Geraldo Rivera Still Touting His Jacked Hoodie Logic
Who can forget Geraldo Rivera‘s tone deaf and thoughtless comments about the Trayvon Martin tragedy? Instead of talking about the actions of either George Zimmerman or Trayvon Martin, instead of discussing the Stand Your Ground legislation, the racial profiling or the important details of this case, Rivera resorted to despicable victim-blaming that probably sounded familiar to rape victims. Rivera blamed the tragedy on the teenager’s clothing. He said:
â€œI 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 Martinâ€™s death as George Zimmerman was.â€
â€œIâ€™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 appropriatelyâ€¦â€
After coming under fire for his remarks, Rivera issued a hasty and half-hearted apology that didn’t actually sound like he was sorry for anything. He still really believed that the bulk of the problem lied with Trayvon’s clothes, not the man with the gun.
Now, the pundit is taking the opportunity to reiterate again just how “thug wear” is killing young people. This time, he’s talking about the increased number of murders that have occurred in Chicago this year. On Fox & Friends, they discussed the problem of rising crime in major cities like Chicago and New York. Rivera made this comment to start out the segment:
â€œI was right about the hoodie wasnâ€™t I? I hate to brag, but I got criticized by every pundit in America when I said Trayvon Martin would be alive today but for the fact that he was wearing thug wear â€“ he was wearing the hoodie. Turns out now that we look atÂ George Zimmermanâ€™s interviews with the police; he didnâ€™t profile Trayvon Martin because he was black, he profiled him because he was wearing a hoodie.â€
â€œThe headline is: Zimmerman is not a racist. Trayvon Martin would be alive today if he wasnâ€™t wearing thug wear, if he wasnâ€™t wearing that hoodie.”
The headline is actually this, “Trayvon Martin would be alive today if a man hadn’t made the conscious decision to shoot him.” And for every child who has died due to gun violence in any city around the country, it has nothing to do with their clothing. The headline is the same. “This human being wouldn’t have lost their life if someone hadn’t made the decision to shoot a gun.”
Geraldo Rivera is trying to use more tragedy to defend a defenseless viewpoint. He’s missing the reason that people were so outraged. It wasn’t because they wanted it to be a race issue, instead of a ‘thug wear’ issue. (By the way, how on earth anyone could use the term ‘thug wear’ and say it’s not about racism is beyond me.) It’s because victim-blaming is never acceptable. It doesn’t matter if you’re blaming the victim about their clothes or the race or the gender. It’s all irresponsible and it shifts the blame away from the person who committed a crime.
Women are not raped because they wear a short skirt. They are raped because they are in the presence of a rapist. Children are not molested because they are wearing make-up. They are molested because they are in the presence of a child molester. And no one is shot because they are wearing “thug wear.” They are shot because they are in the presence of someone who chooses to pull the trigger.