Fox News had Geraldo Rivera on Fox and Friends today and let Mr. Rivera reveal how he feels about the Trayvon Martin case. The one statement that has really gotten everyone outraged is where Mr. Rivera said, “I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was.”
We’re providing an entire transcript of Geraldo Rivera’s Hoodie remarks on the Fox show and how he explained his position:
“I have a different take on that Brian. I believe the George Zimmerman, the overzealous neighborhood watch captain should be investigated to the fullest extent of the law and if he’s 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.”
Guest Host Juliet Huddy says, “What do you mean?”
Geraldo Rivera responds, “When you see you see a kid walking, Julia when you see a kid walking down the street, particularly a dark skin kid, like my son Cruise, whom I constantly yelled at when he was going out wearing a damn hoodie or his pants around his ankles…take that hood off, people look at you and what’s that instant identification, what’s the instant association: It’s those crime scenes, 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 recognize that this whole stylizing yourself as a gansta, you’re gonna be a gangsta wanna be? Well people are going to perceive you as a menace. That’s what happens. It is an instant reflexive action. Remember Won Williams, our brilliant collegue got in trouble with NPR because he said muslims in formal garb at the airport conjure a certain reaction in him, or a response in him. That’s an automatic reflex, Juan wasn’t defending it, he was explaining that that’s what happened 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 other side of the street, you try to avoid that confrontation. Trayvon Martin’s uh.. you know, God Bless Him, he was an innocent kid, a wonderful kid with 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 nutty neighborhood watch guy wouldn’t have responded in that violent and aggressive way.”
Steve Doocy says, “What about, I mean, the people of New York, a couple of nights ago they had a million hoodie march, I mean…”
Geraldo Rivera continues with “You are not gonna rehabilitate the hoodie. I understand that the reaction might be overzealous or even irrational in some extent, I dunno when you look at the statistics, it may be. But you’re not gonna rehabilitate the hoodie. You’re not gonna…”
Steve Doocy says, “Stop wearing it!”
Mr. Rivera says, “Stop wearing it! Don’t let your kid… you know the old Johnny Cash song? Don’t take your gun to town son, leave your gun at home. There are some things that are almost inevitable. I’m not suggesting that Treyvon Martin had any type 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.”
That ended the spot that has gotten people upset and feeling like there was too fine of a focus on the hoodie and blame put on a specific clothing item. Wil Wheaton got the most response on Twitter by getting over 5,236 retweets from his response to Geraldo Rivera:
Dear Geraldo Rivera: I’ll use small words so you can follow me, okay?Hoodies don’t kill people. Paranoid racists with guns kill people.
— Wil Wheaton (@wilw) March 23, 2012
Other people like @StFuTwEEtin say: Latinos/hispanics do not claim Geraldo Rivera the whites can keep him. Geraldo Rivera revealed in detail his personal feelings and covered the situation as it unfolded on Twitter himself. These were Mr. Rivera’s tweets today concerning Trayvon’s Hoodie.
@GeraldoRivera: Trayvon killed by a jerk w a gun but black & Latino parents have to drill into kids heads: a hoodie is like a sign: shoot or stop & frisk me
His hoodie killed Trayvon Martin as surely as George Zimmerman.
— Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) March 23, 2012
@GeraldoRivera: Justice will come to Zimmerman the Fla shooter-but I’m trying to save lives like Trayvon’s-Parents Alert: hoodies can get your kid killed
As you can see from the Tweet below, Geraldo even had to deal with criticism from his own son. Mr. Rivera decided to let people know on Twitter that he was getting slack from his son and his response to it as well.
@GeraldoRivera: My own son just wrote to say he’s ashamed of my position re hoodies-still I feel parents must do whatever they can to keep their kids safe
@GeraldoRivera: Its not blaming the victim Its common sense-look like a gangsta&some armed schmuck will take you at your word
@GeraldoRivera: Its sad that I have to be the one reminding minority parents of the risk that comes with being a kid of color in America–channel the rage
@GeraldoRivera: President Obama says if he had a son he would look like Trayvon- He could add, and he would never let his son walk around DC in a hoodie.
@GeraldoRivera: In the avalanche of criticism how interesting that most minority moms back me because they want their sons to live long and prosper
We’d like to know what you think about the situation. Do you agree with Geraldo Rivera that the hoodie played a role in Trayvon Martin’s situation? Do you feel that George Zimmerman would have treated Trayvon Martion differently if he was wearing something different?