenly we're right back to this:

The territorial legislature approved a section entitled “Slaves,” found in the Laws of the District of Louisiana, on October 1, 1804. This section codified the laws that black persons in Missouri, whether free or slave, were required to recognize and obey. The law prohibited slaves from leaving their master's property without permission and/or a written pass. Slaves could not own or carry a gun, powder, shot, club, or other weapon. Exceptions were made for those slaves living on a “frontier plantation”; their owner could obtain a license from the justice of the peace allowing the slaves to possess a weapon, presumably for protection against Indians and wild animals, or perhaps for hunting. The black code forbade slaves to take part in riots and unlawful assemblies, or make seditious speeches; all infractions were punishable by public whipping. Other rules in this section affected how slaves traveled between plantations, including how long a slave could remain on another's property and how many visiting slaves were allowed at a particular property at any one time; certain exceptions were applied. Obviously difficult to enforce, slaves and owners frequently ignored this rule with no legal repercussion. To further limit slaves' interaction with free society, the legislature restricted commercial dealings between a slave and a free man, white or black; to do business with a slave required permission of the owner.

It's not about the clothes you wear, Geraldo. It's about people taking their prejudices to a death sentence level when it should have stayed somewhere around "stay in your car" and "stop following that kid" level.

There's no clothing a black or Latino kid can wear that would eradicate racism. And it's not on those who are the victims of racism to "cure" those who have racist beliefs through an elaborate contortionist act of apologizing for existing

Again, Geraldo. No apologies. Stop giving those made uncomfortable by the circumstances of this case an easy "out" by saying "if only the victim had worn a different outfit" maybe he wouldn't have incurred the wrath of the guy who has called the police more than 40 times in the past year.

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Reader Comments (17)

I knew Geraldo was no braintrust but to blame the victim via hoodie/clothing creates a major brain freeze in studpidity for all who were "forced" to listen to him on Fox faux news.

March 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea Williams

This reminds me of the movie "Hot Fuzz," where the cops and city elders ridiculously declare war on hoodie-wearing teens, whom they have identified as the source of all society's ills. (I could not locate a clip, unfortunately.)

So there you are: Geraldo Rivera has now become the physical realization of a cinematic parody of a law-and-order authoritarian.

Take off that hoodie. Pull up those pants. Get off my lawn.

Clearly, if we'd just listen to the advice of that cranky old man who lives on the corner, we'd all be living in a racism-free utopia.

March 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersmartacus

"If you're black and brown and a boy (or man) you should just never wear a hooded sweatshirt"
"If you'e a woman, you shouldn't wear tight clothing or short skirts."

Somebody tell me the difference between the two statements.

March 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMike Mussington

This was spot on and I agree 100%

March 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJasmine

geraldo is a gd racist fool

March 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteralicia banks

Blame the Hoodie? GIVE ME A BREAK. It was raining.... the kid was running.....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 lives while doing so!  And by his own admission, Mr. Zimmerman, the gunman, was stalking unarmed Trayvon - against the advice of the police (via cellphone contact). Mr. Rivera: you should be ashamed of your inane, insensitive comments, and your attempts to create "excuses" for the inexcusable actions of judge-jury-executioner Zimmerman. We are becoming a society that sees threats under every rock; a society that sees danger  with every “other” that is not like us;  a society with power hungry control-freaks (whether politicians or mayors or police chiefs or individuals) that are only too eager to take advantage of our fears; that are only too eager to get away with anything that they can, as they deprive us of our our liberty (and sometimes our lives), in the name of defending it. This is part of a slippery slope that includes the worst provisions of the Patriot Act, 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 leads to a police state/Orwellian mentality that is typical of places such as China, Cuba, or 1960's Communist Eastern Europe. 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. WE are better than this.

March 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterstan chaz

@ smartacus,

But Stanley from "Friday" was black AND he didn't have a gun and shoot the kids. He just wanted the kids to get off his lawn. That makes a HUGE difference.

March 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteronegirl


You're definitely right on the gun part.

