Geraldo Rivera takes a lot of stock in the ancient adage “the clothes make the man.”
Geraldo Rivera caused outrage across the nation with his Twitter comments about Trayvon Martin’s hooded sweatshirt, placing as much blame on the hoodie as on George Zimmerman.
“His hoodie killed Trayvon Martin as surely as George Zimmerman,” Geraldo Rivera tweeted.
“It’s not blaming the victim it’s common sense—look like a gangsta and some armed schmuck will take you at your word,” and, “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 D.C. in a hoodie,” Geraldo Rivera added later.
Geraldo Rivera should have known that such slippery-slope allegations wouldn’t be taken in stride by pretty much anyone. Stephen Colbert didn’t hold back on mocking Geraldo Rivera.
“Yes, it was the hoodie’s fault. A hooded sweatshirt can make an innocent teen look like a criminal, just like a suit and glasses can make Geraldo Rivera look like a journalist,” Colbert said on his show the Colbert Report.
Colbert didn’t stop there. He took the Florida gun laws into his lampoon on Geraldo Rivera.
“Congress must pass strict hoodie-control legislation. It is terrifying that you can live in a country where you can walk into any Walmart and buy a hoodie right off the rack. No background check. No seven-day waiting period,” Colbert said, “Many parents keep their hoodies in an unlocked drawer where their kids can get at them. That’s why my hoodies are hidden in the back of my gun closet.”
Now, thanks to Geraldo Rivera urging Black and Latino teens not to wear hoodies, have become a symbol of protest in Martin’s death.
The One Million Hoodie March gathered in Union Square in New York last week to advocate justice in the killing of Trayvon Martin. The protesters wore hooded sweatshirts like the one shooter George Zimmerman found “suspicious.”
Geraldo Rivera stood by his hoodie comments, although he did acknowledge that his own son didn’t agree with him.
“My own son just wrote to say he’s ashamed of my position [regarding] hoodies—still I feel parents must do whatever they can to keep their kids safe,” Rivera wrote, “It’s 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.”
The hoodies were a symbol of Martin’s death before Geraldo Rivera tweeted about them. Days after he made the comments though, political figures, athletes and celebrities donned hoodies to note that clothing is not the problem.
Geraldo River did apologize in a tweet yesterday, sort of.
“Heard petition demands my apology to Trayvon’s parents. Save effort: I deeply apologize for any hurt I caused—that is not my goal or intent,” Geraldo Rivera tweeted.
If Justin Bieber didn’t make hoodies popular enough in the past couple of years, Trayvon’s death will certainly send hoodie sales through the roof. Sorry for any inconvenience, Geraldo Rivera.