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Fox News: People Who Wear Hoodies Should be Shot
Posted by dand124 on Fri Mar 23 15:40:38 2012http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0312/74392.html
Geraldo Rivera said Friday he would “bet money” that Trayvon Martin wouldn’t have been fatally shot if the teenager hadn’t been wearing a hoodie, and the Fox News host’s comments immediately drew a fierce response, with one critic branding him a “moron” on Twitter.
“I am urging the parents of black and Latino youngsters particularly to not let their children go out wearing hoodies,” Rivera said on “Fox & Friends.” “I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was.”
Martin, an African-American teenager from Florida, was shot and killed last month by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain who was armed with a handgun. The Justice Department announced earlier this week that it would launch an independent investigation into the shooting, as mobs of furious protesters are demanding that Zimmerman — who claimed he shot Martin in self-defense — be arrested.
Rivera on Friday launched into a long-winded monologue about how wearing a hoodie can draw “dark-skinned” kids unwanted attention because of the negative associations attached to people that dress to look like “a gangsta.”
“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,” Rivera said, as he continued on to argue that there is an “instant association” with someone that is wearing a hoodie.
“It’s those crime scene surveillance tapes. Every time you see someone sticking up a 7-Eleven, the kid’s 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 gangsta — you’re going to be a gangsta wannabe? Well, people are going to perceive you as a menace,” he said.
The Fox News host also cited Juan Williams — who was fired from NPR after saying he felt “nervous” when he sees people wearing “Muslim garb” at airports, and now works for Fox News — as an example of someone having had an “automatic reflex” to how an individual is dressed.
“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,” Rivera continued. “Trayvon Martin, God bless him, an innocent kid, a wonderful kid, a box of Skittles in his hands. He didn’t deserve to die. But I 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.”
Rivera’s comments quickly drew a sharp response Friday morning, with hundreds of Twitter users taking issue with the Fox News host’s remarks.
Social media editor for Reuters Anthony De Rosa tweeted, “Moron,” while CNN contributor Roland Martin sent out a string of messages calling out Rivera. “Hey Geraldo, Black kids have gotten shot not wearing hoodies. Dude, that’s just dumb. #Trayvon,” he wrote. “So @GeraldoRivera, is a woman in 6-inch heels, a short skirt and a low-cut blouse responsible for her own rape? That’s a serious question.”
On his radio show, Rivera addressed Roland Martin’s “rape” tweet.
“The woman in six-inch heels a short skirt and a low-cut blouse is no threat to you, but you tell me, what would you do if you saw a young man, black man or a Latino man coming your way on the sidewalks with his face hidden? I tell you what, you’d walk across the street or you’d put your head down and not make eye contact,” he said.
He also blasted the “Million Hoodie March” that took place in Manhattan earlier this week in honor of Trayvon Martin, calling it a “dumb idea.”
“A march isn’t going to change the way people react to hoodies … [That’s like] thinking that a million hoodie march is going to change the image of a hoodie is like thinking that a chorus singing Koombayah is going to change the way people think about burkas.”
Asked whether he would take back his earlier comments on Fox News in light of the criticism, Rivera told POLITICO in an email, “Absolutely not,” while citing his recently published column on Fox News Latino called, “Geraldo Rivera: Trayvon Martin Would Be Alive but for His Hoodie” that makes the similar arguments that the Fox News host made on the air.
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama addressed Martin’s shooting for the first time Friday morning, saying at the White House, “When I think about this boy, I think about my own kids and I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this.”
Calling for the country to “do some soul-searching” to figure out how the incident took place, Obama added, “If I had a son he would look like Trayvon. And you know, I think they are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the siren it deserves and we’re going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.”
The authors of a 2005 self-defense gun law that has come under intense scrutiny in Florida since Martin’s death said Zimmerman shouldn’t be protected under their law. Commonly known as the Stand Your Ground law, a person who believes their life is in danger has the right to use force in self-defense, including “deadly force.”
But audio of a 911 call that Zimmerman made the night he shot Martin revealed that he was purposefully pursuing the teenager before the altercation, complicating the discussion over whether Zimmerman can avoid being arrested.