There was a not-so-funny case of a real-life "Stanley" in my neck of the woods not so long ago, and he WAS armed and dangerous:

A former Marine on Friday was convicted of second-degree murder in the shooting death of a man whose puppy urinated on his award-winning lawn.

Charles Clements, 69, faces a prison sentence of four to 20 years with an option for probation.

A Will County jury took about four hours to find Clements guilty of shooting Joshua Funches, 23, during an argument outside Clements' home.

Funches' family declined to comment and appeared upset as they exited the courtroom, having wanted Clements convicted on first-degree charges.

In May 2009, as Funches passed Clements' home while walking his fox terrier, the dog lifted its leg and relieved itself, witnesses said. The two men got into an argument. Clements then pulled out a gun and shot Funches in the abdomen, police said.

Funches later died of his injuries. He was the father of two children, ages 1 and 4.

Having repeatedly earned University Park's lawn upkeep award, Clements often verbally harassed anyone who stepped near or on his precious grass, neighbors said.

Clements later claimed he shot Funches in self-defense.

Sentencing has been scheduled for Dec. 21.


If Geraldo Rivera were commenting on that case, he'd probably be on the side of the lawn, rather than the dude who got shot.

March 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersmartacus

A professor at Seminole State College, which Zimmerman attended (the college has just kicked him out), recently raised an interesting question. Zimmerman had assaulted a police officer, but nothing came of the charges against him. How does that happen? The professor suggested that perhaps Zimmerman is a police informant. Maybe that's why the Sanford Police Dept. refused to arrest him for the murder of Trayvon Martin. It wouldn't be the first time that a police informant got away with murder. Let's hope the mounting pressure on Sanford and Florida will help to expose the truth and bring at least a modicum of justice for Martin's family.

March 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterhoodoowah

Trayvon could have been wearing an oxford sweater with some nicely pressed slacks and Zimmerman would have still stalked and shot him to death. The root cause is that a huge percentage of white people ( and let's face it, non-white folks) have no respect and a lot of fear of black people.

Even after slavery was abolished (and we were supposidly American citizens with equal rights), blacks were prohibited by law and custom from being able to compete with whites. There was no equality of opportunity. Whites, with the approval of the government, participated in the deliberate, denial of opportunity to blacks. Blacks were powerless to fully participate in society, to open up the job market or to desegregate schools or places of public accommodation.

The majority of black folks still believe--based on historical fact and personal experience-- that the deck is stacked against them and without some intervening mechanism; white-run institutions will hire white people over black people the overwhelming majority of the time. This holds true even if the black person is more qualified than the white person.

No matter how wealthy that you as a black person become, no matter what accomplishments that you achieve, you will always be perceived as inferior by the mainstream culture (whites). And based on this belief of black inferiority, whites will consistently discriminate against black people. And they will continue to do this unless compelled by force of law to stop.

This is why, when crap like this murder happens, the black community needs to rise up and protest. Sure, we have other problems, but this shit can not be allowed to stand.

March 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterM Slade

Tell Geraldo that mustache is a hoodie for his chin :o)

March 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterblack yoda

F--k Geraldo! Yeah, I said it!

This man is known to open his damned mouth and very soon after the bs comes tumbling out! I still have not forgiven nor forgotten what he said on the very day that MJ died. He claimed that Michael was never planning to do the tour, and wasn't even preparing for it. Paraphrasing here: He claimed that MJ was "broke" and was only 'going to take the money & run.'

Ummm... anyone ever see a little concert film called "This Is It?" That man put his work, his toil, sweat, his heart and left his soul on that stage.

Yet Rivera went on Fox News and proclaimed this isht with all his "well-placed sources" and that patented Gerlado hubris. Never once heard him offer up so much as an apology or a mea culpa.

Get it wrong much, Geraldo?

Now with this hoodie thing the all-wise, all-knowing Gerry Rivers weighs in w/ his ass-backwards opinion!

