Moral Low Ground


Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera: “Hoodie as Responsible for Trayvon Martin’s Death as George Zimmerman”

Appearing on this morning’s edition of Fox News’ Fox and Friends, Geraldo Rivera opined that Trayvon Martin’s hooded sweatshirt was as much to blame for the teen’s death as the man who killed him.

The veteran journalist opined that the unarmed black teenager, who was shot to death on February 26 by George Zimmerman, a self-appointed neighborhood watch captain who often called police to report “suspicious black men,” brought his death upon himself with his choice of clothing.

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

Rivera continued: “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…There is some things that are almost inevitable. I’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 appropriately, I think unless it’s raining out, or you’re at a track meet, leave the hoodie home. Don’t let your children go out there.”

As multiple media outlets have pointed out, it was raining when Trayvon Martin was shot. The 17-year-old’s only “crime” was ‘walking while black’ in a gated community in the South. Blaming his hoodie for his death is akin to blaming a rape victim for wearing a short skirt. It’s much easier for folks like Rivera to blame Martin’s tragic and untimely demise on a piece of clothing than it is to unflinchingly examine the role that race and guns, especially “stand-your-ground” “self-defense” laws, played in his death.

UPDATE: According to the Huffington Post, Geraldo Rivera’s own son, who he referenced in his comments about hoodies, is “ashamed” of his father’s position.  “My own son just wrote to say he’s ashamed of my position re hoodies,” Rivera tweeted.

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