This Morning on Fox and Friends, Geraldo River gave a “different take” on the Trayvon Martin killing, which has swelled into a national debate about race and justice.
Specifically, Rivera said “I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was”
A lot of people think this amounts to blaming the victim.
Here’s the clip (transcript below)
And Rivera has even taken to Twitter to reiterate his thinking on the matter, noting that his own son has said he’s “ashamed” of his anti-hoodie position.
GERALDO RIVERA: Well, I have a different take, Brian, on that. I believe that George Zimmerman, the overzealous neighbourhood 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 (guest-host): 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 (co-host): 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 or they get the old lady in the alcove, it’s a kid wearing a hoodie. You have to recognise 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’s 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 neighbourhood watch guy wouldn’t have responded in that violent and aggressive way.
DOOCY: What about the fact that — I mean, the people of New York, a couple of nights ago, they had a “Million Hoodie March.” You’re not helping.
RIVERA: You can not rehabilitate the hoodie. You’re not going to — I understand that the reaction might be overzealous or even irrational in some extent, I mean, when you look at the statistics. It may be. But you’re not going to rehabilitate the hoodie. You’re not going to —
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