Trayvon wasn't killed because he wore a hoodie. That young Black man is dead because some paranoid racist with a gun and a God-complex TOOK his life! That's the only reality that matters!

Did Emmet Till wear a hoodie? Did Michael Stewart wear a hoodie? Did Amadou Diallo wear a hoodie? Did Sean Bell on the eve of his wedding day wear a hoodie when he was shot down and killed? NO! The list of names could fill a wall in Washingtson DC. These young men had no weapons, were all inncoent of wrong doing & yet all were killed, because of the COLOR of their skin! Period. End of sentence.

Hoodies? I think not!

So Geraldo's statement is both asinine and insulting! He's long had the rep to proclaim his heritage only when it suits him and only speaks of his "dark skin son" when the seasoned journalist in him KNOWS it will make headlines.

In closing, I say: F--k Geraldo! And "Gerry Rivers"... and f--k George Zimmerman, too!


March 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMoanerplicity

Yeah. I'll never forget that talk show he had. One in particular discussed White supremacy. One of the guys( who have since changed) reminded him that he was a nobody and that he was a "s--c" and a " J--w"! on his own nationally- syndicated program. He would confront these same very losers. What happened? Is he stillangry because his show went down after many of his Black viewers left him after his overzealous theories about OJ at the time( He did say that the majority his his former viewership came from Black people)?

Man, my respect for him left after he did that and after Trayvon, it went -32. I never thought that he would go there, especially from somewhere who spent half of his natural born life chasing down the very people that have gunned down poor Trayvon. He is so desperate to claim fame again that he's willing to dog black people , Latino and Jewish people for it. That's ok, He has a son, the same trash he discuss about Trayvon can end up..or who knows, may end up in that same position, then we'll see how big( or small) of a man he really is!

March 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnon

Geraldo is an idiot. He has his own racist tendencies and he let's it slip once in a while. I'm Puerto Rican, I get mistaken for black all the time. This fool Zimmerman is half latino and he probably woulda shot me too. Yes latinos, asians & blacks can be racist towards people too. The problem is that these racist republicans have passed laws that make it easier for whites to own multiple weapons AND kill people without being afraid of the law. All this since Obama's election. It's pretty scary out there and it's gonna get worse. They blatantly flaunt their guns out in public now. I saw the epitome of a redneck at a Walmart in Virginia walking around with his loaded pistol fully exposed on his belt.

March 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJMDiaz703

A fool.

A cowering, prostrating, genuflecting fool who thinks that by groveling for the Big Man, someone would even think of him twice before putting him against the wall.

There is no honour in currying favour with the cruel, rationalizing the indefensible, relinquishing agency to a hateful conservator, re-inscribing idiocy and re-affirming distrust, re-shattering what's already broken, punishing the innocent dead--a child, at that-- for not having had the foresight to intuit the impulses of a paranoid murderer who is beneath contempt but not quite black enough to not be able to weasel around this stand your ground garbage with impudence dozens of times already, highjacking widespread sorrow to fit into some kind of trashy teachable moment template and glorify his jaundiced 'concern', or hustling to avert the gaze of monsters away from himself so he can position it himself and steer it to fix its eye on everyone else.

Would this miscarriage of dignity of a man say to Ms. Gifford, 'You know, blood libel is just--I hear ya. But, if you hadn't ever read anything about history, you wouldn't have to be offended today. See how I fixed that for you?'

Remind me never to wear a short skirt about this cad's morality. This is the same loser who jackassed himself with those damned vaults and did a guest-spot on the sort-of short lived sitcom Nurses.

A self-regarding, laughable, disloyal mustachioed muppet, this one.

March 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJo 'Mama' Besser

Take off the hoodie black and brown man, it makes the white man afraid and when they are afraid they can be quite evil and do horrible things. Their fear will always be your problem until there are more of you than there are of them.

February 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterReality Bites

Trayvon's hoodie had nothing to do with anything. He was profiled because he was black.I wear a hoodie almost every day and I'm 66. It, along with sweat pants is my leisure suit.

June 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFran
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